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XJ ( X350 & X358 ) XJ6 / XJ8 / XJR 2003 - 2009

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  #1  
Old 01-19-2011, 03:14 PM
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Default Driving Long vs. Short Wheelbase Cars

I will hopefully be purchasing an XJR or Super V8 in the next couple of months. I have driven a couple of XJR's, and have sat in the rear of the R's and some XJ8L's. My question is, how do these cars (XJR's and Super V8's) compare when driven? Perhaps there are those that come here that have either of these cars that may have driven the other, i.e., both of them. I would love to know

I have had the good fortune of driving many different performance cars over the years, and I have loved most of them in their way. I have a large family and at times I carry rear passengers and would like the extra leg room, but not at the expense of handling feel. In other words, if the LWB cars are noticeably more cumbersome, I'd go ahead and get an XJR. But if there is a negligible difference, I'd go for the stately quarters of the Super's rear accommodations.

Thanks in advance for your advice and suggestions.
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Old 01-19-2011, 03:39 PM
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Any of my customers or friends in the Jaguar Club that have, or have had SC cars, all seem to feel partial to the SWB XJR. If they consider themselves enthusiasts, they want the short car. Those who are less of a "car person" and are not so mindful of the car, all lean toward the LWB Supers. I have an XJR and want to stick with it for the feel and handling; there is just nothing like it!!

Cheers,
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Old 01-19-2011, 04:18 PM
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I consider myself an enthusiast, but IMO, the XJ is not a sports car--even if you through a supercharger and a stiffer suspension on it. It's a luxury car. So I wanted the limo-like LWB, and I didn't care too much for an supercharger.

Of course, if I were buying a sports car, I wouldn't be looking for a stretched wheelbase. However, even with the LWB I am very impressed with the XJ's handling--I have driven large cars like this in the past and they have all been soft and wallowy. By comparison, the XJ is very light on its feet and doesn't roll in the corners.

I have never driven a short wheelbase XJ. However, I will say that during tight parking maneuvers, I do notice that the long wheelbase adds a little more of a challenge. However, the tight turning circle makes this a non-issue.
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Old 01-19-2011, 04:42 PM
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"Any of my customers or friends in the Jaguar Club that have, or have had SC cars, all seem to feel partial to the SWB XJR. If they consider themselves enthusiasts, they want the short car. Those who are less of a "car person" and are not so mindful of the car, all lean toward the LWB Supers. I have an XJR and want to stick with it for the feel and handling; there is just nothing like it!!"

I feel a bit hurt by this. I do consider myself an enthusiast. The difference is actually very small and I have driven both cars. If you want a more sporting feel, get an XKR. If you need a sporting sedan, get an XFR or XF Supercharged. I've driven the latter and it is very engaging. Really, the main differences between the XJR and Super V8 is a bit tighter suspension on the XJR. The shorter wheelbase (5 inches shorter) means a quicker turn in, but putting better tires on the Super V8 gets you a lot of steering response at any rate without the harsh ride. If you want to carry anyone with legs in comfort, then get the Super V8 (my youngest son is 6'9" tall and can actually fit behind me). If you don't need the added goodies (Many things standard on the Super V8 are options on the XJR, eg, rear seat entertainment, 4 zone climate control, adaptive cruise control are I think a few of them) of the Super V8 then go for the XJR with few of the option fitted and save a few thousand of the currancy of your choice. The reduced weight might help the agility margin go up a tad. At any rate, the X350 sedans handle very nicely whether long or short and in supercharged form are amazingly fast. Really a matter of choice and budget as much as which is more "sporting". You're a winner either way.
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Old 01-20-2011, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by xjrguy View Post
Any of my customers or friends in the Jaguar Club that have, or have had SC cars, all seem to feel partial to the SWB XJR. If they consider themselves enthusiasts, they want the short car. Those who are less of a "car person" and are not so mindful of the car, all lean toward the LWB Supers. I have an XJR and want to stick with it for the feel and handling; there is just nothing like it!!

Cheers,
Sir, you sold me on the XJR right there. Thanks!

To stir the pot a bit , I don't know how many would consider the XJR a sports car. But I will preach to the choir and say that few cars indeed have ever been made that combine sports car qualities with luxury like the 2005-2009 SC cars. The thing I may like most about these cars is their what I'll call "ride firmness forgiveness". Let me explain.

