Used 2006 Jaguar XJ-Series XJR
Edmunds' Expert Review
An all-aluminum body and high-tech air suspension combined with classic Jaguar styling give the 2006 Jaguar XJ Series a fighting chance against its German rivals.
Now into its seventh generation, Jaguar's flagship XJ sedan continues to provide the utmost in luxury and performance along with its unique British character. An all-aluminum body graces the Jaguar XJ, and that body is hung on an advanced aluminum frame. Because of the abundant use of aluminum, Jaguar completely reworked its aged Castle Bromwich plant. Thanks in part to a low curb weight afforded by the extensive use of aluminum, the XJ is both quick on its feet and efficient in the process. Its standard V8 engine is slightly larger and more powerful than the previous generation, but with less weight to propel, it achieves better mileage figures than the old model.
A six-speed automatic transmission is yet another factor in the XJ's solid performance and mileage figures, as it provides shorter gearing for quicker starts along with two overdrive gears for relaxed cruising. Inside the Jaguar XJ, luxury abounds. The look and feel is distinctly British but at the same time there's ample room throughout. Rear-seat passengers are sure to enjoy a comfortable ride, as the standard-wheelbase XJ boasts interior dimensions on par with its German competition, and a long-wheelbase version, with nearly five additional inches of rear legroom, is now available as well. Despite the uncanny resemblance to XJ sedans of old, the 2006 Jaguar XJ-Series is a huge leap forward in terms of quality, technology and performance. Jaguar has captured the spirit of the old XJs but with a distinctly modern flair.
2006 Jaguar XJ-Series configurations
All Jaguar XJ models are four-door sedans, but five distinct styles are available. The standard XJ8 model, offered in both short- and long-wheelbase (XJ8 L) derivatives, offers a long list of amenities that includes traction control, four-zone climate control, adjustable pedals, rear park assist, HID headlamps, a walnut-trimmed interior and an active self-leveling Computer Active Technology Suspension (CATS). The long-wheelbase Vanden Plas ups the plush factor with 16-way power seats, unique alloy wheels, an upgraded audio system, richer wood trim, lamb's wool floor mats, rear-seat picnic trays, leather dash trim and a navigation system. For driving enthusiasts, the Super V8 model offers all the luxury and room of the Vanden Plas, along with a supercharged V8 engine, more powerful brakes, a rear DVD entertainment system, front park assist, a power-adjustable rear seat, adaptive cruise control and unique 19-inch wheels. The new limited-edition Super V8 Portfolio features sculpted aluminum power side vents; polished 20-inch wheels; a soft-grain, ruched Conker leather interior; satin-finished black walnut wood trim; individual power rear seats with center console; and a 400-watt Alpine audio system with Dolby Pro Logic II.
Performance & mpg
Both the XJ8 and Vanden Plas come with Jaguar's 4.2-liter V8 engine which is good for 300 horsepower. The Super V8 models are supercharged and direct 400 hp to their rear wheels. Jaguar equips all XJs with a standard six-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy ranges from a class-leading 18 city, 28 highway on XJ8 and Vanden Plas models to a respectable 17/24 on the Super V8s.
The Jaguar XJ-Series comes standard with four-wheel ventilated antilock brakes, BrakeAssist, front and rear seatbelt pre-tensioners, and side and head curtain airbags. Sensors monitor the front occupants' weight and position to the point that the airbags will deploy at a lesser rate or not at all if it is deemed unsafe for the occupant. The XJ-Series sedans have not been crash tested.
The XJ's significant technological features are immediately noticeable when it comes to the vehicle's ride and handling. Wind noise is virtually nonexistent, and the XJ's interior is extremely quiet, especially at highway speeds. The combination of a powerful V8 and the weight savings from the XJ's aluminum construction yield a lively, fun-to-drive car, especially in Super V8 form. Thankfully, comfort is a top priority as well; the 2006 Jaguar XJ-Series offers a tight, smooth and refined driving experience thanks to their air suspension systems.
Although loaded up with modern technology, the Jaguar XJ still offers a rich and warm interior befitting a proper British luxury sedan. The Limited Edition Super V8 Portfolio provides an impressively rich interior experience, especially for rear-seat passengers. An electronic parking brake that automatically sets and releases itself as the shift lever is moved into and out of park is standard in all XJs.
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Features & Specs
More About This Model
The 40-something real estate mogul on TV is slowly ticking off his rise to the top between swipes at his slicked-back hair. First came a bigger house, then a vacation home, followed by a Rolex and a closet full of Armani suits. He mentions his corner office almost in passing before leaning back in his chair and bursting into a huge smile.
"Then I bought the car I had always wanted," he says. "A big Jaguar sedan. The biggest and most expensive one on the lot. I had officially arrived."
