Car: Jaguar XJR (2000)
Owned since: July 2011
Previously owned: Peugeot 309 GTi 1.9, XJ6 3.2, XJS V12 - currently I also own a Lancia Delta HPE HF
My uncle used to have a green series 3 XJ, so I grew up being wafted around at the weekend with the family and ever since then I have loved Jaguars. I have had a couple of Jaguars before, but I wanted something that had the usual Jaguar smoothness with a little added grunt and stumbled across XJRs a few years back, so the seed was sown and I just had to decide which one I wanted.
I scoured PH for months and months until I found this model which I fell in love with, mainly due to the great exterior and interior colour combo, but also as it was the V8 version. I took the train to North Wales with a pal and, on a wing and a prayer, drove it all the way back, thankfully without any problems. Plus that first long trip was a good indication of how easy a car it is to drive long distances.
My XJR research only went as far as knowing they had produced six-cylinder and eight-cylinder versions and the special XJR100 - that was it. Poor, I know! I quickly joined the Jaguar forum, which has since proved to be invaluable, with other XJR owners only happy to chat and, when needed, offer advice with literally any problems that arise. I would probably go about things differently if I'd had the chance: mainly a longer test drive, research into service parts and costs, use the forum prior to the purchase and maybe not collect the car on a very wet day, hindering the initial once-over!
Things I love:
I love the smell of the sumptuous leather, the cabin is a lovely place to be and the whine of the supercharged V8 is addictive. For a car of its size, it feels surprisingly small and nimble. It chomps away the motorway miles or happily tootles to the shops on a weekend morning. Every journey is a real pleasure and even the Missus has fallen in love with it. She now takes the XJR if she is going anywhere rather than her own car...
Things I hate:
I am used to it now but when I first got it, there was always something that would need fixing. The CD changer would work one day and not the next, or the driver's window wouldn't open for a while. But they all seem to be OK now. Some are easy fixes and some are just niggles that pop up and then disappear. The most annoying thing is the traction control, which is very controlling and literally cuts the power completely if it feels any slip, which in the rain tends to happen a lot. New rear tyres sorted this but you do have to be careful and keep the TC on at all times.
It really is the Ollie Reed of the car world with its drinking habits, so petrol is a major cost. Everything else is or can be fairly cheap. Insurance is on a joint classic policy with the Lancia. With limited mileage and living in North London, that works out about £500 fully comp. Tyres range from budget at £80 to premium at £250 a corner. You can get an oil service from Halfords for £80 of from a Jaguar specialist for £250. Britishparts.co.uk is useful for service parts and other spares. I found a great guy (Alan) on the forum who is a Jaguar mechanic for any work that is needed, so an XJR can be fairly sensible on the pocket but it isn't a good idea to run a car like this on a shoestring...
Where I've been:
The longest journey I have done in it was when I collected it from North Wales. Since then I have only taken it to Brighton for a weekend and a few trips out to the countryside to see the folks (a 90-mile round trip). I do want to take it on a long road trip, so maybe later in the year I will get a chance to do that.
The MoT is due next month so I might get the Brembo upgrade for the brakes if they need replacing. Apart from that, I had all the work that needed to be done when I first bought it so it wants for nothing. It was actually up for sale a while back as I have been trying to realise the dream of owning an Integrale, but it is such a lovely car that I think I will keep it for a little while longer. Plus I think the missus might have something to say if I do try and sell it!
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