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11-19-2003, 08:31 AM
Hi all, I'm from the county of Wiltshire in the UK and I took delivery of my new X350 in July 2003. I have an XJ8 4.2 SE which is roughly the same as the Vanden Plas model in the US, and I ordered it with a few extras... Xenon Headlamps, Headlamp Wash, Navigation and TV, Front Voice Control, Front Park Distance Control, Sunroof, 19 inch Custom Alloy Wheels, Heated Front Screen, Splash guards and a few other accessories. Prior to this I had a 2000MY X308 XJR.

I am a confirmed Jaguar fan - whatever others might say, I love the lines of the X350 and think it is a vast improvement over the X308 in all respects. Coupled with the adoption of some serious technology and revolutionary manufacturing techniques, it is in my eyes the best car money can buy. It frustrates me when I read posts from people where they are judging the car on it's merits purely as a mode of transport. You don't buy a Jaguar XJ for any practical reason - there is no practical reason to buy one... you buy one simply because you have to have one - it's a decision of the heart.

I am a member of Jag Lovers and Jag Talk as well as here now.

My X350 ownership has not been without problems as it was delivered to me with some severe vibration. This in turn led to many rattles developing throughout the car. It also suffered other niggles such as a microphone for the phone and voice control that wasn't sensitive enough and a high level stop lamp that reflects in the back window.

However, my dealer especially and Jaguar have done a great deal to sort out these problems and the car is now wonderful. Jaguar took it back to the factory to sort the problems, and having had it back for over 5 weeks now, it appears they've done a good job. They have also provided compensation to me that I feel is fair under the circumstances.

Even though it's a brand new model and I am a rarity it seems in being a Jaguar fan as well as a new X350 owner, I'm interested in all aspects of the car and have already learnt a lot through the problems and rectification experienced.

My main issues with the car now are shared it seems with X and new S type owners, and are centred mainly around the implementation of the electronics.

A navigation system that disables most of it's functions as soon as you move. I don't need protecting from myself, but apart from that, the car has occupancy sensors (for airbag deployment), and so it knows when there is a passenger. Why then didn't they link this into the rest of the electronics so that a passenger can still fiddle with the navigation?

A telephone that while you're on the move you can browse the address book, dial numbers, make and receive calls etc. etc. It also emits a loud beep and puts a fancy animated message on the display when a text message arrives, but has disabled your ability to read it because you're moving!!! So, it's ok to browse through an address book, but not read a text message? Also, there is no indication on the main display when a voice message has been left for you.

These things don't spoil the pleasure of owning and driving the car, which is one of the best handling cars I've ever driven (including my old XJR), but they are niggles that Jaguar should iron out.

So, if there are any other X350 owners out there who share such passion for their car, it would be great to know - perhaps between us we can solve some of these problems.

For anyone who is interested, I have been compiling a list of easter eggs for the on board systems, and while none of them let you change any significant settings, it does let you into a wealth of information.

Anyhow, I hope this forum grows with more and more enthusiastic X350 owners.


Dave B. 2003 XJ8 4.2 SE
Wiltshire, UK.

11-19-2003, 09:09 AM
I should have added that there are some pics of my car posted here...



11-19-2003, 09:14 AM
Sorry, new here... here's the pics with a link... (I hope) :)

<a href="">Pics of my X350</a>


Dave B. 2003 XJ8 4.2 SE
Wiltshire, UK.

11-19-2003, 11:52 AM

11-19-2003, 07:00 PM
Thanks for the comments, the color is called Zircon here in the UK - maybe the same in the US? When I imagine the color in my head I see a light blue, but in fact it's more of a steel color. Truth be told, I prefer the darker colors as I think they're more classy, but I wanted a color that was also easy to keep clean. Of all the lighter colors I like this the best obviously.

Regards,<br>Dave B, XJ8 4.2 SE.
Wiltshire, UK.
<A HREF="" TARGET="_blank">Pictures of my Jaguar</A>

11-21-2003, 12:07 AM

Scott M
11-21-2003, 09:32 AM
Many auto reviewers have said the steering feedback isn't as good as German cars and is a bit too 'loose' feeling.

What are your thoughts?

Beautiful color by the way!

Dave B
11-21-2003, 10:27 AM
There are times that I would agree that it is a little too light in a straight line, but when you consider everything that's required from the steering, I think they've about reached the right balance. I like to feel a little of the road that I'm driving on and have feedback through the steering and that's why I went for 19 inch wheels over the standard 18. The steering is extremely precise and responsive, together with the superb suspension which keeps the car almost flat at all times, the car responds instantly and accurately to all steering input and goes exactly where you intended it to with pin point accuracy.

