Used 2001 Jaguar XJ-Series Sedan Review
The XJ8 is authentically Jaguar: big outside, small inside, filled with supple leather and lustrous wood, and hopelessly outdated.
This is class. This is prestige. This is dignity. This is the Jaguar XJ8 Sedan. With a small stretch of the imagination, it seems perfectly natural picturing Prince Charles and Her Majesty The Queen sneaking out from Buckingham Palace, going out in a XJ8 for scones and a tour around Westminster Abbey.
Built in England, the XJ8 carries forward the design cues established in the three decades since XJ sedans were introduced. There's the signature Jaguar grille, the four-headlight front end, the famously seductive profile, and the chrome leaper on the hood. This car looks graceful and classy.
Jaguar offers five XJ models in 2001. There is the standard XJ8, the extended-wheelbase XJ8 L, the highline XJ8 Vanden Plas, the supercharged Vanden Plas, and the supercharged XJR. All of these are fitted with a 4.0-liter AJ-V8 engine. In normally aspirated trim, the engine makes 290 horsepower and 290 foot-pounds of torque. All of the XJ8s are quick, and the V8 allows effortless cruising and passing. The supercharged XJR and Vanden Plas make 370 horsepower. Equipped as such, the XJR will accelerate from zero to 60 in about 5.4 seconds, besting anything on the slow side of a Porsche 911 or Chevrolet Corvette Jaguar's interior delivers a powerful dose of classic heritage. And by classic, we're talking wood and leather. The XJ8 features excellent-looking burl walnut wood on the instrument panel that further extends to wood inserts on the doors. Connolly leather is used on the seats, center console, glove box, and door panels. Some of the plastic buttons remind us of cheaper Ford switchgear, however, and 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 Sedan gets burl 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. For 2001, the Vanden Plas also gets the 320-watt Alpine sound system as standard equipment, and the Vanden Plas Supercharged has the sound system and the GPS navigation system as standard.
The XJ8's strongest attributes are its class and individuality. Jaguar's asking price is also quite agreeable. However, the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S Class are ultimately better vehicles in terms of driving enjoyment and feature content. If you really want a Jaguar, you might want to wait for the all-new XJ8 that is rumored to arrive in 2003.
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