1999 Jaguar XJR from UK and Ireland


Lovely to look at, discrete, fast


Although supposedly subjected to a service and 100-point test prior to collection, the rear windscreen heater is only partly functional. My guess is that the (independent) Jaguar dealership knew this, but were hoping I'd not notice for a while and therefore get it fixed under warranty rather than by them at their own cost.

In addition, after putting the car through some vigorous, but not unreasonable corners and high revs, there was some complaint from the engine. I'm going to do some more miles before submitting it to examination. Sounds sinister, especially considering the not-too-high mileage and recent service.

Electric mirror rectractors make a ratcheting sound and occasionally fail. Irritating that a car with such complicated engineering and electronics under the bonnet has been fitted with duff basics.

A couple of spots of dulled paint and ageing of the black door pillars, but nothing unreasonable for a five-year-old car.

General Comments:

The front end of the XJ series is one of the most beautiful bits of car ever designed; Jaguar of the sixties and seventies recaptured and improved. The unpleasant X and S types are dismal in comparison, especially as they are indistinguishable from Rovers. That said, the car is pointlessly long and would be a pain to park in Kansas, let alone London.

Rear space is fine; don't be put off. If Magic Johnson really needs a lift, let him ride up front. Quality of leather (mine has the sports option) seems outstanding - looks new at 48,000 miles (though the dealer might have spruced it up slightly). Ergonomics are good, though you have to lean forward to play with the air and the stereo.

Ride is a compromise, but works. Not as smooth as you'd expect from a Jaguar; not as sporty as you need from a car with this performance.

Speaking of which... the performance is quite something. Not really exciting, though. The noise doesn't engage the emotions and the Carrera-matching acceleration is laid down without fuss. It's an automatic, so even with 380HP, you can find a flat spot at kickdown. The new version has six gears, so this might be a thing of the past. And when I say flat spot, obviously that's relative... I say "not exciting", but having an innocuous car that's quicker than a Testarossa, Boxster, Elise, Impreza, etc is fun.

Handling is fine, but the weight of the car is a constant consideration. Touch with the road could be improved, but I guess then the ride would inevitably become firmer still. It is pointless to make comparisons with sports cars, or even with a hybrid such as the M3 - the Jaguar just can't compete. The traction control is almost intrusive: take it off. With decent tyres and due respect for the conditions and performance, it's not needed. Note, I test drove two 1999 M3s on the day I bought this car and the Jaguar was far, far nicer in every way. I can't emphasise that enough.

I agree with a fellow reviewer; the brakes aren't quite up to it. I'm reminding myself to be sensible, but the upgrade really should have happened at the factory. No excuse for mismatching a car's weight and power with its ability to stop.

Long-term fuel consumption is 18 MPG. That's what I expected, and not bad for a super-charged 4 litre limo.

The sound system is average. My car, apart from the wheels and leather, is the base model. But even that cost £45,000 or so. Would decent speakers - i.e. ones which can cope with the size of the amplifier - really be too much to ask? If you're buying second-hand, look for one which has an aftermarket set-up.

Insurance is bearable. Group 19 (that's one down from the highest, if any non-UK people are interested) and costs half as much as for an M3, less than half as much as for a Boxster of the same year. I bought this 46,000-mile model from a specialist dealer, including service, new tyres and two years warranty for £17,000. Seems a lot of car to me.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th May, 2004

6th Apr 2005, 02:01

Dear all.

Does anybody have bad experiences with a Jaguar XJR. Report about failures, etc! Thanks in advance!


11th May 2005, 08:10

Well, I bought that '98 model XJR from the deep south of Holland and it's everything I hoped it would be.

It's extremely refined and comfortable with a Jekyll and Hyde character. With the "sport" button disengaged it could be any big block exec saloon with a large torque figure and an auto box. It doesn't even look at 1st gear.

