• (3.5) 8 reviews
  • MSRP: $1,351–$10,423
  • Body Style: Sedan
  • Combined MPG: 19-20
  • Engine: 290-hp, 4.0-liter V-8 (premium)
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel Drive
  • Transmission: 5-speed automatic w/OD
2002 Jaguar XJ8

Our Take on the Latest Model 2002 Jaguar XJ8

2002 Jaguar XJ8 Reviews

Vehicle Overview
Shoppers who seek the best from Britain’s Jaguar turn to the rear-wheel-drive XJ sedans, which rival such high-end competitors as the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class in both prestige and price. A new XJ Sport sedan for 2002 combines the standard XJ8 powertrain with a sport-tuned suspension, sport seats and Pirelli P Zero tires on 18-inch wheels.

Formerly available by special order only, the extended-wheelbase Vanden Plas Supercharged sedan becomes a regular production model for 2002 and is called the Super V8. The long-wheelbase XJ8L has been dropped. Jaguar’s DVD navigation system is now standard in the supercharged XJR sedan.

A new, limited-edition XJR 100 marks the centenary of the birth of Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons. Only 240 of these models will be offered in the United States and will feature 19-inch BBS modular wheels, Brembo brakes, Anthracite paint and a red-stitched charcoal interior.

Jaguar’s top sedans come in two sizes. The base XJ8 and XJR models ride a 113-inch wheelbase and measure 197.8 inches long overall. The Vanden Plas and Super V8 sedans are 4.9 inches longer in both dimensions, and both versions are 81.7 inches wide. Styling is highlighted by a long, low profile, with four round headlights and the signature Jaguar vertical-bar grille up front. Alloy wheels hold standard 16-inch tires, but larger tires are installed on higher-end models. A power sunroof tops the long list of standard equipment, which includes front and rear fog lamps.

High-grade leather and generous amounts of burl walnut wood trim combine to create an elegant motoring abode for five occupants, who also benefit from quite an array of comfort and convenience features. Most of the extra length on the long-wheelbase models is evident in the backseat, which qualifies as huge compared to standard-size XJs. Adults actually have room to cross their legs in the back of a stretched sedan, and wider rear doors ease entry and exit.

In base form, the XJ8 includes a six-CD changer, three-position memory system, 12-way power front seats, rain-sensing windshield wipers, automatic climate control and a remote keyless entry system with an immobilizer. Posh comforts in Vanden Plas and Super V8 sedans include a wood and leather-wrapped steering wheel, premium Connolly Autolux Recaro leather upholstery, lamb’s wool floormats and burl walnut wood trim inlaid with Peruvian boxwood. Jaguar’s traditional walnut picnic trays fold out from the front seatbacks.

Cargo capacity is a meager 13 cubic feet for all models, though the trunk is squarely shaped. A standard reverse parking control system utilizes sensors in the rear bumper to detect when the car is close to hitting an object at the rear, which then sound an audible warning.

Under the Hood
Jaguar’s 4.0-liter V-8 engine teams with a five-speed-automatic transmission and is rated at 290 horsepower in the XJ8 and Vanden Plas models. In the sporty XJR and Super V8, the supercharged 4.0-liter V-8 cranks out 370 hp. Traction control, antilock brakes and side-impact airbags for the front seats are standard on all models.

Driving Impressions
Piloting an XJ is a memorable experience all of its own — and it becomes all the more so if it’s the extra-elegant Vanden Plas, which is one sweet motorcar. Few automobiles come across as smoother on the road, more refined overall or more luxurious in texture and detail. For buyers who appreciate owning an exquisite machine, these top Jaguars are almost worth their breathtakingly high prices.

After a momentary delay at start-up, the Vanden Plas bounds ahead with surprising haste for such a heavyweight, even if it’s not packing the supercharged engine. Passing and merging situations are handled with refined ease, and the automatic transmission reacts with exceptional smoothness.

Handling is top-notch for a luxury sedan, making the XJ a beautiful car to drive down the highway, where it behaves with suitable British manners. It also maneuvers well in urban driving. As for engine noise, only a modest purr is likely to be heard. The ride is utterly superior, as if the suspension is instantaneously dissecting and dealing with every pavement imperfection. Visibility is excellent all around, and that makes the XJ easy to judge. The seats are lushly comfortable and supportive in the spacious interior. Assembly quality is excellent, and an XJ gives the impression of being formed as a single, solid unit.


Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com
From the cars.com 2002 Buying Guide

Consumer Reviews


Average based on 8 reviews

Write a Review

Smooth, comfortable and beautiful

by Brody from Santa Barbara, CA on June 28, 2014

This is the last truly beautiful Jaguar design. In the past 20 years the bodies got bulkier and less slick. The car is gorgeous, sits low and drives like a dream. If you take care of it it won't let y... Read Full Review

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4 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2002 Jaguar XJ8 trim comparison will help you decide.

Jaguar XJ8 Articles

2002 Jaguar XJ8 Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports


There is currently 1 recall for this car.

Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $5,000 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained


Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.


Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years