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.

21st Oct 2014, 10:27

I have a 1998 Vanden Plas and love it. The only thing I have replaced is the power steering pump, and of course plugs and wires. We have 160,000 miles on it now, and it drives like it's new. I was curious to see how fast these cars would go. We were out in Arizona on a test track, and to my surprise got up to 161mph; too fast for me, but the performance was great and the car handled great at that speed.

Sorry to hear of someone having trouble with Jaguar. I have never had trouble with the timing tensioner. I think Jaguar have come a long way. Their new Jags that are coming out now are state of the are cars, especially the F-Type. I'm hoping next year to purchase one.


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