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Jaguar XJR: Buying guide and review (1994-2003)

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From its sculpted bonnet and quad headlights to its broad, low stance, the XJR shouts high performance. Although Jaguar was locking itself into a retro-led future during this era, the 322bhp XJR proved that a traditionally styled saloon can still look purposeful, just like the Mk2 3.8 did back in the 1960s.
 
The 1994 XJR was actually a development of the 1986 XJ40, an oft-maligned car that combined conservative exterior styling with a ‘Tokyo by night’ dashboard that got the traditionalists tutting. Yet it was still a terrific drive and, once developed and greatly improved into the stylish X300, it leapt in both quality and desirability. The supercharged XJR sat at the top of the range, and was a great commercial success.
 
Central to the XJR’s appeal were its supercharged performance and soundtrack. With a top speed of 155mph and 0-60mph in 5.9sec, it had genuine supercar pace and addictive supercharger whine, yet it could still cosset its occupants as only a Jaguar could. Most importantly, it wasn’t – and isn’t – flash in the way of its German and Japanese rivals. 
 

Which XJR to buy?

 
In 1997, the six-cylinder X300 was replaced by the V8-powered X308, boosting the XJR’s power to 370bhp. The later car has a similarly Jekyll and Hyde character, smoother when wafting, punchier when going for it, yet it’s still very much an old-school Jaguar.
 
Both versions are fabulous for drivers and passengers, and their values are certainly going to rise in the long term. Only six-cylinders had the option of manual transmission, which now command a premium, but most say the automatic is the better car to actually live with. 
 
The most accomplished XJR dynamically is the V8 (although you might want to avoid the XJR100, which suffers from a less restful ride thanks to its larger wheels). It is effortless and comfortable, and rewards its owner like few other cars at the price. But the bulletproof nature of the six-cylinder X300 might make for a more restful night’s sleep. That reason alone makes it the wisest choice as a classic buy.
 

Performance and specs

 
Engine 3980cc slant-six, DOHC, supercharged
Power 322bhp @ 5000rpm
Torque 378lb ft @ 3050rpm 
Transmission GM480 five-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Top speed 155mph (limited)
0-60mph 6.4sec
 

Dimensions and weight

 
Wheelbase 2870mm
Length 5025mm
Width 2075mm
Height 1305mm
Weight 1750kg 
 

Common problems

 
• Forget notions of unreliable Jags when you’re looking for an XJR. The six-cylinder car is much more dependable than the previous-generation XJ40 and, in many ways, less troublesome than the V8 car that followed it.
 
• The six-cylinder AJ16 engine is fundamentally sound aside from the odd misfire, usually down to a failing coil pack. Unlike earlier power units, it rarely leaks oil. 
 
• The V8 car suffers from more niggles, although the premature bore-wear that afflicted the Nikasil cylinder-lining of ’97 and ’98 cars is rare now, because most engines were changed under warranty. You can spot an affected car by its high oil consumption. 
 
• Of major concern is that the V8’s mechanical refinement can mask problems. A car with a worn engine could keep on going, sometimes for years. 
 
• A lot of problems such as the timing chain tensioners, water pumps, sticking thermostats and oil leaks were down to poor design. There are also issues with the cooling system: its hoses perish over time, and you should keep your eye on the temperature gauge while driving because sticking thermostats cause overheating.
 
• The standard XJs have a reputation for unreliable automatic gearboxes, but the XJR has a Mercedes-Benz item, which is as good as gold.
 
• Suspension bushes tend to need replacing at 50,000-60,000 miles, which manifests itself as a soggy feel at the wheel. 
 
• You might find rusty rear arches and scabs around the sills, but it’s generally best to walk away from these cars.
 
• Another potential area for concern is the air conditioning – if it’s failed, it’s rarely because it needs a re-gas, but more likely to be a blown condenser or failed compressor. 
 
• There can also be problems with the heating system’s electric pump – and that can be expensive; figure on paying £300-500. 
 
• As for the Eaton supercharger, problems are few and far between. 
 
Whichever XJR you choose, you’re looking at a terrific driver’s car with plenty of road presence and performance. The neo-classical – some say retro – style of the XJR divides opinion, but undoubtedly will make it age-resistant as the years go by and will ensure it makes a smooth and natural transition from used car status to classic.
 

Model history

 
1994: XJR launched with 4.0-litre supercharged slant-six. Available with five-speed J-gate automatic as standard or five-speed Getrag manual gearbox as an option. 
1997: X308-based AJ26 supercharged V8 XJR unveiled, boasting 370bhp. Restyled bumpers and grille and a new dashboard too, with less angular styling and a more traditional wood finish.
2002: XJR100 unveiled to celebrate the centenary of William Lyons’ birth. All models finished in black with sporting R-trim interiors and 20in alloy wheels. Only 500 built.
2003: X308 range replaced by all-new aluminium-bodied X350. 
 

Owners clubs, forums and websites

 
• www.jec.org.uk – Jaguar Forum
• www.jaguarownersclub.co.uk – Jaguar Owners Club
 

Summary and prices

 
You can buy a six-cylinder XJR for a little over a grand, but you wouldn’t want to. You will end up spending more again just getting the car into shape. Buy the best you can, then budget for about £1500 for unforeseen issues.
 
