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I'm a retired technical writer and lifelong car enthusiast. I happened upon this Jaguar review site while researching a mattress I want to buy, and could not prevent myself from writing a review about my Jaguar that is positive. Over 50+ years of driving I've owned mostly European brands, including Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Alfa Romeo... and Jaguar. I'm on my fourth Jaguar, a 2001 XJR -- their big sedan with a supercharged V8 that when introduced in 1997 was the fastest production sedan in the world. Over the past 10 years, with a little preventive maintenance, it has been reliable, affordable to service, and a delight to drive. I intend to keep it forever.
My first Jaguar was a 1970 XK-E, purchased used and pretty beat up in 1976 when I was 26. It was a dog because Jags built at the time were under British Leyland management. BL was a nightmare corporation put together by the British government to save their car industry, but instead, due to horrific management and rebellious labor unions, it ended the British car industry for the most part. That car ate me out of house and home. But hey! I was single, in my 20s, had a good trade, and owned an E-Type. Life was good!
My other three Jags have all been XJ sedans, the biggest car Jaguar builds. In my opinion, since its introduction in 1968 to its redesign in 2011, the Jaguar XJ is to this day the most beautiful post-war sedan on the market. The car was designed in-house and constructed at their legendary Coventry plant. My 2001 model was the last steel-bodied Jaguar, from the last series of XJ models to be constructed at Jaguar's original plant.
The company's reputation for poor reliability began when under British Leyland ownership, from the late 1960s to the mid-1970s. Unlike most other fine English brands like Rover and Humber, Jaguar survived the British Leyland fiasco and build quality improved under new management. But it wasn't until Ford bought Jaguar in 1990 that the company had the resources to upgrade their plant and, crucially, hold their parts suppliers accountable when the provided substandard components. (Think of Lucas electrics, the shoddy supplier that ruined so many British cars' reputations.)
Through the 90s, Ford spent billions modernizing every aspect of Jaguar, but left the British designers and engineers in charge, keeping the car English to the core, sharing no parts with American Ford products. By the time Ford sold Jaguar to Tata in 2008, the XJ series of big sedans rivalled Lexus in build quality and customer satisfaction. Ford never got the credit they deserved for saving the Jaguar brand and instilling world-class quality throughout the line. Only enthusiasts like me were aware what a bargain Jags from the mid-90s onward were on the used market, because their old reputation for unreliability kept resale prices at rock-bottom. Tata followed Ford's lead, investing yet more billions on an entirely new line and willing to wait years for the brand to become profitable. I love the new Jaguars but can't justify selling my 17-year-old XJR to get one because the car I've owned since 2008 is just so right for me.
Mind you, the series of XJ sedans mine came from -- the X308 series built from 1997 to 2013 -- was not perfect. In their obsession with keeping the cars lightweight, Jaguar used plastic components for some of the timing gear, and for the water pump. These components were failure-prone, and when failures occurred the company replaced them under warranty with metal parts. But many XJs got away without service problems and the plastic parts failed years out of warranty, causing engine overheats and even engine failures. Many unsuspecting buyers, people who did not devote their spare time to reading car magazines, got burned by this problem with the plastic parts, and I truly sympathize. But I was not one of them because I was in the know.
Being a car buff, I joined an independent Jaguar internet forum where I learned the car's weak points from other owners. And, I had my car serviced at a non-dealer independent Jaguar specialist shop. When I bought my 2001 XJR I had it inspected by my shop, who had serviced my two previous XJs. My shop informed me the car hadn't been through an overheat, and was mechanically excellent despite it still having those failure-prone plastic components.
I bought the car for a song ($12,000 for a car whose original price pushed $90,000 and was pristine). Then I spent a couple of thousand dollars swapping the plastic bits out for the factory metal replacement parts. Since then, over my 10 years of ownership, nothing major on the car has failed. I replaced the battery before it was worn out because a weak battery is the cause of so many check engine warnings and other anomalies in modern cars. Preventive maintenance is an important part of keeping a European luxury car reliable, but you need to be a knowledgeable owner and have access to an honest specialist repair shop.
