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Jaguar XJ6 2004 Review

Elms in their autumn tones, ivy-covered wrought iron fences, twisty backblock lanes and few other road users in sight.

The picture inside the XJ6 was just as quintessentially British with traditional burr walnut veneer and suave leather trim at hand and a long, sloping bonnet to scan over as the thread of hilly blacktop unravelled with consummate ease.

Yes, the seventh generation XJ6 is made of much of the "right stuff" for which Jaguar is renowned, but the bonus is a raft of 21st century technology incorporated to make motoring as safe and untroubled as it should be enjoyable.

For instance, the XJ6 shares the same specs' as its bigger, naturally aspirated V8 siblings such as satellite navigation, television, telephone, premium sound, reverse park aid, rear multimedia pack and rain-sensing wipers.

This is a car comfy and roomy enough in which to hold a boardroom meeting, but don't confuse that with being big and bargy.

By replacing the traditional steel body construction with a riveted monocoque, the new XJ6 is longer, taller and wider than its predecessor but – even more significantly – is around 40 per cent lighter with increased rigidity.

To emphasise just how strong, Jaguar Australia general manager David Blackhall invited all and sundry to belt the hell out of a spare door with a hammer.

We tried to do just that, with just a series of pock marks to show for our efforts.

A comforting thought for Cat owners given the jungle that our roads and car parks have become.

Then there's the engine. Forget the inline six, this is a 3.0-litre, 24v, V6 with a stated power output of 179kW at 6800rpm and maximum torque of 300Nm at 4100rpm.

Driving seamlessly through a ZF 6-speed automatic gearbox, the V6 seems well to be up to Jaguar's claims of an impressive 0-100km/h time of 8.1seconds and top speed of 233km/h. Overall fuel consumption measures 10.5l/100km.

An all too brief three hours in the XJ6 – half as driver, half as passenger – confirmed that Jaguar has pretty well got the balance between luxury and performance right.

What didn't I like? Having to hand the keys back.

The Jaguar XJ6 went on sale May 2. Price is $149,000.

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3.0 3.0L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $18,990 – 28,990 2004 Jaguar XJ6 2004 3.0 Pricing and Specs
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