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Jaguar XJ (X350): Buying guide and review (2003-2010)

Jaguar XJ (X350): Buying guide and review (2003-2010) Classic and Performance Car
Jaguar XJ (X350) Jaguar XJ (X350) Jaguar XJ (X350) Jaguar XJ (X350) Jaguar XJ (X350) Jaguar XJ (X350) Jaguar XJ (X350)
Thanks to its retro styling, Jaguar’s 2003 range-topping luxury saloon was mistaken by many as just another mildly updated XJ. Underneath that unassuming exterior however, was the first all-new XJ since the XJ40 model back in 1986. Codenamed X350, this was an all-new all-aluminium bodied technological tour de force, bringing Jaguar right up to date with its German rivals. 
Offering a range of potent engines, much improved reliability and class leading ride comfort, the XJ should have been a sales success – but it never reached its true potential. As a used car the X350 range can be a cracking buy, offering a level of luxury and performance at a price level that is very tough to match. Read on to see which ones are the best to look for.

Which one to buy?

Available in saloon form, with a six-speed automatic gearbox operating in the traditional J-gate, the XJ was introduced with a wide range of petrol engines at launch. This started with a 3.0-litre V6 to a 363bhp 3.6 V8 as well as a 4.2 V8 in either naturally aspirated 300bhp or 390bhp supercharged form. V6 powered cars received the XJ6 moniker while the XJ8 model designation was used for V8 powered models. The 206bhp twin-turbo diesel became available in 2005 and delivered good fuel economy allied with decent in-gear thrust; being a smooth unit it suited the XJ well. The 3.0-litre V6 petrol model required a few more revs to extract meaningful performance, and for the real XJ experience one of the muscular V8 models may be a better choice.
Executive, Sovereign and Sport Premium models were offered designating varying spec levels, and from 2004 a long wheelbase version could also be optioned. Specification levels were high, with self-levelling rear suspension, and interior features such as multi adjustable seating standard on all models. The ride on all versions was considered far more comfortable than most contemporaries while still maintain decent cornering ability. As was tradition, a highly specced Daimler Super Eight featuring the 390bhp supercharged V8 was introduced in 2005. 
As a long distance cruiser a naturally aspirated 4.2 XJ8 in face lifted form has to be one of the best choices in the range, offering effortless pace for very little outlay, these cars have proved to be quite reliable too. 

Performance and specs

Jaguar XJ8 4.2
Engine 4196cc 32 valve DOHC V8 
Power 300bhp @ 6500rpm 
Torque 310lb ft @ 3500rpm
Top speed 155mph (limited)
0-60mph 6.3 seconds 
Fuel consumption 26mpg 
Gearbox Six-speed automatic

Dimensions and weight

Wheelbase 3032mm
Length 5122mm
Width 1894mm
Height 1448mm
Weight 1755kg

Common problems

Parts are still easily available for these cars, if not exactly cheap, and it’s refreshing to note that the reliability of most models has been rather good. Finding a well maintained one should mean reasonable running costs for a range topping luxury car. Here’s what you need to look out for:

• The diesel models can be either the cheapest or most expensive way to XJ ownership, as issues with blown turbochargers (especially on earlier models) and catalytic converters can be very expensive to repair. Frequent oil changes and allowing the turbos to cool down after a spirited drive are recommended, but the latter is impossible to know the history of.
• Issues with flexible hoses on turbo diesel cars can restrict airflow, a dealer repair kit can be ordered as it is a known issue Petrol powered models tend to be reliable with some models having racked up serious mileages without issues as long as servicing intervals have been adhered to.
• Dents and scratches to the aluminium body panels can be expensive to repair so factor this into your offering price. 
• Potentially the biggest issue to look out for is that the advanced aluminium body shell can suffer from corrosion at the steel riveted mounting points. A visit to a specialist to give the car a once over is a good idea.
• Rear brake pads can wear out prematurely and the rear air suspension can fail due to system leaks. Conventional steel suspension kits are available and can reduce maintenance costs over time. 
• Issues with parking brake sensors have been mentioned by some owners so check that yours is functioning correctly before purchase.
• A number of recalls were issued for issues regarding the gearbox which could engage reverse while in drive, airbags that could rupture, parking brake malfunctions, diesel particulate filter overheating and brake fluid leakages. All should have been attended to by the dealer network but checking before buying is recommended.

