Jaguar XJ V8

2008 Jaguar XJ V8 review

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2008 Jaguar XJ V8 review

Model tested: Jaguar XJ V8

Recommended Retail Price: $159,900.

Options fitted: None fitted.

Aggressive styling, attention to detail, fuel consumption

Sound system, user interface, boot height

CarAdvice rating: (4.00)

- Review by Paul Maric, photos by Anthony Crawford.

The pictures simply don’t do this car justice. In person the Jaguar XJ really emanates its own presence. The flowing lines and boldness of the contours catch the eye, while the stunning leaping jaguar hood-ornament adds bite.

I was stopped for comment by no less than five people – granted most of them were double my age – which gives you an idea of how much appeal this car has to buyers. An XJ seems to be an aspirational purchase and one that isn’t made light-heartedly, or by a person without keen interest in the British marque.

I wasn’t all that keen on the idea of testing a V8 version of this mammoth cruiser. But after some research, it turned out to be a pleasant experience. The all-aluminium body (weighing in at just 1.6-tonnes), along with a low capacity V8 (just 3.5-litres) make the XJ quite spritely and very fuel efficient. During the test, I returned an average fuel consumption of 11-litres/100km, which is quite frugal when you take into account the car’s size and the thought of a V8 engine.

Gadgetry is quite limited. The satellite navigation screen seems to be about as old as the brand. The dated design and functionality is in dire need of an update. The interior design – although subjective – seems somewhat haphazard to me. There are buttons everywhere and you need to learn what they all do before attempting to drive on the road and change the fan speed, for example. The Alpine sound system is also quite average, which is disappointing for a car of this calibre.

Driving the XJ is super smooth and voluptuous though. The ride is very subtle and the steering is quite easy to use. It’s no sports car – so you can expect a fair amount of body roll. But on that same token, you shouldn’t expect it to be one. It’s a luxury cruiser that does a tremendous job carting around royalty...and your mate’s football team.

Interior room is very impressive, although the biggest let down is the boot space. The boot is quite deep but it is extremely shallow. I only just managed to fit a travel bag depth-wise in the boot, indicating that the spare tyre takes up a great deal of room.

Under the bonnet, a 3.5-litre V8 engine powers the XJ. Producing 190kW of power and 335Nm of torque, power is delivered through a slick-shifting 6-speed automatic transmission.

There are five models available in the XJ range – the XJ6 D, XJ8 3.5 (being test driven), XJ8 4.2 LWB, XJR and Super V8 LWB. They are priced from $154,900, $159,900, $179,900, $219,900 and $234,900 respectively.

The Jaguar XJ isn’t so much a vehicle as it is a rich and seemingly endless heritage. You don’t buy a Jaguar because you want to be like the rest of the crowd. An XJ buyer is an astute individual with a sense for style and culture. As much as the car didn’t entertain me when it came to driving, or playing with the lack of gadgets, it had me hooked. There was just something about the standout styling and lack of conformity.

The XJ really is in a league of its own and infinitely surpassed what I was expecting of the car. Its aura and level of class is something that every manufacturer dreams of achieving – Jaguar on the other hand have it well and truly in the bag.

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2008 Jaguar XJ V8 Specifications

Engine: 3.5-litre V8
Power: 190kW
Torque: 335Nm
Top speed: 242km/h
Safety: Electronic stability control- front air bags - side airbags - curtain airbags - front seatbelt pre-tensioners and load limiters.
0-100km/h: 7.6-seconds
EuroNCAP rating: N/A
Turning circle: N/A
Fuel tank: 85-litres
Fuel consumption : 10.7 litres/100km (claimed)
Fuel type: 98RON Premium Unleaded