By on May 22, 2009

In honor of the global meltdown’s effect on used car prices, we’re initiating a new feature: YSE (Your Shitty Economy) Car of the Week. We begin with the Jaguar XJR. I mean, who would pay upwards of $80 grand for a luxo sedan that has brought up the rear of every comparo test it has ever been in? The main reason: it lacks key technological features. But now, when Mercedes S-class and BMW 7-Series owners’ credit cards are smoking from repairs to radar cruise control and cooled seats, the Jag XJR is sitting pretty. I know: Jag’s are hardly what you’d call exempt from repair and maintenance “issues.” Still, at $25,000, with low miles and driven lightly, you can afford to put aside a chunk of change to cover those running costs. Or, come to think of it, not.

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32 Comments on “YSE Car of the Week: 2005 Jaguar XJR...”

  • avatar
    Matthew Danda

    My brother’s 2001 E-class has so thoroughly destroyed my family’s opinion of Mercedes that looking at Jaguars might not seem such a goofy idea…

  • avatar

    Matthew Danda, how much paint is left on the nose and how many lights have you replaced? Just curious.

    Still, you’d have to have a pretty stout heart or healthy wallet to plunge into Jaguar ownership without some sort of extended warranty.

  • avatar
    Billy Bobb 2

    Same discipline as small aircraft ownership.

    Put $300 a month, each and every month, in a seperate account labeled “Jag Repair”.

    Then when Nigel from the Brit Car Shop calls, the 4 grand for the brakes and 60K service won’t be such a hit to the wallet.

  • avatar

    My 2002 Lexus LS430 has held up well. Except for the rock that smashed the laser cruise control. $3500 to replace it.

    Also had to get a new key cut. $350 + half hour labor.

    My friend who works as a mechanic at the local BMW dealer warns not to buy a 7 series or S-Class older than 7 years. Most people who drive one usually let the cars go rather than spend $6000 to change the shocks, or $2000 per headlight.

  • avatar

    Absolutely insane logic on your part.
    Once every two weeks to your Jaguar dealer vs. once a week to your Mercedes dealer is not worth it. I have YET been back to the dealer with my ’06 F150.

  • avatar

    I’ve heard all the horror stories and read as much as I could get my hands on about this car. Still, my wife wanted one. As prepared as I could be I set out to buy one last summer. Picked up an ’04 with the options she wanted and added a plush extended warranty to the deal. One year later we’ve put exactly $0 into this car for repairs and an oil change was the same as on my Volvo. Sure, I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop but in the meantime this is one damn good looking car that is as pleasant to drive as any I’ve ever owned. We looked at the usual suspects (S-Class, 7-Series, A8) but this was for her and I wasn’t about to raise a stink. I don’t think I miss the gadgetry.

  • avatar

    I’m waiting for the BMW-engined Range Rover to drop in price. I’ve always wanted one…

  • avatar

    I don’t have any data on the XJ. JD Power, though, recently claimed that Jags of this vintage have among the lowest repair frequencies.

    So maybe they’re actually quite solid?

  • avatar

    I seriously considered an XJ a few months ago in this range. I chose the CTS in favor of a better reliability history & ride quality, plus cost.

  • avatar

    Wasn’t this one of the models made entirely out of aluminum? If so (not me) but a life long S Class owner won a one month free drive in a superbowl bet and while he said it wasn’t the S it was one hell of a drive which is what Jag is supposed to be isn’t it? (by-line: The night before he was supposed to give it back, he left the keys in while at the gas station and the car was never seen again, don’t know how that one ended for him or the dealer who gave it to him)

  • avatar

    Must be JagUar week.


  • avatar
    John Horner

    “Wasn’t this one of the models made entirely out of aluminum?”

    Starting with the 2004 model year, the XJ rides on an all aluminum frame, but I think the body panels are still steel.

    Personally I think a modern XJ is still the best looking luxury sedan and makes a fascinating used car buy. A three year old XJ sells for about the same price as a fully loaded new Camry. I just haven’t been able to bring myself to make the leap … yet!

