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2005 Jaguar XJ8

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starting MSRP

Key specs

Base trim shown


Body style


Seating capacity

200.4” x 57.0”


Rear-wheel drive



The good:

  • Elegant refinement
  • Quietness
  • Civilized performance
  • Stately European styling
  • Heritage

The bad:

  • Price
  • Body lean in curves
  • Control layout

3 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2005 Jaguar XJ8 trim comparison will help you decide.

See also: Find the best Sedans for 2024

Notable features

  • New Super V8 flagship model
  • Long or regular wheelbase
  • Aluminum-intensive construction
  • Six-speed automatic
  • Normally aspirated or supercharged V-8

2005 Jaguar XJ8 review: Our expert's take

By Steven Cole Smith

I’m not really sure why the 2005 Jaguar XJ8 L — with “L” standing for “long wheelbase” — looks so big. The wheelbase and body are lengthened just 5 inches over the regular XJ sedan, but for some reason, the car recalls one of those cartoonish stretched-out Hummer or Lincoln Navigator limousines.

The XJ8 L almost looks like that, but not quite. And it certainly doesn’t drive any differently from the regular XJ, which is a good thing, because the new-for-2004 XJ is one of the best-behaved luxury sedans on the roa d. The extra length seems to go exclusively to rear-seat legroom, where 6-footers can cross their legs and stretch out, even with a couple of other 6-footers sitting in the front seats.

This is not to say the regular XJ isn’t roomy, because it is. The XJ8 L is just roomier. But unless I frequently had rear-seat passengers whom I genuinely wanted to make comfortable — a rich and ailing uncle, for instance, who needed the room and the neat aircraft-style flip-down table to prepare his will — I can’t think of any reason to get the extra-length XJ. Regular, poor uncles, which are the only kind I seem to have, would be plenty happy in a standard XJ.

The reason why the XJ8 L looks so long is because it is. Overall length is 205.3 inches, making it the longest car in the premium sedan class — 2.2 inches longer than the lengthened version of the Mercedes Benz S-Class, and 1.8 inches longer than the longest BMW 7-Series. It is also 6.4 inches longer than a Cadillac Escalade SUV.

When I first wrote about the new XJ in August 2003, my central, and lone, complaint was the styling. The 2004 XJ, while brand-new under the skin, looks oddly like the car it replaces.

“It’s a classic style,” countered one Jaguar executive then, “and did not require much update.” Well, maybe, but you’d think when a company updates its flagship sedan for the first time in nine years, they’d want it to look like a new car. But that’s my personal opinion.

The test car was a Jaguar XJ8 L Vanden Plas, which is the most deluxe model, but not the most expensive: That would be the Super V-8, which is similar to the Vanden Plas, but instead of a 294-horsepower, 4.2-liter V-8, it has a 390-horsepower supercharged version of that engine. That car starts at $89,995, making the starting list price of the test car, $70,330, seem slightly less likely to give you terminal sticker shock. Shipping, a $675 xenon lighting package and a $2,300 navigation system upped the total price to $73,505.

Really, you don’t much need the 390-horse engine. The six-speed automatic transmission does such a competent job of maximizing the regular engine’s 294 horsepower that you are never at a loss for acceleration. The engine is silky-smooth and quiet, too. Handling is very good, especially given the XJ8 L’s size, and the ride is excellent.

Jaguar continues to excel in interiors. The creamy leather and wood trim — burl walnut veneers with Peruvian boxwood inlay — is gorgeous. Instruments and controls need some work, but they always have in this car.

Aside from the too-familiar looks, the XJ remains a delightful car, and the L just gives you slightly more of it.

Sentinel Automotive Editor Steven Cole Smith’s TV reports air Wednesdays on Central Florida News 13.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.9
  • Interior 4.9
  • Performance 5.0
  • Value 4.6
  • Exterior 5.0
  • Reliability 4.1
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Most recent consumer reviews


If you have one you don’t want. Give it to me!!

Love them XJ8. Had 3. All killed in accidents. I had no injuries. Beauty, always admired by others. Smooth ride and steering. Good mileage. Great sign system. Air suspension had to be replaced always. Had 1 2005 XJR, too fast for American Roads. You’ll hit 100 before you know it. I know it $250 ticket.


Loved the Car but Now it's Got to Go !

Stunning to look at, lots of power, quiet but ride is a bit 'performance' oriented not as smooth as a luxury vehicle should be. Around the 82,000 mile mark the rack-and-pinion steering rack needed to be replaced. Shortly after that the transmission decided to dump the fluid on my garage floor. The climate control motor died and needed to be replaced. The air suspension needed replacement and the Arnott product was used. (rides a bit rougher) 6 years ago the crankcase ventilation valve died producing white smoke so thick that the cars behind me literally could not see the road: the same thing happened last week. So after slightly more than $15,000 over the last 3,000 miles, I'm done with this beautiful piece of junk!


To early to tell

Exceptional luxury car, well built and appointed. Fit and finish were great. Well detailed. Good value for the money. Exceptional dealer response, met all expectations.

See all 14 consumer reviews


New car program benefits
48 months/50,000 miles
72 months/unlimited distance
48 months/50,000 miles
Roadside assistance
48 months/50,000 miles

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