Model history

2003: All new XJ X350 launched, featuring all-aluminium body shell. Available with choice of petrol V6 and V8 power units
2004: LWB version introduced
2005: 204bhp 2.7L twin turbo diesel engine introduced
2006: Portfolio special edition offering unique trim is made available
2008: Face lifted model codenamed X358 introduced. Detail exterior and interior changes carried out with the Jaguar bonnet ornament being replaced with a flush fitting emblem
2010: Final X350/X358 model XJ built

Owners clubs, forums and websites

• www.jec.org.uk – Jaguar enthusiast club
• www.jaguarownersclub.com – Jaguar owners club
• www.jag-lovers.org – Jaguar enthusiast site

Summary and prices

Prices start at rock bottom levels with a paltry £3000 required to slide behind the wheel of a 2003 3.0 XJ6 with starship mileage. While tempting, for an extra £2000 you could have a 4.2-litre V8 model with fewer miles on the clock. Turbo diesels range between £6000 and £10,000. Mileages are generally high, which is a testament to their usability and should not be an issue if a comprehensive maintenance history is evident. At the other end of the scale, the supercharged V8 variants start at £6000. The desirable and rare X358 facelifted models can range right up to £20,000. 
Those classic looks may not have been to everyone’s tastes in 2003, but the lines have aged well and the combination of comfort and silky smooth performance that this XJ offers makes it a very desirable car indeed. At these prices it is in a class of its own.
Words: John Tallodi
Jaguar XJ (X350) Jaguar XJ (X350) Jaguar XJ (X350) Jaguar XJ (X350) Jaguar XJ (X350) Jaguar XJ (X350) Jaguar XJ (X350)
Last updated: 8th Nov 2016
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Jaguar XJ
4495 65000 GBP

    £7,995 £7,995

    SAT NAV + FINANCE AVAILABLE + HPI CLEAR + WARRANTIES AVAILABLE UP TO 12 MONTHS, Upgrades - Heated Wood/Leather 4 Spoke, Full Size Spare Wheel, JaguarVoice - Rear Voice Control, Sport Suspension, Standard Features - Satellite Navigation, Climate Control, Parking Aid (Front/Rear), Seats Heated (Front/Rear), Cruise Control, Voice Activated Controls, In Car Entertainment (Radio/CD Autochanger), Heated Front Screen, Alarm, Seats Electric (Memory Driver/Passenger), Computer, Paint Metallic, Electric Windows (Front/Rear), Telephone Equipment, Alloy Wheels (19in), Leather seats. 5 seats, Silver, Nationwide delivery easily to arranged - All Major Credit/Debit Card Accepted,P/X welcome, ..FREE 5 DAY DRIVE AWAY INSURANCE,

    • Mileage: 102048 mi
    • Engine size: 2.967
    For sale
    £7,995 £7,995
    Aspire Cars Ipswich
    01473805150 View contact number

    £19,995 £19,995

    About this Jaguar XJ D V6 PORTFOLIO SWB First registered September 2012 (62 Reg) this XJ V6 D Portfolio has the Sports Pack Interior. Presented in Lunar Grey with Jet Leather the Dark Revolver Alloys and Red Calipers this car off just beautifully. The specification just goes on and on, comprising: Bowers and Wilkins 1200 W Sound System with DAB Radio and Wireless Headphone, Electric Glass Sunroof, Rear View Camera, Adaptive Headlights with LED Signature, Heated Windscreen, Digital/Analogue TV Tuner, Cruise Control, Driver and Front Passenger Electrically Adjustable Heated and Cooled Performance Seats with Memory, Heated Leather Steering Whee, Heated / Cooled Rear Seats. Jaguar Main Dealer Service History. Costing over £70,000 when new with these options, outstanding value for money. Good enough for Cabinet Ministers!

    • Mileage: 56000 mi
    For sale
    £19,995 £19,995

    £11,995 £11,995

    About this Jaguar XJ TDVI V6 SOVEREIGN We have recently taken this car in Part Exchange and were very happy to do so as it is exactly the type of stock that we are looking for. A very late XJ6 TDVi (X350 shape) this car ticks all the boxes as Jaguar's flagship saloon. Finished in stunning Azure Blue with Rouched Soft Grain Barley leather and contrasting piping, the car has a tremendous specification being the Sovereign model. This includes the rare addition (only available on very late cars) of DAB radio. The service history is good and the car is in excellent overall condition. It will be supplied freshly serviced and with a new MOT certificate. Costing over £50,000 new, this represents supreme value luxury motoring.