The other weakness of this series of XJ was its ZF automatic transmission. This transmission was installed in most European luxury cars of that era, from Mercedes to Volvo, and was unscrupulously promoted as being "service free" for the life of the car. That marketing fantasy was based on the transmission's fluid being synthetic, not petroleum based. But in reality, though the synthetic fluid did not break down like petroleum-based fluid is prone to, it became contaminated with metal dust that is a natural product of thousands of miles of use. At over 80 thousand miles these ZF transmission were failure prone, as the accumulated dust clogged the filters and eventually became too gummy to lubricate the moving parts. This happened not just to Jags, but to all premium Euro brands of that time using that transmission.
When my car neared 100 thousand miles I discussed my concern about having to spend $6,000 replacing the transmission with the owner of my service shop. He suggested the shop replace the synthetic fluid, taking care to remove by hand all the accumulated gunk from the torque converter and other hard-to-reach areas. It was a big job and cost me several hundred dollars. But now the car has 155 thousand miles on the clock and still shifts like new. At every oil change my shop checks the transmission fluid for contaminants and it is still sufficiently clean to lubricate the internal parts effectively. I will have the transmission cleaned out again after another 20 thousand miles or so.
On the user forum I have read reports from owners of my generation of XJ sedan with 220 thousand miles on the clock and even more, and they are still reliable daily drivers. With a knowledgeable owner willing to invest in preventive maintenance, carried out by a Jaguar specialist, owning a used Jaguar sedan can be affordable even if its owner does not have a high-paying job. I am fortunate to live in the San Francisco Bay Area, which has more Jags than any other part of America and service shops abound. If you live in a red state and don't have access to a Jag repair facility that is not part of a dealership, I recommend you don't buy a Jag. On the other hand, for a car buff in a major urban center, a used modern Jag is cheap to buy and very reliable.
Why am I so fond of this particular car? One reason is that I like the British approach to luxury: lots of wood and leather inside, and exceptional styling outside. This appeals to me far more than the sterile form-follows-function ethos of the German manufacturers. Jaguar's chief stylist through its classic years, Malcolm Sayer, was actually an aerodynamicist whose training was in the aircraft industry. For this reason, Jaguar cars from the E-Type onward and including my XJ have a "fuselage" approach to their design.
On the outside, the bottom of the car's body (the rocker panels, rear fenders, and so on) follows a curve to the car's underside rather than ending abruptly as with most cars. The overall exterior design language is dictated in large part by the car's streamlining, for better performance and fuel economy, and by its simplicity of form, free from decorative swoops and scoops. Jaguar sedans including the generation I own are low-slung, sitting four or five inches lower than German or American sedans. That's why they are so pretty. On the inside, the fuselage approach means a more snug fit than other luxury cars. Actually, if you're over six feet tall, a Mercedes might fit you better. But I'm only 5'10" and 170 lb. and the XJ fits me like a glove. My previous car, a BMW 740i, was a wonderful machine but I felt like I was sitting in a barn.
I purchased my 2001 XJR privately from the owner of a Porsche custom tuning shop. The car was his wife's. She didn't want it anymore because her friends all drove Priuses and teased her about not being environmentally aware. The owner and I had a pretty good laugh about this. Being flying averse, the owner's wife drove the car regularly between the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles to see her Prius-driving friends. As a result, the car's 80 thousand original miles were easy ones, what they call highway miles. The car was never used for commuting, which is the hardest driving there is on a car's mechanicals, and it was parked in a garage every night, protecting it from the aging effect of the intense California sun. And being a California car, it never saw snow and rarely even got rained on.
Under my ownership since 2008, I too have not had to use the car for commuting. I was self employed and worked mostly from home. And every night of my ownership, the car spent in underground parking, sheltered from the elements. Though its factory-order mica Emerald paint has lots of stone chips on the hood from all that freeway driving, after a wash and wax that deep green metallic sparkles in the sun as if the car was new. Not a bit of fade or orange peel. Inside, the wood and leather have also held up well, due to minimal exposure to the elements and application of leather conditioner to keep it from drying out.
