2004 Jaguar XJR Sedan (465)


This week it was my pleasure to drive the all-new 2004 Jaguar XJR, which is the flagship of the small fleet of cars from Jaguar. It is not only beautiful, it is spacious and comfy. It won’t cost a million but it will make you feel like a million. When you drive 52 different cars plus per year it takes a lot to impress you. Ok, thanks to Ford Motor Company Jaguar will live well and prosper. And thanks for the ride because I love to drive and I truly appreciate a special car. This Jaguar is special.

As you may know, the XJ series arrived on the scene in 1968 – descendants of the 1950’s to 1960’s S-Type models. In my experience in the auto repair business for nearly two decades, Jaguar was not even a remote candidate as a recommendation to my friends. It wasn’t until Ford Motor Company’s acquisition that I changed my mind. The two companies proved they could fall in love and make beautiful music together. Isn’t love grand?

Handling & Performance:   

Smooth and subtle execution that will impress any performance minded driver. You’re going to love this car – I guarantee it! If speed turns you on – all the better. You are supercharged from 0-60 in under 5 seconds, and it will reach 110 in just a few short heartbeats more. This cat also has paws that grip for sure stops. It leans a little more, in the turns, than I like but it is, after all, a luxury sedan and not a sports car. Ok, so the big luxury Mercedes Benz sedans do better… you got me there.


Elegant continues to define Jaguar sedan’s in a breed of its own. They are thoughtfully designed with impeccable assembly that rivals Japanese luxury automobiles. I love the color combination of Racing Green exterior and Sand leather interior. As to the 20” Sepang wheels, they look a little awkward but practically speaking they stick out and catch curbs while parking. Questionable choice. This sedan was completely redesigned for 2004 in its seventh generation. It now features an aluminum frame and body and is considered the most advanced Jag ever made according to the company.

Fit and Finish:

The Brits have always been great in this department and Ford hasn’t changed it. Outstanding.


Luxury cars like this Jag will pamper you and you can expect to pay dearly. The Adaptive Cruise Control is a touch of tomorrow, today. I was impressed with this feature on the XKR convertible recently and was thrilled to revisit it. It is a true convenience on the road and comes standard on this model. You will love it on long trips. Another convenience I appreciate is the sensors that aid you in backing up; so parallel parking is made easier. The emergency brake is set electronically with the flip of a switch and is automatically released when you take the transmission out of park. Really nice. This is bound to receive kudos from all and I suspect it will migrate to other cars.


Well… luxury has its price and this is among the handful of true world-class luxury cars.

Consumer Recommendation:

There are few cars to choose from when price tags are in the $100,000 range. The closest by comparison is the Mercedes Benz S-Class, which is my favorite of the bunch, but this is a close second. If your wife will be driving the car, you can bet she’ll vote for the Jag. It’s a woman thing. If you want the Sepang wheels you pony up another $4,500.

The Competition:

Jaguar XJ Series $59-75,000, Audi A8 $68,500, BMW 7 Series $68,500, Infiniti Q45 $52-62,000, Lexus LS 430 $55,000, Mercedes Benz S-Class $73-121,000, Volvo S80 $37-48,000.

Good News:

Elegant, powerful, all Aluminum construction, roomy, comfortable, laser controlled cruise control.

Bad News:

Jerky accelerator and grabby brakes.

Standard Equipment:

4.2 liter supercharged 390 hp V8 engine, 6-speed auto trans, air suspension, adaptive cruise control, speed sensitive steering, dual front and side airbags, front and rear side curtain airbags, dynamic stability control, brake booster, remote entry security system, 16-way power and heated front seats, power adjustable pedals, power fold mirrors, 320 watt alpine audio with 7-CD changer. Optional Navigation system and 20-inch Sepang wheels increase the price by $6,700.

Gas Stats:

17 City and 24 Highway MPG.


MSRP $74,330.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@atthewheel.com

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