Jaguar XF (2007-2015)

For years, Jaguar’s design was stuck in the 1960s, but the arrival of the XF heralded a new era for the British marque. Gone were the old-school design cues introduced in the 1960s, replaced by much more modern lines. But it wasn’t just the looks that changed; here was a car that was class-leading to drive and featured a superb interior, while the build quality was streets ahead of anything Jaguar had built before. The XF is still great to look at as well as to drive; if you’re after a great executive car, don’t assume you have to buy German.

Key dates

04/08: The XF saloon replaces Jaguar’s S-Type, with 3.0 V6 or 4.2 V8 petrol engines, or a 2.7 V6 diesel; the V8 also came in 410bhp supercharged SV8 form.

03/09: A refresh sees a 5.0-litre V8 replace the 4.2-litre unit, the SV8 becomes the XFR and the 2.7 V6 diesel is replaced by a 237bhp 3.0-litre unit.

03/10: A high-power (275bhp) 3.0-litre diesel engine arrives, in the XF S.

09/11: A hefty facelift brings a redesign, a four-cylinder 188bhp 2.2-litre diesel engine.

09/12: The XF Sportbrake estate is launched, along with a 161bhp version of the 2.2D engine. An eight-speed automatic gearbox is also now standard range-wide.

05/13: The 186mph XFR-S reaches showrooms.


  • Make sure that the fuel filler opens; it can jam shut, making refuelling tricky.
  • Doors can stick but this is only likely if the ambient temperature is especially high or low.
  • The tyre pressure monitoring system can fail, when the valve-mounted sensors corrode and stop working. You’ll need to check each wheel individually.
  • Some early cars could suffer from a variety of electrical problems, but whatever the car’s age, check all of the equipment works as no car is immune.
  • The rear brake pads tend to wear quickly, and if they’re not replaced in time it’ll lead to the discs being damaged.
  • The particulate filter sensor can fail on the 3.0 TDV6, leading to the car resorting to limp-home mode. Only the sensor needs to be replaced though.

We like

  • Looks good
  • Great to drive
  • Build quality
  • Equipment levels
  • Strong engines

We don’t like

  • High running costs
  • Dated interior


Richard Dredge


Jaguar XJ (2003-2010)

It may have looked like a relic from the 1960s, but the XJ of 2003 was pretty high-tech with its lightweight aluminium bodyshell and ultra-modern equipment. Very different from its German rivals, thanks to suspension that's cossetting rather than sporty, Jag's flagship saloon is fast, refined, frugal and generally reliable. It's also excellent value, so if you're looking for some seriously luxurious transport and you're on a tight budget, this could be the answer.

Key Dates

1/03: The X350 XJ debuts with 3.0 V6, 3.5 V8 or 4.2-litre V8 petrol engines, the latter in standard or long-wheelbase forms. There's also a 400bhp XJR with a supercharged 4.2-litre V8.

6/04: There are now Sport and Sport Premium editions of the 3.5 V8 available, plus Sovereign editions of the 3.0 V6 and 4.2 V8.

7/06: The V6 turbodiesel XJ TDVi arrives.

9/06: The XJR-based Portfolio special edition appears, with a sportier exterior design.

5/07: The XJ gets a facelift, with new bumpers, sill extensions, a revised wheel design and extra standard equipment.

Jaguar XJ (2003-2010) Checklist

  • Despite its aluminium structure, corrosion is common thanks to the use of steel rivets. Check around the bootlid, door pillars, door bottoms and wheelarches.
  • The rear brake pads don't last long, so check how much pedal travel there is.
  • Parking sensors can stop working, especially those at the rear.
  • Bi-metallic corrosion of the wheel nuts can lead to them seizing.

We Like

  • Comfort
  • Value
  • Economy
  • Performance
  • Equipment levels
  • Space
  • Reliability
  • Refinement

We Don't Like

  • Old-fashioned styling


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