By KBB.com Editors
Jaguar's rolling showcase and largest, most luxurious sedan, the XJ, touts the company's latest achievements in engineering, technology and luxury. Wrapped in a lightweight all-aluminum body, the 2008 Jaguar XJ is surprisingly agile for its size, yet remarkably solid. Offered in a variety of trims, including two stretched wheelbase versions and the legendary performance cat, the XJR, the XJ is without question the finest Jaguar product to date. Faced with radically new designs emerging from Audi, BMW and Lexus, Jaguar's strategy to stick with its traditional styling may prove problematic. With sales not as robust as Jaguar would like, it may be possible to wrangle a good deal on a new XJ.
If you're looking for a premium luxury sedan that embraces more traditional styling, has a large interior and doesn't guzzle fuel on the highway, the XJ should be at the top of your list.
If you're a Jaguar purist, you may not appreciate the XJ's tall profile. Those who require all-wheel drive will have to investigate the Audi A8 or Mercedes-Benz S-Class. And its low resale value falls far short of rivals from BMW, Audi and Lexus.
The 2008 Jaguar XJ receives a major makeover with new front and rear fascia treatments and front fender-mounted "power vents." Interior updates include new heated front seats and increased rear-seat legroom. HD Digital Radio is now available on factory-installed radios.
Driving Impressions Power for the normally-aspirated XJ8, XJ8L and Vanden Plas models comes from a refined 4.2-liter V8 of 300 horsepower, while the XJR and Super V8 receive an additional 100 horsepower...in the form of a supercharged V8 engine. The XJ rides on a remarkably capable chassis, highlighted by an adaptive rear air suspension; the XJ is solid, secure and serene, with great higher-speed control and an appropriately smooth ride that's completely in character with this car's image. All-new 18-inch alloy wheels look smart, and the XJR and Super V8 get even more aggressive 19-inch wheels and tires that further upgrade ultimate handling but also somewhat diminish the luxurious, soft ride of the base XJ.
The Vanden Plas, XJR and Super V8 offer twin rear-seat DVD monitors built into the backs of the front-seat headrests.
Power Rear Seat
The Super V8's power rear seat adjusts for the ultimate in chauffeured luxury.
The XJ's wide front seats provide excellent lower thigh and back support and include a four-way power lumbar support. In the rear, you'll find a vastly larger passenger space than in previous XJs, with ample head and legroom for six-footers. The handsome dash incorporates three circular gauges surrounded by an expansive use of burl wood trim. We found the dash-mounted ignition slot is placed fairly low, allowing dangling keys to brush annoyingly atop the driver's right leg. The wide center stack plays host to the optional LCD navigation screen as well as functions for the climate control and audio systems. XJR models offer a set of advanced sport seats and an American Black Walnut trim option replacing the traditional Burl Walnut.Exterior
If you place this generation XJ next to any previous XJ sedan, the differences immediately become apparent. Gone are the low roof and side sills, top-loading fuel fillers and narrow midsection. The current XJ shuns all of these traits in favor of a much taller design that vastly increases interior volume in all directions, most noticeably in the area of rear-seat headroom. The design also gives the XJ one of the largest trunks ever offered on any Jaguar model. The XJ retains such signature styling cues as the curvaceous hood, four round headlamps, tapered rear end and the hood-mounted Jaguar emblem, affectionately known as the "leaper."
The XJ8 features a ZF six-speed automatic transmission, automatic headlamp control, heated front seats, memory feature for the driver's seat, adjustable pedals and steering column, power glass moonroof, Reverse Park Control, AM/FM stereo with CD, side-curtain airbags, front side-impact airbags, stability control, traction control, xenon headlamps and 18-inch alloy wheels. The Vanden Plas has a longer wheelbase and an Alpine sound system. The XJR and Super V8 receive a supercharged V8 engine, Brembo disc brakes and 19-inch Z-rated tires, and the Super V8 adds a power-adjustable rear bench seat and twin rear DVD entertainment screens; the twin DVD screens are optionally available on the Vanden Plas and XJR.