    • Mileage: 70000 mi
    For sale
    £11,995 £11,995
  • Jaguar XJ SOVEREIGN V6

    £11,995 £11,995

    About this Jaguar XJ SOVEREIGN V6 First registered September 2007, this very well looked after XJ Sovereign comes beautifully presented in the rare and hard to find Botanical Green with Ivory Interior. The engine that powers this stunning car is a 2.8 litre turbocharged diesel V6 which produces 204 bhp. This high specification vehicle includes features such as: Heated and Cooled Front Seats, Premium Sound System, Front and Rear Parking Aid, Headlamp Powerwash, Rain Sensitive Wipers, Xenon Headlights, Heated Front Screen, Wooden/Leather Steering Wheel, CD Autochanger, Satellite Navigation System, Front and Rear Cup Holders, Cruise Control, Powerfold Mirrors, Bluetooth Connectivity, Jaguar Voice, Full Size Spare Alloy Wheel, Mirrors with Interior and Exterior Electrochromic Function. The service history for this car is superb with 9 stamps in total in the service book, 7 of which are by main Jaguar dealers. Records at: 4,570 miles; 8,187 miles; 13,036 miles; 23,085 miles; 28,553 miles; 32,377 miles; 37,464 miles; 42,779 miles and last service at 52,628 miles.

    • Mileage: 59400 mi
    For sale
    £11,995 £11,995

    £4,995 £4,995

    About this Jaguar XJ SOVEREIGN V8 SWB First registered February 2000 (V Reg) this two owner XJ Sovereign V8 presented in immaculate Platinum Silver with Ivory has just 56,600 miles recorded. The specification includes: Automatic Transmission, Traction Control, Rain Sensing Wipers, Heated Front Windscreen, CD Autochanger, Cruise Control, Driver and Front Passenger Electrically Adjustable Seats with Driver Memory. The impressive Service History shows 13 Jaguar Main Dealer stamps principally Guy Salmon Maidstone.

    • Mileage: 56600 mi
    For sale
    £4,995 £4,995

    £22,995 £22,995

    About this Jaguar XJ R 100 PORTFOLIO LTD EDITION Jaguars longstanding commitment to creating beautiful contemporary fast cars was reinforced once again with the unveiling of the special edition 400bhp XJR Portfolio. The Concept Eight was the first time that Jaguar had shown its new performance styling to the public and the reaction was so positive that many of its key design details such as the eyecatching polished wheels side power vents and Satin American Walnut trim were soon to grace a special edition XJ produced for the USA and other key European and global markets. Both front and rear seats have variable heating and the drivers seat includes lumbar and cushion length power adjust with full memory function. To add to that unique performance feel the XJR Portfolio also sports an aluminium J-gate gearlever surround and chrome and leather gearknob. The all aluminium construction methods that Jaguar introduced with the latest generation XJ saloon in 2003 broke new ground in the volume automotive industry. Unlike other aluminium bodied cars the XJ family uses full stressed skin monocoque construction including all the outer panels and is all manufactured from aluminium. As a result

    • Mileage: 69000 mi
    For sale
    £22,995 £22,995
  • Jaguar XJ V8 R

    £6,995 £6,995

    About this Jaguar XJ V8 R Jaguar introduced the re-engineered third generation XJ (known as X350) in 2003, featuring an all-aluminium body. The new car also featured a V6 engine, an XJ6 badge as well as greater interior and luggage space. The V8 engine was offered in larger 3.5 and 4.2-litre sizes as well as a supercharged 4.2-litre. The car's lighter weight meant the 3.0-litre V6 was also offered, although with the later introduction of the 2.7-litre V6 diesel the V6 petrol version was discontinued (neither V6 petrol nor diesel were available in US markets). A new six-speed automatic gearbox was fitted which was lighter and offered better economy with lock-up on all gears and a larger spread of ratios. Air suspension was fitted all round which provided adaptive damping as well as rear self leveling. Unlike other manufacturers Jaguar did not provide any driver control of ride height or suspension mode which was fully computer controlled. Dynamic stability control as well as traction control were standard. Two-zone climate control was also standard, with four-zone available on long-wheelbase models. An optional touch screen interface controlled default settings, satellite navigation

    • Mileage: 149000 mi
    For sale
    £6,995 £6,995
  • Jaguar XJ V6 SOVEREIGN

    £8,995 £8,995

    About this Jaguar XJ V6 SOVEREIGN Jaguar introduced the re-engineered third generation XJ (known as X350) in 2003, featuring an all aluminium body. The new car also featured a V6 engine, an XJ6 badge as well as greater interior and luggage space. This example was first registered on May 2006 (06 plate) and is presented in the very attractive Indigo Blue with Barley Interior. This car is highly specified and features such things as: Variable Heated Front Seats, Premium Sound System, Front and Rear Parking Aid, Headlamp Powerwash, Rain Sensitive Wipers, Xenon Headlights, Heated Front Windscreen, CD Autochanger, Satellite Navigation System, Front and Rear Cup Holders, Cruise Control, Powerfold Mirrors, Bluetooth Connectivity, Jaguar Voice Control. These V6 petrol engine XJ's are becoming harder to find each day, so do not miss out your chance to own this high specification luxury vehicle.

    • Mileage: 64500 mi
    For sale
    £8,995 £8,995