LISTS: Executive Cruiser: 2007 Jaguar XJ and 2007 Mercedes-Benz S550

By Stuart Fowle - May 1, 2007
The exterior of the XJ hasn't changed much in the past forty or so years, but that doesn't mean we don't love driving it. The sedan's all-aluminum structure helps it dance through curves like nothing else this large, and the supercharged 4.2-liter of the Super V8 and XJR models is pure old-school-muscle fun. The cabin continues that old world theme, looking like a hollowed out and heavily-varnished oak tree with leather seats bolted down in it. The aforementioned Super V8 offers headrest-mounted DVD screens and fold-down tray tables for rear passengers, making it the ultimate highway cruiser for four.
0705 Z+2007 Jaguar Xj+front
In the heavy-hitting flagship sedan market, no one stays on top for very long. Under the hoods and inside the cabins of these yachts on wheels lives the most brutal game of one-upsmanship in the automotive world. In any iteration--S550, S550 4-matic, S600, S63 AMG, or S65 AMG--the back seat of the biggest Merc is currently the most inviting place to read the news, make business calls, or in the S65's case, blast off to the moon. If you do happen to make it up to the driver's seat, an armrest-mounted dial provides infinitesimal seat adjustment, complete with four massage settings (go for "fast and vigorous.") Night vision and a full glass roof are just a few of the many lavish options that make the Maybach 57 and 62 seem like a waste of money. If you're dying for some extra power (the S550 is plenty fast) or maybe just want that AMG badge, go with the S63-the 65 is just too much.
0705 Z+2007 Mercedes Benz S550+front

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Cost to Own
Depreciation
57.2%
Depreciation
$60816
Insurance
$16920
Fuel Cost
$12647
Financing
$9449
Maintenance
$3969
Repair Costs
$1676
State Fees
$769
Loss in Value + Expenses
= 5 Year Cost to Own