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Kelley Blue Book ® - 2002 Jaguar Vanden Plas Overview

Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book

KBB.com 2002 Jaguar Vanden Plas Overview

A Cut Above

Jaguar cars have an almost mythical presence that separates them from just about every other luxury marque, say perhaps Rolls Royce. At the top of the Jaguar sedan line is the XJ Series, which includes the base XJ8, the XJ Sport, the upscale Vanden Plas and the performance oriented XJR and XJ Super. To the XJ owner tradition, heritage and craftsmanship may best define luxury. Though the XJ models vary in both content and performance, they all share the same seductively curvaceous body. It's a design that is not likely to be mistaken for anything but a Jaguar car.

The XJ's long lines and low roof are a far cry from the tall, boxy profiles of the Lexus and Mercedes sedans. The deep footwells and low floor pan place the comfortable front seats low to the floor, providing deceptively good headroom both front and rear. Legroom is also generous, though the large transmission tunnel forces the front passenger's feet into a rather confining space. The entire cabin flows together in such a way as to make the statement that the XJ is as enjoyable to ride in as it is to drive. From the generous use of Connolly leather to the fold-down wooden rear serving trays on the Vanden Plas, the XJ leaves no doubt that it is a British motorcar of the highest pedigree. Also included in the cabin are the occasional oddities that Jag owners love to defend as "charming quirks." Take the oddly-placed dashboard-dimmer knob, which is located on the steering column behind the tilt wheel control or the GPS navigation system which uses a small monochrome LCD screen to display route information-as opposed to the more detailed color LCD screens used by almost every other manufacturer.

Jaguar's 4.0-liter V8 produces 290 horsepower and can accelerate the XJ from 0 to 60 mph in just under 7 seconds. On XJR and Vanden Plas models, a super-charger bumps output to 370 horsepower; this extreme jump in power drops the XJ's 0 to 60 time to a gut-tightening 5.5 seconds. A 5-speed automatic transmission confidently handles the power from both engines, delivering crisp, quick shifts. Though the XJ's chassis has been revised and improved over the years, there is no escaping the fact that it still rides atop an aging platform. Over bumps and dips, you will notice how the lightweight rear end tends to bob up and down; this characteristic lessens somewhat when the car is fully loaded. Thanks to the XJ's low profile, it can carve corners with ease, devoid of excessive lean and roll.

If you want to make a statement about yourself, your success and your excellent taste, there are few automobiles that can do it as well as a Jaguar.

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