Late Model XJ Vanden Plas Is Ultimate Used Car Luxury

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Jaguar XJ Vanden Plas Supercharged

A buyer’s market seems to be emerging for the X308 body Vanden Plas.

If luxury is your thing, but sticker shock isn’t, the XJ Vanden Plas is looking really tempting about now. We are, of course, talking about the X308 body from 1997-2003, with later examples being new enough to be in quite good condition, but having the benefit of depreciation. And the reason we like the Vanden Plas specifically is that it happened to be a rarer model. Not like you see many XJ’s anyway.

One Vanden Plas we found was only 1-of-200 made by order for model year 2000. Pricing on Bring A Trailer confirms our suspicions that a buyer gets a lot of car for the money. VDP extra features focused primarily on luxury, with an extended wheelbase for rear seat comfort and Jaguar’s “CATS” system designating Computer-control Active Suspension: presumably tuned for suppleness.

Jaguar XJ Vanden Plas Supercharged

Under-hood you get the supercharged 4.0L V8 from the Jaguar XJR. Rated at 370 horsepower, it is plenty for this type of ride by staying swift, but not aggressive. Interestingly at this time, Jaguar used the extremely reliable Mercedes 5-speed gearbox to send power to the rear wheels. Wheels are 17 inches in diameter and unique to the Vanden Plas.

Technology is not on short order either, but the radio interface does show its age poorly. Even so, back in 2000 the VDP came complete with DVD-based navigation assistance, even if a screen wasn’t present.

It’s not all bright sunshine and flowers, though, as this particular example has some noted wear after 130,000 miles. But again, for a car costing significantly less than just about any new car on the market, it makes a tough proposition to pass. In addition to rarity, we’d have to think there’s someone out there who can appreciate such a unique and seldom seen ride.

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Patrick Morgan is an instructor at Chicago's Autobahn Country Club and contributes to a number of Auto sites, including MB World and 6SpeedOnline.

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