I've owned and driven many cars with what I'll call a "firm" ride. The XJR I would put in this category. Not unpleasantly firm by any means, but firm, especially for a luxo car. However, no other car with a firm ride have I ever driven than the XJR that can make just about any road imperfection feel exactly the same, kind of like "suspension socialism". Small crack in pavement: you feel it. Go over a rather forbidding railroad junction at 40MPH and the XJR turns it into the same feeling of going over the small crack in the pavement. It's uncanny. The car doesn't get unsettle or out of sorts, either. It just keeps plowing down the road. Not that I would make a practice of such ill-advised maneuvers, mind you. But the car is capable.

Anything these cars give up in sportiness to other cars like, say a Pontiac G8 for instance, I feel they make up for in spades with their character, ride and grace. OK gratuitous slathering over. Have a nice day.
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Old 01-20-2011, 09:27 PM
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Personally, I think the Germans (especially BMW) do a MUCH better job making sporting large luxury sedans than Jaguar did with the X350, with even better ride quality. Unfortunately, they aren't as classy as the Jag and they aren't are sooooo bland. They may be worth a look, though.
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Old 01-20-2011, 10:16 PM
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Well thanks SuperTrav! And I agree about the "sports car"! I think sport sedan is more accurate. You have also made the case I usually try to make very clearly. The suspension, ride, handling etc. is just head and shoulders above most of the competition, and they always turn heads and draw comments from passers by.

Gratuitous slathering? You bet, me too!! Always have....always will.

Cheers,
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:25 AM
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I do always find the X350's ride quality to be somewhat strange. Small bumps are not absorbed well at all by the air suspension (it never really has that floating on a cloud feeling). Yet if you go over a big pothole or railroad tracks, you hardly feel a thing! It's very bizarre!
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:52 AM
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"I do always find the X350's ride quality to be somewhat strange. Small bumps are not absorbed well at all by the air suspension (it never really has that floating on a cloud feeling). Yet if you go over a big pothole or railroad tracks, you hardly feel a thing! It's very bizarre!"

On the XJR, I find this trait to be genius in engineering. It keeps the car firmly planted over minor road imperfections, then forgiving and coddling over bigger ones. This is that "ride quality socialism" in action.

If one is looking for true luxo car ride, I agree with the "bizarre" sentiment. But when it comes to a car one is driving hard, more for performance, it's genius use of the air suspension's capabilities.
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Old 01-21-2011, 10:03 AM
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On another note: this is plainly off-topic of this thread, but XJR guy, if you're still lurking, and I hope you are, you are probably as qualified to answer the following questions better than anyone else I'm likely to come into contact with and your advice could end up having a huge impact on my life!
As I search through the XJR's available across the country right now, I am coming to the precipitous drop in depreciation on these cars as the mileage climbs. Under 50K milers are selling for $25K plus. Over 50K milers up to around 70K, around $20K, and over 70K, around $15K. To get more granular, there's a 45K miler selling for $26K, but the auto check lists a "repo". That scares me. There's a 100K miler for 15K, two owners clean clean clean car fax dealer maintained car. To me, the 100K miler looks like the much better car, regardless of price, but then there's the mileage thing.

As a master tech, what's your take on these cars going over ;100K miles? Do they start to need R and R's post-100K that need to figure in that much in valuation? I drive extremely low mileage, around 500 miles per month and usually less. What's your advice? If you can answer these questions, I would be most grateful. And of course all others I encourage to weigh in. Thanks again.
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Old 01-21-2011, 11:10 AM
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Gee, buddy, there are many facets to your question. The drop in value you've seen seems about normal, especially taking into account the recent launch of the next generation XJ. Being a repo doesn't bother me too much IF I can research the car. On one hand, if a car is repo'd that can mean the guy over-extended and may have not been able to afford the meager upkeep; on the other hand, if he got caught in a business downturn or a divorce, it could be a super buy. You just need the facts. The 100K miler...that could be a steal as well. These have been pretty reliable these X350's, if the thing has been maintained, and that can be verified, I would be unafraid. Just keep in mind that ANY car needs to be assessed individually, and scrutinized carefully. Drive it, get it raised and remove the undertray to inspect the crossmember etc. for corrosion [especially if it has been a seaside car, it's steel]. Check the boot, under the floor around the battery for corrosion, if a battery has not been properly vented corrosion begins quickly due to battery gases. The rest is visual and the "feel" when it is driven. A car that's been whooped usually just feels like it's whooped.
Now some people are brave and buy cars right off Ebay based only on a description. A friend of mine has done that several times. One he had to turn right around and resell, he bought a 2004 XJR a couple of months ago and it is a gorgeous vehicle. I scoured that car and could find NO current needs. What a deal! That's just not for me though, I'm a touchy-feely guy if I'm buying a car.
So, happy hunting!!
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:18 PM
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I am an old guy. I look forward to the comfort of my XJR. I am on my 3rd one. If I wanted a fast race car I would of bought a vette. It is a great car to go really fast in but it has a cost of comfort. My XJR is a very comfortable car and rides very nice. It just so happens to haul *** when you want to play or need the power. Since I ride comfortable a lot more than I go fast. The XJR IHO is the ticket for me
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Old 01-27-2011, 05:35 PM
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XJRGuy, thanks again. I have cemented my views on these cars with your help. I believe I am now armed with the knowledge and information that will allow me to purchase one of these cars and have a great experience buying and owning one.