But with the "sport" button engaged, it will happily emulate a dragster from the lights and suddenly becomes a lot more eager and encouraging in the right foot department. If you floor the throttle pedal, it feels like someone has attached a huge rubber band to the horizon. Crushing power and awesome fun.

I've done about 2k Kms in it so far and apart from a squeaky fan in the drivers side end air vent (fixed with a liberal application of WD40), it runs like a Swiss watch.

So, for €18k euros, it's a steal. And I thought Impreza's offered good "bang for buck"

Just don't tell too many people, they'll all want one.

1999 Jaguar XJR V8 4.0 petrol V8 Supercharger from UK and Ireland


A Gentleman's answer to questions of performance


Electric Steering column adjuster seems to be a little erratic at times.

General Comments:

I am very pleased with this car. It's almost everything that one could want in a car.

The only down side is the fuel economy which is a bit thirsty at about 19mpg average on my commute although I do get more on longer trips - about 21mpg ish.

Service costs aren't that bad - about £400 per service at the moment, and the tyres are between £150 to £200 each for the 255/40/ZR18 depending on what make you get.

It is very easy to drive fast in this car. 0-60 in 5 seconds and a (limited) top speed of 155mph mean that the acceleration is somewhat vivid. The 4.0 litre supercharged V8 gives 370bhp and basically you get instant punch and then ride along on a wave of torque to the next bend.

The handling is better than I expected - the steering is precise and direct and it really isn't a floaty barge at all, goes around corners very nicely.

Ride is quiet and irons out most road bumps. Not much wind or road noise and the engine is very quiet, you hear the supercharger more than the engine when accelerating hard.

I looked at the BMW M5 and Mercedes E55 AMG and bought the jag because it was cheaper, it looked more individual, and I preferred the interior. I really didn't like the interior on the Merc and the seats were too hard, and the new M5 I thought was overpriced and it didn't have the same interior ambience as the jag. Of the three, I think the jag looks and feels the most "special" car.

I really love the interior of the car. You have connoly leather, walnut, plenty of toys like memory seats/mirrors and steering column, parking sensors, power fold mirrors, auto dipping rear and wing mirrors, CD changer, heated seats, a sunblind etc. Leather upholstery is very soft. After a hard day at work, I look forward to getting in the car because the seats are so comfortable. They adjust in lots of different ways and I find headroom fine in contrast to some reviewers and I am 6' tall so it can't be that bad.

The rear accommodation can be tight if you want to put 3 large adults in the back, but if you mainly carry only 4 people it's fine. Nowhere near as tight as some of the reviews I read suggested.

Overall it's a sublime diving experience and if you get one, you won't be dissapointed. This is one hell of a car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th July, 2002

30th Jul 2002, 09:52

What sort of noise to you get from the super-charger? Is it in anyway obtrusive?

20th Nov 2002, 11:21

The noise from the supercharger is not audible in normal driving. When accelerating flat-out at about 4000rpm upward you get a whine from the supercharger. It isn't intrusive though. I don't often drive the car that hard - you really can only hear it when your foot is _flat_ to the floor.

13th Jun 2003, 23:42

Actually, I think the supercharger noise adds to the attraction of this beast. I love the sound of that whistle as you wind it up!

8th Mar 2006, 15:14

I don´t start from lights with full throttle. Only with smooth touch on pedal, because I know I can be usually the fastest. And, when I meet a "racer" with "tuned" common car on the road, give him more space to fly. There is also another reason for only calm handling of Jag - in different powerful cars I noticed (for the 1st 10 seconds) light swim in my head - in the case to be a passenger only, not a driver. In Jag I feel the swim also to be a driver - and, the 1st question from ladies sitting on the seat beside me is: has it the sleeping mode?

Stan tools@aparatea.cz.

4th Sep 2007, 12:17

I just bought the 1999 XJR and it is an amazing value car! I love it! The interior is simple gorgeous and beautiful! The engine 4.0L supercharged is amazing! It is not noisy at all, it sounds awesome! It is not loud, it sounds like the air is being sucked into the engine. I love the car!