Premium large car; Built in England
  • 4-door sedan
  • 4-door sedan
  • longitudinal front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $7,800 – $46,000*

2005 Jaguar XJ

2004 Jaguar XJ

2004 Jaguar XJ

2004 Jaguar XJ

2004 Jaguar XJ

  • Acceleration
  • Quietness
  • Ride/handling
  • Navigation system controls
  • Fuel economy

Ford owns Jaguar, and the British marque’s special character feels watered down in the XJ. Still, this is a solid enough luxury sedan, and tends to undercut most rivals on price. The XJ8 versions are the best value within the XJ lineup. XJ8 L, Vanden Plas, and Super V8s add limousinelike rear-seat room without penalizing performance. The Super V8 Portfolio takes Jaguar well over the $100,000 line, going head-to-head with 12-cylinder models with better-established resale histories from BMW and Mercedes-Benz.


Jaguar has redesigned its flagship for 2004, with new styling and one body length instead of two. Curtain side airbags and a 6-speed automatic transmission were also new. The wheelbase was 1.5 inches longer than that of the previous extended-length XJ, but the car was 2.7 inches shorter overall. It was also 4 inches taller and 2 inches wider, but a new aluminum body/chassis structure made it 200 lb lighter. Three models were offered, all with a 4.2-liter V8 in place of a 4.0. The base XJ8 and more luxurious Vanden Plas had 294 hp vs. 290 before. The supercharged XJR had 390 hp, plus firmer suspension, larger wheels and tires, adaptive cruise control, and unique cosmetic touches. All used a 6-speed automatic transmission. ABS and traction/antiskid control were standard, as was a self-leveling air suspension with automatic-adjusting shock absorbers. Power tilt/telescopic steering wheel and front side airbags returned, joined for ’04 by standard power adjustable pedals and curtain side airbags. Options included heated front and rear seats, a navigation system with available voice activation, and 4-zone automatic climate control. Also available was an entertainment system with an LCD screen in the back of each front headrest.

Yearly Updates

2005 XJ
Jaguar expanded its XJ lineup for 2005 with a long wheelbase body style. Three models were offered on the new 124-inch wheelbase chassis, the XJ8L, the Super V8, and the Vanden Plas, which had been on the standard 119-inch wheelbase in 2004. Only the XJ8 and XJR remained on the standard wheelbase in ’05. The new Super V8 included more amenities, but also offered the supercharged V8 without a sport suspension. Vanden Plas and Super V8 models came with wood fold-down trays for the rear seats.
2006 XJ
Jaguar revised the XJ’s front end styling and added a new topline model called Super V8 Portfolio for 2006. Built on the extended 124-inch wheelbase chassis, the Portfolio added 20-inch tires (vs. 19s), unique interior and exterior trim, a rear center console, and touring suspension to the Super V8.
2007 XJ
XJ carried over unchanged.
2008 XJ
The 2008 Jaguar XJ Series got a mild exterior facelift and a slightly revised interior.
2009 XJ
The XJ Series lineup added a new Super V8 Portfolio model with DVD entertainment, satellite radio, and unique trim. A redesigned XJ was due for the 2010 model year but came out as a 2011 model instead, so there was no 2010 XJ.


longitudinal front-engine/front-wheel drive

The redesigned 2004 Jaguar XJ’s base engine was a 4.2-liter V8 with 294 horsepower and 303 lb-ft of torque. Buyers could also opt for the XJR, with its supercharged 4.2-liter V8 with 390 horsepower and 399 lb-ft of torque. Both engines came only with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The Super V8 model added for 2005 used the supercharged V8.

dohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.2/256
Engine HP 294
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 390
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic



dohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.2/254
Engine HP 335
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 399
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic



Road Test

Off the line, the nonsupercharged XJ’s feel as quick as the supercharged versions. But the Super V8s are noticeably stronger over 40 mph, despite an occasional delay in throttle response. The supercharged engine whirs faintly in rapid acceleration. All engine and body style choices are fast enough for most any need. Our test XJ8 ran 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds. The transmission a smooth operator, but is somewhat slow to downshift unless it is in sport mode. In a mix of city/highway driving, our test XJ8s averaged 15-18.3 mpg, XJ8 L 18.4. In tests that included mostly highway miles, Vanden Plas averaged 19.7 mpg, Super V8 20.6. All models require premium-grade fuel. We have not tested an XJR.

XJ is among the world’s smoothest-riding sedans. It exhibits a fine balance of impact absorption and highway comfort, though it isn’t as settled as European rivals over washboard surfaces. Super V8s have more road feel, but are never jittery or harsh. The weight-saving aluminum-intensive body construction and stiff chassis help these big cats feel nimble. Grip in turns is good, and there is little cornering lean. Steering feels somewhat light, but it is linear and has good road feel and great straightline tracking, though one test XJ8 required frequent directional corrections at highway speed. Extended-length models add little weight and handle nearly the same as regular-length models. Brakes are strong and sure.

