Last post on Sep 05, 2013 at 9:10 AM
You are in the Jaguar XJ-Series
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Jaguar XJ-Series, Sedan
#1873 of 2806 Comments on buying an X308 vs. X350, privately vs. dealer
Feb 06, 2004 (6:25 pm)
Please allow me to introduce myself. I'm a man of not much wealth but exquisite taste. ; )
In large part due to this board, I've chosen to purchase a '98 XJ8 over the similarly priced same-year BMW 740i and Audi A8. Both are fantastic cars but lack the sex appeal of the Jag. And I'm now assured the Jag will be as reliable. (The last-generation 740 and A8 are both reliable cars. I've owned the former.)
I bought my Anthracite/Charcoal SWB privately from its second owner for $17.3K with 49K on the clock. It has premium sound, all records, a recent tune-up, and is in near-showroom condition. The water pump/thermostat, one of this model's few weaknesses, has been replaced.
Both the car's previous owners were rather obsessive about taking care of it, and the seller "selected" me out of a number of contenders because he thought I'd give it the best home.
(I don't think this is BS! : ) San Francisco Bay Area forum members may have seen this car advertised in the Chronicle last week. I've been shopping intensively and at $17.3K this unit compares well with similar models on the lots in the mid-20s (no warranty) and privately offered units in the low twenties. Five minutes into the test drive I was asking the seller when I could take delivery at his asking price.)
My advice to prospective buyers like Blockislandguy would be to buy privately! (Block: Why didn't you buy your wife's friend's XJ from her directly? You'd have saved thousands for both yourself and your wife's friend, who could have negotiated a cash price for her 530i.)
Buy a scrupulously maintained Jaguar from somebody who loves their car and has all the records. In other words, from somebody like us! Maintain it correctly and drive it like a Jag is meant to be driven: hard. (After thorough warm-up, of course.) If you do, you won't have to waste money on third-party warranty plans or other pitfalls for the insecure. You'll have a mostly-reliable and always-wonderful car.
And to those wondering whether to get a 2004: I compared the X308 and X350 yesterday at a dealer's lot, side by side. BIG DIFFERENCE! The X350 is substantially larger than the SWB in every dimension. It looks a bit bloated in comparison, and its lines are less defined. It's like your friend the runner who you haven't seen in a few years, and who has quit running and gained 20 pounds.
I'm 5'10", 160 lb and rarely take back-seat passengers, so the '98 SWB is just right for me. And it LOOKS so "just right." Lithe and graceful, perfectly proportioned, and yes, feline. (Comparatively, the LWB looks a bit taxi-like IMHO.)
Speaking of weight, we Jaguar owners seem to have become the guinea pigs of Ford's "Let's try aluminum and see how it goes" experiment. I'd be VERY leery of owning an all-aluminum car, for reasons Jagboy described so eloquently in #1750. The weight saving is nothing special, maybe 200 pounds. The original steel X308 was already the lightest car in its class. Don't get me wrong, I love the technology. But I think it will come back to bite the X350's resale. Just ask anybody who's trying to sell an Audi A8 on the used market.
The silver lining of the aluminum issue is that X308s should hold their value better than anticipated. Much as I'd love an X308 XJR, if I'd bought one I'd almost feel guilty driving it, knowing what a collector's item a low-mile unit will be in the future. But of course, that kind of thinking is okay for investment bankers, but not Felophiles!
#1874 of 2806 is this a good buy
Feb 06, 2004 (6:32 pm)
I found a 1996 jaguar with only 3,594 miles (yes that is correct). white one for 16,000. It is and XJ6. Is that a good price for it and is that a reliable year and engine. thanks
#1876 of 2806 XJ8 interior trim upgrade to VDP?
Feb 06, 2004 (10:53 pm)
I told you about my '98 308 SWB in a previous post. Now to the quest for advice!
I love the SWB but envy the VDP's wood wheel, wood shift knob and more opulent leather.
Would it be unspeakably tacky if I installed a VDP steering wheel and shift knob on my "base" XJ8, and upgraded much of the car's existing vinyl to leather using the services of an auto interior customizer?
If such as thing is permissible, where would I have the best chance of finding the necessary components? For the steering wheel installation I'm assuming the dealer is the only way to go?
Thank you in advance for your kind advice.
Feb 08, 2004 (10:16 am)
Boy, that's going to cost you! But to answer your question, no I personally don't think it's tacky at all, and I tend to try to do that, or used to anyway. If you can find the stuff reasonably, I'd do it!
#1878 of 2806 If you could configure a new XJ8 variant . . .
Feb 08, 2004 (11:34 am)
This little fantasy concerns the X308 series rather than the X350. I'm more familiar with the latter and like them more than new new version.
If you could assemble all the available elements of the X308 series (wheelbase, interior and exterior trim, engine tuning and so on), what would your new model consist of?
My ideal XJ8 would be thus: SWB, supercharger at lower pressure than XJR, giving 340 hp; 17" wheels from the VDP V8, suspension tuned closer to base-model comfort rather than XJR firmness, base-model interior except wood VDP wheel and shifter (no boxwood or little trays!), and no vinyl, all leather. No black-out trim either, stay with the gorgeous stock chrome. Dark colors only. Updgraded stereo included. Model name: XJ Executive. Price point $10K above base model.
Over to you . . . . ?
Feb 08, 2004 (2:34 pm)
I agree on the chrome - I don't prefer the blackouts. It's one of the reasons I don't care for the "R".
#1880 of 2806 XJ - Front end Grille.
Feb 14, 2004 (9:09 am)
We currently have a 2000 S-Type and I am interested in the new XJ sedan. Recently I had our S-Type into the dealer for an oil change and had the opportunity to go over the new XJ sedan in their showroom very throrougly. The car is magnificent on the inside, I could not find one fault whatsoever. Feel the exterior styling could have been much better, but it is ok! The real turn-off that I encountered, was the very cheap looking black plastic grille. It really takes away from the rest of the car, no doubt some Ford Motor penny pinching at work here. I've always felt that when it comes to luxury cars, hide the penny pinching if you must pinch. Anyway! I recently heard that Jaguar will be making slight changes to the 2005 XJ sedan due out this coming fall. Would anyone have information as to the XJ's Grille being changed? Even if they only chrome plated the black plastic, it would be a big improvement. Otherwise the new XJ is a superb continuation of the 30 year heritage of the XJ line. I strongly feel that the interior is much more elegant and luxurious than Mercedes, BMW or Lexus. Nice to see Jaguar winning on interiors right now!
Feb 14, 2004 (5:39 pm)
Funny how everyone blames Ford for the cheap stuff, when Ford took Jaguar out of bankruptcy and drastically improved the reliability of the brand. That black plastic grill isn't cheap, it's lightweight, and the blackout is by design, because the stylist believed it looked better. All grilles are plastic now for weight and replacement cost when smashed.
Feb 15, 2004 (4:15 pm)
I haven't seen the grille on the 04 XJ, but they did the same thing on the 97. After I bought the 97, I replaced the black plastic with chrome vanes. Looks 1000 percent better. If the grille vanes are the same as the x300 and x308's, they could be replaced on the 04. I thought the black plastic was like looking at a beautiful woman who had no teeth.