When I was growing up, I was aware of more prestigious sedans than the Jaguar XJ6. However, none were as gorgeous.
“… the best Jaguar ever built.”
For 1983, Jaguar’s XJ6 sedan received a new center console, a thicker steering wheel rim, and newly standard Pirelli tires. Other than that, there were few changes to the Pininfarina-designed Series III version of the XJ6 that had been introduced in 1980.
The only powertrain available in North America was an XK 176 bhp 4.2 liter/258 ci inline six with fuel injection mated with a three-speed automatic transmission. 0-60 mph came in a little under 11 seconds in a sedan with a curb weight of 4,065 pounds. Fuel economy was rated at 17 (14 city/17 highway by today’s standards). With both fuel tanks full, an XJ6 owner could expect a range of 330 to 360 miles with a 10% fuel reserve.
The XJ6’s base price was $30,500—about $88,100 in today’s dollars. Standard mechanical equipment included a four wheel independent suspension, power rack and pinion steering, four wheel power disc brakes, and Pirelli P5 205/70VR15 tires (a size still available thanks to Vredestein) on 15-inch wheels. Inside, a power sunroof, centrally controlled door locks, power side mirrors, cruise control, and leather front bucket seats were included.
The $33,500 Vanden Plas version of the XJ6 kicked things up a notch, adding upgraded seats, individual swivel based reading lamps for the rear passengers, and burled walnut in the dashboard, the console, and the door panels. Jaguar described the Vanden Plas as “frankly opulent.”
By 1983, Jaguar quality overall had sharply improved under the management of chairman John Egan (knighted in 1986), so purchasing an XJ6 was a relatively safe decision. The Series III XJ6 was well-liked—Car and Driver pronounced it as “one of the Western World’s more delightful mechanical manifestations.” However, it was not particularly large inside—the EPA classified it as a subcompact car.
The View From 2022
According to Hagerty’s valuation tools, all the money for a 1983 Jaguar XJ6 sedan in #1/Concours condition is $31,800, with a far more normal #3/Good condition version going for $8,700. A Vanden Plas is believed to be worth about 2% more—far less than the cost it added back in 1983.
All vintage Jaguars have strong forum support, and there is definite collector interest in the XJ sedans. Eighties XJ6s are often available in the Hemmings Motor News classifieds, on eBay Motors, and at online auctions such as Bring a Trailer that cater to the eighties car market.
Make mine Racing Green, please. Can there be any doubt?
The other Jaguars I have written about are the 1982 XJ-S H.E. coupe and the 1988 XJ-S convertible.