Pros: Sexy, Tons of real wood and leather, Super fast acceleration, 5-speed automatic
Cons: Poor gas mileage, Exterior is just a tad dated.
The Letters X, J, and R have always meant one thing to Jag fans; one fast luxury sedan. The 2001 version of the Jaguar XJR is one of the best yet. This supercharged beast has true exotic performance and all the handling agility of a sports sedan. Before 1997 the XJR AKA Leaping Cat never had this type of out-right performance; its simply the fastest and most powerful sedan Jaguar has ever made available to the public.
Jaguars XJ series has never impressed with its ability to scoot from a stop to high speeds. Even the XJ8, which was once the king of the XJ series, only offered slightly better than average acceleration. This isnt the case at all with the 2001 XJR. The only word to describe the seamless flow of raw power from the supercharged 4.0 liter V8 engine is "awesome." From a rolling stop, if you push the accelerator to the floor, the Mercedes built 5-speed automatic transmission down-shifts on command and there is instant acceleration; no hesitation whatsoever. For 2001 the XJR boasts 370 horsepower and 387 lb-ft of torque.
Cruising on the freeway makes for one of the greatest experiences I have recently had with a luxury automobile. The ride kept smooth and composed at all times. Engine noise, wind noise, and road noise are also kept devoid from the cabin. To make sure you can stop as good as you can go, Jaguar has given the XJR excellent stopping power; 4-wheel vented disc brakes with 4-wheel ABS. These brakes make for perhaps too much confidence when approaching a stop; I almost ran a few stoplights while playing with these excellent brakes and pushing them to their limits, never did they fail me.
Keeping with the luxury of an XJ series, the suspension absorbs bumps with ease, giving the XJR a confident and enjoyable ride. Although the Jaguar XJR may be a large sedan, it doesnt feel like it on twisty roads. Its limits to adhesion arent the hardest to reach, however the XJR is a very competent handler, perhaps the most competent in its class of cars priced above 70k.
In addition to all the performance you get with the XJR, the XJR also has more than enough luxury appointments and gadgets in the cabin for even the most picky luxury car enthusiasts. The interior of the XJR represents an understated elegance that looks and feels so sophisticated you would think that you were in a much costlier vehicle. With the Jaguar XJR you get both luxury and super-car performance; there simply is no sacrifice. The beautiful leather seats are very supportive and very comfortable. There is a 320 watt Alpine sound system, Six disc CD, an 'old money' analog clock, a thick wood steering wheel that is partly wrapped in high quality leather. There is also deep pile carpeting, and an on-board navigational system that is optional or standard on the Vanden Plas XJR. There is room everywhere. The XJR seats up to 5 adults and there is plenty of trunk and storage room, not typical of a Jaguar..
The exterior, like the interior, screams class." There is no mistaking a Jaguar XJ series sedan with any car on the road. The exterior is a little dated, but this design is so beautiful that I would hate to see it go. Unfortunately, there really isnt much of a difference in style from the regular base model XJ sedans and the XJR.
The XJR can, however, be recognized by its split mesh radiator grille. The XJR also comes with unique 18" wheels and bigger tires.
The price for an XJR starts at around $69,000, which isn't bad considering the cost of some Mercedes'.
These cars are not exactly plentiful, so be prepared to go on a good scavenger hunt finding one. The XJR offers excellent bang for the consumer's buck on the used luxury car market. You not only get the luxury so typical of Jaguar, you also receive an extreme dose of refined muscle most often found is exotic sports cars. The Jaguar XJR is definitely worth a test drive!
Other Cars To Consider In Random Order:
1. Cadillac Seville STS http://www.epinions.com/content_49764535940 (My Review)
2. Lexus GS400
3. Mercedes S-class cars
4. Infiniti Q45
5. BMW M5
6. BMW M3
7. BMW 7 series
8. Audi A8 http://www.epinions.com/content_61762866820 (My Review)
9. Maserati Ghibli
10. Volvo C70
-Happy Car Shopping