1996 Jaguar XJ6 4.0 from North America

Summary:

Swank

Faults:

Clock didn't work when purchased, very common problem.

Arm rest cup holder (US models) won't stay in the closed position, keeps popping out.

Headliner is hanging a bit in places.

Telescopic function on the steering wheel is broken.

Clear coat paint is starting to give out in places, but not so bad on a white car.

All the above was broken prior to my purchase. Nothing new has broken, as yet.

General Comments:

Looks are the best thing this car has going for it. The car looks like a modern classic, and since the design carried into the 2000's as the XJ8, it doesn't really come across as an old used car. It's still a class act that can be driven to dinner and not be embarrassed at the valet stand. So, the amount of cache you get for the money is amazing. Subjectively, this car delivers lots of that sexy classic Jaguar mystique.

The ride is not as smooth as I would have expected. My dad's 1989 XJS is much smoother. My other cars are Porsches and SUVs, so in comparison to those, it is smooth, but my friend's Cadillac is much better in the ride department.

Space is also lacking. I am 6'-0" and 185 lbs. I fit OK, but think someone much taller would have trouble. Back seats are very limited. It is really a small car inside without the extended wheelbase version. I consider it a 4 door coupe.

The seat bottoms are a little short. They seem to stop at mid-thigh instead of towards the knees as in other cars.

Interior quality is not as high as in the 1989 XJS. The center console/arm rest is vinyl instead of leather, as is the door arm rest. Leather is only on the seat surfaces, and the steering wheel and shift knob. No place else. This car does not have the nice leather smell of the XJS. It has hard plastic door panels, where I expected softer vinyl or leather.

It's a very pretty car and has a decent trunk. It's been reliable and very inexpensive to purchase. This makes it easier to drive more often and enjoy rather than keep it garaged, in fear that it will be subjected to salty roads or rain.

I like that it is low and smaller looking than a lot of the newer sedans out there. It's almost sports car like in height. It handles fairly well in corners but you can feel its weight. It is somewhat calming, encouraging you to go a little slower and enjoy the ride, so to speak.

I think I am getting about 16 MPG (US) in mixed driving.

These cars trade mainly at between $3k-$8k in the US. In this price range, they are excellent values! You will find may other choices that deliver similar economy, space, better ride, and such. But for the same money you can drive a reliable Jaguar, so why not?

I plan on taking the car on a 1,500 mile trip this spring, and am confident it will perform well and in style. Can't wait.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st April, 2013

6th Jun 2013, 12:31

I am the original poster. Well, I just got back from my 1,500 mile road trip, and have put about 4k miles on the car, to date. So, I thought I'd update my impressions of the car.

Its best attribute is still definitely its beauty. It still gets the stares on the road. It performed well on the trip with no break downs, but I did find that it is susceptible to cross winds, and if the tires are not properly inflated, it will wander around more and it's difficult to hold a straight line. It's no German Autobahn burner... you must pay attention and keep your eyes on the road. My dad's XJS has better straight line stability.

Also, the center console ski slope reflects the sun into your eyes at certain angles, while driving. Not a good thing. We had to cover the console with a scarf to cover up the glare.

Seat bottoms are slightly short for my taste. My legs were a little sore after our 4 hour driving stints. Seat backs are fine.

The car gets about 17 MPG (US) in normal mixed driving, but I was able to get around 23 MPG on the highway going around 75mph.

I can't really complain. The XJ6 is a relative bargain for what they offer, and at their current market prices that normally range from about $3k-8k USD.

These really are a gem in the line of Jaguar car models. Both earlier XJ6's and later XJ8's had reliability problems that perpetuate Jaguar's reputation, but the X300 XJ6's stand out among the others as reliable cars.

13th Jan 2015, 21:17

I live in the UK in a town called Epping. I bought my 1996 XJ6 recently for £600. Very cheap, considering the car drives like new with 150,000 on the clock. It is in the desirable Sapphire Blue body colour with magnolia upholstery, which is still in remarkable as new condition. It has some rust forming on a rear wheel arch, but otherwise very good bodywork... This model XJ6 is destined to become another Jaguar classic in the near future, here in the UK.

My car is the Executive model. Apparently this model with the six cylinder engine is very reliable up to 250 000 miles. If it goes wrong and costs too much to put right, I will reluctantly "throw it away".

I have just one "disappointment"; it has no cruise control. Which is a surprise to me, given that it is the Executive model, which means "superior" in the UK. If it's got cruise, I can't find it!!

Hope this has been helpful... If you want one, buy it. They are as good as it can get...

22nd Dec 2016, 00:52

I'm about to get a '97 XJ8 Sport for just over 900 quid, owned by an old gentleman who has pretty much done everything to it: tensioners, gearbox etc. I'm in England so we'll see how it goes on cold winter mornings. I'm still looking forward to it regardless of reading too far many Jaguar forums to addle anyone's non mechanical brain.

1996 Jaguar XJ6 Executive 3.2 24v straight 6 from UK and Ireland

Summary:

If you can afford to rebuild, a good car, not brilliant, good. Rivals offer more though...

Faults:

Cam position sensor, caused long cranking and battery discharge.

Rear subframe bushes, wandering handling.

Front upper wishbone bushes, wonky handling, clunking.

Shock absorber bushes... clunking and knocking.

Radio display bulbs no longer working.

Timing chain noisy, tensioner replaced...

Fuel gauge temperamental.

Gearstick doesn't always select park fully.

General Comments:

As usual, an overrated Jag. Thankfully not mine, my Dads, but that means I have to mend it.. I'm a mechanic! Lots of work for me.

They tend to rot here in the UK, and the lacquer coat will peel as well; we found one in good condition thankfully.

The 3.2 engine is OK, not bad on fuel averaging 29 MPG. The autobox is OK once the cables are adjusted, otherwise a little harsh, but that's techs not knowing what's up...

Takes 9 litres of engine oil, so be warned when servicing, ££s!

Timing chain tensioner has been replaced, but is still a little noisy. It can stay like that, a £500 strip down isn't worth it when the cars are worth so little.

Seats are small, and the boot and rear seat are cramped, A/C is good though.

The ride comfort is not all that to be honest, Jag drivers clearly don't ever drive anything else because rivals ride far better. A 1989 Camry rides better than this heavy old bus, the suspension is fairly harsh, and because the trim isn't that well made, it's not the smoothest. Old fashioned windscreen seals mean there is a fair bit of noise.

The steering is lovely though, perfect weight and as smooth as silk, but that's all I like mechanically.

It's hugely over complicated for no gain in driving or reliability. It has random little problems all the time, which are frustrating. Your average Jag over will forgive it as foibles... I won't, I demand more (old Audi owner).

Parts are relatively expensive and it's a bit of a pig to work on when dealing with the oily bits. Labour rates are therefore expensive if you can't do it yourself.

Fuel gauge and range can suddenly drop to 0, and new parts at huge cost are the only fix. Disappointing at this mileage.

Suspension wears out unduly quickly due to huge weight and tiny bushes/underspecced parts.

I find it hard to trust its reliability. Things working fine can suddenly stop; trans Europe trips are not done in this car...

It has an unusual ambiance to drive, it's a great place to be and to sit, so I can see why people forgive the ridiculous. But honestly, it's not really that good a car.

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

Review Date: 28th November, 2012

3rd Jan 2015, 18:32

Excellent review, spot on, no doubt. I was considering buying one. Outstanding condition, low mileage 1996 for $2000 Canadian. I guess I was taken by the looks, and assumed that the ride would be as great as a Jag that I rode in, in the early 80s.

Being somewhat anal retentive, I could never put up with what appears to be constant irritating problems.