UK CAR 
Used car review

Jaguar XJ8 3.2 Sport 1998

 

The Jaguar XJ8 series was introduced in September 1997 to replace the ageing XJ6 series.
This new generation of Jaguar very much displays ford's influence on the Marque.

The Jaguar tested was the 3.2 V8 Sport. from 1998 with 69,000 miles on the clock.

Elegant, graceful, classy, endearing, Trademarks of  Jaguar's XJ series.


This XJ8 is the replacement for the older XJ6 and 12 series. Modified with sleeker looks and switchgear it has style and comfort with just that edge and quality associated with Jaguar.

The new Jaguar is similar to it's 1995> predecessor but has modified lamps which in particular are noticeable.

Jaguars XJ series has been manufactured for decades now and always was a stylish saloon. 

The new 8 with it's colour coded with mirrors, door handles and bumper aprons being coded to the body colour, and a chrome trim front and rear it has more pleasing looks than ever before. 
It has front fog lamps fitted as standard in the lower bumper area and a colour coded front grill. 
It also has pin stripes which are somewhat a style throwback from the past but this big graceful saloon does wear them very well.


The interior is very comfortable and even spacious in the rear. The front occupants are somewhat surrounded by dashboard and gear box tunnel.
The trim style in this car is half leather trim with velour. 

The Jaguar XJ series has many features as standard including head rests fitted both front and rear.
Electric operated windows front and rear which are very conveniently operated from the drivers door.


The steering wheel is a leather coated wheel with radio and cruise control adjustable by finger tips.  
The consul area is very easily worked out, the stereo system is very large it takes up and enormous amount of space but it does sound extremely good for standard fitment.


Above the stereo is the automated climate control and air conditioning which works very well indeed. In fact it is so good that even on a hot day you would not put it on full as it would make you too cold.


The speedo and tacho are easily read but I personally felt they were a little small. The time clock is a little different with it's chrome appearance it is situated in the center of the dash and appears a little isolated.


There is an automated rear view mirror fitted which I personally like it does very much make night driving very much easier and less tiring. 


The seating is fully adjustable with lumbar support,  height adjustable seat belts are also fitted. The steering column also adjusts but it does get very close to the top of the dash. If driving hard and quick steering is required you can occasionally catch the dash as well as the wheel. 



 

The engine which powers this car is a V8 32 valve quad cam.  
The engine is longitudinally mounted and outputs a huge 240 bhp which can take this big car to 60 mph from standing in only 8 seconds. 
It can achieve a top speed of 133 mph and is very efficient on fuel giving up-to 31 mpg. 
In appearance the unit does look like two Ford Mondeo 1.6 16V engines attached to each other and fitted with a very large induction system and given a plastic cover.


The engine is fully controlled electronically for the best power and fuel ratios, it has a multi point fuel injection system with a catalytic converter fitted as standard.

 
The ignition system is fully electronic and very reliable.

Driving the XJ8 is very easy with the engine purring at low speeds and enhancing into a monster at high revs when the sports mode is selected on the gear box.  
The gear box itself is also electronically controlled and does somewhat enhance the driving of this car. The gear changes are hardly noticeable and the general drive is simple and easy. The car is rear wheel drive with stability traction control fitted for that odd time when the rear end breaks out in anger.

The suspension on the car is independent with front and rear coil springs attached to independent wishbones. This is a good set up allowing all wheels the ability to support the car best where and when required.

Braking is servo assisted with front ventilated discs and solid brake discs on the rear. Anti lock braking is also fitted to assist when you are just that little bit out of control!.
Power assisted steering is standard on all Jaguars of course. The steering is very precise and speed sensitive. 

The new XJ8 has many types of safety systems fitted including drivers passenger and side air bags, side impact protection fitted as standard in the doors. Pre tensioned seat belts are also fitted as standard.


The Jaguar also has like many other makes  a transponder style key which is uniquely coded to the car. If the key is not used to start the car and force or other means are tried the engine management system will not run the engine.
There also is a remote to operate the door and boot operation. this is great, however you never then use the boot lock and it does tend to seize up.


Jaguars have always somewhat impressed me even the older style which unfortunately corroded sooner than they failed mechanically.
The generation of modern Jaguar however is very Ford influenced in being more commercially viable and better equipped with more efficient engines making this class a very good choice in the new and better still used market.

Driving this Jaguar is such a pleasurable experience with a level of class which I prefer to any Merc or Beemer, the general drive and feel of this car is quite excellent, it does not drive, it glides along the road without any noise. It is as discrete as an MP in an interview.


The Jaguar is very reasonable to run this one averaged 30 mpg though that was without too much traffic light duties. The servicing cost also are not frightening with many garages other than Jaguar very capable in looking after it, giving affordable running costs without the large franchised labour charges.


Reliability is like a VW. I have not yet heard or seen of any direct condemnation of this series. The build quality is also good, a little cheaper than Jaguar used to be but non the less a little better. Modern manufacturing has made this Jaguar everything you would require in a performance saloon all except economy, storage and sensibility that is. However if these are your criteria you should buy an Audi A6 1.9 TDi estate. 
Jaguar is a car once driven always desired. A car which sells best in the US and is still popular in the UK however it is not so popular in Europe. Can't see why?  well maybe !!


Taste I guess is found more common west of Europe. Taste in cars that is, not  food. 
France and Germany may well still produce many marques of high quality but Jaguar is an exceptional independent with history and a name recognised in a market which is very competitive.  keep your Lexus I'll take the Jag.

 

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