Jaguar XJ8 & XJR (1997-2003)

Jaguar's slogan was always 'Grace, Space and Pace', and nowhere is this more evident than here - this is one of the most comfortable cruisers around. However, thanks to a reputation for occasionally patchy reliability, Jaguars have always depreciated more heavily than their German rivals. These cars are generally well-built though, and you'll have to search hard to find a more accomplished or better value long-distance tourer.

Key Dates

9/97: XJ8 arrives in 3.2 and 4.0 guises, along with the 370bhp supercharged XJR.

9/00: Sport and Executive editions of the XJ8 3.2 are introduced, and equipment levels are increased on all cars.

8/01: 100 special edition arrives, with BBS alloys, metallic black paint and sat-nav.

12/01: A long-wheelbase 4.0 car is now offered, along with SE versions of the 3.2 and 4.0

Jaguar XJ8 & XJR (1997-2003) Checklist

  • ZF automatic gearbox is sealed for life, which can lead to problems.
  • Pre-2000 cars can suffer from damaged cylinder bores through high-sulphur fuel eroding the Nikasil coating. Check if a replacement engine has already been fitted.
  • Timing chain tensioners can fail, leading to the chain coming off, wrecking the engine.
  • Front wishbone bushes wear, leading to erratic handling and uneven tyre wear.
  • Cars with a VIN between 812256 and 878717 should have had a replacement engine, indicated by a special tag on the nearside of the engine block.
  • Rear dampers are prone to failure, particularly on cars equipped with CATS suspension.

We Like

  • Comfort
  • Styling
  • Value

We Don't Like

  • Patchy reliability
  • Thirst