Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Used Car Review - Jaguar XK (1997-2006)

Fancy a classic British automobile? Then Myk Belmonte gives you a suggestion for this summer season.

1997-2006 Jaguar XK

Jaguar Cars had a long story which involved numerous ownership changes and triumphs in the racing scene to producing successful attention grabbing sports cars during the 40s and 50s. The brand became a part of the British Motor Corporation which later on became British Leyland Motor Corporation, a merger between Leyland Motor Corporation that became a disaster when it comes to management making and financial stability. Jaguar became independent in 1984 through public shares on the stock market before Ford purchased the marque in 1989 and Tata by 2008.

Replacing the 21 year old XJ-S that is produced since 1976, the XK (together with the Aston Martin DB7) is based on the platform utilized by the mode it replaced though it was improved. Design work commenced in late 1991 with development started in 1992 and concluded in 1996. This was launched before Ford-owned products such as the S-Type and X-Type came to the scene, which made a mark as one of the last genuine Jaguar products available.

Jaguar Cars Philippines brought in this beast in 1997 on their first year of operations in both 4.0 normally aspirated as the XK8 and 4.2 supercharged (dubbed as the XKR) engines and both cabriolet and coupe models. They were replaced by the X150 XK which was developed under the helm of Ford in 2007.

Value and Costs
Due to its rarity in the used car market, as well as its low sales volume when it was sold, if you want one you have to spend at least P2,000,000 for a decent unit. Do take note that this vehicle rarely pops out the classifieds and finding one will test your patience since most owners wouldn't sell theirs. Rivals from Germany will definitely cost you more which makes this vehicle an appealing option while retaining that British touch.

If you plan to buy one, do keep an eye on the following items especially that a problem will spoil the ownership experience: the rear independent suspension especially when it has the CATS (for XK8 models) active suspension which is fussy to use, the plastic timing-chain tensioners and water-pump impellers that turn brittle, controls if they function well since it has loads of them, any scratches or rips present inside and out (in the case of the convertible models) and earlier models are prone to high sulfur fuel but with today's fuels wouldn't pose a threat.

Exterior and Interior
Echoing the silhouette of older Jaguars, it comes as a modern and clean while remaining long and low; there is no excessive usage of chrome or anything dangling that comes standard. XK8 models come with 17 inch alloy wheels while XKR units get 18 inch rims, automatic HID headlamps, rear spoiler, and revised exterior as to distinguish the two models.

Classic is the theme inside, especially that burled walnut trim and Conolly leather is the standard fare inside. Another noticeable feature is the gauges situated in the center which cover the vital needs of the car. One 90s trait is the audio system especially the cassette deck that has buttons which are very small. Luxurious as it is, cabin space is cramped since space isn't generous for both front and rear passengers (space there is virtually non-existent) and you will have that claustrophobic feeling inside and ergonomics screams dated especially that the pedal box is offset due to the wide transmission tunnel and the handbrake is situated by the door.

Prior to November 2002, you can only get a AJ26 4.0 liter with 290hp at 6,100rpm and 401Nm at 4,250rpm. Later models get the AJ34 4.2 but in both naturally aspired and supercharged variants, with the former having 300hp at 6,000rpm and 420Nm at 4,100rpm while the latter possessing 400hp at 6,100rpm and 553Nm at 3,500rpm. When it comes to engine performance, all three are equal since acceleration is effortless is the best description than something with blistering acceleration and engine has that pull but hates high revolutions though. Among the options, we'd pick the XK8 since performance figures are negligible between the one with the supercharger.

Driving Impressions
Driving one will reward you with a smooth silky ride, a known trait among Jaguars. Despite being nearly two decades old, the ride still remains calm. Best treated as a grand tourer than a sports car, it comes with direct steering and a soft suspension which is suited in a highway drive than something to race on mountainous curves.

British cars have that classic feeling attached to them, something that the Germans cannot match. Old as it is, this is a great buy especially if you love those Sunday morning drives. Although you'd buy this one for its good looks and impressive driving habits, this one has the veins of the Aston Martin DB7 which makes it a plus point for us.

The Good:
  • Classic looks
  • Fast acceleration
  • That British vibe
The Bad:
  • Cramped interior
  • Fuel thirsty engines
  • Definitely expensive to maintain
The Pick: XK8 is more than enough

Engines: 3,996cc AJ26 (XK8, 1997-2002), 4,196cc AJ34 naturally aspirated (XK8, 2003-2006) and AJ34 supercharged (XKR, 2003-2006) gasoline
Power: 290hp @ 6,100rpm (XK8, 1997-2002), 300hp @ 6,000rpm (XK8, 2003-2006), 400hp @ 6,100rpm (XKR, 2003-2006)
Torque: 401Nm @ 4,250rpm (XK8, 1997-2002), 420Nm @ 4,100rpm (XK8, 2003-2006), 553Nm @ 3,500rpm (XKR, 2003-2006)
Fuel Consumption: 5-7km/L (city), 10-12km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed automatic (1997-2002), 6-speed automatic (2003-2006)
Suspension: Front and rear double wishbone. With CATS for XK8 models

Price (New): P8,000,000-P11,000,000
Price (Now): P2,000,000
Rivals: BMW 6 Series, Mercedes Benz SL Class, Porsche 911
On Sale: 1996-2006

Jaguar Manila - (02) 856-2277

1 comment:

  1. Its an awesome car review I ever read on other blogs, its been explained very point wise.