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Jaguar XJR 2003 Review

The aluminium-bodied Jaguar XJ boasts much diligence to detail.

The self-levelling sedan also drops its skirts 15mm at 160km/h-plus. The XJR version's supercharger spins 5 per cent faster than before.

When you lock the doors, the door mirrors fold themselves away. And there's now room for adults in the back seat.

For this, the seventh-generation of a car which has showcased both the best and worst of British engineering since 1968, is the XJ for the 21st century; lighter, smarter and faster than ever.

The aluminium-bodied Jaguar XJ boasts much diligence to detail.


Type: Four-door sedan

Price: From $169,000

Engine: 3.5-litre, 4.2-litre and supercharged 4.2-litre V8s

Transmission: Six-speed automatic

Length/width/height: 5024mm/1799mm/1314mm

Wheelbase: 2870mm

Weight (gross): 2200kg


The style is familiar but fresh and clever, allowing for extra rear-seat room and boot space without compromising that original grace of the late 1960s. A Jaguar XJ still stands out in the pack.

Jaguar designer Ian Callum says this longer, wider and taller XJ is more dynamic and modern-looking in terms of its proportions, helped by slimmer glass-to-door ratios.

"When you position it alongside major competitors, it is also clearly a very elegant car," Callum says.

"It's much more robust-looking than the previous model, creating a real presence on the road."

There are four XJs in the new range, from $169,000 for the XJ8 3.5-litre through to $229,000 for the Super V8.

The 3.5-litre car produces 196kW, the 4.2-litre V8 pumps out 224kW and the supercharged 4.2 in the XJR and Super V8 has 298kW – all very handy in a car that's 200kg lighter than the last XJ series.

All use a six-speed automatic transmission, shifted through Jaguar's familiar J-gate arrangement. All are claimed to be faster and more economical than before.

Air suspension, controlled by a new generation of Jaguar's Computer Active Technology Suspension, is standard across all cars.

The cabin – with more room for both front and rear occupants – is finished in the traditional mix of leather and timber trims plus the latest in comfort and convenience technology, including voice-activated controls for telephone, navigation systems and airconditioning.

Callum says the interior is classic Jaguar.

"It epitomises what a Jaguar interior should be – warm, inviting and not imposing," he says. "I always say that you should get out of a Jaguar feeling better than you did when you got in."

Inside, there is a multitude of airbags, with claims of outstanding crash protection from the rivet-bonded, aluminium monocoque body.

The light weight and extra stiffness to the chassis, new front and rear suspensions plus the new family of engines are claimed to enhance the Jaguar XJ's reputation as a sporting sedan.

Pricing guides

Based on third party pricing data
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Highest Price

Range and Specs

4.0 Supercharged 4.0L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO $18,000 – 25,080 2003 Jaguar XJR 2003 4.0 Supercharged Pricing and Specs
4.2 Supercharged 4.2L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $23,200 – 31,460 2003 Jaguar XJR 2003 4.2 Supercharged Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide


Lowest price, based on third party pricing data

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