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Jaguar XJ Series: Which Years are the Best?

Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
edited October 2014 in Jaguar
Those in the know, tell the newbies which year XJ to buy (and why).


  • wesywesy Member Posts: 1
    Looking into buying a 1998 Jaguar XJ8L.
    45,000 miles.
    Execellent condition.
    Computer board changed due to a short. Cost was $3,000.
    Asking $15,000

    Is this a good buy?

    Is this a high maintance car?
  • freeoppressedfreeoppressed Member Posts: 3
    Whether it is a good buy or not is in the eye of the beholder. I just purchased my third Jag. It is a 2002 Jaguar XJ Sport with 55,000 miles. I bought it for much less than $15,000. I purchased it to replace my 1998 Jaguar XJ8. When I bought it, it had 72,000 miles. It now has 203,000; uses no oil; and runs like a top. Now you know why I just purchased my third Jag.
  • lizabetalizabeta Member Posts: 3

    I may be about to "inherit" a 1993 XJ6 sedan. I have been told that I must use premium fuel in it. Is this true?

    Also, are there any other maintenance tips, such as tire, oil types to use and a general maintenance plan? I'd appreciate any help or guidance to where I can find it. I'm willing to be diligent, but need a plan in place!

  • eatkinseatkins Member Posts: 9
    The Jaguar XJ 2006 remains one of the best luxury cars you can buy. It also appears to be one of the best values, at least in terms of price paid for the luxury it exudes. When a Jaguar XJ rolls up, it makes a statement of true luxury.
    The XJ is a truly beautiful luxury car, with lithe, elegant lines that ooze class and sex appeal, and its luxurious cabin is swathed in rich leathers and warm woods. Underway, it's quiet, smooth, stately, and powerful and it handles quite well. The XJ is far easier to operate than the German cars, namely the BMW 7 Series, the Audi A8, and the Mercedes S-Class, all of which have become so burdened with technology that can serve to annoy and frustrate drivers unfamiliar with their complex controls. Plus, the Jaguars cost less than the comparable German models. The 2006 Lexus LS 430 offers many of these assets, though it isn't as easy to operate as the Jag nor does it make a statement of true luxury and class the way the British marque does. That bit about true luxury applies to the Cadillac STS as well; the Cadillac just doesn't have the snob appeal of the Jaguar. In short, nothing says true luxury quite like a Jaguar XJ Vanden Plas. Roll up to a five-star hotel in one of these and you'll be treated like royalty.

    The XJs come in regular and long-wheelbase versions. The long-wheelbase models offer enough rear-seat room to recline and watch a movie while having lunch on a flip-down wooden tray, all coddled in rich wood and leather. Though stretched five inches, these longer and roomier Jaguars are for practical purposes just as quick, just as nimble and just as fuel-efficient as the standard-length versions.

    Though easy to operate, the XJ models are stuffed with sophisticated technology, but it's tucked out of the way so the driver benefits from the technology without being annoyed or distracted by it.

    The Jaguar XJ8 was launched as an all-new model for 2003, along with the high-performance XJR. Both were greatly improved, offering superior ride and handling to their predecessors thanks to their rigid lightweight aluminum structure and computer-controlled double-wishbone suspensions. The long-wheelbase XJ8 L, Vanden Plas and Super V8 followed. For 2006, a new limited-edition Super V8 Portfolio, a super-luxurious model, joins the line.

    All of the 2006 XJ models benefit from a number of upgrades, including more powerful engines, a new braking system, laminated glass for improved noise isolation, a driver-selectable automatic speed limiter, and a new tire pressure monitoring system. The chrome mesh grilles from the R models are now seen on all models for 2006, while new smoked-lens side markers and the removal of body-side and front/rear window moldings give all models a fresh appearance. A new navigation system comes standard on XJR and Vanden Plas models, and an electric rear sunblind is fitted to every XJ8 L.
  • aziegleraziegler Member Posts: 3
    Yeah I'm a little shaken by one guy's bad experience with a 2004 xjr, as I am (probably) going to buy a 99 XJR this weekend- now I have heard nothing but great things about 98, 99, 2000 but it seems like any car in the 2002-2005 range is a flimsy piece. This is not just jags- so I feel OK about it. The XJR I am looking at is a 1999 with about 55k miles- looks perfect but the price is 7900, and I know they depreciate fast but is this a deal or should I be worried. After all I am ditching a mercedes benz due to little problems that could be easily fixed. I'm not neccesarily saying I will listen to anyone :-) but any advice may help. If not you will hear back from me and you can say "I told you so"
  • tworkdatworkda Member Posts: 7
    I currently have a 2001 XJ8 which appears to be a beautiful car from far but the problems that this HIGH PRICE LUXURY vehicle has should be an embracement to Jaguar. These cars should be trouble free like your proud company’s (Honda, Toyota, etc). The cost alone at the dealerships is outrages and when visiting them they think money grows on trees. I’m stuck now and the re-sale value is horrible because of the knowledge people have gained through the years concerning quality & dependability. I do agree the cars are all show and no go when it comes to dependability and being problem free.
  • russrdhrussrdh Member Posts: 4
    I have owned my XJ6 since new. It has been a stellar piece of craftsmanship as my only repairs to date have been for new seals and a rear end rebuild. I have had problems with headlight and foglamp breakage of late. are there any covers made foe these glass pieces that would protect them from rocks?