Options include DVD navigation, Adaptive Cruise Control, air-cooled front seats, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, HD Radio, front-park sensor, Alpine audio, heated steering wheel and four-zone air conditioning. There are a variety of individual options, and three option packages: A Multimedia Package, a Navigation Package and a Warm Climate Package.
More stately sedan than speedster, the XJ8 is powered by a standard 4.2-liter V8 that will be more than sufficient for most owners' needs. This smooth and powerful engine has just the right mix of growl at the tailpipe to let others know what's under the hood. The six-speed ZF transmission is a brilliant piece of work that helps the big Jaguar achieve fuel economy ratings comparable to a V6-powered sedan. Buyers who opt for the XJR or Super V8 receive a supercharged version of the engine. Rated at 400 horsepower, it delivers acceleration and performance completely in keeping with the expectations for a world-class high-performance sedan.
300 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
310 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/25
4.2-liter V8 Supercharged
400 horsepower @ 6100 rpm
413 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/22
By Pirate Girl (NC) on Tuesday, April 30, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 81,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Smooth, comfortable ride. Nice body style."
Cons: "Breaks squeek-not really a con"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This is a great car. Runs well. I have had no problems or issues with this year/model car. The breaks do squeek sometimes, which can be embarassing but no other problems. I love the body style and color. This car was manufactured in the U.K. Very smooth, comfortable ride!"
By Uncle Al (IL) on Sunday, April 21, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Best handling ever. Exudes CLASS!,"
Cons: "Premium gas, dealerships not common."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"This car has been VERY reliable. I had two (2) issues with it shortly after I purchased the car in 2006. Both were promptly fixed under warranty while I was given a loaner. Since then, I have had 5 years of driving with only routine oil & filter changes. I have NEVER had a car that handles so well! When you put this car in a corner, it STAYS where you put it. The "standard" 300hp V-8 is more than enough motor to get this substantial vehicle up & rolling. I know this will be a tough one to believe, but my mileage has been better than the 18/27 that was advertised on the window sticker. Granted, I live quasi-rural, so my city driving is not typically what they call city. On the other hand, I have driven the car twice to Florida & back and both times my mileage using cruise control was right at 30 mpg. And I set the cruise for about 7 mph over the limit, as they usually give you 10, especially when you do look like an "old man's " luxury vehicle."
By Silk (OH) on Sunday, February 10, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Cons: "Depreciation of the value is incredible! No XM"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Wonderful vehicle! I purchased my 05 Super 8 in 2010 and have put roughly $1500 in the vehicle which included $900 tires. This vehicle has given me NO PROBLEMS AT ALL! If you are able to find one - PURCHASE IT! 400HP..it will outrun just about anything on the street. It has every luxury..EXCEPT Satellite radio. I have owned every luxury vehicle produced and I will never speak other than KUDOS ON THIS ONE!"
6 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By MAK (WA) on Friday, January 18, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have owned this car since it was just a couple of months old, so avoided the extra cost for being the first one to drive it off the car lot. It now has 47,000 miles on it and has had no problems other than simple maintenance. It's beautiful and eye catching; garnering more than it's fair share of admiring comments. The mileage is outstanding for a car of it's size... 32mpg on the freeway 20+ in town. Performance is exceptional. Easy to park and very comfortable for long or short trips. This car has been a joy to own."
8 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Margi (MO) on Friday, January 04, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Gas mileage and fun to drive"
Cons: "Not enough cup holders"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Like most foreign cars this one isn't designed for Americans who need coffee cups and water bottles in easy reaching distance all at the same time. But other than that the car is a treat. Great performance. Reliable. And the best gas mileage we've had on a car since I drove my 1960 Morris Minor. It is the only car our 6'8" son in law can ride in without bending his head. At 100,000 miles it's time to trade it in but I don't want to lose the comfort and reliability I have come to enjoy. All that and the young men at McDonalds still say "Cool ride!" When I drive through."
7 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By jaggto (PA) on Wednesday, December 26, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Electrical gremlins and air ride suspension problems VERY COSTLY! Transmission fluid is supposed to be life long...IT ISN'T and it's also costly to change 'cuz it needs to be replaced with a new pan and fluid has to be a certain temp. I has a Jag rep tell me it isn;t designed for an everyday driver.....really?"
9 people out of 15 found this review helpful