2003 Jaguar XJ8 4.2 from Australia and New Zealand
Grace, space and pace
Front parking sensor had to be replaced.
Cracked rear suspension bushes replaced.
Curling trim on glovebox lid.
Split in boot seal.
Despite similar looks, the X350 is a generational shift from the X300/X308 series and is a far more modern and sophisticated car.
These cars are seriously fast on the open road (mine is the 4.2 V8 - the 3.0 might work a bit harder), but a gentleman's club on wheels around town. It is a fantastic long-distance tourer, which shrugs off poor road surfaces. The low speed ride is a little firmer than its predecessors (but still in a class of its own compared to Audi & BMW), but the trade-off is far better high speed body control and less cornering roll.
The interior is beautifully trimmed and much more spacious than the older XJs, even in SWB form. The sound system is superb. My 10+ year old car still looks and feels new inside and out. Everything works as it should, and there are no creaks or rattles.
Criticisms? Try and find one with HID lights, as the standard headlights are no better than adequate (I bought extra-bright Phillips bulbs for mine and that helped a bit). The boot is large, but takes careful packing as the floor is uneven. The screen for the sat nav can be unreadable in the Australian sun; but the lady giving directions is terribly British and polite, so you can just listen to her! And beware the cost of updating the sat nav disk - over $200 - no wonder mine was 8 years out of date when I bought the car.
Running and service costs (IF you find a good independent Jaguar specialist) are surprisingly reasonable. The car has been totally reliable in my ownership. Fuel consumption is absurdly good for a large V8 - I average 13.5 l/100 km around town and have seen as little as 7.8 on a long country drive, with about 8.5 being typical if you're cracking on a bit more.
In summary, my previous XJ6 gave me four years of cheap and reliable luxury motoring, and this car is a significant step up from that in everything except its exterior styling (subjective I know, but I think the X300/308 were even more nicely proportioned). I anticipate keeping it for many more years: until the current model gets cheap enough to be a bargain second hand proposition!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 23rd May, 2014