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Jaguar XJ-Series

I am considering buying an XJ series Jag - say from 1995 to 1998.
(1) What advice can you give me ? XJ6 or XJ8 ?
Models to avoid ? What mileage range would be advisable ?
(2) What about the "unreliablility" of Jags - true or false for these model years ?
(3) What extended warrenty is best among those available ?
(4) Any other advice to someone "new to Jag" ?

Thanks! CC


  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    XJ6 or XJ8? My personal preference is V-8's on any car, but the I-6 is a good engine, and is favored by many because it's the last "true Jaguar" engine. If it doesn't bother you that your Jag engine has the same block as a Ford Taurus, go with the V-8. Also, the V-8 models will be slightly newer than the I-6's, which is always a plus. OTOH, the I-6's can be had slightly cheaper than a V-8. decisions, decisions, decisions.

    "Unreliability of Jags?" Corrected in the early 90's by Ford. No need to worry on newer cars.

    "Extended warranty" Sorry, no idea in this dept.

    Any other advice for new Jag owner? Yup. Will tell you more than you ever wanted to know about these cars. Just be sure you look under the "Modern" section and not the "XJ" section, because the "XJ" only covers cars made in 1987 and earlier.
  • arcoatesarcoates Posts: 221
    In case you didn't see my post in the high end luxury catagory, or missed it because ljflx has decided to prove me wrong, here is what I said:

    Personally, I would opt for the XJ6. There wasn't a huge improvement switching from the I6 to the V8. To compare, the I6 had 245 bhp, and 289 of torque. The V8 has 290 bhp, and 290 of torque. So, in day to day driving, where torque is more important, they are equal.

    The body styles are nearly identical, the XJ6's will be cheaper, interiors almost the same (I prefer the XJ6 interior design to the XJ8 actually). The XJ8's will come with more standard equipment, but any Jag buyer would load it to the gills anyway.

    We got our XJ6 used, as you will, and it had the "Select Jaguar Warranty" I think it's called. It's whatever Jaguar gives to it's used cars, that's the name. And it pretty much covers everything.

    I would say go for a 1996-97 XJ6. It's always better not to buy the first year of a car. I would also say to go for the Vanden Plas, as the rear-seat room in the standard wheelbase is pitiful.

    As for the reliability problems, Ford had owned Jaguar for a number of years when these models came out, and they worked out most of the bugs.

    They are great cars to buy used. The mileage isn't really an issue, since the engines are engineered to high standards. I'd say somewhere in the 60,000m range.

    I think you will be happy with either an XJ6 or an XJ8, but I would advise to go for the XJ6. Better fuel economy, and not much of a difference from the V8. Good luck.

  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    what about the XJR before they switched to a V-8 (I think starting in 1998) Are these supercharged I-6's reliabile? Does the drive train hold up to the torque? I see pretty fair prices on 96 and 97 XJR's on Finally are any of these Rear drive jags good in the snow? I don't know why I worry about such things. I'm just spoiled with the AWD cars we have now. In high school I had a 71 Plymouth with semi-bald 50 series tires which got me through Montana winters. Then again it never really mattered if I got where I was going!
  • I have tried several times to pull up wit no success. Could you check for the correct address.
  • etharmonetharmon Posts: 399
    I've always liked the styling of the 95 to present XJ sedans and the previous version(88?-94) were pretty sharp too. One thing, I don't like what they did to the instrument panel on the 98s. I know it mimics the XK8, but it just doesn't look as nice in a large sedan like the earlier ones did. The idea of a classy looking Jag with a V8(even if it is Ford based) is tempting though. BTW, from 95-97 Ford owned Jaguar used Cadillac transmissions(4L80E). I think they have switched to ZF 5 speed units on later models.
  • Be ye not afraid of the 6cyl Jaguar. That engine powered my 1975 XJ6L over 160K miles without a falter. After touring the assembly plant in England in 1989 (they were building the XJ40 series) and seeing the personal pride their craftspeople took in the product it was gratifying to own one. The XJ6 engine not only powered cars but military tanks and reconnaisance tough engine. Just make sure that whatever you purchase have it gone over by a reputable Jaguar's worth the expense.
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    Okay, I have jag-lovers website up, and I'm copying & pasting thw url exactly as it appears in the address bar.

    Hope this helps.

  • arcoatesarcoates Posts: 221
    I agree that the instrument panel in the 1995-1997 Jaguar XJ's is much nicer. The new one, is set in 3 different wooden holes. I prefer just a simple, common area for all of the car functions to be displayed in.

    I think that an XJR with the I6 would be a great car. I don't know too much about them, but if I were going to buy a regular wheelbase Jaguar again, I think I would go for an XJR, because otherwise there is no advantage on a standard Jag over a VDP.

