Jaguar XJ8 2005 Review
September 11, 2005
$21,450 - $27,170
The new XJ8 long-wheelbase Jaguar is anything but a small car. With an extra 125mm added to the 3034mm wheelbase, it will barely fit in the standard-sized garage.
Parking sensors are not only de rigueur in this style of car – they are vital because, at more than 5200mm long, normal parking spaces don't quite cut it.
But at $179,900, it's probably a valet or private car park that will be graced by this car's presence.
The aluminium construction means the XJ8 is not a hefty vehicle when considering how much space it takes up on the road – the stretched version adds 24kg to take the total weight up to 1639kg.
Rear-seat passengers are the main beneficiaries of the extra length, with more than 900mm of legroom available, as well as good headroom thanks to a slight increase in the height of the roofline.
Riding around in the rear might well be the first choice for some, given the rear can be optioned in a number of different configurations to suit the occupant – bench or bucket with a centre console.
Twin DVD screens in the back of the front headrests allow rear passengers to watch TV or a DVD, with infra-red headphones on offer.
The XJ8 LWB handles with the same aplomb of its shorter sibling, retaining considerable cornering abilities as well as treating irregular road surfaces with a quiet disdain.
The lightweight body means the naturally aspirated 4.2-litre V8 can push the XJ8 to the open road speed limit in under six seconds, with the top speed limited to 250km/h.
The six-speed auto is a smooth-shifting unit in standard mode, while depressing the Sport button sharpens up the changes, but not uncomfortably.
The Ford-owned British car maker claims the V8 can return figures around 16 litres/100km in the city, dropping to half that on the open road. At the end of my time in the Jag, the trip computer was displaying an average of 13.4 litres/100km, despite the indulgence of a heavy right foot.
The company might have been criticised for the unadventurous styling of the new XJ8, but to Cat fans – those who love the wood, the leather and the considerable on-road abilities – the styling is unmistakable and no one is left in any doubt they've been passed by a Jag.
REAR passengers can relax in a fixed or power-adjustable rear bench seat layout, or opt for the individual powered and heated seats. The two rear buckets are separated by a centre console with additional storage space.
ALSO on the rear seat features list are burr walnut-finished business trays that fold down from the front-seat backs, DVD/TV screens and iPod and MP3 player connectivity.
Price of power
THE XJ8 LWB is $179,900 and is powered by a naturally aspirated 4.2-litre V8 that produces 224kW of power at 6000rpm and 420Nm of torque at 4100rpm. If that's not enough, there is also a supercharged V8 available, offering 298kW of power at 6100rpm and 553Nm of torque at 3500rpm, but the price tag steps beyond $200,000.
$21,450 - $27,170