Long product cycles — the amount of time between when a car is introduced and when it is redesigned — aren’t necessarily a bad thing. For Jaguar, those long periods are a carryover from the brand’s days before it became a part of the reasonably well-funded Jaguar Land Rover, and the flagship XJ sedan is certainly not immune. Unveiled a decade ago by, of all people, Jay Leno and Elle Macpherson, the redesigned 2011 XJ ushered in dramatic new styling with a sloping roof and narrow headlights on top of a version of the old XJ’s running gear. That was no bad thing, however, as even the base 5.0-liter V8 was rated at a healthy 385 horsepower. The XJ Supercharged boasted 470 hp, while the range-topping XJ Supersport cranked out 510 hp paired with an ultraquick steering rack and an active rear differential. A supercharged V6 arrived as the base engine later, but it was no slouch.
A decade on, those are still impressive figures for a performance sedan. Not only does a used Jaguar XJ look like it’s just left the new car showroom, it scoots like it as well.
With a $25,000 budget, it’s easy to find a clean, well-kept early XJ on Autotrader. Casting a wide net, I found several 2011 XJ Supersports with fewer than 40,000 miles for around the price of a new Honda Accord LX. That’s about one-fifth of what a well-optioned XJ Supersport cost just a decade ago, and it’s an amazing value that looks just like a $125,000 2019 model. If you don’t need that much power and are willing to risk a higher-mile car, around $20,000 buys this 2013 XJ with 70,000 miles from a Jaguar dealer.
If you’ve got more budget to play with, Jaguar’s Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program (or is it programme?) is unusually comprehensive. It applies to cars built within the last five model years and bumps the bumper-to-bumper warranty to 7 years/100,000 miles, whichever comes first. Mercedes-Benz adds just one year of coverage, though you can drive as many miles as you want during that first year should you want to use your new Benz as, say, a taxicab.
Selecting Certified using the Autotrader search, I found pre-owned XJs with just 40,000 miles for as little as $30,000. A 2015 model should have at least another two or three years of warranty coverage, too.
Despite a global recession, sales of the XJ were relatively brisk when it was first launched. Jaguar managed to deliver more than 4,000 annually in the U.S. between 2010, when the new car launched, and 2014. A redesigned Mercedes-Benz S-Class took a chunk out of XJ sales when it hit the road in late 2013, and last year Jaguar found just 1,579 American buyers for its biggest sedan. Find a Jaguar XJ for sale