I have also driven others of the same model but with the standard wheels and tyres. In these the steering has felt lighter - probably because there isn't as much tyre on the road. Perhaps the steering was optimised for the XJR which comes standard with 19 inch wheels?

I've driven both big MB's and BMW's and would say the steering in the Jag is much better than the BMW and not as well weighted as the MB. But then look at the size of steering wheel that MB fit to compensate for having heavier steering.

The problem is you can't cater for all drivers tastes in one model of car. If you're a bit of a racer then you would probably find the XJ steering light, but love the feedback - whereas you might prefer the solidity of the MB steering but hate the lack of feedback.

If I had a real criticism of the Jaguars steering it wouldn't be the lightness but more the feeling of loosness that you sometimes get on really rough roads. But again, if they ironed that out, it would lose some of the excellent feedback it gives.

I take all road tests and magazine articles on such cars with a pinch of salt anyway. Generally they are just one persons opinion, which can never be truly unbiased, and at cars of this value a tremendous amount of personal preference comes into play. Apart from that, it also depends sometimes on which manufacturer spends the most on advertising with the magazine.

The XJ is an excellent all round car that excells in some areas and is mediocre in others. In other words, it's pretty much the same as a MB S class, BMW 7 and Audi 8. The important thing is that with the new design and manufacturing etc. it can't be overly criticised against them - unlike the X308. It also has a style and herritage that the Germans can only dream of - and that makes it desirable.

I could go on and on, but I hope that answered your question and more :)


11-29-2003, 08:06 PM
Hello Dave,
I purchased a X350 in late August. It is the standard XJ8 with audio upgrade and 18"wheels. I live in the Los Angeles area where roads are fairly decent. I currently have 2200 miles on the car. I am very impressed with both the styling and the engineering of this automobile. I agree that this is the finest Jaguar saloon to date.

This car is a pleasure vehicle and not used for regular commute or trips to the market. For that reason, I opted to have, as few electronic options as possible so many of the issues that you have had with your car do not pertain to my vehicle. To date, I have had no issues regarding this car. I would like to know what the cause of your vibration problem was. Just to give those of us a heads up should we see this fault come up in the future.


11-29-2003, 09:16 PM
Hi there,

The cause of the vibration was a combination of things but the worst culprit was the differential. In addition to replacing this, Jaguar also re-aligned and rebalanced the prop shaft and fitted new wheels and tyres all round (including the spare). Prior to Jaguar taking the car back to effect these repairs, I had the wheels and tyres road force analysed and found two to be well outside of acceptable tolerances. A number of rattles and creeks developed in my car in the first 2 to 3 weeks of ownership the worst of which was the sunroof. Although Jaguar have not admitted this, I am convinced this was a direct result of the vibration. They also fixed all of these while the car was back at the factory as well as a couple of other niggles I'd mentioned.

To be clear, this vibration was BAD. Before Jaguar had decided how they were going to deal with it, I took the car on a trip to my parents in law in Germany. This involved driving on some of the smoothest and fastest roads I know. The car was not drivable above 80 mph because of the vibration which could be heard as a low pitched droning noise as well as felt.

My car has been back from Jaguar for over 6 weeks now, it is smooth and there are no signs of any of the rattles returning. I believe they did a good job and have compensated me adequately. I am now the delighted XJ owner I had hoped to be from day one.

Regards,<br>Dave B, XJ8 4.2 SE.
Wiltshire, UK.
<A HREF="" TARGET="_blank">Pictures of my Jaguar</A>

11-30-2003, 02:40 AM

11-30-2003, 02:46 PM
Very good. Obviously it's not a Ferrari, but the driver is kept well involved with the drive. The car handles superbly for such a large car and stays very flat in corners. The steering is precise although a little on the light side. The car shrinks around you and probably because of this and the light weight construction feels very agile on the roads. Performance is fantastic from the normally aspirated engine - 0-60 in 6.3 seconds and I know from experience this is very real. Feedback to the driver from the steering and car is very good - especially with the 19 inch wheels I have fitted. Whenever I decide to drive in a lets say a more spirited fashion, I cannot do so without smiling and that says everything.

Regards,<br>Dave B, XJ8 4.2 SE.
Wiltshire, UK.
<A HREF="" TARGET="_blank">Pictures of my Jaguar</A>

11-30-2003, 08:55 PM

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