Six-cylinder cars are cheaper because they’re older, but in many ways are better than the V8. Expect to pay £4000-5000 (up to £10k for the absolute best) for a car that’s been loved with a full specialist service history. Cars with a manual gearbox are more valuable due to their rarity. 
 
£7000-8000 will buy a V8 you would actually want: a straight car without issues. At the very bottom of the pile are the sub-£1500 cars, that are the generally going to cost a lot in the short and medium term getting everything sorted. 
 
The run-out XJR100 models are particularly sought after now, and most likely to start appreciating first. Prices are set to rise in the longer term, but only once the rougher cars are out of the system.
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Last updated: 11th Oct 2016
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Jaguar XJR cars for sale

10 Search results
Jaguar XJR
5995 174995 GBP
  • 2001 Jaguar XJR 4.0

    POA POA

    - 139,000 recorded miles with 6 previous keepers - Extensive history file with original handbooks and wallet - 4-litre supercharged V8 with quoted 370bhp/387lbft and automatic transmission

    • Year: 2001
    For sale
    H and H
  • Jaguar XJR

    £9,500 £9,500

    Jaguar Multi Media including Touch Screen Satellite Navigation, Alpine Radio/Multi CD, Bluetooth Phone Preparation and Drivers Information Centre, Metallic Liquid Silver, Full Black Perforated Leather Upholstery with Aluminium Trims and Black Carpets, Electric Heated and Ventilated Memory Seats, Heated Rear Seats, 20 inch 5 Spoke Alloy Wheels, Auto Xenon Lights with LED Daytime Running Lights and Wash, Cruise Control, Auto Wipers, Dual Zone Climate Control, Leather Multi Function Steering Wheel, Heated Front Screen, Front and Rear Parking Sensors, Power Folding Door Mirrors, Dimming Mirrors, Full Size Spare Wheel, Remote Alarm Locking, Warranty, 400 BHP, V8, 2 owners, originally supplied and owned by Jaguar Cars then serviced by Auto Tech South Woodham Ferrers at 20010 miles in 06/09, 30100 miles in 04/10, 40027 miles in 10/10, 50013 in 12/11, 60005 miles in 11/12, 69065 miles in 08/13, 80295 miles in 10/14, 90185 miles in 04/15, 100275 miles in 09/15, (spark plugs changed at 104116 miles in 12/15) and 110242 miles in 05/16, The Grove Garage Whitham at 120607 miles in 10/16 including new rear brake pads, MOY until 10/17, 2 x keys, superb throughout, Santander finance available subject to status.

    • Mileage: 121000 mi
    • Engine size: 4196
    For sale
  • Jaguar XJR

    £44,995 £44,995

    Satellite Navigation, Electric Panoramic Sunroof , Electric Heated Memory Seats, Air Conditioned Seats, Air Conditioned Rear Seats, Electric Steering Column, Soft Close Doors, Painted Calipers, Parking Camera, Xenon Headlamps, Electric Folding Mirrors, Front and Rear Parking Sensors , Cruise Control, Climate Control, Climate Zones X4, Automatic Headlights, Rain-Sensing Wipers, Heated Steering Wheel, Multi-function Steering Wheel, CD Player, DVD Player, Dual View Screen, DAB Radio, Aux Port, USB, Bluetooth, Bluetooth Audio, iPod Connectivity, Meridian Audio, Digital TV, High Beam Assist, Blind Spot Warning, Keyless Start, Keyless Entry, Touch Screen, Privacy Glass, Sports Seats, Push Button Start, Electric Mirrors, Electric Windows, Paddle Shift, Lumbar Adjustment, Dynamic Mode, Electric Handbrake, Piano Black Trim, Carbon Fiber Trim , Suede Headlining , Computer, Traction Control, ABS, Isofix, Multiple Airbags, Anti-Theft System, Remote Central Locking, 20'' Alloys, Full service histor Any items that need attention are addressed and the price includes a warranty and full valet prior to delivery. COMPETITIVE FINANCE RATES AVAILABLE ON REQUEST

    • Mileage: 17000 mi
    • Engine size: 5000
    For sale
  • Jaguar XJR

    £11,950 £11,950

    This Stunning XJR Comes Loaded With The Following Huge Spec: Full Service History To Include 8 Stamps, 20 Inch Split Rim Multi Spoke Alloy Wheels, Full Heated & Electric Adjustable Cream Leather Interior With Drivers Memory, Full Colour Touch Screen Sat Nav, CD Radio With Alpine Speaker Upgrades & 6 Disc Multichanger, Four Zone Climate Control, Cruise Control, Rain And Light Sensing Pack, Front & Rear Parking Sensors, Auto Dimming Rear View Mirror, Electric Windows Remote Locking, Electric Adjustable Door Mirrors With Powerfold, Heated Front Screen, Both The Keys And Much Much More. Parkway Motor Group Are An RAC APPROVED Dealer and All Our Cars Come With 12 Months M.O.T, Service, HPI Certificate and an RAC Warranty. RAC Inspections Welcome, Fin

