XJ series reliability better than average
Jaguar’s flagship XJ series was completely revised for the 2004 model year. Known internally as the X350, it came in several different varieties ranging from the XJ8, to the XJR, Super V8 and the lavishly equipped Vanden Plas. Although longer, lower and wider than their predecessors, Jaguar’s heritage was unmistakable in the new XJ design language. Six-cylinder diesel and gasoline engines were available in Europe, but 2004 XJs sold here had either a 294-hp naturally aspirated 4.2-litre V8 under the hood or a 390-hp supercharged version. In later years, those numbers increased to 300 and 400 hp, respectively. The X350 was replaced in 2008 with a facelifted version known as X358.
THE GOOD STUFF
These luxury vehicles date from the time Ford owned Jaguar and Land Rover and their reliability was vastly improved. Extensive use of aluminum and space age adhesives in the unit body construction make these cars about 40% lighter than if they had been fabricated of steel, so fuel economy is better than you might think and performance is outstanding. The naturally aspirated V8 can make the XJ go from 0-100 km/h in 6.3 seconds; the supercharged version 5.0. High tech features such as adaptive cruise control and reverse parking assist, now just making their way into the automotive mainstream, were standard on these vehicles.
Before Ford’s ownership, this segment of the story might have used up all my available word count, but major consumer Websites list XJ series reliability as better than average. Some road testers have complained about “dated” interiors, but I find them timeless in the best British tradition, with lots of leather and wood accents. Because of their low production numbers there is no crash test data available, but standard safety equipment includes eight airbags, vehicle stability control and ABS with electronic brake assistance. There was a recall of 2007 XJs to fix poor gas tank seals, another in 2006 to correct improperly installed sunroofs and two in 2004 to correct potential automatic transmission gear slippage from drive to reverse and to remove an NVH pad that could cause brake line corrosion. Unlike some competing luxury sedans, AWD was not available.
When new, these elegant cars cost from the mid-$60,000 range to just over $100,000, so a used example is the only chance many consumers will get to have one. That said, wannabe XJ owners won’t find one on every used car lot. So don’t be in a hurry. Take your time and shop carefully. These are complex, high-tech automobiles, so repairs will be costly. Try to find one with complete maintenance records. XJR and Super 8 versions will bring a premium because of their supercharged engines and Vanden Plas models will carry a premium because of their appointments.
PRICES AT A GLANCE
Note:These are asking prices, not selling prices, in a cross-Canada survey using Autonet.ca and other sources.
Year Approximate price range
2004 $12,990 - $18,400
2005 $15,995 - $23,900
2006 $23,995 - $29,888
2007 $26,800 - $39,995
Engine:4.2L DOHC V8 (294-300 hp); 4.2L supercharged DOHC V8 (390-400 hp)