Jaguar XJ Buyer Guide

The Jaguar XJ is one of the best luxury dailies to buy under $40,000. Stickering at $90,000-$140,000 depending on trim, it competes with the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series, Audi A8, and Lexus LS. The Long Wheel Base (LWB) variants in particular are very spacious and longer than a Cadillac Escalade Platinum; however, they are much easier to drive than SUVs and can be alternatives due to their large trunk space. Characteristic of Jaguars like the XF and F-Type, they have very direct steering unlike most boat-styled flagships. Paired with the Supercharged V8’s instantaneous torque, the Jaguar XJs have a bit of duality in the sense that they can go from a luxurious cloud to a missile with the shift into Dynamic and “S” modes. When engaged, it’s a different car. With the Supercharged V8s, as they can comfortably go above 150 mph with complete stability as a benefit of their weight. Although it certainly isn’t t the fastest car in the world running 0-60s in low 4s, the torque combined with the weight of the sedan provides an intoxicating thrill when hitting the gas!

 

Analyzing Target Vehicles 

The trick is to buy a 2012-2015 Supercharged V8 model. Most European automotive manufacturers require each individual option to be selected, little is standard. When you only look at Jaguar XJ models with the Supercharged V8, they come stock before options with so many more features than their other European counterparts like rear heated & cooled seats, quad-zone climate control, window sunshades, rear sunshade, heated steering wheel, etc. Therefore, it is easier to buy them pre-owned due to needing far less clarifications on the options when browsing Autotrader, Cars.com, Cargurus, etc. Avoid all V6 models including the Portfolio trim.

 

Jaguar XJ Supercharged w/ Speed Package 

The XJ Supercharged with the Speed Package is the only non-L Supercharged spec you should consider. The speed package adds more aggressive exterior styling, different rims, red brakes, sport seats, black front grille, more flared front aprons, and are often optioned with carbon fiber interior trim. They are not the easiest to find and offer a great scarcity play. Essentially, they are XJRs for a lower dollar. They only lack the quad exhaust and are about 70 hp short of the actual R.

If you are looking at a Supercharged non-L model, the carbon fiber interior trim is best (black piano works as well). Must have the 1300W Bowers & Wilkins or Meridian Audio (depending on the year) as they are the best audio systems in the business and are a large selling point for the car. General options like the Illumination Package (with illuminated air vents & door sills) and Adaptive Cruise Control are great options but not necessary.

Options ( bold is recommended ) 

● Illumination Package ($1,700 MSRP)- Illuminated air vents and tread plates

● Semi-Aniline Trim Package ($1,775 MSRP)- Basically leather everywhere including headliner and has front seat massage

Speed Package ($7,800 MSRP)- Limiter raised to 174 mph, red brake calipers, 20” Venom rims, front splitter, decklid spoiler, gloss black grille with chrome grille surround, sport bucket seats, piano black interior trim

● Adaptive Cruise Control ($2,300 MSRP)- Forward alert and emergency brake assist

Meridian 1300W Audio ($4,180 MSRP)

● Wood or Leather Steering Wheel ($0 MSRP)

Piano Black Interior Trim ($0 MSRP)

Carbon Fiber Interior Trim ($1,575 MSRP)

● Front Seat Massage ($800 MSRP)

● Jet Suedecloth Headliner ($775 MSRP)

● Heated Front Windshield w/ Timer ($375 MSRP)

 

Jaguar XJ L Supercharged 

The XJ L Supercharged is the pinnacle of a luxury daily with an “oomph” of power before becoming a sport oriented sedan. It is so over the top with features, luxury, and rear seat space for the money that it is a no brainer at its price point. With the front and rear panoramic roof, makeup mirrors, door sunshades, rear sunshades, rear heated & cooled seats, quad-zone climate control, heated steering wheel, front massage seats, and 1300W stereo, they impress all who experience the vehicle.

During my personal ownership experience of a CPO 2012 XJ L Supercharged, not one person who rode in the car did not like it. All who experienced it loved the car asked for us to drive whenever we would go out to eat. At the sub $50k price point, it is just so hard to beat. While owning ours from 17,000-35,000 miles, we had a pleasant experience with only one “issue” ever, and that was needing a new windshield wiper filter. We were very satisfied with owning this XJ and wished we hadn’t sold it. We added an aftermarket front spoiler and rear window spoiler, they made the car look more sleek for a few hundred bucks. We believe this was a large selling point to what attracted buyers, and this theory was confirmed with another ECH member’s experience with doing the same modifications.

The L model should have massage seats and the Matavia or Kasuga rims. Like the Supercharged, it should have the 1300W Bowers & Wilkins or Meridian Audio. Also, monitor which models have the wood steering wheel and not. It is preferred with the upgraded wood interior, but not all are optioned with it. The XJ L Supercharged can be purchased with the Speed Package, but I find there to be a larger following for those without them since the L is supposed to be more of a luxury vehicle than sports car.

