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.
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