What alternatives should I consider to a used Jaguar XJ saloon?
The chief rivals to the Jaguar XJ come from Germany. The Mercedes S-Class is the most accomplished car of this type, with one of the most comfortable rides around and far more space than the XJ. it isn’t as sharp to drive though, and because it holds its value very well, you won’t be able to buy as nice an example for your money.
The BMW 7 Series is a little more affordable than the S-Class and similarly spacious, plus it has a more modern, higher-quality interior than the XJ. That said, the 7 Series isn’t as comfortable, and while it is sharp to drive, the XJ is a little more involving.
The Audi A8 and Volkswagen Phaeton are the other German alternatives; both are about as affordable as the XJ these days and endowed with beautifully-built interiors, though the A8 suffers from a firmer ride and the Phaeton is both thirsty and rather anonymous.
Alternatively, if you feel like something left-field, you could look at the Lexus LS. With no diesel option, you’re stuck with a 4.3-litre petrol engine, but live with its thirst and you’ll have one of the quietest cars around, and one filled with gadgets, to boot.