1999 XJ8 New Car Test Drive
The proof is in the long haul, of course, but it appears as if Jaguar has finally thrown off the curse of unreliability. Credit typically goes to many sources, but leading the pack has to be Jaguar's owner, Ford, which has brought its mighty engineering and quality suppliers into the Jaguar picture.
Based on our experience, the XJ8 represents the highest point in Jaguar's history. We think it's one of the finest luxury sedans built today. The Vanden Plas, named for a famous British maker of custom automobile bodies, is the most luxurious XJ8, swathed in chrome, walnut and lambs wool.
As the XJ8 designation suggests, this is a V8-powered Jag. The V12 and inline 6-cylinder engines were discontinued with last year's models. The 4.0-liter V8 we called a sweetheart last year has been refined for 1999 to reduce emissions. Performance has not been affected.
Jaguar's XJ8 is available in four versions: the $55,780 XJ8, the $60,830 long wheelbase XJ8L, the even more luxurious $64,880 Vanden Plas reviewed here, and the $69,030 supercharged and fully loaded XJR. Those prices compare favorably to those of the $66,970 BMW 740iL and the $74,495 Mercedes-Benz S420.