Inside, the ambience is typical premium large car: lots of buttons and controls. Most are clearly marked and conveniently placed. The navigation system absorbs some audio and climate functions, complicating their use. Standard steering-wheel-mounted redundant audio controls help. The J-shaped shift gate’s manual-mode markings are obscured by the gear lever, making it uninviting to use. The entertainment-system controls aren’t intuitive, and DVDs load via an inconveniently placed trunk-mounted changer (and only with the ignition engaged). The base XJ8 has pleasing cabin materials; the Vanden Plas and Super V8 have upgraded wood and leather, but still trail class leaders for upscale feel. The topline Super V8 Portfolio model impresses with richer leather, higher quality trim than other XJs. All XJs are impressively hushed, free of mechanical noise, wind rush, road rumble.

Up front, the seats are firm, comfortable, and highly supportive. Head and leg room can be tight for very large occupants, but the power-adjustable steering column and pedals help most adults find an agreeable driving position. Visibility to the rear is somewhat compromised by the tall trunklid. In back, the regular-length models have adequate leg room, though toe space is tight. The extended-length models’ leg room is expansive and toe space is unrestricted unless the front seat is set fully back. In either body style, the seat cushions are nicely bolstered. The Super V8’s seatbacks add more comfort options, adjusting for angle and lumbar support. The Portfolio’s two-place seating affords limousinelike accommodations, comfort. No matter the body length, the trunk has plenty of usable space. The lid opens wide on nonintruding hinges and closes with an assisted soft-touch. A large glovebox and padded map pockets highlight the XJ’s good interior storage.


Model Tested: 2006 Jaguar XJ8

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 7
Fuel Economy - 4
Ride Quality - 9
Steering/Handling - 7
Quietness - 9


Controls/Materials - 7
Room/Comfort Front - 7
Room/Comfort Rear - 8
Cargo Room - 5


Value - 6

Total: 69


4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
119.4 200.4 76.5 57.0
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
16.4 22.5 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.4 38.6 43.1 38.7
4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
124.4 205.3 76.5 57.3
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
16.4 22.5 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.4 38.6 43.1 39.3
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: N/A


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Front Passenger Injury - N/A

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Fuel gauge
Description: The gas gauge may fluctuate or read low after a fill-up due to a faulty sender on the fuel sender and pump assembly. (2004)
Description: The outside mirrors develop black spots due to electrical leak from the mirror heaters. 2009-10)
Steering noise
Description: Squeaking noise when turning is possible, due to a problem with a steering rack seal. (2004-05)
Description: Sunroof air deflector comes loose unless new clips are installed. (2005-07)
Transmission leak
Description: Fluid leaks from the automatic transmission due to faulty output shaft seal. (2005-07)
Vehicle noise
Description: On some early production models there is a buzzing and clicking noise when they key is turned on (but engine not started) due to active cruise control module. (2004)
Water leak
Description: Water may leak onto the headliner and possibly run down the D-pillar and onto the rear floor because the roof drain tubes may need to be moved. (2004-05)
Water leak
Description: Numerous other potential water leaks including trunk from several places, the driver’s side floor, and the rear floor. (2004-06)
Description: Battery may go dead in less than a week if not driven because an electronic control module may not go to sleep or may wake up and turn on all the vehicle circuits. (2004-06)
Electrical problem
Description: The front parking proximity warning may activate even though there are no obstructions and it can be caused by certain sounds or from ice or dirt buildup on the sensors. (2004)
Accessory belt
Description: Accessory drive belt may squeal during cold startup and an improved belt tensioner is available. (2004-07)
Software problems
Description: The “restricted performance” message along with lack of power may occur unless the engine control module was reflashed with updated software. (2006-09)

Recall History

2004 XJ
Description: On certain vehicles, the passenger air bag trim components have a poor aperture edge that could cut the air bag when it’s deployed, causing it to not inflate properly. Dealers will inspect the passenger air bag aperture and, where necessary, remove any sharp, serrated edges.
2004 XJ
Description: Automatic transmission could potentially select reverse gear without indication with the forward drive gear selected. Dealers will reprogram the transmission control module.
Description: The Noise Vibration and Harshness (NVH) pad fitted to the under tray may touch the rear under floor brake pipes, rear cross member brake pipes, and their unions. If this happens, water and dirt can collect and possibly corrode the pipes. Corrosion of the brake pipes can lead to a loss of mechanical integrity of the braking system. Dealers will inspect the rear under floor and rear cross member brake pipes and unions for red rust. If red rust is present, the brake pipes and union will be replaced.
2006 XJ
Description: Incorrectly manufactured automatic transmission parking pawl guide plate may not engage “park” when the lever is moved to “park” and all indicators show “park” position is achieved. Dealers will replace the parking pawl guide plate free of charge.
2006 XJ
Description: A reinforcement bar was incorrectly assembled so that the bar may contact the glass on some moonroofs. When closing a door or upon severe road impact, the moonroof glass may shatter. Dealers will replace the moonroof free of charge.
Description: Some vehicles may have fuel tanks with faulty seals, resulting in illumination of the malfunction indicator lamp, a fuel odor, and/or a fuel leak. Dealers will replace the fuel tanks free of charge.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.

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