    • Mileage: 74962 mi
    • Engine size: 4200
    For sale
  • Jaguar XJR

    £11,950 £11,950

    This Stunning XJR Comes Loaded With The Following Huge Spec: Full Service History To Include 8 Stamps, 20 Inch Split Rim Multi Spoke Alloy Wheels, Full Heated & Electric Adjustable Cream Leather Interior With Drivers Memory, Full Colour Touch Screen Sat Nav, CD Radio With Alpine Speaker Upgrades & 6 Disc Multichanger, Four Zone Climate Control, Cruise Control, Rain And Light Sensing Pack, Front & Rear Parking Sensors, Auto Dimming Rear View Mirror, Electric Windows Remote Locking, Electric Adjustable Door Mirrors With Powerfold, Heated Front Screen, Both The Keys And Much Much More. Parkway Motor Group Are An RAC APPROVED Dealer and All Our Cars Come With 12 Months M.O.T, Service, HPI Certificate and an RAC Warranty. RAC Inspections Welcome, Fin

    • Mileage: 74962 mi
    • Engine size: 4200
    For sale
  • Jaguar XJR

    £5,995 £5,995

    Climate Control, Full Leather, Sunroof, Electric Windows, Electric Mirrors, ABS, Multiple Airbags, Stereo, Metallic Paintwork, Remote Central Locking, Electric Seats, Power Steering, Anti-Theft System, Alloy wheels, Service history This stunning Jaguar offers something of classic car status with the drive ability of a modern car. It has been owned for many years by a Jaguar enthusiast. It has been loved and extremely well cared for throughout its life. It recently had a completely new roof-lining installed and some leather work to the drivers seat at a cost of £1300. We have had the 'Diamond-cut' alloy-wheels restored to look like new and so the car is ready to use and enjoy.

    • Mileage: 90000 mi
    • Engine size: 3980
    For sale
  • 2001 Jaguar XJR V8 4.0 Sedan

    POA POA

    Car features remote entry, drive away locking, anti-theft immobilizer, 3 position memory system, heated front/rear seats, burl walnut trim, Alpine 320W system w 6disk CD player, automatic on/off headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, very rare and desirable color combination, books, tools, new spare, two sets of keys and remotes. This car is reported by Carfax to have had no issues or accidents.

    • Year: 2001
    • Mileage: 36000 mi
    For sale
  • 911 2.0 S

    £174,995 £174,995

    Silver Metallic Black Half Leather Sport Seats with Houndstooth Inserts 2.0 Litre Flat Six Engine (170 bhp) Chassis 11801202 15" Fuchs Wheels Blaupunkt Radio Professional Restoration Porsche Certificate of Authenticity Matching Numbers Front Fog Lights 1968 (F) Porsche 911 2.0 S for sale Within just two years of the launch of the 911, Porsche released the 911 S - offering a power increase of 30hp and an improved transmission that combined to offer a top speed of 140mph and 0-60mph times in the mid seven seconds. Other performance focused enhancements included front and rear anti-roll bars, adjustable Koni shocks, lightweight Fuchs aluminium alloy forged wheels, and ventilated brake discs. The interior featured a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and basket weave trim on the dash. This 1968 left hand drive example (Chassis 11801202) is the rare short wheel base model and has the 5-speed manual gearbox. It is presented in Silver Metallic with black half leather sport seats with houndstooth inserts, complete with a Certificate of Authenticity from Porsche. A 'matching numbers' example, it is complete with 15" Fuchs wheels, front fog lights, and a Blaupunkt radio. A beautiful example of

    • Year: 1968
    • Mileage: 12000 mi
    For sale
  • Jaguar 2003 XJR

    £11,950 £11,950

    Gorgeous XJR finished in Topaz with Classic Interior of Sand and Sable with Walnut Veneers. My own personal car for the last two years and purchased from its only owner ( a Retired Doctor ). Very high spec with many factory on line options. Drives like a brand new car !!!!! Lovingly and fastidiously maintained. A really nice XJR ! (Registration Number S4 AML is not included)

    • Year: 2003
    • Mileage: 72000 mi
    For sale
  • Jaguar XJR

    £13,950 £13,950

    This Stunning XJR Comes Loaded With The Following Huge Spec: Full Service History To Include 9 Stamps, 19 Inch 5 Spoke Alloy Wheels, Full Heated & Electric Adjustable Black Leather Interior With Drivers Memory, Full Colour Touch Screen Sat Nav, Bluetooth Phone Prep, CD Radio With Alpine Speaker Upgrades & 6 Disc Multichanger, Cruise Control, Rain And Light Sensing Pack, Front & Rear Parking Sensors, Auto Dimming Rear View Mirror, Electric Windows Remote Locking, Electric Adjustable Door Mirrors With Powerfold, Heated Front Screen, Both The Keys And Much Much More. Parkway Motor Group Are An RAC APPROVED Dealer and All Our Cars Come With 12 Months M.O.T, Service, HPI Certificate and an RAC Warranty. RAC Inspections Welcome, Finance Packages and E

    • Mileage: 63220 mi
    • Engine size: 4200
    For sale
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