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2011 Jaguar XJ XJL - need advice

Hello, I am looking to buy a used car. I have never had a Jaguar and I can’t seem to find any information on this particular used Jaguar. The car I am currently looking at purchasing has 45,534 miles, Gas V8 5.0L/305, and has all the bells and whistles. Please give me any input you can. I fell in love with the car but don’t want to end up having to deal with a problem car down the line. The auto check and car fax show the car has a clean title and no reported accidents. Also, is there any way for me to check if the car has any frame/structural damage from an accident that may not have been reported?


  "...but don't want to end up having to deal with a problem car down the line."

I’d say better than 50:50 you’ll have problems down the line. If you can handle putting 1 to 2K dollars into it every year and are getting a great price, buy it; life’s too short.

You must get a thorough pre purchase inspection by a good shop (not the one selling the car), expect to pay $200 or so, they should be able to see if there was any collision damage.

Jaguars are not known for reliability, can you afford it? It sounds like it’ll be out of warranty. If you’re stretching your budget, I’d pass. Used luxury cars are typically expensive to maintain. But if it’s well within your means and the inspection is clean, then, as @insightful said, ‘buy it; life’s too short’

Consumer Reports rates the reliability of the Jaguar XJ as “much worse than average”.
It seems that many Jaguar owners sell their cars once the warranty expires, and that could well be the reason why this car is on the market. The combination of poor reliability, high maintenance and repair costs, and the end of the warranty is enough for many folks to dump their Jag.

On a positive note, these cars are a thing of beauty, and they drive wonderfully, so if you have a lot of disposable income, then this might be the car for you–as long as it is not your only car.

The old joke about Jaguars is that you should buy two of them, because at most one will be running at any given time.
I agree with @VDCdriver about the beauty of the Jaguar. Normally, I don’t think much about the looks of a car. I even once owned an AMC Pacer. However, I find the Jaguar a very tasteful, but exciting looking automobile.

This is the typical trap set by luxury cars: they depreciate like crazy because the original owners want to unload them after the warranty is over. “Hey, I can get a used Jag for the price of a new Accord! What a bargain!”

Tears soon follow…

Edmunds has a True Cost to Own feature that prices maintenance and repairs over the next 5 years. The maintenance is reasonably accurate if you use the dealer. Think of it as an upper end if you follow the maintenance schedule in the glove box. Repairs is more of a guess, but they use the same method for all cars so you can consider it for comparative purposes. They say the base 2011 XJ will cost $11,000 for maintenance and $16,000 for repairs. That’s over $5500 per year without gas and insurance. A BMW 7 series would cost $17,000 for maintenance but just $9000 for repairs. A Benz S500 would be $11,000 and $8000 respectively. And a Lexus LS460 would be $7000 for maintenance and $3000 for repairs.

The Jag should be about $17,000 more than the LS460 over the next 5 years, about the same as the Bimmer, and $6000 more than the S500. If that doesn’t scare you off, enjoy the XJ! BTW, I would go for the standard wheel base. The long wheel base is a limousine, and unless you get to ride in the back, why put up with the poor handling compared to the short wheel base version?

Consumer Reports Used Car Guide should be consulted prior to deciding. Most public libraries and bookstore have this book.

Falling in love with this car is the same as falling in love with and marrying a very beautiful, very temperamental, very demanding mistress. You’ll feel like you’ve died and gone to heaven until you suddenly realize that your bank account has been drained, you’re going deep in debt, she’s no longer being good to you, and you’re going to have to pay royally to get rid of her.

I recommend against it. But, then, I too considered buying a Jag once until I woke up and came to my senses.

Like the upper end BMW’s and Mercedes this will likely not be a cheap car to maintain but it somewhat hinges on how well this one was maintained. Jaguars don’t have the best history as far as reliability goes which is why at least in the past 90% or more each year were leased. More character than any Lexus but with a price.

Denver has at least a half dozen excellent BMW, Mercedes and Audi independent repair specialists. We only have two Jag independents. This pretty much sums it up. The scan computers cost over $10k each and very few shops will make that investment to fix one or two cars per month. The German makes sell more cars in a day then Jag sells in a month. Aside from the purchase price, waiting for service and parts is something to consider.

