1997 Jaguar XK8 4.0 from North America




Minor electrical fault - passenger window would roll down and inch or two on its own during heavy rainfall. Fixed under warranty (leaking weather-strip in door, and window motor damaged by water).

Headlight bulbs failed with unexpected regularity. Easy to self-replace, and spare bulbs provided free by dealer after I said I didn't need a service tech do the work.

Water pump failure at 24K. Replaced under warranty. Excellent prompt and attentive service including all transportation costs covered by Jag (including a $200 ferry fare - round trip - to get to/from the dealer).

General Comments:

Elegant, sophisticated, comfortable, beautiful and powerful.

The seats on the early XK8 models, with the fixed headrest, were not perfect. A fully adjustable headrest would have been perfect.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd June, 2008

1997 Jaguar XK8 Coupe 4.0 V8 w/ ZF 5-speed from North America


A reliable show-stopper!


-The cruise control required a vacuum line repair, which my dad performed at home in about 2 minutes, saving lots of money.

-We had preventive work done on the engine to avoid timing chain failure. This work included all new tensioners, guide rails, chains, water pump, etc. This work is about $3,000 vs. $12,000 for an engine replacement if you wait for the timing components to fail. This seemed fairly cheap considering what a bargain the car was.

-Other than these two items, the car has been excellent.

General Comments:

This is my grandfather's car. My grandmother has a 1999 XK8 convertible (See review: "It's a keeper"). She had the timing chains fail on hers, which was still covered under warranty. This prompted us to go ahead with the preventive parts replacement on the coupe since it was out of warranty.

The new parts are far superior to the old parts because they are made almost entirely of metal instead of using large amounts of plastic like the original parts.

This car has been totally reliable. Everything on it works properly and it was showroom new when my granddad got it at 31,000 miles.

This car is a blast to drive. It handles beautifully and will go as fast as you want it to. The ride is comfortable, but still sporty. It's a good car to travel in. And talk about a show-stopper! It turns heads everywhere.

The coupe has a back seat that is borderline inhabitable when compared to the back "shelf" in the convertible. The Harman/Kardon sound system is incredible, and rare. H/K was only offered on the early XK8s.

The dealer service has been terrific, though it can be expensive if you use them for every little thing, which we don't. The only work that had to be done at the dealer was the engine work due to VVT programming. Plus, that kind of work is expensive no matter where you go.

They do use the dealer for oil changes and such, which is practical because it shows continuity in the records and the dealer will throw in little extras such as software updates and loaners at no charge. The oil changes really aren't much more expensive at the dealer, especially considering the great service.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th January, 2006

28th Mar 2012, 15:02

Update: 68,000 miles.

Well after all of the positive things I had to say about this car for many years, it has recently spawned some strange running problem. It feels like the engine is running on one bank of cylinders, but it is some sort of electronic glitch, as it comes and goes. Some days the car drives perfectly smoothly, but others are terrible, with it shaking and trying to sputter with a "poor vehicle performance" and "engine fault" message appearing.

This car has been very good up until now, so I guess not bad for a first year model, but it is beginning to annoy us with this running problem, along with the intermittent ABS and stability control failure warnings.

Will update if anything new develops, and if anyone has any possible solutions for these problems, please comment!

2nd Dec 2012, 15:31

The engine problem turned out to be the ECM. The Jaguar dealership (last resort) first misdiagnosed the car and identified an ignition module ($700) for one of the cylinder banks, and the car was fine for two days after they replaced it, then when we took it stumbling and sputtering the hour drive back to the dealer, they identified the ECM as the culprit. Naturally, the old ignition module had been disposed of, but they still were kind enough to refund that portion of the first bill since it was a misdiagnosis. We did get a new XF Portfolio as a loaner while the car was in for the first repair though, and an XJL Portfolio as the "apology loaner" for the second visit.

Now for the utterly laughable part: their price for a new ECM was $5,500. They understood the lunacy of such a prospect, but were nonetheless kind enough to provide a $90,000 XJL Portfolio service loaner for the weekend while we searched for alternative solutions.

Enter eBay; we located an ECM rebuild service, and for $230 INCLUDING two-way shipping, the ECM has been repaired and has a lifetime warranty, so the car is finally running properly again.

We still have the ABS and stability control lights popping up, and the dealer has access to a rebuild service for that module for about $500, so we are considering that. Theoretically, that is the last remaining problem with the car.