1996 Jaguar Vanden Plas Reviews from North America

1996 Jaguar Vanden Plas 4.0 L6

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2012
Most recent year of ownership2012
Engine and transmission 4.0 L6 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired91633 miles
Most recent distance95645 miles
Previous carToyota Corolla

Summary:

Best value for the $$$

Faults:

EGR valve had carbon build up, which was easy to clean and reset the check engine light.

Front shocks needed replacing. Replaced with Bilstein.

Rear pumpkin seal leaking, replaced and changed the oil.

Inside rear view mirror inoperable. Found an exact replacement from a 2002-2004 Acura TL model; just had to change the plug end.

General Comments:

For the size and weight, it moves out of its own way with ease, and the MPG is quite good.

Handling really improved with new shocks. Much better than my MB T300.

Fun factor is great, and short and long trip comfort cannot be beat.

Value is one of the best.

If you are a DIY kind of person for repairs and maintenance, it's really not that hard. There are lots of sites on line to help you along. You will save lots of $$$ doing it yourself if you do the research first.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd August, 2012

1996 Jaguar Vanden Plas 4.0 litre V6

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 4.0 litre V6 Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired183000 kilometres
Most recent distance193000 kilometres
Previous carChrysler 300

Summary:

This car is unquestionably an absolute pleasure to drive, and it looks fantastic

Faults:

Coolant hoses.

General Comments:

Exceptional build quality, comfort and handling for a 13 year old car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th December, 2009

1996 Jaguar Vanden Plas

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1995
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired104000 miles
Most recent distance114000 miles
Previous carSAAB 9000

Summary:

The "X300" Series Jaguar (made from '95 - '97) is a superb machine

Faults:

The car began to stall occasionally at low rpm. Before undertaking repairs, our mechanic suggested disconnecting the idle speed control valve, as a test. This has completely resolved the issue for the past 8 months, with the nuisance of an illuminated Check Engine light.

The cup holder was broken when we bought the car, and we replaced it for $100. The design is flimsy and care is needed to prevent breakage.

The headliner is starting to sag, a typical issue for many cars after 10 years.

Other than these very minor problems, the car has been astonishingly solid and trouble free for the 10,000 miles we've owned it. The car looks and feels like a new vehicle. Every system works perfectly and the car is exceptionally comfortable.

General Comments:

The 1996 Vanden Plas is a superb car. We had previously owned a 1986 XJ6 Series III, and while it was extremely beautiful and basically solid, the technology and build quality were out of another era, with pervasive rusting and mechanical systems showing the telltale signs of Jaguar's financial troubles- systems cobbled together rather than being properly designed and built.

Our 1996 replacement, while slightly less elegant in certain details (Pininfarina's gorgeously tapered trunk of the Series III was compromised in the interest of greater capacity), is light years improved in construction quality, with Ford's billions of dollars in investments paying dramatic dividends. Our 1996 VDP is rock solid, without one speck of rust anywhere, after 12 years in New England. The drive train is silky smooth and powerful, at 114,000 miles. Every system works as it should. The AC blows ice cold. The car is an absolute gem.

Long road trips have been a delight in all weather conditions, with the miles just floating silently by. You have to watch your speed, as the car easily glides to 90 mph or beyond without a hint of effort, feeling like 50. Highway mileage, at 75 mph, averages about 22 mpg; urban driving can be half that. The length of the car takes some getting used to in the city, but is perfectly manageable.

Handling, with Pirelli P4000 Super Touring tires, is excellent, even in torrential rain. Snow is another story.

The car has been so good that we're looking for another '96 or '97, while low mileage examples are still available. Jaguar really hit the ball out of the park with these model years.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th August, 2008

1996 Jaguar Vanden Plas X300

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired78801 miles
Most recent distance92456 miles
Previous carJaguar XJ40

Summary:

Best car I've ever owned

Faults:

Right rear wheel bearing had to be replaced. A common problem with these.

Front wheel bearings were also marginal so I replaced those as well.

The driver's seat memory didn't work when I bought the car. This is a fairly common problem. I bought a replacement module.

The radiator mounts disintegrated. Another fairly common problem, but it's a very easy fix.

The headliner started to fall down.

The Harmon/Kardon sound system is tricky, the volume changes slightly as you're listening to CDs and the rear bass speaker failed.

The paint on the top surfaces (roof, trunk, hood) fades with these cars, especially the darker colors. A good body shop can fix this for $1,800.00.

General Comments:

This 4.0 liter engine and the automatic transmission that Jaguar uses in these cars are probably the best they've ever made.

Other problems with these cars (which I have not experienced yet) are:

1. Automatic rear view mirror starts to leak fluid

2. The clock fails and you can no longer read the display

3. The small bulbs that illuminate the odometer blow out (a relatively easy fix)

In spite of the minor annoyances I listed, these X300s (1995-1997) Jaguars are one of the best they ever made! My car is going on 12 years old and if you ask me, that's a better than average track record for a car of that age compared to any other makes. NO MAJOR ENGINE PROBLEMS, is the big advantage which far outweighs the small problems!

The car handles well, the engine and transmission are perfect, the climate control system is so much better than the XJ40 (1988-1994 XJ6) or earlier Series III XJ6s.

I paid $7200.00 for this car in May of 2007 and don't regret it one bit.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th December, 2007

Average review marks: 8.4 / 10, based on 6 reviews