1984 Jaguar XJS Reviews

1984 Jaguar XJS H.E. 5.3 V12 from North America

Model year1984
Year of manufacture1984
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 5.3 V12 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired71000 miles
Most recent distance78000 miles
Previous carDatsun 240Z

Summary:

It won't be sold, it will be bequeathed... again

Faults:

Leaks water in the drivers side footwell.

G.M. tranny stuck in first at the moment.

ECU (?) or related preventing it from starting.

General Comments:

My brother Steve (never one to let reliable vehicles make his life a little easier for very long) spotted this XJS on e-bay motors. 'It's not too far away. You up for a road trip?' LOL, not too far turns out to be Las Vegas, 400 plus miles away.

Sold as a parts car/project for a winning bid of $1400, the seller warned us that we would need a tow bar or trailer. Tools, tow bar, and plenty of optimism in hand, we make the drive to Vegas in one day. The seller was accurate about the general condition of the car; clean, solid, and rust free. A pleasant surprise was the box of extra parts included. With a little wrenching, we got her to purr once again. Or at least wheeze, LOL. Whatever, she made the trip back to Reno under her own steam, picking up a cylinder or two along the way.

After a tune up and a set of new Pirellis, it was easy to understand all the praise heaped on the XJS. The timeless design, smooth power delivery, and unique instrument layout made it an instant hit with my brother, myself and our friends.

I remember one day after a foot of new snow had fallen in the valley here, Steve went out, swept the Jag clean, jumped in and powered his way through it down the road, LOL. Not something many Brits will ever see.

At some point before my brothers passing, the tranny stuck in first and it wouldn't stay running. I've had it running for a while since, albeit in first gear, but now it's back to not even starting.

I can't offer an unbiased opinion of the car. I'm attached to it emotionally. It seems though that if you are a little careful about which XJS you buy, and are prepared to maintain it as it needs to be, you will be rewarded with a modern classic that is quite capable and entertaining.

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

Review Date: 11th February, 2010

1984 Jaguar XJS 5.3L V12 from North America

Model year1984
Year of manufacture1984
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 5.3L V12 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.3 / 10
Distance when acquired56000 miles
Most recent distance70000 miles

Summary:

Awesome project car if you're looking for something unusual

Faults:

Water pump.

Radiator.

Shocks, tires and brakes.

Steering rack bushings.

Ball joints.

All belts and hoses.

ECU.

Engine wiring harness.

General Comments:

I bought this car in March of 2008 intending it to be a project car. I was not disappointed, as virtually everything that's known to go wrong with these cars short of catching on fire has done so. It's a blast to drive and turns heads due to how rare they are nowadays, but it does require quite a bit of maintenance.

Only a few things have actually failed or needed to be replaced, but there were a lot of things (bushings, hoses, belts, etc) that I replaced to prevent a failure. It's been far less problematic than I expected, perhaps because the previous owner had it serviced regularly by a competent mechanic.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th April, 2009

1984 Jaguar XJS 5.3L V12 from North America

Model year1984
Year of manufacture1984
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 5.3L V12 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.5 / 10
Distance when acquired120000 miles
Most recent distance168000 miles
Previous carJaguar XJ40

Summary:

A highly addictive mixed bag that will become your only hobby

Faults:

Transmission went in the first year. No cause for alarm until it started making noise and slipping again recently... Shifting is too soft from the factory. Tricky to get at all of the case bolts, but straightforward to replace.

Power steering racks last about 2 years. Fiddly to change. Guaranteed to fail within a week of getting new tires and front end alignment.

Power steering pump failed, but easy to replace (standard G.M.)

Wheel bearings are good for a couple of years. Fronts are easy. Backs are not.

Wiper motor assembly replaced. These are complicated and can be unreliable.

General Comments:

Best driving car I have ever owned. Solid, silent and performs well. Handling is beautiful if the chassis is maintained. The car makes me smile whenever I get in.

Not for everyone. I love the low, tight cabin, seats close to floor driving position. You may find it scary to be looking under the car in front of you.

Power delivery is deceptively smooth and one can get going far too fast if not careful. Decent horsepower, lots of torque, high red-line and an aerodynamic design mean you have to pay attention.

Fuel economy is very closely linked to driving style. A heavy foot will cost you dearly. I see 16 MPG in mixed driving, but range between 11 and 19 MPG.

Heavier than it looks, the car is hard on Brake pads, chassis bushings, steering components and transmissions. Maintain these items and an XJS is an absolute joy.

V-12 H.E. Engine still runs like new. Change the oil, prevent cooling problems, use good gas and gap plugs properly and these engines will run forever. Overheat them and they will quit.

I have had three of these over the years and my comments are applicable to all of them.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th December, 2005

Average review marks: 6.2 / 10, based on 7 reviews