My XF codenamed Cashmere (or “Cash” for short) is once again retaining coolant. A simple cut hose nearly ended its life a few weekends ago. With that said, here are my personal experiences and inferences on 2010s Jaguar reliability. Are they reliable? Noooo... and I hope they don’t get much better.
I have never been in a 2010-plus Jaguar where the engine and transmission felt like something to worry over. In fact they seem to enjoy a good workout and are the parts of the cars I trust the most. The low durability of everything around the major components however are what is causing the cars to have issues. If it can wear then it will tear easily. The rubbers, plastics, and leathers seem to decay rapidly and anything you do that can exacerbate the breakdown process will show with enthusiasm. The nice thing about this is you can tell exactly what the car has been through down to how the previous owner exited the seats or where they allowed the seatbelt to strike the door when unbuckling. Rattles, leaks, and discoloring all tell a story.
I’ve been paying $444 a month for a rental car subscription service disguised as a 2012 Jaguar XF 5.0 Base since February 2016. I love it! I got the XF with less than 16,000 miles on the car, meaning the previous owner didn’t take it out much in over 4 years mostly due to them passing away two years into ownership. I wanted something sporty but mature and under the radar. My mom was craving a nice car, we both always wanted a Jag so I took the opportunity to buy this instead of a 210,000 mile automatic NSX.
In the last 16 months we (mostly my mother) have put an additional 15,000 miles on it, so 30,000 miles on the odometer after 6 years off the lot. So far I have had the pleasure of driving a 2015 XF 2.0t, 2016 XF 3.5t, and a 2017 XE 2.0t as dealership loaners plus a 2015 F-Type R and 2017 F Pace 3.5t during test drives since the dealership is very courteous and humors me now.
I considered myself grabbing the cleanest example of a current Jaguar with a well known powertrain and the least amount of tech possible in order to avoid worries of reliability. I’ve been to the dealer often but the only thing that’s been a repair was this ruptured coolant hose and the car itself gave a lot of warnings that something was up the moment it happened (despite the light for “low coolant” being late and an understatement). Other than that, just maintenance and these damn Continental Conti Pro Contact tires. I swear there is a magnet in them set to “screw.”
To me, Jaguars are fine and are even better starting from the 2016 model year forward. To my mother, being the sole owner of a 2004 Camry that finally went down in December with over 240,000 miles, she is definitely a Toyota-Lexus lifer now.
*I will say that the XF has completely changed the way she drives. She went from zero aggression to bragging about stoplight racing kids within the first 3 months. I’m worried.
Three Tips to Owning a Current Jaguar (XF Forward)
Have a Warranty!
Seriously, as much warranty as you can get. The warranty needs to be a major factor in the car you buy. This is a great rule for all British makes especially.
Have Another Car!
This way the unscheduled spa days your car will demand will not upset you. Have you ever wondered why some unreliable makes have such high satisfaction rates? It’s because the car working or not working doesn’t impact their lifestyle, the dealerships tend to be enjoyable, and your brand new loaner car (if they aren’t all being used) will likely cost more than the Jaguar you actually bought!
Really, you can get the 510 hp Crew (specifically 2010-2013 XFR, XJ/XJL Supersport, and XKR) for around $35,000. The cheap XE most dealers use will still be a few grand over your car. Thus, the newer ride feels premium but doesn’t make you feel bad about your older car (even more true if you have an old or modern Jaaag from before the XF came along).
I don’t necessarily mean to have time to call a tow truck. Just be a bit less urgent in how you get in and out of the seats since your bruise the leather bolsters. Don’t drive aggressively unless the car has been going for quite a while. I suggest making sure you enjoy the car WITHOUT going into dynamic mode!
Dynamic mode is a wonderful thing because Jaguar in general puts more engine into their cars than the cars are actually setup for. This grants you ALL the freedom you usually get in the performance class above. Dial over to Sport Mode and utilize the paddles in order to reap the benefits of either the ZF 6 speed or 8 speed transmissions which are a bit more unique in Jaguars compared to other luxury brands. The gearing is short enough that first gear is just for revs and you can usually freely move between 2nd through 5th once you’re over residential speeds. They drive the way a Jaguar should and you’ll be tempted to default to Dynamic Mode plus Manual Shifting...you need to avoid that.
Like I said earlier, Jaguar engines seem to outmatch the cars and that’s a character trait of the brand. It isnt a real issue since the automatic modes dial back things but you, as an enthusiast, are going to take advantage of the full performance range and response. The main issue seems to be that the wear items (rubbers and plastics mainly) don’t seem to cope well with how much heat and vibration you can get from the engine and pushing the handling limits when spending excessive amounts of time in the most dynamic settings, especially before the entire vehicle is warmed up.
The other issue is that it seems as if having the cars sit also is a problem because things dry out in spots and reduces their flexibility and integrity. So you are stuck trying to find the right balance of allowing the cars to cool down, allowing them to warm up, and spending the right amount of time pushing the car to keep everything flexible and expose any kinks in the tiny components before the cause a serious repair.
Routine for Reliability
Here is the basic routine I got, which I guess is what you’re supposed to be doing with all cars.
Check - Start Up - Warm Up - Have Fun - Cool Down - Shut Down - Check
Any phase you skip often will be when you will find out the repair is needed.
Checkout https://www.jaguarforums.com some time.
If you’re buying the cars new, just have fun with them. Plenty of reliable to make one your daily and they all drive the same way (in my opinion). You would be surprised how much a V8 F-Type, V6 F-Pace, and 4-cyl XE share in driving character. The price and bodystyle make each unique but the brand keeps its character amazingly well.
If you’re looking to get as much reliability as possible from a current Jaguar then suffer the mundane automatic modes for daily driving. If you can stand driving in Eco mode (which I doubt) then I’m sure you will find the current supercharged and turbo 4-cyl cars are extremely normal. If you’re going straight into dynamic mode upon jumping into the car then expect some quirks to start showing up.
If you’re buying something used from this decade then make sure you have a warranty. The older it is, no matter the condition, the more you need to expect that something is going to get upset. Don’t let that something be you.
All that said, I would 120% own another Jaguar. There is something addictive about British cars and the reliability just doesn’t matter. Make sure you have a warranty, have a primary car, and have patience if you really want to live the dream without regret. If you rush getting in and out of the cars, rush driving them, or are in a rush with service and care then you are probably going to miss out on why so many owners love JLR.
Whether you buy new or take advantage of the depreciation make sure you embrace the design, enjoy the drive, and collect some great experiences and stories to share.
And when it comes to reliability, if you need a fix so badly that you’d steal crack from a buttocks then you’re the one with a problem, not the car. I just wanted to write that, it really doesn’t pertain to anything. See, I have fun so you don’t have to!