All models in Jaguar's XJ Series gain depowered front airbags and rain-sensing windshield wipers, and all-speed traction control is now standard across the board. Previously, traction control was standard only on top-rung models in the XJ range, Jaguar's largest, most expensive sedans. Also new for 2000 is an optional satellite-based navigation system.The XJ Series was redesigned for 1995 and is expected to continue in present form until at least 2002. Among rivals are the BMW 5 Series and 7 Series sedans, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and S-Class sedans, Lexus LS400 and Infiniti Q45.
The rear-drive XJ Series comes in two sizes, both with the same styling marked by a long, low profile, four round headlamps and signature Jaguar grille. The base XJ8 and XJR models ride a 113-inch wheelbase and are 198 inches long. The wheelbase and overall length are stretched 4.9 inches on the XJ8 L and Vanden Plas models.
All models have high-grade leather, generous amounts of wood trim and a full load of comfort and convenience features. Most of the extra 4.9 inches on long-wheelbase models shows up in the rear seat, which is huge compared to the standard-size XJs. Adults have room to cross their legs, and the wider rear doors improve entry and exit.Cargo volume, however, is a skimpy 13 cubic feet on all models; the trunk has too little room to carry anything sizeable.
Under the Hood
All versions come with Jaguar's 4.0-liter V-8 engine and a five-speed automatic transmission. On the XJ8, XJ8 L and Vanden Plas, horsepower is 290. On the sporty XJR and Vanden Plas Supercharged models horsepower jumps to 370 from the addition of a supercharger.