    Also: I am looking for an areo kit (particularly rocker extensions) that will gice the car a lower look without actually lowering the body. It has always looked a bit ungainly from the side aspect.
  • KirksjohnsonKirksjohnson Member Posts: 11
    I can tell you what year not to buy 95!!!! I bought a 95 XJR with 88000 miles on it It was my second jag first being 88 XJ6. That was a good car I bought it for 2000.00 with 122000 on it and sold it with 240000 and the only thing I bought for it was gas and oil. The engine used no oil and did not have one failed gasket the hole time I owned it. Good stuff. But the XJR was a diffrent story. The first time I drove it over a hundred miles away I shut down on me. No start no spark no fuel pressure. ECM fried out on me, very expensive. Changed the oil on it for the first time because the dealer I bought it from said it had a fresh oil change. Looked at the drain plug on the oil pan and some one had mashed a coarse SAE 1 inch bolt in the drain hole which cracked the pan from the rear to the front.(Cast aluminum oil pan) But they had a good fix for that JB weld. 650 dollar oil pan. Had to lift the engine half way out of the car to replace it. (Found alot of Jiffy Lube recipes in the documented service history folder they gave to me when I bought it). Tried to take it on a trip again security system activated on me while I was driving on the interstate and would not re start. Had to have a tow company flat bed it back 260 mile to the closest Jag shop. They couldn't get it started . Found a bad relay inside the ECM. Got another new one. YAY. Since I bought the car It always seemed to drift real bad going down the road the rear end always felt like it was on gravel. and it ate a set of new perelli tires that cost about 275 a piece. Found the folcrume bearings in the axle hub lost all there roller bearings. Fixed that. The seat would move all the way back every time the car would start and would not come forward again untill car was shut off. New seat control ECM fixed that. At this time I started to use salvage yard parts from a place in FL. It was just getting too expensive to get new parts for it. The heated mirror shorted out on the driver side and started to smoke when I was going to work and all I could do was laugh because it was just to much I had spent more on that car keeping it on the road the what I payed for it but once your in that deep how do you cut your loses? The car was fast though. I love the wine a good roots supercharger makes when you get the rpms turning. I finaly did a car fax to see what kind of life this car had before me and come to find out it was a rental in Joliet IL. The only thing I can say is car fax is worth the money.
  • 98XJRmybabe98XJRmybabe Member Posts: 1
    I have just moved to the Arlington, Virginia area and am looking for a good Mechanic for some work on my Jag XJR 1998. Purchased the car about 2 months ago and been reading about some problems with the timing chain tensioners. Would like to have them replaced. And the entire car checked out before problems start happening.

    New Jag Owner need Help.

