The ups and downs of the Jaguar XJS over the years will come to an end in the final year of production before it unveils a new model. While being arguably one of the most handsome cars on the road, it never made the jump from good to remarkable, even with some time on the silver screen.
Body Styles: convertible
Engines: 4.0-liter inline six-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Jaguar XJS
In its final scheduled year of production, the 1996 Jaguar XJS convertible merely receives cosmetic updates. The coupe is gone, and the upgrades to the convertible include new wheels, more chrome trim around the outside, and a new adjustable wooden steering wheel. The only remotely functional upgrade is new, more comfortable bucket seats.
The 1996 Jaguar XJS maintains the classic lines and predatory front fascia of the Jaguar family, although the single-unit headlamps have always been a bit of a sticking point. Combined with a small grille and curved bumper, this has always given it a look of light-heartedness instead of the stern, stiff-backed luxury relayed by the four circular headlamps and large grille of the rest of the Jaguar family. The post-1991 facelift Jaguars also have a more angular hood than earlier models. The rear end is oddly long but does not create a design imbalance.
As with all Jaguars, the interior of the 1996 Jaguar XJS is extremely well appointed, possibly even a bit overdone. Leather seats, an adjustable wooden steering wheel with leather trim, power windows, power locks, power seats, power heated mirrors, and automatic climate control are only a few of the creature comforts that are standard. Ride comfort is great. Visibility is somewhat hampered with the convertible top up due to the rather thick supports and small rear window. It claims to be a 2+2 convertible, but the back seat is essentially useless for anything larger than a backpack with the top down or a small child with it up.
Performance & Handling
The 1996 Jaguar XJS sports a 237-horsepower, 4.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine, a bit of a British oddity but a powerful engine nonetheless. This engine gets up to speed very quickly, hitting 60 mph in less than seven seconds and allows it to cruise with ease. Passing on the highway is not a problem either, as the top speed of is 147 mph. It is very nimble, and the optional sport suspension combined with the low curb weight make for good handling without loss of ride comfort.
The 1996 Jaguar XJS comes equipped with a number of safety features as standard equipment. This includes four-wheel anti-lock brakes and passenger and driver airbags. Fog lights are also standard.
EPA Fuel Economy
Jaguar XJS: 16/22 mpg city/highway
- Classy styling
- Heaps of features
- No more reliability issues
You Won't Like
- No manual transmission
- Price tag
- Pointless back seat
The end of a sporty Jaguar.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
- BMW 3-Series