  • avatar
    John Holt

    If you follow the link to the dealer site, they also have a spattering of 40K-mile late model BMW 3ers and 5ers all hovering about the $25K mark, and ironically – an ’09 Jetta TDI with 10K for the same.

    Looks like luxury cars are a hot buy right now.

  • avatar

    No body panels were all aluminum for a few years as well, remember ford invested gobs of money into developing a system of using epoxy polymers to fasten to the frame. Also one of the reasons that ford bought volvo, volvo had invested alot of money with alcoa into developing cost eff. aluminum components for autos and ford wanted to transfer that to PAG. Or atleast I remember that being one of the reasons that they justified spending $6mmm on Volvo.

  • avatar

    But where’s Katiepuckrick?

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    I almost bought one last year. Auction price for it was right around 25K. It had about 35k miles if I remember correctly.

    Fear of not being able to sell it held me back. As it was I bought a 2002 MB S500 for $12,600 a little over a year ago. As much as these cars can do ‘everything’ I just can’t embrace the lack of value and excitement in owning one of them for everyday driving.

    Wanna be relaxed? Buy a large European sedan.

    Wanna be happy? Buy a Miata, S2000, G8, etc.

  • avatar

    I’ve been looking at 2005 Vanden Plas in the longer wheelbase version that first came out that year. Very nice low mileage cars for about $25k. They have lots of space (back seat especially), drive nice and get amazing gas mileage for something that big (30+ highway).

    My local independent import shop has been working on my BMWs for ten years. He services most imports including MB, Audi, Porche and Jag. In his opinion, Jags made after 2004 are a whole new car with reliability on par with the Germans. Purchase price used, however, is much much less. As with anything, I’ll buy a one-owner car with full service records and pay for a pre-purchase inspection.


  • avatar

    I know a bunch of people who have these, and reliability isn’t a problem. Of course,I was just talking to another former FIAT owner yesterday, and we were both reminiscing about what great and unfairly maligned cars they were. So I presume that means whatever credibility I had around here is shot.

    Back to Jags though, there’s no reason to set up the trust fund for repairs. Just buy a CPO-they’re still going for ridiculous prices and the warranty is actually better than on new models (6 years/100K miles). Presuming of course there’s still a Jaguar dealer network through the warranty term.

  • avatar

    Steven Lang wrote:

    > Wanna be relaxed? Buy a large European sedan.
    > Wanna be happy? Buy a Miata, S2000, G8, etc.

    Or do both. I have a 98 Lexus LS400 (not European but a ripoff of a European) and a 96 Miata, the combined value of both cars is less than $10K and they are great. Can drive the one that suits my mood (and the weather).

  • avatar

    In his opinion, Jags made after 2004 are a whole new car with reliability on par with the Germans.

    This is a good thing?

  • avatar

    # Michael Karesh :
    May 22nd, 2009 at 9:17 am

    I don’t have any data on the XJ. JD Power, though, recently claimed that Jags of this vintage have among the lowest repair frequencies.

    So maybe they’re actually quite solid?

    The lack of gadgets compared to the German competition might be a big factor in why the Jag is more reliable.

  • avatar

    I had an XJ as a company car for a year. The only thing that went wrong was an error message saying that the tail light bulb was burnt. The error cleared it self after restart. These cars are all aluminium so repairing them after a crash could be expensive. On the other hand they are about 300 lbs lighter than the competition. And boy do they handle! The wood and leather are just superb.

    @INGVAR. Stay away from Range Rovers equipped with the BMW M62 engine. There is a small issue with engine mounts and propshaft that was corrected on AJ-V8 subsequent versions.

  • avatar

    This discussion of the merits of the Jag versus the German brands brings up an idea for a future TTAC article. This site routinely praises BMW, MB, Audi, Porsche, and VW for the way they drive, look, feel, in general all of the sensory qualities. The complete lack of reliability and horrible ownership experience after the warranty is up is also well documented here. I would like to see a article about this paradox. My earlier memories of German cars were always positive, now from what I read (mostly here) I would not touch one. Just my thoughts…

  • avatar

    Jaguars must be second only to Wankel-engined cars in the amount of confusion, bias and misinformation that goes on when the topic arises. Lucky me, I’ve owned both.

