Jaguar XJ Experiences

flango

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Just thought I would ask the panel for their wisdom on this one. I have a pal who is longing to scratch the Jaguar XJ itch probably the 4.0 litre V8 or Supercharged XJR of 2000 - 2004 vintage and has asked my opinion before we try to source one.

Now I've driven a few Jags but never long enough to put my hand up and offer an owners opinion, I know about the V8 engine liner issues and am pretty well up on the mechanical side of things, what I could use some advice on is what is the real world fuel economy of the 4.0 and 3.2? my pal has about a 60 mile round trip commute every day, what are the electrics like on these cars in terms of reliability?

I would welcome comments from anyone who has owned one or ran one, before we start hunting.

Thanks in Advance
Ian
 

st4

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Sorry can't help Ian. I think thats before the all aluminium model came out. My Ma's pal ran an yr 1998 one and said

1. Brilliant to drive
2. Really brilliant to drive
3. Bit crammed and the odd glitch
 

davidjpowell

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My father had one of about this vintage - I can't remmmber what engine though... Not much went wrong, early 20's around town through to early 30's on a run.

He now runs an S type, again I can't remember which engine, but I think it's a V8. Similar type fuel consumption.
 

DSB SL AMG

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I owned a Jag S-type a few years ago which was a dog....hence why I stick to German now....

XJ (X350 Aluminium shell) 2003 onwards...good cars but best to avoid early builds as per the norm! Note end of line XJ X300 which ended production in 2002 will be great buys...

For full info on the X300/X350...try here, note XJR's have an MB gearbox which is pretty bombroof!

Jaguar Forum.co.uk • Index page

I used them, pretty helpful!
 

LTD

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Yep, one of THOSE !!!
Isn't there an issue with a plastic guide for the timing chain that wears with devastating results ?
 

st4

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Isn't there an issue with a plastic guide for the timing chain that wears with devastating results ?

Yep - that rings a bell. I don't know which engines/cars effected though.

I reckon a wee look on a Jaguar forum may reveal more.
 

W4SIM

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Isn't there an issue with a plastic guide for the timing chain that wears with devastating results ?

Thats the X300 shape, which was affected between 1997 and 2000, same as some BMW's. Buy one after 2000 and they're pretty much solid engines. Also, as noted above, the XJR's have the same gearboxes as the Merc AMG cars of the time, so pretty much bullet proof.

In 2001 they released a limited number of XJR's which were called the XJR100, namely coz they only made 100 of them. They're usual trademark is being Black, with Black interior with red stitching, Brembo brakes and i think its Momo alloys, they obviously tend to command a little bit more money.

From 2003 the newer X350 model came out and the 4.0 V8 Supercharged in the previous XJR was replaced by a better 4.2 V8 Supercharged. Power was also upped from 375Bhp to 400Bhp.

In straight lines they are lightening quick and the ride is absolutely beautiful but if you decide to get abit sporty around corners then handling isnt a match for the likes of the German rivals.
 

Burger

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I've had a 1987 3.6 Sovereign, a 1998 XJR, a 2000 XJR (both X308's) and a 2003 XJ8 (X350) which I kept until I bought my SL last year. If economy is important to your friend he should absolutely try to stretch to a 2003 onwards X350. Superb cars, utterly reliable and incredible economy. My 4.2 V8 XJ8 regularly averaged 29mpg and I didn't hang about in it. That included a blast to Germany and back at least twice a year. In any earlier model he will be lucky to exceed 22mpg from a V8.

These cars are built for ride quality and not handling however, which has already been mentioned.

Regarding Nikasil liners in X308's, nowadays it's not worth worry about them. If the liners were going to fail in a pre 2000 car they will have done so long before now. If you're bothered this was Jaguars official response to an XJ (X350) forum I run...

"We can confirm that Jaguar have replaced a small number of engines as a result of damage caused by high sulphur content in some fuel. As a result of this Jaguar changed their engine to use steel lined cylinders and no longer have any nikasil content. The change was made from the 2000 model year and from VIN number 878718 onwards with regards to the XJ model."

Finally for now... this was my (laymans) comparison between the X308 and X350... Written in 2003...

I was asked on one of the Jaguar forums to write a comparison between my previous and current XJ... Specifically I was asked with a view to the fact that my previous model was a supercharged XJR whereas the current car is a normally aspirated 4.2 - although in the new, lighter weight, aluminium body.