    As for winters, as long as you get a car equipped with traction control and/or limited slip differential, it should be as good as any other RWD car.~ A.R.
  • Like Arcoates, I also posted in the High end luxury forum w/ A8/XJ8 etc (#644)forum about my XJ8. I suppose much of the stuff ie which engine is better or is the dashboard nicer etc is very subjective. It really depends on what you want and what you prefer. I do have one thing to add though, about the XJ's ability in the snow. I live in Northern VA, where, if it snows about 1/2 inch, everything closes down-if it snows 3 inches, we're closed for a couple of days. That said, there is no doubt that we (myself included) are not the best drivers inthe snow. During any snowstorm, the Jag stays in the garage. Although mine has traction control as well, the car, in addition to being rear wheel drive is very heavy in the back, and the rear has an acute tendency to slip. Usually, the traction control get's to the wheels b/f they slip, but for me, it's a very uncomfortable feeling, and I usually take one of my other cars. Now, this could be attributed to my unease in driving in the snow or to the car itself, but most of my other colleagues that have jags don't end up bringing their jags to work in the snow either.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Yeah, I think there are about 130 drivers on I95 this afternoon who have to agree with you!

    Sedans and Women's Auto Center Message Boards
  • arcoatesarcoates Posts: 221
    Shehzad, if you have been to the high-end luxury model board lately, you will notice that I am no longer a contributer because I could not take some people's bad attitudes towards me. I find comfort in knowing that we can have two different opinions on which car we prefer, and not get hostile. I just got so fed up with one particular person who would not get off my back. It's refreshing to see that not everyone who is a contributer is that rude.

    On the snow opinions- I entirely agree that the Jaguar should not be driven in the snow. My thoughts were just that the Jaguar would do as well as any other RWD sedan in the snow. But I never take it out, even in the winter. I live in Canada, where we have snow for about 4 months of the year. And most of the time, we get a lot of snow. The Jaguar is parked from mid-november to about mid-april. I just find that the body rusts easily, even when it is just exposed to the rain. So, if you are planning on buying a Jaguar christchurch, whether it be the XJ8 or XJ6, try to keep it out of the snow- it will last much longer that way.

    But, I think we can all agree that a used Jaguar is a great investment. Your money will be very well spent. Good luck~ A.R.
  • Thanks for joining me at my XJ Series Jaguar initiated site.
    I thought we needed a special place to all enjoy the special character and peculiarities of these "felines" !

    I appreciate your adding additional comments in response to mine on the "high end luxury site" to our discussion of Jaguar motorcars from which I transferred here my response.

    I tend to agree with you that the XJ8 is probably an improvement over the "the old workhorse" engine of the XJ6, but may be more a matter of taste (dashboard configuration, etc., engine hp, etc.).

    The safety issue is always one for me. I do think that the addition of side air bags increases ones protection in what is an otherwise quite safe vehicle.

    Thanks for confirming the reliability of the Jag.
    In the public mind this seems to be a caveat from which many run.

    One further note, you say you drive them "till they collapse".
    Have you ever purchased an "extended warrenty" to cover what could be costly repairs?
    If so, what company have you found provided the best coverage and was the most reliable?

    Any other purchase or ownership advice ?

    Thanks, christchurch
  • arcoatesarcoates Posts: 221
    Jaguar and Rolls/Bentley are the only cars left with their own personality these days. The rest are either copiers, or so teutonic that it almost is boring.

    Jag and Rolls/Bentley have always done things their own way. The pros cut up Jaguar for it's quirky ergonomics, but I like it that they have not conformed to the norm. There is no comparison to the woods they use. Even though Mercedes wood may be real, it looks so fake.

    I absolutely love Jaguar. I am hooked! I hope we will be able to tell out various experiences on here in the posts to come!~ A.R.
  • mvargo1mvargo1 Posts: 298
    I honestly think that you might be better off in the long term buying a V8. Designed and built exclusivly for Jag by the way. The design actually predates the ford buyout. It is detuned and loaned to ford without the cosworth heads and variable valve timing for use in LS lincons and T-bird's and has nothing to do with Tauruses (Tauri?). Than the supercharged six. If you are looking for an extended warrenty buy a certified car from a Jag dealer with the Jag warrenty and 5.9% financing.
  • etharmonetharmon Posts: 399
    I'm with you on Jaguar personality. Sure their interiors are a bit cramped for their size and ergonomics are not always first rate, but their cars are unique. It's almost like they intentionally run in the face of convention. And I like that in a car. I'd personally be happy with a 93 or newer XJ sedan. 93 is the break point because prior to that, Jaguar actually had those stupid automatic seat belts which were a total disgrace on a car like! The 95 redo looks the best though.
  • etharmonetharmon Posts: 399
    The only Jaguar that has an engine related to a Tauri's is the S-type V6.
  • I have always thought that the Jag is the best of in the "touring car" category.

    Others describe their cars like the BMW / Benz / Lexus / etc. as "drivers cars". They share the taut steering, tight (read rough) riding suspensions, rocket like acceleration, etc. Motor magazines and "techno" types continue to try to convince the public on these "standards" as the norm.

    Because Jags still preserve the "luxurious" ride and refined traditional elegance they are judged to be "not with it". That is,what they mean is. that they are not Germanic enough.

    Personally, I am happy to enjoy a "touring car" with its gentle and wonderfully smooth ride. I can leave behind the jarring, stiff ride of what has been labeled as "the new standard". When I drive a car conforming to these this "standard" it seems like driving a "Fred Flintstone car... one with stone wheels"!

