1998 Jaguar Vanden Plas VDP 4.0 from North America

Summary:

Oh baby, what a car for the price

Faults:

Air conditioning - there was a leak in the hose.

Wind noise from the sunroof.

Rear brake lights stay on. Dealer can't define the issue. They want me to buy an $800 part that "might" fix the problem.

The front bearings are worn and need replaced.

General Comments:

Here is my take.

I don't like the noise it makes when it starts. I don't like the fact that I only have one dealership in Utah to choose from. I don't like the extra cost for insurance. I don't like that it has averaged $200 a month in repairs to keep it on the road.

Here is what I do like. I like the ride I like that it was a cheap car to buy. ( ($10,000) I would have lost 4 times that already if I had bought a new Jaguar.) I love the classic look and feel. I love that it can get up and go. I love that it makes a two hour commute feel like a trip to the spa. I love the respect that I get from clients when they see the car I drive. (Like it or not image matters) I love the fuel economy. (23 MPG)

Plain and simple, I am driving a Jaguar for $450 a month with repairs, fuel and insurance. What a bargain. It may not be the most reliable car on the road, but the fact is that when it dies I will unload it and buy another one to replace it. The used Jaguar is a huge bargain in the luxury car market and if you go into it with reasonable expectations you will not be disappointed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th July, 2005

1998 Jaguar Vanden Plas 4.0 V8 from North America

Summary:

A stunningly beautiful, comfortable, performance sedan

Faults:

At 57,000 miles, the water pump failed.

General Comments:

The Vanden Plas and XJ8-L have immense leg room in back; if you are a tall person (over 6'2") this car may be cramped for you. There is no car with more class anywhere. The cabin is like a luxurious english club.

It rides like a dream - quiet, but with a pleasant growl when pushed hard. It handles well. If you like performance handling this is not the car to get - get a BMW. If you like a quiet and controlled, comfortable ride, get this instead of a BMW. This is plenty fast - 0 to 60 in about 7 seconds, smooth and controlled at even 90+ mph.

Reliability has been fine; better than my old Ford Taurus. the water pump should not fail at 57,000, but there you go - if you want reliability perfection, get a Japanese appliance. I prefer class and style, and the stares I get. Mercedes and BMW are nice, but nothing garners the attention of a classy Jag, and this model is far, far better mechanically than the jags of yesterday.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th May, 2003

22nd Feb 2004, 21:01

Excellent review, accurate and honest. I'm an XJ8 owner, 1998 vintage, and have also replaced with water pump. (Also, watch for the throttle body. If not kept clean it can cause stalling.)

As an ex-BMW 740i owner, I agree with this reviewer that a Jag won't take the corners as fiercly or make you feel like an F22 fighter jet, with the BMW's red-lit instrument display. Instead, the Jag's walnut and wood embrace will transport you to a more elegant and leisurely time. And because it's a Jaguar, it's the real deal, not a wannabe.

3rd Jun 2004, 00:19

What is the cost of 'cleaning the throttle body'. I wonder if it wouldn't be wise to have it checked with every oil change. Just as a safety issue.

6th Mar 2007, 15:05

Do you need to clean the throttle body in a 2001 vanden plas???