The following was my response...

I am happy to give my impressions and comparison, but please remember a lot of personal preference comes into such and someone else might present a different but never the less accurate comparison.

First the styling, which seems to be the most controversial subject - it seems you either love it or hate it. There is no doubt that the previous X308 has a more distinctive body shape, it's lowness and sleekness make it look like the grand tourer it is. However, this comes, as you know, with certain shortcomings... It's a cramped cabin especially for any rear seat passengers and the boot is often criticised for lack of room. The X350 is a direct development of this shape but in addressing the space issues, Jaguar had to make the car taller, longer and wider. It's therefore lost a lot of it's sleekness in my opinion, but has gained in a number of areas. Perhaps it's wrong to directly compare them? While the X308 has a sporty sleekness about it that is unmistakable, the X350 has presence and stature and yet is still unmistakable Jaguar. Both desirable attributes in the design of a car, but very difficult to achieve together. To illustrate the extremes of this, it's like comparing a Ferrari and a Bentley. Having said all that, to me the higher waist line of the X350 is everything. I sit in the X350 and feel cosseted by the interior of the car unlike the X308 which, because of it's low waist line always made me feel as though I was sitting in a fish tank (although a very nice one) that the rest of the world could stare right into. I much prefer to sit in a car, not on one.

Perhaps this is why the X350 while bigger, actually feels smaller inside. I read in many reports and experienced for myself as soon as I test drove one, how the car really does shrink around you. When you see an X350 in traffic or parked, it looks huge, but when you're in it, it feels much smaller. Seriously, I was once in a queue at some lights and another X350 pulled up next to me, and I was struck by just how big it looked and how there was no way mine could be that big. :)

The boot (trunk) is strange. It might be bigger in volume but in my honest opinion they've made it a less useful space because it's not as high (floor to underside of boot lid) as the X308. Sure, it's wider and deeper, but if you have any thoughts of standing suit cases in it, forget it, they must be laid flat. Also, and this amazes me on the development of a car as significant as this - opening the boot lid when there's standing water on it results in a soaking for anything inside. This is both from water entering at the back and front of the lid. Back because that's where you're tipping the water off and front because of a channel moulded into the rear panel which appears to draw water to a central point.

I don't miss my X308 at all, even though it was an XJR and my X350 is a normally aspirated 4.2. The XJR certainly had a kick to the acceleration that is missing from the X350, but I don't miss it. Acceleration in the X350 is more evenly progressive and therefore more predictable and controllable. On paper, the 0-60 difference is 5.3 seconds for the XJR compared to 6.3 for the X350. Whatever way you look at it, they're both quick times and substantially quicker than the majority of other cars on the roads. The X350 acceleration is very real and more than adequate for my wants and needs.

Now this will be controversial, but in my opinion the X350 handles much better than the XJR. That may be because I don't race and I rarely have any car at it's limits. Both cars had CATS and both cars remain remarkably flat in corners at any speeds I drive round them, and yet I get hurled around a lot less in the X350 than I did in the XJR. Both cars feel firm and yet the X350 manages this firmness without any harshness, whereas the XJR felt both firm and harsh. The steering in the X350 is also a great improvement over the XJR. It is more responsive, better weighted and much more predictable to driver input than the XJR was. Where the XJR would tend to snap into corners, the X350 is progressive. That's not to say the XJR was bad, but it's an art that needs to be developed to drive the XJR fast and smoothly whereas the X350 is fluid and smooth at all speeds. The X350's steering could do with being a little heavier at speed, but that was a criticism I also had of the XJR.

Remember however in all of this that I have 19 inch wheels fitted to my X350 with the same profile tyres as I had on my XJR. I have also driven almost the same model X350 with the standard 18 inch wheels, and this was certainly more wallowy and probably wouldn't handle as well as mine. Now that the vibration issues are completely sorted on my X350, I can feel the difference of the 19 inch wheels over the 18 inch ones, and I have exactly the feeling I wanted - which is a good feel of the road.

The X350 is not perfect by any means and I can find many things (mainly in the technology) to criticise it for - perhaps you'd be interested in my list? However, in my opinion, while different, it is a vast improvement over the X308 and I don't miss mine for a second.

Hope that helps.
 

John

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I was once looking at a 4.0V8 XJ8 or 4.0V8 XJR once upon a time (98/S age).

I seem to remember the 3.2 economy was very close to the 4.0 but the 4.0 had nearly 300BHP instead of 240BHP I think - or thereabouts.

