XJ Mixes Beauty and Brawn in its Super V8
There are cars that announce who their driver is before she even steps out the doorway. The 2008 Jaguar XJ Super V8 is one of those cars. You know which one I'm talking about; it's the model you see in your mind when you think of a Jag, and it's beautiful.
However, due to the Jaguar's reputation and presence, you should probably splurge on a strand of pearls to wear while in your Jaguar. I just didn't feel right if I wasn't wearing a cardigan while driving it. If you've ever wanted to be Charlotte York Goldenblatt from "Sex and the City," you and the XJ Super V8 will be so happy together.
But will your family be happy with it? Read on, my friends, because Charlotte's dream car might just be yours, too.
Oh, the Jaguar - she'll lure you in. You'll fall prey to her luxurious leather, walnut veneers and chrome accents. You'll love the sound and feel of the shifter when you put the car into gear. You'll surrender to features like ventilated seats, especially in the heat of summer.
Your children will adore the backseat of the Super V8; there's plenty of room to sprawl. There's a fantastic center console that not only houses beverages and snacks, but also the controls for the two separate rear entertainment systems. Yep - DVD, audio and auxiliary inputs are all accepted in the Jag. No more fights or issues over who gets to watch what. Well, at least not when the screens are working, which mine weren't, even though we could hear the movie. But my kids forgot all about "The Lion King" when they found the buttons for the power rear seats.
You'll love the accessibility of the Latch connectors. You'll also love the seat belt buckles that are easy for your kids to use. Your kids will love the window shades and the trays that fold down in the backseat, much like that on an airplane. They'll actually want to do their homework in the car. Hey, whatever it takes, right? You'll love the plush, plush carpet, and you'll protect it with all your might from spills and goldfish crackers, right? Right? Wait, where did you go?
You might not love all the buttons, but they're pretty easy to use and labeled clearly, so that helps. The touch-screen was also simple and easy to use (yes!). The Super V8's power windows merit the creation of a new award: the MotherProof.com Quietest Power Window Award. They're silent, my friends. The interior is so quiet overall that it seals your little Goldenblatts from the rest of the world.
This car is beautiful, but I kind of wish my test car had been a different color. The metallic green color had a hint of teal to it that was reminiscent of the '80s for me, but that's a personal preference. This car is the embodiment of luxury sedan, with its lovely lines, some flashy chrome and a long-standing reputation.
Speaking of long, the Super V8 is very long. It's a barely-fit-in-my-garage kind of long, and it has some scary-sensitive parking sensors. They beep a lot and wear on your frayed nerves. But at the end of the day, I was glad to have them because they prevented me from closing my garage door on this lovely lady.
If the sound of closing doors is your thing, you should also be aware of another newly christened XJ Super V8-inspired award: the MotherProof.com Best Door Close Sound and Feel. I loved the doors; they're heavy but not cumbersome, and the handles and closing latches weren't flimsy. When the door closed it said, "Madam, this door is closed securely" in a British-accented voice. I know it's weird, but it's true.
As I mentioned before, however, this car announces its presence. The Super V8 gets noticed, and you should be prepared for all that entails. By this I mean that you'll get many looks from your fellow carpoolers. So you'll probably want to wash your sweats a lot more and wear your swankiest ponytail holder or cleanest elastic headband. That can be a lot of upkeep.
The XJ comes standard with front-, side-impact and side curtain airbags, as well as electronic stability control, a tire pressure monitoring system, energy-absorbent front seats and Jaguar's Adaptive Restraint Technology System, which uses ultrasonic sensors to determine which safety systems to activate in a collision.
*For more information on the 2008 Jaguar XJ and its safety features, visit Cars.com. With questions or comments regarding this review, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
LET'S TALK NUMBERS
Latch Connectors: 2
Seating Capacity (includes driver): 5
IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT
Storage Compartments (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Ample
Cargo/Trunk Space (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Fair
SENSE AND STYLE
Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Fair-Great
Fun Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove On): Some
2008 Jaguar XJ Super V8
Base price: $94,085
Price as tested: $95,200
Engine: 400-hp, 4.2L Supercharged V-8
Fuel: 15/22 mpg
Ground Clearance: n/a
Turning Radius: 19.8'
Cargo space: 16.4 cu ft.
NHTSA Crash-Test Ratings
Driver's side: n/a
Passenger's side: n/a
Front occupant: n/a
Rear occupant: n/a
Rollover resistance: n/a