2005 Jaguar XJR (555)


Oh – my – gawd! “Yeah it’s me and I’m in love again…” Can’t you just hear the melody and maybe even more of the lyrics come back to you. If this 2005 Jaguar XJR isn’t one of the sexiest cars on the planet, I’m not Italian. What did you say mom, my father was who? OK, so you tell me. Is this a sexy car or what?

Many will not agree that Ford has been a positive influence on the production of today’s Jaguars. Ok, so it was Norm, my friend who has owned a few of these lovely “Cats” who challenged my opinion. Norm sites his personal experience that he never had a problem with any of his Jags.

For my part I go with the experience brother John and I had in owning a foreign car repair shop for about 15 years. Jags were as bad as FIAT’s from Italy. Remember what F – I – A – T stands for. Fix It Again Tony! Well the Brits were as bad. BMW was also a mechanics dream. One other that tops the list is the Audi. These four car brands seemed most troublesome for our customers. It was good for the repair business but bad for the auto industry generally. That situation has improved greatly over the past couple of decades.

I feel there has been a big change in today’s Jag, thanks Ford, no matter what Norm says.

I drive a lot of nice cars but somehow this weeks ride inspired me to want to get out to the theatre to see Wagner (Vaaag-nerr) at the Hollywood bowl with friends. Richard, Carol, Laura and I found that we were more impressed with the car, the two buck Chuck and KFC than the music. But in the final analysis it’s the people we share with that are most important. The LA Philharmonic is wonderful, but it was not one of those inspiring performances in spite of the wonderful summer California evening in one of the most lovely of settings.

Handling & Performance:

Spectacular. Better than sex. You’ll look forward with childish enthusiasm to driving somewhere – anywhere. In fact you’ll make excuses why you should go some place. Not only will you ride in style, you’ll get to the theatre in a flash. This is a Supercharged smoother than snot fast piece of machinery. Hold me back!

But you can’t hold the Supercharger back. By its nature it provides an instant off the line power surge. You’ll remember the difference between Supercharging and Turbocharging is that Superchargers run off the engine by way of a belt and pulley like your alternator or air conditioning pump. The Turbocharger operates off of a turbine powered by the exhaust. So the Turbocharger gives a surge only after RPM’s get high enough to generate the force. That can be annoying.


Traditional and therefore identifiable Jaguar styling. Perhaps this is one of the most recognizable of luxury cars. And one of the reasons is the consistent design principle they have followed for many years. In a world of sharp lines and edges, this Jag has held to its unique rounded curves we’ve come to recognize. It is simply a very elegant design that makes you feel special too.

But I’ve got a couple of complaints. The sun visors in this Jag do not extend. To Jag and every other carmaker who make the visors too short – shame on you. The other bitch is the way they’ve designed the front seats. The sides of the seat bottom are too narrow and annoyingly uncomfortable.

Fit and Finish:

Norm says it isn’t as good as before. It’s a Foooooord. Sorry Norm I don’t buy it. And what’s more this is still built in Great Britain – I suspect by the same guys and gals who assembled Norm’s Jags when the company was totally British.


Lots! You don’t get away cheap for all this luxury, performance and especially image that will set you back the average price of most houses in this country.  For everything else you can use your Visa card.


Everything your little heart can imagine is at your car driving fingertips. Perhaps the most useful and memorable is the laser assisted smart Cruise Control. They refer to it as adaptive. Whatever you call it, it should be required standard equipment in every car that’s made.

Consumer Recommendation:

Wow – when you look at the company this Jag keeps it is very impressive and you wonder if it is out of class. I’ve driven all except this Maserati and no matter the cost this Jag is distinguished. The Phaeton is (was – it is discontinued) technically a Bentley but must overcome the fact it is built by Volkswagen. I don’t believe it ever can do that, even though it is at the top of my picks of this list.

The Competition: 

Jaguar XJ Series $61-90,000, Maserati Quattroporte $95,500, Infiniti Q45 $56,400, Audi A8 $67-117,000, Volvo S80 $36-49,000, VW Phaeton $67-96,000, Lexus LS 430 $56,225, Acura RL $49,100, Mercedes S-Class $65-169,000, BMW 7-Series $71-117,000.

Good News:

Classy, undeniably as smooth a ride as you’ll ever feel, faaaast, great smart cruise control.

Bad News:

Front seats are uncomfortable; sun visors are too short.

Standard Equipment:

4.2 liter 390 hp supercharged V8 engine, 6-speed auto trans, adaptive cruise control, air suspension, speed sensitive steering, power Brembo four piston disc brakes, front and side air bags and side curtain airbags, remote entry and security system, 16 way power driver seat, dynamic stability control, Alpine 320 watt audio system with 7-CD changer, heated front seats and steering wheel, power adjustable pedals, self dim power fold mirrors.

Gas Stats:

17 City and 24 Highway MPG


MSRP $76,330.

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

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