All I know apart from what has been written already was our CEO at the company I worked for at the time, who had a 53 plate XJR (4.2 variety) then but had an XJ<something> before and he thought headroom would be a big issue for me (6'4") so depending on that guy's height - he should try one...

I like the 100s but prefered black with oatmeal leather personally.

Serious waftage.
 

mika

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I ve had a 1999 3.2 XJ8 sport
240bhp approx , used to get sub 20 mpg overall
probably could have got more if driven cautiously
it was a very nice drive once i learned not to flood it (hehe)
black exterior ivory interior a real land cruiser!
 

bassist

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I use an ym52 S Type 4.2 as my daily runner, well when the SL is likely to get wet. Comfortable, VERY quick, haven't spent a penny on it except for normal servicing and a set of winter tyres. Useless without them on the white stuff.
On a good run from Cambridge to Devon it achieves a respectable 31 miles to the gallon even when not hanging around.
Has all the bells and whistles you could want and is now worth absolutely NOTHING !! so might just as well keep it until something terminal happens.
 

lxi

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Had an XJR and replaced after about 18 months with an XKR which I kept longer than any car I've ever had - about 5 years from memory.

Both were fantastic - comfortable, quick & reliable & relatively economical.

Nothing other than a service on the XJ. The XK needed a front caliper (got sticky) and a pair of discs/pads, a battery & routine servicing.

No rust on either

Would love to say the R230s I've had since were anywhere as good in terms of reliability - but can't :eek:
 
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flango

flango

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Now including S Type

Does anyone have any experience of the S Type? now looking at these too.

Bassist thanks for your post very encouraging :thumb:
 

davidjpowell

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Father has 4.0 V8.

As above its been pretty good. I know that the specialist that he used found the XJ more reliable and easier to fix than the S.

He likes it.
 

John

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Up to him of course but personally, I can't stand the S (and X) type.

They always look like they are stuck between traditional Jag styling and 'trying to be modern' and failing at both.

Thank god for the XF but given the vintage you are looking at - XK*.* or XJ*.* would be what I would be looking at.
 

MarkJunedd

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I've got an S type as my daily/work hack. 3.0 auto ,does 25 mpg back and forth to work, has acheived 36 on a good run, very comfortable, quiet, has all the toys. One set of plugs is interesting to change as you have to remove the inlet manifold to change them but they dont need doing to often so not really an issue. It will be useless if we get snow again this year though.
 

Peter DLM

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Had a T reg V8. Never even consider one unless it's post facelift, 52 onwards. Mine was by far the most unreliable car on the planet. Everything that could go wrong or fail, did.

Shame, as it was amazing to drive and handled amazingly well. Newer S types are good cars. I still think they look really good, not sure why, but the styling works for me.
 

BobColgate

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I've had a 1987 3.6 Sovereign, a 1998 XJR, a 2000 XJR (both X308's) and a 2003 XJ8 (X350) which I kept until I bought my SL last year. If economy is important to your friend he should absolutely try to stretch to a 2003 onwards X350. Superb cars, utterly reliable and incredible economy. My 4.2 V8 XJ8 regularly averaged 29mpg and I didn't hang about in it. That included a blast to Germany and back at least twice a year. In any earlier model he will be lucky to exceed 22mpg from a V8.

These cars are built for ride quality and not handling however, which has already been mentioned.

Regarding Nikasil liners in X308's, nowadays it's not worth worry about them. If the liners were going to fail in a pre 2000 car they will have done so long before now. If you're bothered this was Jaguars official response to an XJ (X350) forum I run...

"We can confirm that Jaguar have replaced a small number of engines as a result of damage caused by high sulphur content in some fuel. As a result of this Jaguar changed their engine to use steel lined cylinders and no longer have any nikasil content. The change was made from the 2000 model year and from VIN number 878718 onwards with regards to the XJ model."

Finally for now... this was my (laymans) comparison between the X308 and X350... Written in 2003...

I was asked on one of the Jaguar forums to write a comparison between my previous and current XJ... Specifically I was asked with a view to the fact that my previous model was a supercharged XJR whereas the current car is a normally aspirated 4.2 - although in the new, lighter weight, aluminium body.

The following was my response...

I am happy to give my impressions and comparison, but please remember a lot of personal preference comes into such and someone else might present a different but never the less accurate comparison.

