1998 Jaguar Vanden Plas XJ8 4.0 from North America


Worst car I have EVER owned, out of 54 cars


NEVER, NEVER, buy this model from Jaguar. The company should be ashamed to have manufactured such a terrible product. I have owned 6 Jaguars, and never had any of the same issues as this piece of junk. The previous owner had saved all receipts for the work done at the dealer, which included replacement of timing chain tensioners (always break, and always defective on these models) which ruined the motor at 37,000. Engine rebuilt, now upon my buying the car the tensioners gave way again, replaced with new generation metal. Just last week the engine failed, bent rod.

Will sell this beautiful looking car for $1,000 if I can get it. These things were $70,000 when new, that should say it all. You can baby these cars and still they will fail. Terrible engine design and terribly high repair costs. Stay away from these cars.

Get the 1995-1997 XJ6, they are bullet proof iron horses. They will run forever.

Learn from all the negative press on these XJ8's. Jaguar should be ashamed of themselves.

General Comments:

Never buy this car!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th March, 2011

13th Aug 2014, 13:54

I have owned my XJ8 Vanden Plas (1998) for a long time. It has been a great car and I would consider the maintenance to be expensive, but not out of line with other cars in its category. Now I have 150,000 miles and the car is running and looks perfect, best paint job ever the Madeira Red is. Love my car still. Sorry your luck was not as good. Robert.

1998 Jaguar Vanden Plas XJ8 AJ8 (V8 4.0L) from North America


Great fun to drive; expensive to keep running


Both front wheel bearings went bad within 3 months of each other.

Thermostat housing cracked and lost all coolant on the highway - nearly overheated the engine.

General Comments:

I purchased this car with a lot of miles on it already (112K) because I was provided a very extensive service record. Part of that record was proof that the throttle body programming issue had been rectified and that many other issues such as wheel bearings, brakes and suspension had been replaced recently. I also was planning on upgrading to Generation 3 timing components to avoid the catastrophic issues of older components.

Since owning the vehicle, it has been a real pleasure to drive. I did complete the timing overhaul before any catastrophe struck, but I have had to replace the front wheel bearings yet again! The thermostat housing cracked due to age and fatigue, but what do you expect for 11 year old plastic! I have opted to do all the work myself due to the awful cost of parts and the cost of Jag dealership work these days.

The VDP has a lot of passenger room but a very under-sized trunk. The front cupholder and rear tray table concept is comical but workable. The AC fan squeaks a little, but otherwise the climate control is sound. Sound system is great. The head liner is drooping but fixable.

Overall, a wonderful car to drive which gets 21 MPG despite a very sporty performance at an old age. Parts and labor are costly, so if you are like me, do as much of the research and work yourself.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th August, 2009

1998 Jaguar Vanden Plas XJ8 V8 from North America


Beautiful Yet Not Built Worth a Darn


Motor Blown.

Replaced Transmission at 102,000 miles.

Replaced Right Rear Wheel Bearing.

Replaced All Brakes.

Replaced Fuel Pump 3 Times.

Replaced broken Driver Door Handle.

Head Liner came loose.

Clear-coat Paint on Roof of Car came off - Roof Needs to be Repainted.

General Comments:

Two weeks ago my Jag wouldn't wake up in the morning either - Called my repair shop and had it towed. My tech discovered oil in the spark plugs rubber boot chamber and proceeded with a compression check - 7 cylinders below 70% and 1 at ZERO compression. The assessment it (was) a blown motor. This car has been meticulously been taken care - all routine maintenance done when needed.

In speaking with a Jag specialist he informed me the XJ8 is notorious for the timing chain tension-er breaking somewhere between 100,000 & 130,000 miles.

I purchased this car 2 1/2 years ago with 80,000 miles on it. My Jag is 33 miles shy of 131,000 miles.

I just got through spending $4000 for a new transmission, $500 for a new fuel pump (for the 3rd time) and springing for a new set of Yokohama tires at $125 a pop.

From all that I've read Jaguar is aware of this problem and has chosen to ignore it's loyal brand-customer in not ordering a re-call to correct this expensive problem.

I'm in agreeing with you regarding a Class Action Suit against Jaguar North America. Seems we're all in the same boat.

My non-working Jag just sits in my driveway until I come to a resolution on what I'm going to do with "her".

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 22nd October, 2007

29th Jul 2008, 11:22

I believe that you have a 98 not a 97. the v8 was not fitted in these cars until 98. I have a 97 VDP with an inline 6 and they are very reliable cars.

20th May 2009, 20:13

The first commentor is 100% correct... the 1997s were equipped with V6s only, the last year that V6s were used by Jaguar. By 1997, the Jaguar XJ6 was an incredibly durable and reliable automobile, having an engine and transmission that had been perfected and adjusted over 20 years.

24th Jul 2009, 19:50

My 1997 Vanden Plas has 91000 miles, and it's the best car I've ever owned at the best used vehicle price. It looks and drives brand new thanks to the thorough service history by the previous owner.

The two previous folks are correct: 1997 was the most durable and reliable XJ ever built; the problems surfaced with the new breed of V8's, manufacturing of which started in 1998.

11th Jan 2010, 06:04

So we buy some time before 97 and after 2000? I assume they fixed the post 2000 vehicles OK.