Though I've slowed down in my later years, I've always valued the performance qualities of the cars I owned. My XJR accelerates faster than muscle cars from the 60s, and is governed to 155 mph. Its double-wishbone suspension and Bilstein shocks give it a cloud-like ride, yet it corners remarkably well for a big car. The front seats are superbly comfortable -- I've done several thousand-mile days and emerged without a sore back, not even terribly fatigued. The rear seats are a little cozy but acceptable for adults under six feet. At 70 mph the car is eerily quiet -- the is no engine noise and little wind roar, and you can barely hear the tires. Noise causes fatigue on long trips, and quietness at highway speeds is a very important aspect of a luxury car.
But the car is not perfect in its performance. Its four-wheel disc brakes are a little smaller than they should be and so the car experiences some brake fade on long mountain descents at speed. And, being supercharged, it uses a lot of gas. I get only 15 mpg in the city and 20 on the highway. But then again, the car's power makes it all the more enjoyable to drive. It's not about out-accelerating the car beside you from a stop light. I'm talking about the kind of power that enables you to easily get up to highway speed on a short freeway entrance ramp, or pass a slower car on a two-lane road with minimum exposure in the left lane. Used responsibly, power is a safety feature. And it contributes to the car's driveability: the minimal effort required to speed up, slow down, or maneuver.
And then there's the sense of occasion that comes with every Jaguar. Here in the Bay Area, BMWs, Mercs, and Audis are commonplace and go unnoticed. But everybody spots the Jaguar. Even members of the general public who know almost nothing about European cars can identify a Jaguar instantly. I couldn't guess the number of times strangers have complimented me on my car over the years. By the same token, the experience of driving the car never gets old. It's a very easy car to drive around town, with feather-light steering, excellent outward visibility, and effortless acceleration. Friends and clients are delighted at the opportunity to be passengers in a big Jaguar sedan -- usually it's the first Jag they've actually driven in. And universally they are wowed by the luxurious interior, so warm and traditional, built by craftspeople, not robots.
At age 68 I suppose I have another decade or so of driving left to me, before the guys in the white coats take me away. I'm sure that if I continue to take care of it, my XJR will see me through to my retirement from the road and go to some lucky third owner. I realize how different I am from most luxury car owners. In fact, here in the USA, most people driving luxury cars don't really own them -- they lease them for 36 months and are careful to keep the miles low to avoid surcharges. After the lease expires it's on to the next luxury car. Often, people who go from car to car like this don't bother servicing them. They know they won't have the car long enough to bear the cost of premature wear caused by, say, not bothering to change the oil or even check its level.
Car enthusiasts like me are quite the opposite, behavior-wise. We buy our cars with our hard-earned cash and keep them for a long time. If we can afford it, we own two or three cars. (I can't.) And we love our cars. We make sure they get the best care, and we don't abuse them with clumsy driving, and we make sure they're kept clean and have a safe, dry place to spend every night. I haven't bought a new car from a dealership for many years. Instead I use resources like Craigslist and buy privately from fellow car enthusiasts. It's like sharing the same religion -- there's a bond among us and we can spot a grifter at a hundred yards.
So even though my Jaguar-owning experience has been generally wonderful, I can understand how owning exactly the same car could be problematic for a non-enthusiast. Most car owners are at the mercy of car dealerships or franchise repair shops for servicing their cars, and that's an expensive route to take with an out-of-warranty Euro luxury car. The dealerships don't have the time to actually fix things -- instead they swap old parts out for new and parts for European luxury cars are very expensive.
And if you buy a Jaguar, for goodness sake keep it away from Pep Boys! It must be serviced by a trained Jaguar technician. If I did not live a convenient distance from an honest, independent Jaguar service shop, I would not own a Jaguar, The same goes for any other used European luxury sedan. Especially the German ones. All three major German brands have a dismal repair record once they are out of warranty. Modern Jaguars, believe it or not, are built to last.
