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.

1998 Jaguar Vanden Plas VDP 4.0 from North America


Oh baby, what a car for the price


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