JAGUAR XJ6 Van Den Plas

LOOKS . Regal
HANDLING . Substantial
COMFORT . Supreme
QUALITY . Impressive
STEREO . Carnagie Hall
FUN TO DRIVE . Delightful
HEADS TURNED . Legal Beagles
EMOTION . Composure
CACHET . Deserved


Sticker . $64,420
Power . 245 horsepower
0 to 60 . 8 to 9 sec.
Test Mileage . 18.3 mpg
Seating . 5
Trunk . 11.1 cubic feet
Parking . Valet


Let's say it one time with the proper intonation - Jhag-U-ahr. This one is special. Big Jags have always been a presence, the new generation builds on all of the Jag mystique and brings this classic into the present on a mechanical level. Let's talk trash first - Jags are temperamental, troublesome and somehow fickle in the works. Ahem, we won't speak of the past, but the new Ford money powered Jaguar organization claims the skeletons have been laid to rest with a hearty dose of well funded, quality driven, American know-how, British refinement redesign. Today's XJ6's, while appearing to be merely properly restyled to return the grace of legend, are also almost entirely new under the skin, to banish the old demons.

I'm convinced. A Jag will never be the appliance a Toyota is, but these new XJ6 are very well designed and executed, with the survey results to prove it and the 4 year warrantee to back it up. Scratch one objection.

$65 thou is a big ticket, anyway you slice it. Worth it, you ask? Let's ride. Styling, paint quality and detailing of the exterior rate a front spot in any fancy LA bistro. The extra long rear doors of the stretch wheelbase Van Den Plas make every night a limo ride. Despite the mass, this beast hauls ass - excellent motor, never a moment of indecision and an impressive capacity for exceeding the ton, given a short open stretch. The big Jag 6 is just that, a macho chunk of metal which leaves no wonder why this car is fast. The power characteristics feature a jaguar-like lunge at about 3000 and steady acceleration to a heady top speed of 141 mph! Satisfying like a well planned take-over. Given the curves, the Van Den Plas plays well. Assured, composed, engaged - this is no floating luxo boat and can hustle when pressed. An excellent choice for a major road trip.

Let's talk decor. Classic British sedan, with extra glossy walnut expanse. Some said overdone; the chrome, the trim, good Lord there's even wood on the ceiling! Great seats, fine stereo, one of the best climate control systems, and an obedient transmission make up somewhat for confused switch placement and the occasional cheap bit. The driver's compartment was surprisingly snug. An atmospheric, but imperfect environment. Well suited to traditional tastes, but not entirely contemporary.

A fine road car, a testament to individuality; there will (hopefully) always be a Jaguar.