2004 Jaguar XJ-Series Review

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List Price Estimate:$2,356 - $5,287
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Supple ride quality, powerful V8 engines, roomier interior.
  • Fussy interior controls, clumsy transmission shifter, CD changer is still in the trunk.

The styling may not break any new ground, but an all-aluminum body and high-tech air suspension transform this former fat cat into a friskier flagship.

2004 Highlights

Although the exterior styling may look familiar, Jaguar's historic sales leader, the XJ, has been completely redesigned for 2004.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2004 Jaguar XJ-Series.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

5 out of 5 stars
Nice Kitty
Jim K,11/30/2015
XJR 4dr Sedan (4.2L 8cyl S/C 6A)
I have now owned my 2004 XJ8 for 9 years. It has proved to be a very satisfying car to drive and to own. The reliability so far has been excellent. I have presently approximately 90 K miles. I do not drive it in snow as it has very poor traction and I don't want to expose it to salted roads. The comfort on long trips is exemplary except that it is slightly cramped in comparison with other sedans of this level. Trunk space is also limited-better than the older model but still fairly small. The gas mileage on highway driving is very, very good. The seats are very firm which means they are comfortable on long drives. I recently drove mine from New England to South Carolina (about 850 miles) and was impressed with the long haul comfort of this cat. Resale value is unfortunately pretty dismal but if you are buying one you can buy one cheap. They always turn heads with their classic looks. Update: the Kitty is still going strong now in 2016. No major repairs-just routine maintenance-brakes, tires, oil and scheduled adjustments. Update: 12/01/2016-the Cat is still going strong. The only repair since my last post was a blower fan for heat/AC. Reason: mice got in and made nest-and fan got ruined in the process. So still going strong and no reason to change my previous glowing review. Update:12/2018. My Jaguar is still running strong. The headliner, of course, is sagging now and I am probably going to address it in the spring but other than that no issues. The car still runs and feels as new. I am appreciative of the classic look more and more as I see all the cookie cutter cars out there. Update: 12/02/19-nothing new to report -the car is still running strong and continues to be a comfortable, sporty, reliable daily driver. I replaced the thermostat during routine oil change and radiator flush. I do not run it in snowy conditions which Helps keep it in good condition. The brake lines are still original and undercarriage looks clean. I think the air suspension will be needing attention but still not throwing warnings other than severely cold days( which is par). Update: 6/2020: Still driving and enjoying this lovely car. Oil changes and new thermostat since last update. Car showing check engine light but starts and runs normally-I will bring it in shortly to check and get oil change. I drive the car all winter other than a few days as we had no real snow after December. Still love this car-it will be a family heirloom.
5 out of 5 stars
Best Luxury Car Value You'll Find
Mark Olsen,10/25/2015
XJ8 4dr Sedan (4.2L 8cyl 6A)
Go to any website and look up the reliability and handling of the 2004+ Jaguar Xj8 and you'll find owners LOVE these cars. For the money they are the most luxurious, best handling, greatest looking, and distinctive luxury cars on the planet. The 2004+ models were the result of over a billion dollars spent by FORD in improvements to the Jaguar range. These cars are never mistaken for anything but a Jaguar. I have owned two of the 2004 models (and drive one currently) and they both provide outstanding handling, value, and the kind of driving experience that gets your heart beating when you turn the key. As far as I'm concerned, when friends ask me if I like my Jaguar luxury/performance car, I just say there is NO OTHER CAR. I just can't say enough about the experience of owning a Jaguar. It is a singular pleasure unmatched in the motoring world. Update: Two years later not a single problem. Car is a dream. Buy one. Update after two years: Car is fantastic. Still no issues whatsoever. Only maintenance is changing fluids. The 2004-2009 Jaguar XJ8 (350) are the last, repeat last, of the traditional Jaguars in terms of styling and traditional luxury interiors. I'm convinced these cars will or are becoming modern classics. A 3004-2006 with under 45000 miles can still be had for under $15k and probably will never depreciate any lower than that. Care for one and drive it sparingly and you'll probably see an actual increase in what you paid in about 5 years from now. That fact pales in comparison to the smiles on your face as you turn the key in this magnificent motoring machine...as Sir William Lyons said, "The closest machine you can get to something that's actually alive." The 350's are like rare fine wine, meant to age well and be enjoyed for years to come. UPDATE AS OF 7/2019: In July 2019 I purchased a 2008 XJ Vanden Plas from a dealer in Palm Springs. Car had 29k miles and I paid $17.8k for a car that originally sold for $84k at Desert European Jaguar in Rancho Mirage. This further backs my claim that these are one of if not THE best luxury car value to be found. As stated before, the ride, handling and luxury amenities of the XJ8 (X350) series cars is superb. The 2008 and 2009 models feature restyled front and rear elements, and were the last years of the 1968-2009 XJ series cars. For specific research on these cars I highly recommend "The Essential Buyer's Guide" by Nigel Thorley. Good luck searching. It took me about three years to find this car but well worth the dilligence!
4.88 out of 5 stars
My 7th Jaguar
XJ8 4dr Sedan (4.2L 8cyl 6A)
I have never owned more than three of any brand in succesion, but my Jaguars have been an exception. My current 2004 XJ 8 was purchased with 73000 miles 18 months ago, it now has 114000 miles on the odometer It is the MOST dependable used car i have ever owned, except for my new Dodge trucks. This Jaguar routinely gets 28-30 mpg at highway speeds, and 20 mpg in city driving. It has been a dream to own, and has never let me down. The car is dead reliable, a pleasure to drive , and very quick. The interior is very plush, and is resistant to wear and tear. Dont believe the nay sayers about Jaguar reliability, I have owned BMW's and Mercedes cars that were a lot more problamatic than my Jaguars.
4.25 out of 5 stars
Love hate relationship
Vanden Plas 4dr Sedan (4.2L 8cyl 6A)
Bought XJ8 VDP used with 60000 reading on the odometer. Love the comfort speed and styling of this big cat but been disappointed with its quality. If you are the type that can fix little things on your own then this wouldn’t be a bad buy. The XJ has not left me stranded but have had little things go wrong. List of problem that I was able to fix myself: 1. All lock mechanism stopped working- found used parts on Ebay for 200 for all 4 doors. New price for each door is 300+. 2. Interior blower motor stop working- found control module on Ebay for 120. New part 300+ 3. Trunk latch stopped working- found trunk latch on Ebay for 50. New part 400+ 4. Radio amp stopped working- found used part on Ebay for 100. New part 1500+ Again, if you don’t have a personal mechanic or you are not able to turn a wrench do yourself a favor stay away…..

