This car has been excellent. We purchased our car in 1999 and were a little skeptical about buying a Jaguar because of previous models we had owned and had problems with. Our first was a 1979 Jaguar Sovereign which was an absolute nightmare! We sold it in 1981. After numerous other cars we returned to Jaguar again in 1990 with a Jaguar XJ12 Vanden Plas. This car proved to be much more reliable, but modern conveniences, fit and finish, as well as the technology were still in the seventies. In 1996 we bought a BMW 535. Initially we loved the car but began having lots of problems, I think we were just unlucky and had bought a lemon.
So it was back to Jaguar. It is amazing how this car company has come so far in such a short time. I give Ford a thumbs up for investing the much needed money into a automobile manufacturer that desperately needed help.
The results are amazing. This car not only competes on an even keel with other automobiles in this segment, I personally believe it has out-done the other luxury car manufacturers. Friends of ours have a Lexus GS400, although it is a very nice car, after being in the Jaguars cabin the Lexus seems very cold. The high use of plastic in this market segment, and in vehicles of this calibre, somewhat shocks me. (No intended offense to Lexus owners, they are very nice cars.)
The Jaguars interior is very nicely appointed, and fit and finish quality is outstanding. The use of plastic is almost obselete unlike many other vehicles in this price range. The birds-eye maple treatment on the dashboard is beautiful. The ergonomics are very nice although the instrument cluster is set a little too deep into the dash, it can be difficult to see in direct sunlight sometimes.
The engine is an absolute dream. The transmission (which is actually built by Mercedes-Benz) purrs and shifts gear like silk. The super charged V8 engine is magnificent. By depressing the "sport" button this car feels as though it could literally become airborne. Even when pushed hard, the car changes gear with ease, quickly working its way up to mind boggling speeds in mere seconds.
One disadvantage to having so much power can be the shock of the acceleration to the non-assuming driver. This car moves so fast, it takes some concentration when passing on highways because if one weren't careful, when the gas pedal is pressed the car could launch into the car in front. What a wonderful "problem" to have in a luxury sports sedan!
The legroom in the rear is somewhat sparse. (this problem can be remedied by purchasing the Vanden Plas V8 with the super charged engine). Our kids our grown so we don't mind, the legroom in the front is more than ample.
The car is appointed with simple niceities such as a heated windshield, heated trunk, heated front and rear seats, sun shades/blinds, rain sensing wiper (which is one large wiper, not two), traction control, voice activated telephone system, 6CD changer etc... Finally Jaguar has caught up with the times and has a legitimate contender to its European and Japanese counter-parts.
Jaguar has built a magnificent machine here. From it's graceful and elegant lines, to its ready to scream super charged V8 engine, this car is a dream come true. It would be the perfect answer for the couple with kids who'd really rather drive a Porsche 911. Jaguar has built the perfect no-compromise sedan.
It's really nice to own a vehicle that doesn't demand everyones attention as you drive by, but the real automobile enthusiasts out there know what "XJR" really means.
Now that Jaguar appears to have rid itself of it's reliability plagued history of the past, not only would I highly recommend this vehicle to anyone who has the means to buy one, I think they'd be almost foolish to even consider anything else.
The only advice I could give to prospective buyers is: If you can't really afford one, don't look at them, and God forbid, never test drive one. Keep saving until you know you have the correct change, if you don't, your going to walk away very broke, but hey, at least you'll have a smile on your face on the drive home!