Having read some bad press about the xj40, the car came as a total unexpected, happy surprise, it's superb value, second hand.
The quietness and comfort of the cabin is surreal.
The four speed z.f. gearbox is as smooth as silk.
The brakes are powerful and full of feel, unusual in such a big car.
The handling is beyond reproach, 16 inch five star sports wheels with Pirelli 4000 tyres are a superb match.
The space for rear passengers has been totally misrepresented, it's cavernous and comfortable.
I recently loaded my sons golf clubs, ruck sack, sleeping bag, sports bag, my good wifes huge 'overnight' bag, two callapsible chairs, Wine/beer cooler, and a low, easy to load, lip height. And the press thought it to small...?I don't agree. And it's totally water tight!
The fuel consumption average is 24 mpg as shown on the trip computer. And you can get more, if you drive sympathetically.
Performance is best described as, brisk, smooth and is more than enough for a 'keen driver' to have fun. Mid range power rates 10/10, (the most important for everyday use).
The Jaguar radio/cass (clarion) is very good compared to most after market systems. With the emphasis on sound quality rather than gizmo's, this makes it easy and practical to use.
Finish and fit on this late 1992 model is up with the best manufacturers.
The paint finish is excellent. Fords paint process, and mother company ownership, has made a huge improvement in build quality.
Areas of the dreaded, 'red oxide tin worm' rust, have only shown it's evil face on the underside of the boot lid, near the number plate down lighters. The Jaguar hot wax injection, has certainly done it's job on this car.
Passengers love to ride in the XJ, everyone has had a positive response or comment about the ride and ambience of the car. Passengers love it.
At the end of a tough and tiring day, it's a great feeling to drive the xj home. It has that special ingredient the French, Oriental, German and Italian car companies just can't pull off, it's like sitting in your favorite arm chair, surrounded by the opulence of wood and leather, a 'feel special' X factor.
If you need to eat up the miles, this car can do it, you feel as if you could drive and drive until you have run out of road.
Take your time finding the right car, the most important part is, condition and service record, look carefully at the owner, did he/she keep this luxury Cat fed on cream or stale milk?
Don't be fooled into buying a car just because it's got the top of the range toys and interior. Service records, condition and careful ownership are far more important, you have been warned!
Go for a car that has no 'small problems' to sort out after purchase, the electronics are amazingly complicated and can be very, very expensive to put right.
When shown the all important service history, (if buying from private seller or non franchised dealer), ring the dealer/dealers stamped in the book, check the vehicle has in-fact been maintained there, ask pertinent questions about the vehicle, i.e. 'has the vehicle had any known serious problems, repairs, replacement components or damage?' the dealers are usually very happy to help in my experience.
Join an affiliated Jaguar club (Jaguar enthusiasts club), and you will be very happy with the help and advice they can give, even before you own the car! They also have an excellent deal with Footman James Insurance Co, cheap comprehensive cover for members.
Parts and service prices are half that of the German competition, there are lots of non franchised parts and service agents advertised in the specialist Jaguar magazines, available in most news agents.
Overall I would say my experience has been a revelation of what you can buy for so little outlay. Follow the golden rules above and you will have a smile on your face that Tony Blair and a Chesire Cat, would envy. The motoring press got it so, so wrong with this car. It's totally underrated and great to own, run and maintain... Superb.