More about the 2004 Jaguar XJ-Series
More About This Model

Jaguar's flagship XJ sedan has been of pillar of style, grace and unapologetic luxury for over three decades now. Its timeless exterior design and handcrafted interior have made it a favorite of those who appreciate the sometimes precarious mix of old-world charm and modern technology. The all-new 2004 XJ represents the seventh generation of the breed, and it comes bearing a wealth of notable improvements along with traditional lines and, of course, a pronounced British personality.

After an introductory drive that included a near endless stream of fast, sweeping turns and desolate stretches of open highway, there was no mistaking the breadth of the XJ's improvements. Whether you prefer the coddling of the standard models or the performance of the supercharged variant, this new Jaguar delivers on both fronts. The virtually unchanged styling does little to project an aura of transformation, but traditional buyers will likely find it a proper mix of old and new.

At the core of the XJ's redesign is a new all-aluminum chassis that is both significantly stiffer and lighter than the previous steel structure. The added stiffness translates into better body control and a more precise road feel, while the reduced weight makes for a quicker car that's also more fuel-efficient. All this despite the fact that the car is longer, wider and taller than the previous model — a welcome expansion that results in a notably more spacious interior.

As with the previous XJ, there will be three versions available: the standard XJ8, the high-performance XJR and the fully optioned Vanden Plas. All models feature V8 power, a six-speed automatic transmission and a second-generation version of Jaguar's CATS (Computer Active Technology Suspension) system that utilizes infinitely adjustable air dampers for maximum adaptability and performance.

The XJ8 and Vanden Plas models are powered by a slightly larger version of the previous model's 4.0-liter V8. Now displacing 4.2 liters, the engine delivers slightly more horsepower (294 vs. 290) and torque (303 vs. 290 pound-feet) while emitting less harmful emissions. Jaguar claims that the increased horsepower combined with the lighter overall weight results in a 0-to-60 time of just 6.3 seconds. Numerous wide-open straightaways on our test-drive route proved the revised engine a capable motivator of the car's 3,766 pounds.

