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.

General Comments:

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 And beware the cost of updating the sat nav disk - over $200 - no wonder mine was 8 years out of date when I bought the car.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

5th Jan 2018, 03:30

Hi there,

If you still have this cat, are you interested in selling it? I believe you're in WA. I'm in Melbourne. Feel free to text me to 0405 848 791.

Regards, Michael Wilson.

2003 Jaguar XJ8 4.0 V8 from North America


Beautiful car, and a great buy


Nothing really. The rear door was sticky, and would not unlock sometimes - quite an easy fix - just take the door cover, and clean and lube. It's all about preventive maintenance - I did a transmission service, replaced the thermostat housing with an aluminium one, did an oil change and coolant flush, change the belt, and it is good to go.

General Comments:

The car is beautiful to look at, and is plenty fast. Being a regular XJ (not the R), it is very quiet and soft, which I like. Some of the trim pieces are of questionable quality, although nothing had fallen off. It looks like nothing else on the road, and it makes you feel special. Nothing beats it for the money.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th May, 2011

2003 Jaguar XJ8 Sovereign V8 from North America


I fall in love again every time I walk up to the car


The automatic steering wheel adjustment started making a funny sound. The dealer disconnected it and I don't really miss it. I may get it fixed before my extended warranty ends, it will only be $200 vs. $700.

If the gas cap is not properly replaced the engine light will come on. This seems to be fairly common since my service guy knew exactly what to do to rectify the light coming on.

A screw covering came off behind the driver door handle, but that is not momentous.

Currently there is some vibration in the steering wheel that I need to have addressed.

General Comments:

The 2003 is what I consider to be the last real year for the XJ8. Those later models are just too Ford-y for me. I bought the car on E-bay which always surprises people. I got a great deal and I love the car. It is exactly what I expected. Gas mileage is not great, but that is not a surprise.

"Big Kitty" is at her best on the highway. She just glides along effortlessly.

I had lusted after a Jaguar sedan since childhood. I considered the X and the S, but they would not have sufficed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd December, 2007

2003 Jaguar XJ8 Sovereign LWBase 4.0V8 from UK and Ireland


The lap of luxury- at a price


Excessive wind rustle from the top of the passenger side front window at speed.

General Comments:

The lap of luxury. The Sovereign is absolutely loaded with features such as park distance control, electric heated memory seats and electric steering wheel adjustment. The V8 engine is very refined (just like the best V6's) and superbly quick.

The Jag does not handle particularly well probably due to the rather high ground clearance and thick tyres, CATS suspension would help. The emphasis is on cruising in serenity, the Jag could cruise at 140mph all day.

Petrol priced at 77.9p: the Jag costs £80 to fill up and that does not last very long at all.

A bit concerned about some of the interior quality: the switch gear seems very 'Ford,' which on a £45000 car is not really acceptable, for example the indicators make the same gimmicky sound as a Ford Focus. Also, little details such as the bare screw heads on the vanity mirrors disappoint, some rivals have little covers to hide the screws. Tiny details I know, but ones that should not have been overlooked on such an expensive car.

The Jag still remains the best luxury car, hopefully reliability has improved from XJ6's in the early 1990's.

Sleek styling is old fashioned, but still elegant, hand stitched leather and walnut interior is lovely.

Seats are too firm and boot too small.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th April, 2004

5th May 2007, 19:23

The comment on the switchgear... I can't help, but think the same thing... if you look at the 2003 Mazda Tribute or Ford Escape, it appears the power buttons on the passenger doors are very similar in nature to those model vehicles... but I can't say for certain. I only have noticed this from looking at interior pictures of all three "Ford" products.