2007 Jaguar XJ Expert Review

You'll Like The 2007 Jaguar XJ If...

If you're looking for a premium luxury sedan that embraces more traditional styling, has a large interior and doesn't guzzle fuel on the highway, the XJ should be at the top of your list.

You May Not Like The 2007 Jaguar XJ If...

If you're a Jaguar purist, you may not appreciate the XJ's tall profile. Those who require all-wheel drive will have to investigate the Audi A8 or Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Those who don't enjoy tossing money out the window will not appreciate the XJ's low resale value, which falls far short of rivals from BMW, Audi and Lexus.

What's New

For 2007, all models have heated 16-way power front seats and a heated rear seat, while the Vanden Plas, XJR and Super V8 receive Jaguar's Front Park Control.

Interior Features

The XJ's wide front seats provide excellent lower thigh and back support, and include a four-way power lumbar support. In the rear, you'll find a vastly larger passenger space than in previous XJs, with ample head and legroom for six-footers. The handsome dash incorporates three circular gauges surrounded by an expansive use of burl wood trim. We found the dash-mounted ignition slot is placed fairly low, allowing dangling keys to brush annoyingly atop the driver's right leg. The wide center stack plays host to the optional LCD navigation screen as well as functions for the climate control and audio systems. XJR models offer a set of advanced sport seats in black and red leather and feature dark gray wood in place of the traditional burl.

Exterior Features

If you place this generation XJ next to any previous XJ sedan, the differences immediately become apparent. Gone are the low roof and side sills, top-loading fuel fillers and narrow midsection. The current XJ shuns all of these traits in favor of a much taller design that vastly increases interior volume in all directions, most noticeably in the area of rear-seat headroom. The design also gives the XJ one of the largest trunks ever offered on any Jaguar model. The XJ retains such signature styling cues as the curvaceous hood, four round headlamps, tapered rear end and the hood-mounted Jaguar emblem, affectionately known as the "leaper."

Driving Impressions

Power for the normally-aspirated XJ8, XJ8L and Vanden Plas models comes from a refined 4.2-liter V8 of 300 horsepower, while the XJR and Super V8 receive an additional 100 horsepower in the form of a supercharged V8 engine. The XJ rides on a remarkably capable chassis, highlighted by an adaptive rear air suspension that keeps it planted in a way the old model never could. The system is solid, secure and serene, with great higher-speed control and an appropriately smooth ride that's completely in character with this car's image.

All-new 18-inch alloy wheels look smart and contribute to enhanced handling capabilities, and the XJR and Super V8 get even more aggressive 19-inch wheels and tires that further upgrade ultimate handling but also somewhat diminish the luxurious, soft ride of the base XJ.

Pricing Notes

The XJ8 has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $64,250, while the long wheelbase XJ8L is $67,750, the XJR starts at $81,500, the luxurious Vanden Plas is $75,500 and the Super V8 is $92,000. A look at the Fair Purchase Price shows the typical transaction price paid for the XJ in your area. It's a valuable resource to have on your side so be sure to check it out before you begin negotiations. Despite the car's high premium, the XJ does not hold its value well, falling far below the five-year values set by the Audi A8, the Lexus LS 430 and the BMW 750i.

Notable Equipment

The XJ8 features a ZF six-speed automatic transmission, automatic headlamp control, memory feature for the driver's seat, adjustable pedals and steering column, power glass moonroof, Park Distance Control, AM/FM stereo with CD, side-curtain airbags, front side-impact airbags, stability control, traction control, xenon headlamps and 18-inch alloy wheels. The Vanden Plas has a longer wheelbase, burl wood rear tables and Alpine sound system. The XJR and Super V8 receive a supercharged V8 engine, Brembo disc brakes and 19-inch Z-rated tires, and the Super V8 adds a power-adjustable rear bench seat and twin rear DVD entertainment screens; the twin DVD screens are optionally available on the Vanden Plas and XJR.

Notable Options

Options include DVD navigation, Alpine audio, heated steering wheel and four-zone air conditioning. There are a variety of individual options, and three option packages: A Multimedia Package, a Premium Sound Package and a Warm Climate Package.

Favorite Features

DVD Monitors

The Vanden Plas, XJR and Super V8 offer twin rear-seat DVD monitors built into the backs of the front-seat headrests.

Power Rear Seat

The Super V8's power rear seat adjusts for the ultimate in chauffeured luxury.

Under the Hood

The XJ8 is more a stately sedan than a speedster, and most owners will find the standard 4.2-liter V8 more than sufficient for their needs. This engine is smooth and powerful, with just the right mix of growl at the tailpipe to let others know what's under the hood. The six-speed ZF transmission is a brilliant piece of work that helps the big Jaguar achieve fuel economy ratings comparable to a V6-powered sedan. Buyers who opt for the XJR or Super V8 receive a supercharged version of the engine. Rated at 400 horsepower, it delivers acceleration and performance completely in keeping with the expectations for a world-class high-performance sedan.

4.2-liter V8

300 horsepower @ 6000 rpm

310 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4100 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/27

4.2-liter V8 Supercharged

400 horsepower @ 6100 rpm

413 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3500 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24

Editors' Notes

Jaguar's largest and most luxurious sedan, the XJ, is a rolling showcase touting the company's latest achievements in engineering, technology and luxury. Wrapped in a lightweight all-aluminum body, the XJ is surprisingly agile for its size, yet remarkably solid. Offered in a variety of trims, including two stretched wheelbase versions and the legendary performance cat, the XJR, the XJ is without question the finest Jaguar product to date. Faced with radically new designs emerging from Audi, BMW and Lexus, Jaguar's strategy to stick with its traditional styling may not have been a wise decision. Jaguar sales are not as robust as hoped, meaning it may be possible to wrangle a good deal on a new XJ.

Road Test Video Reviews

2007 Jaguar XJ Owner Reviews

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They are an attractive car, drive great and very comfortable.

2007 Jaguar XJ

I have had 4 jaguars love them. I prefer the older style of the body. My 1 now own is a vandan plus model & has all the bells & whistles I need. They drive great & comfortable. They can be expensive. We keep up very well with the maintenance. Also you must always be aware of the very low front end it can be somewhat deceiving and easy to hit low bumps and parking cement retainers. But all I all I am very pleased with this car.

- Linda S

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