No doubt this review will be an outlier, because usually the authors of product reviews on websites like this one are unhappy with their purchase and want to share their misery. From the one-star Jag reviews I've read here, I can tell many of the owners did not understand their car or appreciate it. Premature brake fade, for example, is almost always the result of riding the brake pedal with the left foot. When you see cars cruising along with their brake lights flashing, it means their drivers are dabbing the brakes without realizing it and wearing them out prematurely. Never rest your left foot on the brake pedal!
Owning a Jaguar requires a level of commitment that other cars don't. These are not disposable cars. They need to be cherished. For those of us willing to make the leap, a used mint-condition Jaguar sedan can be bought for pennies on the dollar. And if properly serviced, the car will be reliable and economical to own. If you find the right car, and the right service shop, and know the car's vulnerable aspects (something all cars share), you too could be the owner of a car you never intend to replace.
I love my 2009 Jaguar Premium Luxury XF but there could be improvements to gas consumption in city. But on the highway is a different story and it definitely makes up for gas mileage. One fill up from Detroit to Indiana with a little more than a quarter tank left upon arrival. That included 30 minute periods in excess of 90+mph.
I have always wanted a Jaguar which has always been my dream car. Jaguar XJL is an amazing car which has all the options I wanted. It has exceptional performance, luxury and style. I love the British racing green color on the exterior and the beautiful cream color leather upholstery. However, the navigation system needs updating as it will not accept some street names and addresses and the touch screen is not nearly sensitive enough.
I have been very vocal about my dissatisfaction with JLR Corporate. My car has been in service half the time I've had it in my possession. The car has experienced complete electrical and transmission failures four times while either my wife or I were driving it. Corporate again has denied my request to get out of this defective deathtrap of a car. If anyone else has a negative experience with JLR Corporate reach out to me. I'm reaching out to an attorney to get resolution. In the interim, I am going to refuse to pick up the car from the dealership, and will surrender it back to the bank. I'd hoped for a better outcome but to no avail. I hope those of you who have a great experience continue to do so. As for me I'm done with my F-Pace S. It an overpriced piece of garbage.
First off, the car is beautiful. Second when it drives, it delivers a pleasant experience. Lastly, it can't be fixed. I have less than 11,000 miles yet, the oxygen sensor goes out quarterly, the dealerships are understaffed, and I keep going back with the same problem. Friends with the gas model don't have this problem, but they get 14 mpg in the city.
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If you're thinking of a Jaguar, forget it. My wife wanted one for years so in 2015 got her one for her birthday. What a horrible experience and like others have written there isn't enough space in this text block to write all out. Did the online sales. Scheduled a test drive - dealership couldn't even find the car at the appointment. Wife had to return the following day. Salesmen jacked the price by ~4K higher than what was agreed to by email. Plus sold my wife an extended warranty. Car was good for about a year - we learned it's very expensive to maintain. Dealership charged us $170 for an oil change. Most Oil change shops will not work on Jaguars. Car broke down. Timing chain cover gasket failure. Oil squirted on the alternator and battery causing both to fail. Car towed Dealership never called us, We called them numerous times.
I called the service desk, service manager and general manager several times each progressively. No one returned my call. Wife had to go to the dealership as I was starting to worry perhaps the car had been stolen. Parts took a week to arrive. Total time in the shop was about two weeks. No loaner. Dealership said no loaner was available - another common complaint. Mechanic's workmanship was a joke. Reinstalled the hood incorrectly causing vibration and bouncing which chipped the paint. Numerous fasteners not reinstalled in the engine compartment.
Over the next 8 months we had these issues; Signal light indicating the trunk (boot) was open. Headlight low beam pointed at the ground directly in front of the vehicle - very dangerous condition. Dealership said the soonest appointment was 30 days out. If we wanted a loaner it was 45 days out. The AC started turning itself off and on. Entire car would turn itself off while stopped. Had to use the started to restart the car. On restart it was more like a reboot - systems all had to be reset including radio station and climate control. Fuel filler tube had a recall the dealership never correct. Eco mode stopped working. Another oil leak at the timing chain cover - another two week repair job. Tire monitoring system erroneously signaling a flat tire. Cigar light was fake, order one from the dealership waited a month.
