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ROAD & TRAVEL's 2004 Luxury Car of the Year -- Jaguar XJ

In spite of its Jaguar's rich history and always-beautiful styling, its flagship XJ sedan had been relegated to a minor-league status in the ultra-luxury car market, primarily due to its tight interior and somewhat lackadaisical performance. But the 2004 Jaguar XJ sedan crouched, dug in its claws and then launched itself back into the hunt with an all-new, aluminum-skinned body that is at once larger and lighter than before.

With its newfound interior space, all memories of too-small interiors fade away, and with its newfound lightness, its performance is astounding. What hasn't changed is the sinewy, feline assertiveness of its slick body contours, as well as the elegance of its British-parlor interior fitments. What's more, all this excellence starts at under $60,000, which undercuts its competitors by such a large margin that you could be able to afford to fill the capacious trunk with equally high-quality items from Barney's, Geoffrey's and Neiman Marcus. And what, honestly, could be better than that?

Honorable Mentions:

Audi A8
Like the Jaguar XJ, the hot new Audi A8 also wears a state-of-the-art aluminum suit that lightens up the body so that it can incorporate still more state-of-the-art features, such as Audi's new Multi-Media-Interface and countless luxury features. The interior is one of Audi's best and largest ever, and the standard 330-hp V-8 never fails to satisfy.

Mercedes-Benz S600
Although the styling of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class has been with us for some five years now, the significance of the Mercedes-Benz S600 rests under the bonnet and inside its super-luxurious interior. Sure, its $122,000 price may make your eyes water, but the twin-turbocharged V-12 will make your heart quake. Start saving now.


International Car of the Year
Car of the Year
Cadillac XLR

Most Sex Appeal
Sports Car of the Year
Cadillac XLR

Most Respected
Luxury Car of the Year
Jaguar XJ

Most Dependable
Sedan of the Year
BMW 5-Series

Most Spirited
Entry-Level Car of the Year
Dodge SRT-4

Most Compatible
Minivan of the Year
Nissan Quest

Most Versatile
Crossover/Sport Wagon of the Year
Chrysler Pacifica
Most Memorable
Classic Car of the Year
Chevrolet SSR
Most Athletic
Pickup Truck of the Year
Ford F-150 FX4

Most Likely to Survive
SUV of the Year
Volkswagen Touareg

Class of 2004 ~ 8th Annual Awards Links