You'd be proud of me. I walked away from a 100K miler here locally in Dallas. No books, one set of keys, oil smelled like gasoline. Just rode hard and put up wet. Too bad.
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Old 01-27-2011, 05:57 PM
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Well, my pleasure SuperTrav, thank you for the shout out. Nothing tickles me more than see someone happy with, or ready to purchase their Jag! There just ain't nuttin' like 'em! Stick with it, pay attention, and you will find one that will make you happy for years to come.

Cheers,
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Old 01-27-2011, 05:59 PM
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It's sad how for Jags, anything with 100k miles is pretty much on its last leg...

Oh well! I'm going to enjoy mine while it's still running!
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Old 01-27-2011, 06:39 PM
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Ooooo, Ouch! Alan, I'm sorry but I have to seriously disagree with that! Our first Jag was a 1989 VDP, the car a lot of people turn their nose up at. We drove that car for 10 years and it had 168,000 miles on it when we sold it to a fellow at the local Harley dealer. We currently own a 1995 XJR that has 121,000 miles on it; it has literally been the most reliable car I have EVER owned. It still turns heads, drives like a new car and makes me constantly feel like I'm driving a $70,000 car. A few years back, I bought a '93 XJ6 off one of our salesman's sister. It had 120,000 miles on it and was to be a temporary car for one winter. I ended up driving that car as a work driver for 5 years. I finally wore it out at 162,000 miles. I used to tell people it pissed me off that it ran so well; I couldn't get rid of it because of that.

Sorry, pal! You'll never get me to say a Jag is whooped at 100,000 miles!
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:02 PM
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Let's hope you are right! I just don't hear about any Jags making it past 200k or even 300k miles. Yet there are tons of Lexuses that have done that!

But then again, I bought my XJ because I love it (apparently having a LWB car means I'm not an enthusiast ), not because I wanted it to last forever. What good is a car that lasts forever if it is so bland and dull (I'm talking about you, Lexus!)?
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:55 PM
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Think of it this way.....

The Lexus, that's cookie cutter utilitarian, it's supposed to last a long time.

The Jaguar, that's ART! Art has to be coddled, appreciated and savored!!

Cheers,
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:57 PM
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Agreed!
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Old 01-27-2011, 10:08 PM
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I've heard of many Jags running well at 150-200k miles. One I sold at 146K is still running sweet as can be at almost 170k with its new owner....and using 1 quart of oil every 3000 miles. Not bad.

Getting back to road manners and a previous comparison to BMW/Audi, I think you'll find that Jaguar has always leaned towards the comfort side of suspension compromise and BMW/Audi have always leaned towards the performance side.

I've driven several of each and the different feel is apparent right off the bat... but you'd have to get into some fairly aggressive driving before the XJR becomes ruffled and falls behind.

Last summer I had an opportunity to play a friendly game of leap-frog thru 20 miles of twisties with a similarly sized BMW....a 740I or such. When I was in front he had no problem staying right on my back bumper, and vice versa. He probably could've pulled ahead but the seriousness would have to be cranked up a a few notches.

Of course my experience is with an X300/XJR...old school stuff.

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Old 01-27-2011, 10:08 PM
 
 
 
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base, car, cars, comfort, driving, jaguar, long, longer, ride, short, shorter, wallowy, wheel, wheelbase, x300, xj6, xjr



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