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Jaguar X350

Jaguar X350 Published: 30th Oct 2015 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Jaguar X350
Jaguar X350
Jaguar X350
Jaguar X350
Jaguar X350
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Jaguar’s latter day alloy-bodied XJs are amazing value as well as future classics

I LIKED LAST MONTH’S JAGUAR XJ GUIDE BUT PREFER A MODERN ONE. ANY IDEAS?

The XJ40 replacement is not to everybody’s liking although the X300 revamp is much better. But why not look to a recent X350 or X358? They’re great value!

WHAT ARE THESE MODELS THEN?

Essentially these are the last of the traditional looking XJs before the swoopy-looking XF-styled one took over. Débuting at the 2002 Paris Motor Show the X350 was very high tech relying upon an aluminium construction to save weight yet twinned with traditional styling that was reminiscent of the S1 XJ6 and was in effect the link between past Jags and the swanky new ones. A much larger and substantial car than the old X300, it offers much more interior space and, for a Jaguar, a massive boot! Best of all is the spectacular value for money they offer.

GOOD ARE THEY?

Oh yes! All that the XJ has held true over the decades lives in the later ones and believe us there’s no mistaking the X350 (and the X358 revision) anything other than a true XJ as you waft along in supreme comfort and silence as well as savouring remarkable performance and handling and yet with entirely fair fuel and running costs. It’s a former chauffeur Car Of The Year you know…

WHAT’S AROUND AND WORTH CONSIDERING?

There’s a wide choice, including diesels and a scorching XJR. The engine line up ranges from a 240bhp 3-litre V6 (a derivative of the unit used in the X-type and S-types) right up to a superb 4.2-litre 400bhp V8 (XJR). The diesel is the 2.7-litre V6 as found in the Range Rover Sport. There’s a variety of trim levels such as Sport, SE, Executive, Luxury as well as the XJR and Super V8; the latter is the same as the XJR but more discreet looking and a real cool cat!

MUST I GO FOR A V8?

Not necessarily, because thanks to the XJ’s inherent light weight construction, which is considerably less than both the smaller X-Type and S-Type, even the lusty TD and the entry model 3.0 V6 deliver ample (and similar) performance levels while economy, including petrol models, is in excess of 25mpg with more to come on a run.

I WANT A V8!

Okay, well there’s a trio of them, one (262bhp) 3.5-litre with the other pair being the XK8’s 4.2-litre. To be perfectly honest, unless you’re particularly power crazy, and want a scalded cat, you’ll find the regular 3.5 and 4.2 versions quite fast enough already for not to bother with the supercharged XJR although this model will hold the best chance of future classic status.

ANY MANUALS?

No, they are all automatics but it’s an excellent six-speeder that doesn’t dilute the sheer pleasure or sportiness of these XJs, which like all previous ones bloody well freewheel up hills!

HOW MUCH DO I HAVE TO PAY FOR ONE?

Not a lot – and with the introduction of the tenth iteration of this big cat due to be announced any time now prices will fall further to what are already bargain prices – remember when new these were £40-60,000 (as in the case of the XJR) executive expresses. Truly heart-stopping depreciation has seen values fall like an anvil and you can easily pick an early one up for £5000 or perhaps half this at an auction!

SHOW ME WHERE!

Hold your horses – and your cheque book… because buy badly and you’ll lose your shirt. Given the car’s complexity, you’ll sleep a lot easier by spending around £7-10K and buying a checked over from a Jag specialist offering a sleep easy warranty and expert advice. The X358 facelift range starts from under £8000 on the forecourts and you can pick up an XKR for £11,500 but with the XJ’s depreciation so heavy, and with more still to come, we’d look to an older car where most of it has been dialled out by now and values have levelled.

I THINK I’LL HAVE AN OLD ONE THEN

Hang on – like all late reg moderns you can fall foul of their heinous top tax bands for VED purposes, especially cars made after March 2006; so take along a calenadar.

HOW RELIABLE ARE THESE JAGUARS?

It’s fairly good news because despite the Jag’s complexity, this strain of XJs appears to be one of Browns Lane’s most durable designs although there’s still plenty to go wrong (mostly electronic related) and why it’s best to buy one that’s backed by a good warranty that covers not just mechanical major repairs.

START WITH ENGINE?

No! Start with the transmissions because, in common with other Jags of that era, a handful of recalls were issued, one being its habit to select reverse while going forward… Check the service history to see that any recalls have been attended to.

NOW THE ENGINES?

Okay. Well the V8s (timing gear excepted) are now trustworthy with the Ford-derived V6 especially so if serviced properly – all engines used a specific 5W/30 oil for example. On a test drive, watch for throttle response due to a failed sensor. Overheating (isn’t this a traditional Jag quirk?) isn’t unknown and can be due to the thermostat or leaking coolant hoses.

IS THE DIESEL OK?

Not really as most problems seem to stem from the diesel range where lorry like smells can infiltrate the interior due to split pipes and poor running although a ‘super chip’ and turbo tweak transforms its performance. Diesels can also suffer from alternator failure due to the excessive loads imposed upon it. Diesels fall into a cheaper tax band but if the DPF (Dual Particulate Filter) becomes clogged it could mean a £1000 repair bill…

WHAT’S THE CAR’S BIGGEST CONCERN?

You mean apart from the aluminium body requiring expert repairs? Well, the main concern has to be the electronics and electrics where a whole host of ills can affect the car; speak to a Jaguar owners’ club or go to Jaguar-Forums.com. See that everything works properly – especially the touch screen dash, for example, as a fault can make the car immovable. The electronic handbrake is prone to failure and it requires special tools to service. This XJ has air suspension and this can fail but it’s usually just the compressor playing up – fronts usually; see it works as it should. Failed air suspension bags (which poor roads can split) cost around £200 each.

ANYTHING ELSE?

Like most big Jags, the suspension suffers from worn bushes and wishbones after 50,000 miles or so while mega miles models may need a new propshaft – diffs can become noisy at this stage, too. There was also a recall concerning brake fluid leaks and pipe corrosion. Finally, see the heater works well. Unlike old Mk2s it’s quite a furnace but if not it could be due to a blocked core and mean a dash out job to put right. Or you can just wear a thick coat…

I THOUGHT YOU SAID THEY ARE RELIABLE!

Generally these XJs are – we’re simply telling you what can go wrong; a well serviced car should be quite trustworthy – but it’s one reason why a cheap buy might be anything but.

I’D STILL LIKE ONE

So you should because a good, well serviced XJ 350/358 evokes strong memories of just what a landmark the original XJ6 was. However, apart from the XJR perhaps, you’ll need to hang on to yours for a couple of decades before it will become a classic but enjoy your time with one!



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