First the styling, which seems to be the most controversial subject - it seems you either love it or hate it. There is no doubt that the previous X308 has a more distinctive body shape, it's lowness and sleekness make it look like the grand tourer it is. However, this comes, as you know, with certain shortcomings... It's a cramped cabin especially for any rear seat passengers and the boot is often criticised for lack of room. The X350 is a direct development of this shape but in addressing the space issues, Jaguar had to make the car taller, longer and wider. It's therefore lost a lot of it's sleekness in my opinion, but has gained in a number of areas. Perhaps it's wrong to directly compare them? While the X308 has a sporty sleekness about it that is unmistakable, the X350 has presence and stature and yet is still unmistakable Jaguar. Both desirable attributes in the design of a car, but very difficult to achieve together. To illustrate the extremes of this, it's like comparing a Ferrari and a Bentley. Having said all that, to me the higher waist line of the X350 is everything. I sit in the X350 and feel cosseted by the interior of the car unlike the X308 which, because of it's low waist line always made me feel as though I was sitting in a fish tank (although a very nice one) that the rest of the world could stare right into. I much prefer to sit in a car, not on one.

Perhaps this is why the X350 while bigger, actually feels smaller inside. I read in many reports and experienced for myself as soon as I test drove one, how the car really does shrink around you. When you see an X350 in traffic or parked, it looks huge, but when you're in it, it feels much smaller. Seriously, I was once in a queue at some lights and another X350 pulled up next to me, and I was struck by just how big it looked and how there was no way mine could be that big. :)

The boot (trunk) is strange. It might be bigger in volume but in my honest opinion they've made it a less useful space because it's not as high (floor to underside of boot lid) as the X308. Sure, it's wider and deeper, but if you have any thoughts of standing suit cases in it, forget it, they must be laid flat. Also, and this amazes me on the development of a car as significant as this - opening the boot lid when there's standing water on it results in a soaking for anything inside. This is both from water entering at the back and front of the lid. Back because that's where you're tipping the water off and front because of a channel moulded into the rear panel which appears to draw water to a central point.

I don't miss my X308 at all, even though it was an XJR and my X350 is a normally aspirated 4.2. The XJR certainly had a kick to the acceleration that is missing from the X350, but I don't miss it. Acceleration in the X350 is more evenly progressive and therefore more predictable and controllable. On paper, the 0-60 difference is 5.3 seconds for the XJR compared to 6.3 for the X350. Whatever way you look at it, they're both quick times and substantially quicker than the majority of other cars on the roads. The X350 acceleration is very real and more than adequate for my wants and needs.

Now this will be controversial, but in my opinion the X350 handles much better than the XJR. That may be because I don't race and I rarely have any car at it's limits. Both cars had CATS and both cars remain remarkably flat in corners at any speeds I drive round them, and yet I get hurled around a lot less in the X350 than I did in the XJR. Both cars feel firm and yet the X350 manages this firmness without any harshness, whereas the XJR felt both firm and harsh. The steering in the X350 is also a great improvement over the XJR. It is more responsive, better weighted and much more predictable to driver input than the XJR was. Where the XJR would tend to snap into corners, the X350 is progressive. That's not to say the XJR was bad, but it's an art that needs to be developed to drive the XJR fast and smoothly whereas the X350 is fluid and smooth at all speeds. The X350's steering could do with being a little heavier at speed, but that was a criticism I also had of the XJR.

Remember however in all of this that I have 19 inch wheels fitted to my X350 with the same profile tyres as I had on my XJR. I have also driven almost the same model X350 with the standard 18 inch wheels, and this was certainly more wallowy and probably wouldn't handle as well as mine. Now that the vibration issues are completely sorted on my X350, I can feel the difference of the 19 inch wheels over the 18 inch ones, and I have exactly the feeling I wanted - which is a good feel of the road.

The X350 is not perfect by any means and I can find many things (mainly in the technology) to criticise it for - perhaps you'd be interested in my list? However, in my opinion, while different, it is a vast improvement over the X308 and I don't miss mine for a second.

Hope that helps.
Hi Burger, could you tell me - was the vibration on your x350 driveline vibration (props haft / driveshaft). If so, how did you fix it.

I've had two new tyres, props haft balance and both driveshafts replaced. Also, the diff was swapped with another x350 and the vibration was still there. Hoping your experience can shed some light as to how this can be fixed.

Cheers,

Bob
 

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