Are Jaguars Reliable? A Complete Breakdown

in Reliability
Vintage Jaguar

Source: Pixabay

Jaguars are some of the most popular British luxury sports cars and for a good reason. These vehicles are sleek, stylish, and powerful. Something Jaguars aren’t, however, is reliable. When trying to discover whether or not Jaguars are reliable, you may find much conflicting information. That’s why CoPilot is here to give you the complete rundown on the dependability of Jaguars, allowing you to make an informed buying decision!

Quick Answer: No, But They’re Getting Better

As a luxury sports car brand, Jaguars aren’t the most reliable vehicles out on the road. They’ve been rated as quite unreliable for many years due to their wide variety of issues and need for frequent maintenance. Most Jaguars are beautiful, sleek cars but rank low on dependability.

However, this is improving in very recent years as newer, more reliable technology is being used to develop modern Jaguars. How the brand will be rated for reliability moving forward is anyone’s guess, though.


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What’s the General Consensus on Jaguars?

Jaguar suffers from the same major problem that most sports car brands do: a massive lack of reliability. These British luxury vehicles are respected in terms of their style and features but are given almost no credit for any sort of dependability. Jaguars are made with expensive foreign parts and produced in insufficient quantities, so when something inevitably does go wrong somehow, it’s a massive headache to fix.

Repair costs for Jaguars are expensive and can be necessary at a regular rate if the car isn’t given constant, painstaking maintenance. These cars depreciate quickly because wear and tear are easy to accumulate on a vehicle like this.

According to RepairPal, Jaguars have received a Reliability Rating of 2.55.0, a poor rating that places it as the 29th most reliable car brand out of 32 brands. It would seem that the most significant problems that come up with Jaguars have to do with damage to the suspension and water leaks.

If you want to buy a Jaguar, you should almost always go for a used option. You will get the best value on a used Jaguar because the new ones depreciate so fast, even if there isn’t anything wrong with the car.

This method of buying will allow you to make sure you get a Jaguar that’s closer to the reliable end for the brand (by having a mechanic look at it and gauge the car’s functionality) and save you a lot of money in the long run. Of course, buying used won’t make this brand any more durable or trustworthy, but if you have your heart set on a Jaguar, you can still maximize your satisfaction with the purchase.

Does Reliability Vary for Different Jaguar Models?

Yes, some Jaguar models are certainly more reliable than others. For example, we have the Jaguar S-Type, a poorly constructed model that should be avoided if reliability is your primary concern. The brand’s reliability ratings have finally begun to improve somewhat in the last few years, so many of the most reliable Jaguar models are newer.

The Jaguar XF is a much safer option than the S-Type, with lower repair costs and frequency of breakdowns. This model is costly to fix and needs repairs often as it breaks down easily. Thankfully, some more modern models rank better on dependability than this one.

The most durable Jaguar you can get right now, though, is the Jaguar XK. It has been rated highest of all Jaguars, with a Reliability Index score of 116, indicating slightly higher reliability than the industry standard. We recommend that you opt for a used Jaguar XK if you can get your hands on one.


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How Long is the Average Lifespan of a Jaguar?

Luxury sports cars don’t always last a long time, and Jaguar is a prime example of this. While it’s difficult to say precisely how long your Jaguar might last you on average, it almost certainly won’t be much longer than 100,000 miles.

A few Jaguars have been spotted with mileage in the range of 125,000 - 150,000 miles, but these are relatively rare. Forbes released a list of several cars that will last you over 200,000 miles, and the only mention of Jaguar here was to emphasize how this brand won’t get you anywhere close to that mileage. 

Luckily, Jaguars have a decent warranty attached that will help you maintain your vehicle’s condition. Each Jaguar comes with a 5-year/60,000-mile new vehicle limited coverage warranty that will provide some much-needed assistance if a manufacturer defect gets in the way. However, these cars require lots of routine care, and if any issues pop up because of a lapse in care on the owner’s part, the warranty won’t be of any help.

Common Problems of Jaguar Vehicles

Jaguar is storied and well sought after sports cars and SUVs. However, they’re not exactly known for reliability, so expect to run into the following issues if you own one:

  • Faulty ignition coil - Owners of the Jaguar S-Type in model years between 2000 and 2005 have complained about faulty ignition coils. This problem reportedly appears around 105,000 miles and will illuminate the check engine light and cause the engine to run very rough.
  • Faulty brake pressure accumulator - Make sure the brakes are working correctly if you have a Jag. Several Jaguar models reportedly have brake pressure accumulators that are prone to failure. As a result, braking becomes too stiff and may result in an accident.
  • Coolant leakage - Jags manufactured between 2000 and 2007 used plastic coolant reservoirs vulnerable to leaks at around 85,000 miles. Therefore, always check underneath your Jag for a puddle of antifreeze. If left unchecked, it may cause your Jaguar to overheat.
  • Transmission issues - Jaguars with automatic transmission have recurring problems with their transmission systems. Some symptoms of transmission issues include delayed shifting, transmission fluid leaks, jerking while shifting, and hard shifting.
  • Wheel nut problems - According to various reports, the Jaguar has problematic wheel nuts, which can be attributed to the type of materials used for the nut covers. Apparently, when the wheel nut cap is exposed to extreme temperatures and rust, the covers get bent and become deformed. This prevents the use of the wrench to take the wheel off the vehicle. Since you can’t use your standard repair tools, you’ll most likely have to call a tow truck.
  • Loss of power - This problem was particularly common with the Jaguar XJS, where the vehicle completely lost power and won’t drive at all. This issue was known as the Marelli failure, and quite a big headache for Jaguar owners. The engine is divided in two banks and partitioned by the ignition system. As it turned out, the Jaguar’s rotor is prone to breakage, preventing the engine from getting a spark. Furthermore, the catalytic converter becomes hotter as it’s being filled with combustible air. If left unchecked, the catalytic converter may catch fire. The most common fix is to replace the rotor and cap with new parts.

What Else Should I Know About Jaguars?

When we say that Jaguar has improved their cars’ durability in recent years, we mean very recent. The company was taken over by new management in 2015, with an express goal of fixing the brand’s abysmal reliability ratings. This is when they instituted the aforementioned 5-year/60,000-mile warranty and began to focus on safety measures with their cars.

It also helps that the rare technology used in Jaguars has become more widespread in recent years, lowering repair costs and increasing accessibility to quick fixes. If you want to buy yourself a Jaguar, check the history of that vehicle and see if its repair costs are lower than the brand’s average.


If you’re ready to start shopping for a used car and reliability is a priority for you, take a look at our list of the top 10 most reliable used sedans on the market today. 

As always, before you buy any car, you should have your most trusted mechanic give it an inspection. Having an expert in your corner with no biases that can identify any glaring problems is necessary, and the dealer may not be open about any issues with the car. It’s also vital that you ask for a pre-inspection report so that you can analyze the history of the vehicle and check for any problematic events in its past.

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