    I bought an older XJ6 for less than $5k with the hope that it’d last a year or two. It just won’t die.

    “Then when Nigel from the Brit Car Shop calls, the 4 grand for the brakes and 60K service won’t be such a hit to the wallet.”

    You’d pay someone else to do your brakes? Was Autoblog down? FYI, I put Brembo rotors and EBC Red Stuff ceramics on all 4 corners for less than $1300.

  • avatar

    The Jaguar XJ is the best used luxury buy on the market, period. These cars are actually quite reliable, and as long as you get a CPO, you should be golden. They are thousands less than a Hyundai Genesis for friggen sake, and you get a REAL luxury badge. Pull up in front of any 5-star hotel, and you’ll get just as much respect in a $25K Jag XJ VP or XJR as you will in a brand new $100K S class or 7 series.

    Even the mighty Super V8 Portfolio costs about as much as a V6 Honda Accord.

  • avatar

    My two cents: don’t buy a car from a dealership that doesn’t know what the car is called. It’s Jaguar XJR. There is no model called the XJR-S.

    The latest-generation XJs are very nice. That said, they do have very fiddly buttons — it feels like a late-90s luxury car — that have proliferated all over the center stack. Perhaps there really is something to be said for integrated control systems, after all.

  • avatar

    The XJR is an absolutely fantastic car. Get one with an optioned-up interior… once you’ve seen curly black maple on the inside of a car, you’ll wonder why other automakers go for anything else in their flagships.

    Plus, as a bonus, once the car’s mechanicals go to that La-la-Leyland up in the sky where other old brits reside, you can put it up on a pedestal in your living room.

    Being 100% aluminum has its advantages. No rust-rot. Of course, subframe damage from an accident will cost a Corolla-and-a-half to repair.

  • avatar

    I have been wanting XJR for years but somehow ended with a 01 740i; not somehow, the deal was too good to pass up.

    Anyhow, I investigated Jag reliability extensively and it’s quite good. I believe some reports call it the best of the European cars. This may not sound like much but with the going prices I believe the value is unbeatable. The problem with Jags is that the odd one may require a major part such as transmission or similar and unfortunately one can never tell which one is going to be the odd in the lot. And so there are numerous people such as those that posted above that have experienced zero or only minor issues and an odd owner who is so enraged at his problems that his is willing to hunt down the Jag executives.

  • avatar

    I noticed there are a lot of these around for a steal of a price, especially here in Denver, where any luxury car that doesn’t come with AWD is tough to sell.

    Could explain some of the following bargains I’ve been considering:

    2008 Mercedes-Benz E550, black with all the options, brand new, never titled. List is $72,000, asking price $56,000.

    2007 Mercedes-Benz E550, 20K miles, $40,000.

    2006 BMW 745il, 36,000 miles, CPO, $46,000. If it weren’t for Idrive it’d be a bargain.

    And for this week’s champ (I may write a review on this one): 2007 Chrysler 300C SRT-8, 19K miles, CPO, mint condition, $23K.

  • avatar

    Did anybody mention the 0-60 in 5 seconds?

  • avatar
    Kristjan Ambroz

    Jag has upped it’s game from the ‘always buy two, one for driving, one for spares’ days quite considerably. In Europe it’s seen as the most reliable non-Lexus luxury vehicle.

    My gripes with the current XJ are the very cheap looking buttons and switches in the interior (think lower level Ford parts bin) and the fuel consumption, which on the XJR (the one to go for in any other respect) is not for the faint hearted. But in line with other large cars, these have now depreciated so far that it no longer matters. On the other hand, you can pick up an Audi A8, or 7 Series for similar money, epsecially the petrol powered ones. 2 years ago a friend got a 3 year old fully loaded, company owned 760il with fewer than 60k miles for something like $40k. And prices for that kind of car have dropped since. Makes one seriously think about a new car purchase…

  • avatar
    Dan R

    Second hand Jags are bargains and the repair costs are less than the other European marques.
    You get a very well engineered car that marches to it’s own drum.
    It’s not a “super techno” car busting a gut trying to shave off that last half second.

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