1990 Jaguar XJS 5.3 V12 from North America


Fabulous motoring in a traditionally styled GT automobile


Major fault was head gasket failure at 170,000k. This is a known problem and was caused by poor head casting sand in manufacture. Service mechanic (I go independent) fixed heads with Aluweld, the approved fix. I had both heads done. Problem fixed. No recurrence.

The only item ever to fail that caused me not to be able to restart in traffic was the water temperature sensor. After a $100 tow charge, my mechanic had it diagnosed and fixed in five minutes. He took the sensor out of his own car to get me going.

The XJS is a fast, heavy car. Things wear. Brake pads, front suspension bushings, and steering rack bushings (go harder, competition type) all take a beating. Live with it. Change the oil regularly (5000k) ; all fluids every two years. The pleasure the car gives back makes it all worth it.

General Comments:

I have had my XJS now for 14 years, having almost doubled the kilometers at which I bought it.

I have driven it over 1500k in one day, and arrived as fresh as I left.

Would I drive anything else? I have tried the XJR and the XK8. For the very large increase in money I would have to shell out, coupled with the appalling trade in allowance, I cannot imagine any increase in driving pleasure over my XJS.

The engine is near bullet-proof; ditto transmission. My car has all the other niggles described by previous writers. Just drive the car and enjoy it!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd January, 2008

1990 Jaguar XJS 5.3 V12 Auto Convertible from UK and Ireland


A super luxurious fast convertible from the past


Air conditioning heater valve blocked up after some regular use. A/C system seals and modern gas conversion carried out at the same time.

Lower radiator hose split, luckily only yards from my house so turned engine off immediately.

Replaced all hoses as a precaution.

General Comments:

A beautiful super cat car in red, looks elegant with hood up or down.

How many other convertible cars in 1990 had air conditioning, a heated glass rear window and a power hood, and a V12 super smooth engine?

Interior seats very comfortable cabin oozes with leather, wood and class.

Car best performs with optional front cross brace fitted to reduce scuttle shake in the original design.

This is the only convertible I have been in where I can't hear the engine with the hood up or down. Just bags of super smooth torque is what its all about.

A future classic in the making like the XJS coupe.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th April, 2006

1990 Jaguar XJS Coupe 3.6 from UK and Ireland


A fantastic, but sometimes grumpy cat


Passenger electric window wouldn't go up.

Air con doesn't blow out very cold air.

Headlining stained and rotten.

Elm dash and ski slope are badly faded with some cracking.

Front shock absorber bushes shot.

Bonnet piston stays didn't work.

Front nearside wheel bearing suspect.

Has a penchant for blowing bulbs, a seemingly never ending chase around the car replacing them and the causes.

General Comments:

Parts aren't as expensive as I first thought, 2 new shocks and new bonnet piston stays came in at under £100.

This has to be the most comfortable car I've ever been in, makes motorways effortless.

The car is deceptively quick and quiet, check your speedometer if you value your license.

Rear seats are all, but useless for putting people in.

Steering is very direct, very little wheel turn lock to lock. It's still a big car though.

Not too many of them on the road anymore so some exclusivity.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th July, 2005

24th Nov 2006, 07:27

In response to the person indicating that their XJS has a tendency for blown exterior lamps, I suggest the following:

If you leave car outdoors in damp weather consistently, which I did for a number of years, it's a good idea to remove all lamps, use 220 grit sand paper and lightly etch-out (clean) existing rust, and, or, staining you might discover at both poles. Never had chronically blown lamps again in my 1989 XJS.