    But I do Love The XJR
  • stevejostevejo Member Posts: 9
    Interesting, sounds like it led a hard life as a rental! I have a '96 XJR which I bought as a Jaguar Select Edition car from the Jaguar dealer in Willmette, Il back in the fall of '99. It had 17k miles when I bought it and now has 122K miles. It's been the best car I've ever owned. Maintenance has been somewhat pricey but local Indy dealer has let me bring my own parts when I could acquire them elsewhere for less. I'm thinking about replacing it with a 2005 XJR, but only if the price is right since I can't hardly bring myself to part with the '96!
  • jovelljovell Member Posts: 1
    hi, the best years are from 98 to 03,after 03 ford took over and mass them up,like what they did with the landrover. the ford took away the jaguar trademark from them, like the hood how it opens, the gass fill and the mascot , i have the xj8 03 till now I do not have one single problem and I am very happy with it
  • allojohnallojohn Member Posts: 6
    Actually, I think you'll find Ford bought Jaguar in 1989 and sold it in 2008.
  • angelis745angelis745 Member Posts: 4
    Actually the purchase by ford helped the brand. Most of us are old enough to remember the electrical nightmares of the older models. That's why Lucas Electric is called the "Prince of Darkness"
  • flonightpilotflonightpilot Member Posts: 2
    This is a novice question: I have a lovely 2001 XJ8, trouble free except I have no owners manual. Can anyone recommend where to download/purchase? Thank you.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Member Posts: 8,502
    Try ebay or call your local Jag dealer. Those manuals are most likely out of print but they may have some old ones lying around. If they do I am sure they would sell you one.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Here's One on eBay Right Now

    Not cheap but if you need good info, maybe worth it.
  • flonightpilotflonightpilot Member Posts: 2
    Thank you. I had contacted the only Jaguar dealership in the Twin Cities, Downtown Jaguar.
    Not only were they rude but asked why I didn't buy a car from them and said it would be "weeks" before I received the manual and cost was $125.00+.

    I don't mind the cost but their attitude I can live without. 'trying eBay now.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    The one on dBay even has the radio manual, and a nice pouch, too.
  • 1fastcat1fastcat Member Posts: 4
    My 2001 XJR needs new shocks up front, and will probably need rears soon as well. I've checked the market for different options, and was wondering if anyone has any experience with Koni, Bilstein, or KYB as opposed to the OES in terms of responsiveness, firmness, and overall ride quality? I live in NY, and the roads are full of seams, steel plates, and potholes so big Evil Kneivel was seen trying to jump one in a rocket bike.....so the shocks need to be durable.
  • 1fastcat1fastcat Member Posts: 4
    Does anyone know where I can get a fuse box diagram for the rear box (in trunk) for a 2001 XJR?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Bilsteins are the best IMO and probably in most people's opinions. You get what you pay for. I'd rate them Bilstein first, then Koni, then KYB.

    The OEM shocks are probably a very good compromise but automakers don't always spend top dollar on these things. Can you determine the maker of the original shock?

    If durability is a main factor, it's hard to beat the Bils.
  • 1fastcat1fastcat Member Posts: 4
    Thanks. I think the original equipment is manufactured by Bilstein, so going with the sport option up front and heavy duty in the rear makes makes sense. Any idea how tough the job is? I've changed shock's my my trucks before, and its always been a simple bolt off/bolt on and torque properly routine, but never the Jag. Is it something that can be done reasonably easily, or do I take it to a shop?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I've never done it either but I can look up the labor rates for you, based on the skill of a trained mechanic....let's see here (flip, flip.....hmmmmm......)

    Okay, it's 2.3 hours for both front shocks, which look conventional, and 3.0 for both rears, which look to be co-axial (damper inside spring), and that definitely requires require special tools--spring compressor and something called "restraining straps" whatever the hell they are. They look like cables you secure to the coiled spring.

    My guess is that you should be able to do the fronts but I wouldn't tackle the rears without a workshop manual.

    Shocks retail are pricey at $239 a pop.

    On the bright side, you can get down on your knees and be thankful the self-leveling shock option was not available in the US.
  • 1fastcat1fastcat Member Posts: 4
    Thanks so much. I can get a pair of Koni's up front for about $280, and the Bilstein "sports" for about $310. However, I understand that the "sports" have a shorter piston, and are generally intended for cars with lowering springs and may not fit right. Bilstein Heavy Duty, which is what Bilstein lists as the right shock in their applications guide is a little less expensive at about $200 for the pair. I understand from Bilstein that the HD shock is an upgrade from OEM, and the shock in the US called Heavy Duty is what they list in Germany as "sport". Its all very confusing.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I dunno....I'd guess that any upgrade from OEM would be logically heavy duty.
  • adobian1adobian1 Member Posts: 4
    The XJ6 1995-1997 is best.
  • jagericjageric Member Posts: 1
    Should have OEM Bilsteins all around. The fronts are simple. The rears, not so much. If you look, they should be inside of the springs, one on each side (independent rear suspension). The last time I did mine (several years ago), Bilsteins were the only option. Got them from Coventry West at a decent price.
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