New one arrived. Opened box - it was another demo fake one. One door handle was a slightly different color than the rest of car. Logged a complaint with Jaguar HQ customer service - they're a joke. I called the number they provided at least a dozen times over the course of two weeks leaving my case number, name and return phone number. NEVER spoke to anyone. Filed a complaint with Jaguar parent company TaTa Motor. Never received a word from them either. Took the car to another authorized service center - discovered we did Not have an extended warranty. Called the dealership numerous times. No one called back. My wife went to the dealership and they left her waiting for two hrs and she finally got mad and left.
This issue is still not resolve, Have zero help from any customer service so guess I'll have to find a consumer/contracts attorney to sue them for the 5K we paid for an extended warranty. Summarize Worst car buying experience I ever had - bar none. Worst quality car I have ever purchased - bar none. A wrecked Yugo would have been better. Do Not buy a Jaguar. They have absolutely lost any resemblance of the Jaguar of days gone past. They're doomed for bankruptcy.
No integrity in this company. I bought a brand new XF in 2010, water pump replaced 3 times but ok. It was under warranty. Then the leather dash started warping, they responded, "Not our problem." Fast forward 5 years my entire dash display fails. Dealership admits that there is a known fault in the sunroof which causes massive rain leakage thru the roof under the seats which btw causes the failure of the display but, "Sorry. Not our problem." Jaguar is the worst company, they do not stand by their product.
Please tell me I'm not the only one experiencing bad issues with Jaguar. I bought a 2017 Jaguar F-Pace diesel and have had nothing but problems. It's been in the shop so many times and all for different issues. It's had electrical issues, trim and body issues, fuel issues and so on. I've had it for almost 2 years and only have 9K miles because it continuously breaks down. The real issue is when it goes in to "restrictive performance" mode and will only go 25 miles per hour. It happened twice on the highway. It's very dangerous to drive. It's now been in the shop for 2 weeks and they still can't seem to get it to run correctly. I initiated a buyback and they just notified me that it "doesn't fit within their buyback parameters" because it's always had different issues. There's logic for you. I think it's time to contact an attorney and start legal action.
They don't come even close to Mercedes Benz in car quality, service experience and overall technician competency. The car has been presenting a suspension issue and they state is normal suspension noise. Totally baffled with their communication. It's been a total nightmare.
My 2016 F type stopped at a red light and shut off. No power to turn on hazard flashers or put car into neutral to push off the side of the road. Called for roadside assistance at 1:30 pm. First truck arrived at 3:30. Since the car cannot be put into neutral the driver told me I needed a different type of tow truck with a wheel lift. Called roadside back. Was told to wait for another truck. Each hour that passed I called to get updates and was given false info and lies.
By 7:30 PM I realized that nobody was coming to help me. I called a private tow company which I paid for. They arrived within 20 minutes and towed the car back to my house because the dealer was closed at this point. The tow driver that helped me told me that Jaguar pays so little to the AAA for pickups that they are a last priority. If you ever get stuck on a busy day they will not pick you up. If they did not lie to me I would have called for my own tow hours before. I was left in the middle of a busy highway from 1.30 PM till almost 8:00 PM by Jaguar. If you buy a car don't expect any service from these people. Warren Henry Jaguar could not care less about customer service. I will look into legal recourse for my horrible experience but my advice would be to buy a different vehicle. Terrible feeling being completely stranded. Roadside never called to see if I got picked up.
I called to speak to a supervisor and held the line for 40 min. I finally hung up. This is the first time I am complaining about a car. I have owned Cadillac, Lexus, Mercedes, Bmw and Maserati and have had good or at least reasonable service from all of them. Do not find yourself in my position. I did not drink water or use the restroom for all those hours as the police told me I had to stay with the car. Anyway I was far from a rest stop or gas station to walk to. A true nightmare.
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