Although very much maintaining the traditional look of its forebears, the Jaguar XJ that first emerged in 2003 was, under the skin, a fully modernised platform with an all-aluminium body and chassis which greatly reduced its weight. The first XJ to be developed wholly under Ford’s ownership of Jaguar, the X350, as it was known internally, drew on the resources and suppliers of the parent company to move the game on considerably for Jaguar’s flagship saloon.
The later facelift, the X358, of which this is an example, adopted the sportier styling of the XJR for the front end and featured an upgraded interior. While a range of V6 and V8 petrol engines was available, the 2.7 litre V6 diesel that we see here proved popular in the UK for its combination of performance and economy. But what people really covet about these cars is the level of comfort that they offer. In that respect they are consistent with the classic Jaguar look, while the more modern underpinnings help to improve quality and reliability.
This car was first registered on 4 December 2007 and, in addition to the generous standard kit list, it was ordered with some choice optional extras: 19 inch Carela alloys, Sat nav, Bluetooth telephone connectivity, front and rear parking sensors, an ‘R’ leather steering wheel and a heated front windscreen. In total it had 4 owners, with the last taking possession in 2016.
The service book shows stamps from 2009 through to 2020 when it had a new alternator fitted and in June of 2021, the fuel tank straps were replaced. The MOT history is clean aside from a couple of tyres and bulbs. It is now freshly serviced and ready to go.
The V5 is present and the owner’s manuals are accompanied by a replacement service book which captures the stamps described above. There are also invoices for the 2020 service and the alternator and fuel tank strap replacement. The current MOT expires on 12 October 2022.
Sumptuously appointed in Champagne leather, the cabin is a suitably relaxing place to be, in the manner of old school Jaguars. There is some light patina to the seats and steering wheel but overall the leather has worn extremely well and it retains the luxury feel of the pinnacle of the Jaguar range.
The dash has little wear to show for its age with the wood veneer all in good condition and the many buttons and switches all function as intended, no doubt a result of Ford’s considerable investment in Jaguar at the time.
In the boot, it’s all clean and tidy and under the floor is a space saver spare and the original tool kit.
The side vents and deeper front spoiler that mark out the X358 updates certainly make for a sportier appearance than the X350, particularly when paired with the 19 inch wheels as they are here. The paintwork, in Indigo Blue, retains a deep lustre with only a few small stone ships while the chrome accents are all in good condition.
The wheels have only a few small marks and are shod with tyres that still have good tread depth. As can be seen from the pictures, the underside is very clean and has benefited from some spray grease to help protect against corrosion.
The engine bay is very well presented and, as you would hope, it starts first time every time. Despite its modern underpinnings and in contrast to many more recent cars, the driving experience is reminiscent of Jaguars of old, with a suitable turn of speed combined with controlled but comfortable suspension.
The diesel engine pulls well with smooth gear changes from the automatic box and it is very refined with no untoward noises from the drivetrain or suspension. In short, it’s ready to go.
While the most recent Jaguars have established a new design language for the brand that has helped to improve its appeal to a younger audience, for many a Jaguar needs to look like a Jaguar and this is the last of the XJ’s to be styled more traditionally. Equally it maintains a level of comfort that many modern cars have moved away in the desire to be more sporting.
This example has clearly been very well cared for and has the diesel engine which combines great pulling power with strong economy. If you’re looking for a way to waft on a budget, then this should be an ideal choice.
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