My 2005 XJ8L is probably the best highway car I have ever had. I love driving this car. It fits me well; I can drive for hours witout getting stiff and sore. The features and options make this just an aabsolute joy on trips. The back seat is marvelous on thise few occasions when I have extra passengers. My 6' 4" BIL said he liked the back seat because it was the most comfortable sedan he had been in, and the Jag made him feel like he was being chauffered. Ilove driving this car.
Reliability & durability
Overall, this is absolutely the best highway car I have owned. The closest second was a 2001 Mercedes S430.
I bought the Jag knowing that the previous owner had not kept up on repairs. It took me about a year and many thousands of dollars (just in parts) to catch up on the deferred maintenance. The two major items were the intermittent and frequent failure of the ABS / DSC system and the ocassional deflating of the CATS air suspension system.
The Jag dealer is VERY expensive for both parts and labor. When I wanted to replce the front upper control arms the dealer was $1000 for parts. Through the Jag owners group I found the Lincoln parts are an exact fit for a fraction of the cost. The dealer wanted $200 labor to just hook up the proprietary diagnostic scanner, and a regular OBD / CAN reader can't read most of teh Jag systems. It was less expensive for me to buy a special scanner than make multiple trips to the dealer.
Gas mileage is great; I get 26 - 27 MPG on the highway at 80 - 85 (speed limit 75).
The Jag doesn't use a drop of oil betwen changes. However, I am always holding my breath waiting for the next system to fail. I've never been stranded, but it seems like th eold days driving my 1959 TR3 when I'd drive for two hours and work on theb car for an hour. OK, it's not that bad, but this is a $60,000 car and it needs to be maintained / repaired frequently.
Reliability & durability
All the wonderful features and systems that make this car what it is come with a price. As with many of the SportLuxury automobiles, there are thousands of 'opportunities for failures'. OK, so my wife's Toyota doesn't need as much attention; it also doesn't have the same Dynamic Stability Control or an aadaptive air suspension. I love teh car wehn it is all working. I do not like the dealer attitude that 'if you bought a Jag, you should know it's going to be expensive to maintain' - a paraphrased quote from a dealer technician. There is little justification for a $200 minimum chnrge to hook up the diagnostic scan tool, and even less to chareg $1000 for an upper control arm that has the Jag logo when the identical design is available with a Lincoln logo for 75% less. The systems in the car are not as reliably as I would like, but the same seems to be true for Infiniti, BMW, and Mercedes. I now do my trouble shooting before I take the car to the local 'foreign car' specialist. The owners forums have more information than you would believe to help trouble shoot issues and find sources for parts. Even if you don't do the work yourself, doign the research can help keep cost reasonable. I love this car on the highway. I'm always a little anxouis waiting to see ewhat needdsd attention next.
Audio & nav systems
Nav system is OK, but even with the most recent Nav database update it doesn't recognize many streets when I am programming a destination, but they show up when I get there. I hope the newer ones are better.
On the 2005 there is no reasonable way to add blue tooth. There was a factory option for an installed phone, but it is an obsolete model phone install, not blue tooth. Newer models have BT.
CD, CDC, and radio work OK. Sound is good.
Sigh. My $60,000 car is worth about $6,000 after ten years. Great if you are buying one, just remember youare maintaining a ten year old $60,000 car. Budget accordingly.
Service department is great for people with newer Jags who don't care what the repairs cost. Upscale waiting areas in upscale areas, all intended to make you feel you are important enough that you shodul not ask what the costs are.
Why NOT this car?
Repairs and repair costs.
Fantastic car, lots of wonderful engineering, many opportunities for failures.
The purchase price does not reflect the true cost of ownership. For me, it's worth teh total cost of ownership to have this fantastic car to drive on trips. I have not been concerned about breaking down, I just wonder what will require attention next . Like my old Mooney airplane, I never got stranded but every other trip something would need attention when I got home.