1980 Jaguar XJS Review

1980 Jaguar XJS Hardtop 5.3 Litre V12 from Australia and New Zealand

Year of manufacture1980
First year of ownership1983
Most recent year of ownership1988
Engine and transmission 5.3 Litre V12 Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 4 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.0 / 10
Distance when acquired32000 kilometres
Most recent distance67000 kilometres
Previous carJaguar S-Type


Fell to bits and almost made me do the same!


Well, I wouldn't be exaggerating if I said almost everything went wrong.

I bought it second-hand at a Melbourne Jag dealer, and in the 5 years I had it, it was a complete bomb and a bitter disappointment.

I was locked into a repayment scheme with the credit union, so I had to suffer with it until 1988 when it was paid-off.

The problems were mainly due to bad parts used in the manufacture of the car. For example, the entire dashboard blacked out and nothing worked except starting, all because of a faulty Lucas fusebox.

I would rather not go into further details about this nightmare. Suffice to say, I believe in "Forgive and forget"!

General Comments:

It was only suitable for 2 people inside. Yes, I was well-aware of this when I bought it. I never needed the back seats for anything, anyway.

Having said that, the cabin was absolutely luxurious and beautifully thought-out. It was a joy to sit in.

The looks of the thing were stunning (when I could bear to look at it!).

It performed better than any car I've driven, before or since.

Handling was not what you'd expect from an expensive GT. It had a lot of understeer.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 23rd July, 2006

27th Dec 2010, 19:52

You're right, they are great looking cars, and they were a dream to drive. One of the fastest cars. The V-12 is sweet. It nearly used up all my spare cash. You have to fix and repair every working part on these cars. If you're a great mechanic, and I am, and you have plenty of cash to spend as a hobby on a car, then it's fine to restore or own one. If you're looking for a sport car that won't break down, pass. Trust me. It took all the fun out of it. Like my ex wife. I stopped loving her.

Average review marks: 6.0 / 10, based on 1 review