Today that Jaguar would be the 2006 Super V8 Portfolio. Based on the long-wheelbase Super V8 sedan, the rear-wheel-drive Super V8 Portfolio adds unique exterior styling cues, exclusive colors and a fully loaded interior covered in premium leathers and suede to create one of the most luxurious Jaguars ever built. Its $115,995 sticker price also makes it the most expensive Jaguar ever, putting it in the same league as the 12-cylinder flagships from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
If there was ever a Jaguar sedan worth aspiring to, this is it.
Revised for 2006
The Super V8 Portfolio joins an XJ lineup that has been refreshed for 2006. All models get flush-mounted glass and less body and window moldings to clean up the car's exterior. The chrome mesh grille previously reserved for the XJR and Super V8 now brightens up the front of all XJs although the XJR retains an exclusive body-color surround. Both short- and long-wheelbase XJ8s get new 18-inch Tucana wheels while the XJR changes to 19-inch Sabre alloys.
You won't need to know the name of its wheels to spot the Portfolio model. Polished aluminum "power vents" in each front-quarter panel are its most distinctive trait. Special "Portfolio" badges and a larger pair of exhaust pipes out back are more subtle reminders. Unique 20-inch Callisto alloy wheels with vintage "Jaguar" script are the final touch to an exterior that looks distinctive enough to command a six-figure price tag.
Now Even Quieter
The standard XJ8, long-wheelbase XJ8L and loaded Vanden Plas models continue with a non-supercharged 4.2-liter V8 while the standard-wheelbase XJR and long-wheelbase Super V8 and Super V8 Portfolio use a supercharged version of the same engine. Recertification of both engines results in new horsepower ratings that put the non-supercharged version at an even 300 horsepower and the supercharged V8 at 400 hp. Torque remains unchanged at 303 pound-feet and 399 lb-ft, respectively, and all models use a six-speed automatic transmission.
We recently tested a 2005 Super V8 and found it to be one of the fastest ultraluxury sedans we've ever tested. It hit 60 mph from a stop in just 5.6 seconds, two-tenths quicker than Audi's 12-cylinder A8. The 2006 Super V8 and Super V8 Portfolio should perform about the same.
A short drive in the Super V8 Portfolio reveals a few of the XJ's other notable changes for 2006. Cabin noise has been significantly reduced thanks to insulation that not only fills the windshield and side glass but covers the transmission tunnel, firewall and underside of the hood. At full throttle, even the whine of the supercharged V8 is a barely audible murmur. Eighty miles an hour is dead calm.
All XJs continue to use Jaguar's continuously adjustable air suspension, but the Portfolio uses what Jaguar calls Touring settings that deliver more road feel and less float. Even with its giant 20-inch wheels and 35 Series tires the ride remains plush.
Stronger brakes and a tire-pressure monitoring system are also on the XJ's improvement list for 2006. Non-supercharged models get brake rotors that are two-tenths of an inch larger in front and a half-inch larger in back. The Portfolio, like all supercharged XJs, gets higher-spec R Performance brakes that use even larger rotors and new iron calipers that are stiffer than the previous aluminum versions. We still wouldn't mistake an XJ for a 7 Series by the feel of its brake pedal, but there's more than enough stopping power when you need it.
To further justify the Portfolio's six-figure price tag, Jaguar also improved the materials and feature content of its interior. The seats are covered in premium Conker leather trim while the headliner is made from suede so soft it looks as though it would make a good pillowcase. Flat-finish walnut wood trim provides the perfect transition between the chocolate-colored leather and tan suede.
Like most cars in this class, rear-seat accommodations are as luxurious as the front. A standard fixed center console divides individually adjustable seats with full climate controls, window shades, fold-down trays and DVD monitors. All XJs have been upgraded with Bluetooth wireless technology and Sirius Satellite Radio for 2006, but only the Portfolio gets a 15-speaker Dolby Pro Logic II audio system.
Is It Worth It?
The Portfolio's $25,000 price premium over the already pretty spectacular Super V8 is tough to swallow. A six-figure price tag usually means at least a 12-cylinder engine, not just nicer wheels and softer leather. But value isn't the point here. If you ask us, those polished aluminum power vents are worth $25 large on their own.
Plus, you can't put price on exclusivity. Only 145 2006 Jaguar XJ Super V8 Portfolios will be sold in the U.S. this year and, according to the carmaker, all 145 are already spoken for. Given the current real estate market we're not surprised.
Used 2006 Jaguar XJ-Series XJR Overview
The Used 2006 Jaguar XJ-Series XJR is offered in the following styles: XJR 4dr Sedan (4.2L 8cyl S/C 6A).
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Should I lease or buy a 2006 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.