The power delivery is ultrasmooth as you might expect, and the only stray noise emanating from under the hood is the soothing thrum of the V8 — an intrusion that was no doubt purposely allowed to squeeze through. Shifts from the new six-speed automatic come quickly, with an ever-so-slight hesitation between full-throttle upshifts its only noticeable deficiency. A tall overdrive sixth gear not only keeps the engine well rested at speed, it helps the XJ achieve a commendable EPA mileage estimate of 18 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.

Regardless of how fast you're going, the sophisticated air suspension delivers an isolated ride that filters out even the most punishing roads with little intrusion to the cabin. The strict isolation comes at the expense of road feel, however, as the XJ tends to float a bit on the highway. The soft settings also have the detrimental effect of masking the car's stiffer body structure and improved steering system, but if a smooth ride is what you're after these shortcomings will go largely unnoticed.

No such drawbacks plague the high-performance XJR model. It exploits every advantage of the aluminum chassis to the fullest extent, providing excellent road feel, precise steering and lightness on its feet that renders it as sporting as any other Jaguar we've ever driven.

Credit for the added agility can be attributed to the R's more aggressively tuned air suspension, a quicker steering ratio and standard 19-inch wheels and tires. Then there's the supercharged 4.2-liter V8 engine that produces 390 hp and 399 lb-ft of torque. Matched to the same six-speed automatic found in the standard XJ, the R clocks in with a 0-to-60 sprint of just five seconds, according to Jaguar.

From a stop, the XJR leaps forward with the slightest hint of throttle, pulling its way to the redline with no perceptible lag in thrust. Midrange passing power is equally impressive with the six-speed transmission providing ultraquick downshifts that bring the car to triple-digit speeds in a matter of seconds. Although we never found fault with the pervasive supercharger whine of the previous XJR, the new car serves up an equally prominent dose of V8 growl that we found even more satisfying. Weak spots are limited to the continued use of the "J-gate" shifter that makes manual gear changes clumsy and Brembo brakes that, while immensely powerful, can be hard to precisely modulate.

All three cars in the lineup feature revised interiors that offer more passenger room, improved safety mechanisms and numerous new features. The previously cramped rear seats now provide ample head- and legroom for two adults, although the still narrow cabin makes three-abreast seating a tight squeeze. Standard front, side and head curtain airbags provide a level of protection on par with the safest cars in the world. Newly available features include four-zone climate control, adjustable rear seats and a multimedia package that includes two seat back-mounted DVD monitors.

As spacious and luxurious as the interior may be, however, we found its lack of fresh design cues disappointing. From the driver seat, you would be hard-pressed to discern the new model from the previous iteration. The disheartening similarity is exacerbated by the fact that the prior model was hardly the epitome of ergonomic simplicity, leaving the new version wallowing in the same sea of unintuitive controls and insipid design detail. While we're grateful for the absence of an overly complex attempt at technology integration a la BMW's iDrive, we would have liked to have seen a more determined attempt to usher the XJ's cabin into the 21st century.

Sticking with the previous model's overall design theme was certainly no accident. Jaguar officials assert that while the brand must continually move ahead, it can't make the mistake of alienating customers who value its traditional past. The XJ's use of an all-aluminum structure serves it well in this respect, allowing for substantive gains in performance and handling without infringing on its distinct British personality. The XJR is a now a true sport sedan that will satisfy performance enthusiasts more than ever, while the XJ8 and the Vanden Plas have enough performance, safety and spaciousness to compete head-on with any cars in their class.

Used 2004 Jaguar XJ-Series Overview

The Used 2004 Jaguar XJ-Series is offered in the following submodels: XJ-Series Sedan, XJ-Series XJR. Available styles include XJR 4dr Sedan (4.2L 8cyl S/C 6A), XJ8 4dr Sedan (4.2L 8cyl 6A), and Vanden Plas 4dr Sedan (4.2L 8cyl 6A). Pre-owned Jaguar XJ-Series models are available with a 4.2 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 390 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2004 Jaguar XJ-Series comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2004 Jaguar XJ-Series comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. powertrain warranty.

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Can't find a used 2004 Jaguar XJ-Seriess you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Jaguar XJ-Series for sale - 6 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $16,296.

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Find a used certified pre-owned Jaguar XJ-Series for sale - 3 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $25,308.

Find a used certified pre-owned Jaguar for sale - 1 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $9,622.

Should I lease or buy a 2004 Jaguar XJ-Series?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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Check out Jaguar XJ-Series lease specials