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The XJ is authentically Jaguar: big outside, small inside, filled with supple leather and lustrous wood, and hopelessly outdated.
Distinctive and curvaceous bodywork, rich interior materials, quiet and smooth ride.
Interior ergonomics are often not what you expect from a luxury sedan, doesn't have much of a sporting intention.
Available XJ-Series Sedan Models
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A fifth model -- the supercharged Vanden Plas -- has been added. All XJ8 Sedans gain all-speed traction control, improved ABS, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and child seat-anchor brackets as standard equipment. A new navigation system is being offered as optional equipment, as is an upgraded 320-watt Alpine system. The anti-theft system now has an encrypted key transponder. There are two new exterior colors and one new interior color.
The XJR gains all-speed traction control, improved ABS, rain-sensing windshield wipers, child seat-anchor brackets and an upgraded 320-watt Alpine system as standard equipment. A new navigation system is being offered as optional equipment. The anti-theft system now has an encrypted key transponder. The XJR also gets new 18-inch wheels and a different new style for the seats.
The year 2000 has brought a good deal of media attention to Jaguar. It has a new midsize luxury sedan in the S-Type. And on the XK side of planet Jaguar, there's the new supercharged XKR. But let's not forget about the car that best represents Jaguar's history and character -- the XJ8. This is the sedan that epitomizes British coach building. Where else can you get carefully matched burled wood trim, aromatic Connolly hides and a J-gate shifter?
The XJ-Series has five models in 2000. There is the standard XJ8, the extended-wheelbase XJ8 L, the highline XJ8 Vanden Plas, the supercharged Vanden Plas, and the supercharged XJR. All are fitted with a 4.0-liter AJ-V8 engine. In normally aspirated trim, the engine makes 290 horsepower and 290 pound-feet of torque. The supercharged Vanden Plas makes 370 horsepower.
The XJ8 offers style and comfort. However, the interior doesn't offer as much interior room as found in competing models; depending on how big you are, you'll end up calling the Jag's interior "cozy" or "cramped." Standard equipment on the XJ8 includes Automatic Stability Control, speed-sensitive steering, memory seating for the driver, front- and side-impact driver and passenger airbags and a vehicle security system. The Vanden Plas gets burled walnut trim inlaid with select Peruvian boxwood, deep-pile wool footwell rugs and fold-out walnut picnic tables mounted on the rear of the front seats.
The main options for 2000 are a new 320-watt Alpine sound system and a new navigation system. The DVD-based navigation system is a particularly nice option, as previous cars did not have one.
On the road, the XJ offers a superb luxury ride. It sacrifices a bit of sportiness to achieve this, but there are very few cars that can match the Jag in terms of quietness and comfort.
Though by no means perfect, we like the XJ8 because of its individuality. Its curvaceous body is a standout, its price is competitive and Ford's ownership has done much to improve overall reliability. Look at the XJ8 before settling for that Bimmer or Benz; you'll be surprised at what these cats have to offer.
The XJR merits special mention. It offers sweet styling and supercharged power, with a 4.0-liter V8 that makes 370 horsepower and 387 pound-feet of torque. The sedan will accelerate from zero to 60 in about 5.4 seconds, besting anything on the slow side of a Porsche 911 or Chevrolet Corvette.
The exterior of the XJR is distinguished from others in the series by its monochromatic styling, aggressive five-spoke wheels and classic wire-mesh grille. On the road, the XJR's sport-tuned suspension firms up the ride and gives the car an expended performance envelope when compared to the XJ8.
It's hard to find fault with a 370-horsepower sedan that looks as good as the XJR does. The 2000 BMW M5 will most likely offer more for similar money, but that doesn't detract from the Jaguar's exceptional blend of performance, style and comfort.
Laura's old car was costing her a small fortune every month for gas and repairs. She didn't even want to drive her kids to the park any more. But buying a new Kia Soul changed all that.