1985 Jaguar XJS 5.3 V12 from North America


A nice looking car, very poorly executed


The car has so many things wrong that it is hard to summarize it. It is a combination of poor quality and poor engineering.

1. The smelly trunk has never been fixed by Jaguar. How can you put the fuel tank in the trunk and install rubber hoses that permeate fumes? Every single hose produce vapors. I have measured it with a sniffer tool. I have upgraded those hoses with better quality products, but it still smells.

2. The resistance to rust is very limited. The car is in storage during winter to avoid further damage.

3. The air conditioning has never worked fine, and the operation of the automatic climate control is erratic and noisy by design.

4. The rear brake calipers are very sensitive to corrosion.

5. The engine leaks and it is hard to locate the area of the leaks.

6. The limited slip differential failed at 48,000 miles.

7. The leather and plastic trims are cheap and poor quality.

8. The paint started cracking in 2005.

9. The radio failed early at 50,000 miles.

General Comments:

The car has a great stance and it is beautifully designed in the outside.

Quality issues, leaks, and poor materials do not speak well of this luxurious brand.

I would say that driving the car is not pleasant because of the combination engine/transmission. It is very sloppy and not sporty at all. What were the designers thinking? Not even the sound is sexy.

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

Review Date: 19th November, 2015

19th Nov 2015, 23:16

Might be worth letting the engine warm up completely next time you take it out, as you've been doing less than 750 miles / year.

21st Nov 2015, 20:02

Sounds like the owner is afraid to drive more. Warming up is great if it starts. I always liked the looks of Jags, but have heard the numerous downsides with many car shows and cruises parked among the British car club owners. Love the XKE too, but it scares me to own one.

22nd Nov 2015, 04:00

Interesting comment you make about driving the car is not pleasant because of the combination engine/transmission. It is very sloppy and not sporty at all. What were the designers thinking? Not even the sound is attractive. What specifically bothers you?

22nd Nov 2015, 14:20

Not mine, but he's clearly bothered by the poor quality and reliability.

1985 Jaguar XJS V12 HE from North America


Great car for the money


1. The car overheated, so I replaced the thermostats on both sides.

2. Alternator was not putting out enough power. Upgraded to higher amp GM alternator

3. Windshield wipers stopped working. Replaced with a newer motor assembly from a 1989 XJS with the Electrolux motor.

4. Passenger window would not go down. Poor connection at console switch. This was easy to fix once I figured out what the problem was.

5. Transmission is leaking fluid.

6. Needs a brake job.

7. Needs paint and interior work. I replaced some of the burl wood dash panels.

8. A/C and smog unit had been removed as well as the cruise control.

9. Needs exhaust work. It is missing a muffler on one side. Exhaust tip has fallen off.

10. Replaced trip computer with gauges.

11. Replaced non-working radio with a newer aftermarket.

12. Replaced steering wheel with newer aftermarket one.

13. New tires all the way around.

14. Gas gauge was not working. Replaced sender.

15. Replaced battery.

General Comments:

Besides all the problems and condition of the car, people ask me about it almost every day that I drive it. It is a good looking car and gets a lot of attention. I enjoy working on it and find that it is not bad if you have some mechanical and electrical skills.

I would buy another, but would look for one a little newer and in better shape. I would not buy a pre-HE model. Beater Jaguar VS beater Mustang or other; I will take the Jaguar every time.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd November, 2015