1998 Jaguar XK8 Convertible 4.0 V8
A high maintenance mistress
- Had to upgrade to the third generation timing chain tensioners. Replaced leaking cam cover gaskets while it was all apart. $2500. Had to take the car back about 9 months later to replace those leaking seals yet again.
- Throttle Body Position Sensor. $800.
- Power Steering pump. $750.
- Convertible top is very slow and needs fluid.
- Has an intermittent starting problem that has left me stranded several times, dealer could not figure the problem out, finally figured out that it would still start in Neutral. The dealer still is stumped, but at least I'm not stranded anymore.
- Antenna is currently broke, $160 to fix.
- E-brake does not work.
- Some of the console buttons do not light up at night anymore.
- Needs control arm bushings, ball joints, etc. $1000 or so.
All this in just about 15 months of ownership.
Well, I'm torn. After having Jags in the family for 40 years, I'm very inclined to say they haven't come as far as most people would like to believe. I absolutely love driving my XK8, it oozes charm and charisma, but it's plagued with quality and reliability problems after just ten years. Many plastic interior bits starting to break or already broke, squeaks and rattles, iffy climate control not always working as it should. Our ten year old Mercedes E-CLASS on the other hand, with even more miles, still looks and drives exactly the way it did when we bought it new. I think my 1992 Jaguar XJS may have felt of a higher quality.
The car performs nicely, not the smoothest V8, but it sounds wonderful and pulls hard once the VVT kicks in above 4k. The car is much faster than my old 1992 XJS V12, but I think a 6 litre XJS with the four speed auto would trounce the XK8 at highway speeds. Handling is very nice with little body roll.
It's a very fun car to drive, nice to be seen in, but I'm sad that as of 1998 Jaguar still couldn't build a reliable/quality car. No matter what happens, I always come back to Jaguar, so I hope they're finally building them right in 2009. Guess I'll find out when I can finally afford a used one in a few years.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 17th February, 2009
I had a V12 6 liter 4 stage auto 1994 XJS and no, it would not beat the XK8. It was, for all its engine size and theoretical improvements on the old 5.3 liter V12 (had a couple of them too), a disappointingly slow car.
One never did the "drag off at lights" game, as chances are, you wouldn't do so flash.