 

Options (bold is recommended) 

● Illumination Package ($1,700 MSRP)- Illuminated air vents and tread plates

● Semi-Aniline Trim Package ($1,775 MSRP)- Basically leather everywhere including headliner and has front seat massage

● Speed Package ($7,800 MSRP)- Limiter raised to 174 mph, red brake calipers, 20” Venom rims, front splitter, decklid spoiler, gloss black grille with chrome grille surround, sport bucket seats, piano black interior trim

● Rear Seat Package ($4,000 MSRP)- Power adjustable rear seats, electronic side sunshades, rear footrests

● Premium Rear Seat Package ($7,750 MSRP)- Rear entertainment touch screens with remote controls, memory rear seats, rear audio controls

● Adaptive Cruise Control ($2,300 MSRP)- Forward alert and emergency brake assist

Meridian 1300W Audio ($4,180 MSRP)

● Wood or Leather Steering Wheel ($0 MSRP)

● Wood Interior Trim ($0 MSRP)

● Piano Black Interior Trim ($0 MSRP)

● Carbon Fiber Interior Trim ($1,575 MSRP)

Front Seat Massage ($800 MSRP)

● Jet Suedecloth Headliner ($775 MSRP)

● Heated Front Windshield w/ Timer ($375 MSRP)

 

Jaguar XJR 

Next, the XJR LWB (Long Wheel Base) and SWB( (Short Wheel Base), is to be looked into. The SWB variant is not denoted on the trim, it is simply the XJR unlike the XJR LWB. Often, one is mislisted as the other. The best way of determining if an XJR is a LWB or SWB is by studying the length of the rear doors; they seem cut off on the SWB, and the LWB is substantially longer. By what has been seen, it does not appear there is a trended preference in the SWB over LWB or vice versa. Both are excellent choices of Jaguar’s flagship XJ model. As differentiation between the XJ(L) Supercharged and the XJR, the R has quad tail pipes, it’s bumped from 470 hp to 550 hp, it has bigger front air ducts, and it has unique rims only offered on the R. Also, it has a more aero body trim similar to that of on the Speed Package offered on the XJ Supercharged. All chrome accents are blacked out to give a more aggressive look.

Also, the SWB has sport seats. Most LWB have the normal seats, but I have seen a select few before with sport seats when optioned with red interior. All XJRs have black piano wood trim or carbon fiber trim. Carbon fiber trim is always preferred, but the black piano is not a deal breaker if the deal is right.

 

XJR Options (bold is recommended) 

● Illumination Package ($1,700 MSRP)- Illuminated air vents and tread plates

● Semi-Aniline Trim Package ($1,775 MSRP)- Basically leather everywhere including headliner and has front seat massage

● Adaptive Cruise Control ($2,300 MSRP)- Forward alert and emergency brake assist

● Heated Front Windshield w/ Timer ($375 MSRP)

Carbon Fiber Interior Trim ($1,575 MSRP)

● Carbon Fiber Engine Cover ($2,000 MSRP)

XJR LWB Options (includes XJR options)

● Premium Rear Seat Package ($7,750 MSRP)- Rear entertainment touch screens with remote controls, memory rear seats, rear audio controls

● Sport Bucket Seats or Comfort Seats

 

Exceptions 

There are exceptions to all of the information above. The Supersport and Ultimate trims are both good scarcity plays if you seek to control their markets; however, demand is low, and they are older, so I would not recommend purchasing one unless you can get a killer deal. They typically have their own unique colors (both are mostly in purple), so I would make sure to only consider those with normal colors like black. The Supersport is essentially an XJ bumped up to 510 hp with the Matavia rims. On the other hand, the Ultimate is essentially an XJ L Supercharged with reclining rear seats in the back and a console dividing the two seats in the middle with champagne flutes as expected.

General Information 

The XJs sell better in darker colors like black. Black on black and black on the London Tan does really well. For the XJ L Supercharged, dealers I work closely with attest to the success of blue exterior on blue and London Tan interior. Colors like white and silver also do well on the XJ L Supercharged, but I would recommend powder coating the rims if they are a light color to give the car more of an aggressive look. These cars sell quicker. London Tan and Jet Black are always the best interior colors. Be careful with the lighter tan interiors, they typically don’t sell well. Avoid the gray interiors altogether. The XJRs can be purchased in practically any color, just avoid the red exteriors. Red interiors typically go for premiums. Rear entertainment is offered in all of the trims, but it is hard to find and does not carry any notable premium aside from that of which is listed on NADA guides at any given time. I would not pay a premium for rear entertainment unless it’s in a perfect spec.

2016 models are getting into the good hacking range as well and are an excellent opportunity if you want a facelift XJ with warranty until 2021 and are willing to lose a little more cash. Since I do not have personal market experience with these, I have not listed further information. Essentially, the 2016s get updated LED headlights, front bumpers, and cross-stitched interior. The general rules are the same as their 2012-2015 variants, except no speed package is offered; in that case, just go for an XJ L Supercharged if you do not want an XJR / XJR LWB. The 2016 XJRs are in the 40s and are a fantastic value proposition, I encourage you try one out.

As of 2020, I would stay under $35,00 on all 2012-2015s. 2016s should be purchased in the $34,000-$40,000 range for an XJ L Supercharged and up to $47,000 for an XJR.

Camden S
 

Camden Sivils is a former automotive consultant who was in the industry for four years as an independent. He had a niche in the $30,000-$60,000 range and had a goal to minimize cost of ownership of luxury vehicles for his clients . He was involved with over 100 cars deals in his short time in the industry.

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