Jaguar XJ (1997 – 2003) Review

Jaguar XJ (1997 – 2003) At A Glance


+Luxurious, comfortable and refined with some sports appeal. Well built and loved by owners.

-Not as roomy in the back as you might think. Bore liner erosion on pre-2000 model year cars. Problems with suspension.

Launched in 1997, this version of the Jaguar XJ was based on the previous generation - the only change being a switch from six-cylinder to V8 engines.

Codenamed the X308, the car did away with the old XJ40 and XJ6 instrument binnacle on the dashboard, this time using three large separate instrument gauges set into the recesses in the curved dashboard.

The grille badging and surround was changed, and the car got new indicator and fog lights, but really it was all about the AJ-V8 engine, which was available in either 3.2 or 4.0-litre guise.

Base model was the XJ8, followed by the Sport, which got stiffer suspension and wider wheels. Sovereign got all the bells and whistles – and there was even a long wheelbase version.

And the fun one? That would be the XJR. Powered by a supercharged version of the 4.0-litre V8, it could hit 60mph in five seconds and boasted a top speed of 155mph.

High-spec Daimler models featured softer suspension and wore the fluted radiator grille surround and fluted boot lid plinth.

Ask Honest John

How much should I pay for a Jaguar XJ?

"I am in the market for a Jaguar or a Daimler XJ8 with the years from 2001-2003 when the last ones were made and that comply with the London ULEZ. Can you recommend what to look for and what to steer clear of, please? How would I know a good one and how much could I expect to pay for one? "
We pick up on a few known issues, here: But I would recommend speaking to owners in a Jaguar forum where you'll find people who have personal experience of the car. Likelihood is you'll find a good one up for sale there, too. Around £5,000 should be enough for a car with a full service history.
Answered by Russell Campbell

I want to buy an old Jaguar XJ6 or XJ8 - what do you think?

"I'm considering buying either a 2007 Jaguar XJ6 with 160,000 miles or a 1998 XJ8 with 98,000 miles whilst I'm in Switzerland for 2-3 years. I'll cover approx 150 miles per day so comfort and ride enjoyment are important for me. Whilst I'm sure a Toyota something or other would be more practical, my heart is saying enjoy a Jag for once in my life. I don't want to get tied into a long term lease (pricey here) or a PCP. I'm keen to pay for a car in cash, in full, and just having running costs thereafter. I could just about put up with the XJ8's poor mpg and have worries about the potential diesel repair costs should something go wrong with the XJ6. There are also trade-offs with the mileage on the cars and their respective ages. What do you think?"
If your heart is set on a Jaguar, I'd say go for it. But be prepared for eye-watering repair and service costs. Both of these cars will need significant work (and money) to keep on the road. A good set of all-season tyres for either of these cars will easily set you back £600.
Answered by Dan Powell
More Questions

What does a Jaguar XJ (1997 – 2003) cost?