Fun Stuff

Depreciation Appreciation: Jaguar XJ

Welcome to Depreciation Appreciation! Every month, we’re going to dig up an example of how depreciation can make for some fantastic used-car deals. This month? A once-pricey sedan that can now be had for a fraction of its original price tag, saving you thousands on a sweet ride, and basically making you a genius.

This month’s ride? The lavish Jaguar XJ. Let’s take a closer look.

The Sticky: Once priced towards real-estate territory and owned by people who had money fights with one another, this British posh-rod sedan packs big power, big comfort, and timeless handsomeness. It still looks like a million bucks, so you can be pretend-rich at the office, or when rolling slowly past the neighbours.

Approximate New Value: Brand new, a lustrous, out-of-the-showroom XJ would have relieved its original owner of no less than $75,000, plenty more if they opted for any packages, options, or one of the XJ’s higher-grade models, which pushed pricing well into six-figure territory.

Approximate Used Value: Today, examples of used XJ models can be found for under $10,000 all day long. Spend a few bucks more, and get yourself into a Vanden Plas edition with all the toys, or an XJR with supercharged power, both for about $15,000 with reasonable mileage on the odometer.

Example Listing: Here’s a gorgeous example of an XJR from Barrie, Ontario with reasonable miles, plenty of new parts, and a winter-free body, priced at $13,000. And another example, this super-clean XJ for under $10,000.

Why You Want One: Mostly, because a classy and sophisticated Jaguar with a big honkin’ V8 can be yours for the same money as a new Kia.

The 2003 to 2009 generation XJ packed fit-for-royalty amenities, V8 power with available supercharger on select models, space galore, and air suspension for a ride as smooth as Stephen Harper’s hairdo. Vanden Plas models were top-of-the-line luxury haulers, and the XJR was a supercharged hot-rod version with 400 gentleman’s horsepower.

Look for navigation, power heated leather memory seats, a sunroof, upgraded audio, xenon lights and plenty more. Plus, with a big trunk and generous rear seats, the entire fam-jam can bask in the glory of your new-to-you British luxo-barge.

Test Drive Tips: Thinking XJ? Think air suspension. Like virtually every used car to employ air pressure to regulate its suspension, age and wear sees leaky lines, baffed compressors and computer sensor problems wreaking havoc with the air suspension over time. An XJ that displays a suspension-related warning message in the instrument cluster, or is sagging in the front or rear, are key warning signs.

Have a mechanic inspect common trouble areas, including all suspension and driveshaft bushings, transmission cooler lines, and the heater core. Finally, be on the lookout for unwanted lurching, slamming or sound effects from the transmission. If you note any, find another model.