    No thanks. I will take a Jag and enjoy a luxurious ride all the way past the competition and not need a chiropractor at the end of the journey!

    For me Jags preserve the historic driving expierence...codeld while srouronded with burled walnut and coney leathers. I know of no better way to enjoy motoring?

    Keep XJ's coming our to our shores....they only get better !
  • how fast do the 1997 xj6 Jaguar go is it 85 or 120 or 135. if you no email me or post it. my email is
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    I thought that the V-8 put in SHO Tauruses had the same block, different heads, cranks, pistons, ect, than the Jaguar engine. Personally, I wouldn't care if they took the Engine out of the Toyota Sequoia, I think it's a gorgeous car, and as long as the performance is there, I don't care what powerplant generates it.
  • I know that this board is for XJ6 cars but don't turn down a good '94 or '95 XJ12 just because of the extra six cylinders. If properly cared for the 12's are just as dependable as the 6's. Had a neighbor who had a '94 12cyl and a new Cadillac with the Northstar engine. Guess which one gave her the most trouble? Hers was the standard XJ12L but not the Van den Plas. This was in 1999. The Jaguar was her deceased husband's car. The Cadillac had to be towed out of the garage on 6 or more occasions and she followed it to the dealership with the Jaguar. We chatted frequently and she drove out to her sister's in Spokane from suburban Detroit with the Jaguar instead of the Cadillac. She felt that it was the more dependable of the two. Except for using a ton of gas, the car was trouble free both ways.
  • Thanks, netranger 4.

    These are great stories proving once again that there are a lot of people who have had very positive expierence with the "Cat" !

    It must have humbled the caddie dealer to see her pull in "six or more times" in her Jag following behind a tow truck with the caddie dangling !
    Wonder why people "don't get the picture"?

    Keep the Jag lore coming our way.
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    Unfortunately, it's easier to earn a bad reputation for yourself than build a good one. All of the unreliable Jags of the 70's and 80's are still haunting the company today, and it will take a while for their newfound dependability to win over disgruntled former owners left on the side of the road one too many times by an overheated V-12. FWIW, IMHO, (my the abbreviations!), if I were going to go for an XJ12, I'd get the 95 over the 94. The 95's a thousand times better looking than the 1994.
  • etharmonetharmon Posts: 399
    The Jag V8 and SHO V8 are totally different. The SHO V8 is actually a Yamaha engine just like the SHO V6 was.
  • are the 1995-1997 Vanden Plas as long as the 1997 XJ6L, which is 5 in. longer then the regular XJ6?
  • arcoatesarcoates Posts: 221
    Yes, the XJ6L is the same length as the VDP. The difference is standard equipment levels, and those cool aeroplane style picnic tables in the VDP.~ A.R.
  • In my opinion, I prefer and would only buy the VDP or the L series for the reason that the back seat leg room in the XJ6 is miniscual at best.
    These JAGS are really one or two passenger drivers cars since the back seat leg room is very cramped. A passengers legs are humped up and are therefore without support of the rear seat which is low to begin with.
    In other words, if you are going to have passengers opt only for the VDP or L series. The 5+/- inches makes rear seat occupants appreciate the ride and Jaguar style. Without it, anticipate stiff legs and ornery passengers, particularly on a journey of any length.

    It is time to stretch the legs !
  • arcoatesarcoates Posts: 221
    You are so correct. Ours is a standard wheelbase. It is so cramped in the back for the kids. Go for the long wheelbase unless you are getting an XJR. That is the only reason to stick with the standard.

    Or go for a coupe- about the same rear leg room!~ A.R.
  • Incidently, I am still interested in extended warranties.
    Once out of warranty, I think some repair cost protection is in order.
    I know that you indicated that the Jaguar dealer's warrenty is great. But, what if you didn't buy through them ? Can you still do so?

    All cars are expensive to repair JAGS being no exception and particuallry at dealerships. Luckily, a good "back ally" mechanic can also work with warranties.

    Has anyone had experience with them?
    I hear frightful stories about endless hassles, unpaid bills, denied claims, argumentative "customer reps.", and so on and so on.

    If you have had an extended warrenty with your JAG or know of someone who has, let me know.
    What are the pros and cons ?
    What companies are the most reliable?
    Got any ideas on these questions?

    Happy "Jagin" !
  • I am looking at XJ6's and XJ8's. My mechanic told me the XJ8's have a history of engine problems, mainly having to do with valves. I haven't seen anything on that topic in the current comments.

    By the way, there is a company in Dallas called Texas Mustang Sales that sells used Jaguars at wholesale prices to the public. See The prices are $6K - $8K lower than the local dealerships.

  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    From what I've heard, the midsize S-Type has better rear legroom than the larger XJ short wheelbase. If it were me, I'd avoid an XJR unless I was going to get one new. I'd apply that logic to *any* supercharged car, not just the Jag, mainly because people who buy supercharged cars want the extra power, and then make full use of it by driving the car harder.
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