The XJ of a few years earlier had benefitted from Ford trying to whip the company into shape and was much improved. Unfortunately, the 2011 XJ was a completely new car and Jag backslid into their old habits under their new owners. It’s a gorgeous car, especially in darker colors where the odd blacked-out C-pillar doesn’t stand out, and the interior has more chrome than even a Rolls Royce. Pictures don’t do the interior justice as they don’t show the sparkle of the chrome. Or all the fingerprints it picks up. Most years since it has been introduced this has been one of the two least reliable cars Consumer Reports rates, with the Jag XF being the other. There aren’t just a little worse than your typical luxury car, either, they’re far, far worse.

So you have here one of the worst cars of recent decades, and 2011 was its first year, almost always the worst year for any body style. So what are the good points? Distinctive, elegant styling with excellent proportions. A swanky, comfortable interior. It’s quick and overall drives well for a big luxury car. The negatives? It breaks. Again and again. The touchscreen nav system is glacially slow and ugly. The ergonomics are iffy. All of this makes it typically British. Their cars usually have loads of personality, but as reliable transportation are useless. Such a shame. Buying such an opulent car for so little looks like a steal. And it is, but you’re the victim.

For even less you can buy a Volkswagen Phaeton. Paste Jag logos over the VW badges and away you go. It’s less distinctive, but still huge and swanky, and the ergonomics and electronics are more modern. Reliability will be on a par with the Audi A8, which means less than superb, but still far, far better than the Jag. Of course, you might have trouble finding a Phaeton to buy, as it has supercar rarity. Despite that, VW is coming out with a new Phaeton. The first one was an ego thing, but it was such a laughable failure it’s hard to imagine they got much ego gratification from it, and I don’t see a new one doing better unless it’s some kind of tech showcase instead of a restyled A8 without the expensive aluminum body (what the first was.)

Thanks for bringing me back down to reality!! I greatly appreciate all the input!

How about looking at late-model Lexuses (Lexi?) or Infinitis?
Both of those marques have reliability that is…light-years…better than what you would experience with a Jaguar.

Generally-speaking, a Lexus will be more…Mercedes-like…and an Infiniti will be more…BMW-like. (Translation=Infiniti models have a more “sporting” nature to their driving experience.)

Getting back to the subject of Jags for a moment, even on the UK’s Top Gear TV program–where they always express their love for Jags, Land Rovers, and Aston Martins–one of the ongoing jokes is that those beautiful vehicles have a habit of…not starting…and of spending a huge amount of time in the shop.

The VW Phaeton is still manufactured for the European and Asian markets. Most people couldn’t get over the VW badge on a luxury sedan. I sat in a couple at the LA Auto Show when it first came out. It is a beautiful car, and quite a bargain with the V8.

And I think that Consume Reports ratings are highly misleading. Almost all cars have less than 5% problems, but any vehicle with more than 4% are rated significantly worse than average. Making decisions based on CR ratings alone doesn’t allow the buyer to take advantage of those that only buy the highest rated cars. A reliable car can be bought for thousands less than the highest rated car.

Being a mechanic and having worked at a Benz dealership, I of all people can say that Benz cars were far less than reliable

Rolls, Porsche, Audi, and Jag were on the same lot, and from what I could see, they were not any better, and in most cases, they were absolutely dismal

If you want to be adventurous, go ahead and buy a used european luxury car

The CR ratings aren’t perfect, but they are useful for comparing otherwise similar cars. In the case of the Jags, they weren’t just at the bottom, they were somewhere in the subbasement. Their reported problems per car were several times that of many competitors, and those are not especially good cars in terms of reported problems, either. I agree that you have to look beyond the little black and red symbols and their recommendations, but they do have more info available. I look at what kinds of problems they’re having. Problems with trim bits and the like, yawn. Older cars with suspension and brake issues, no big deal. That is usually just normal wear. A newish car with suspension or brake problems is worrisome. Any car with fuel system or problems with emissions systems, not good. Major transmission problems in less than five years, ouch. They don’t adequately sort out normal wear and tear in older vehicles, though the red and black dots do. A red circle (top rating) on a ten yo car allows for far more issues than the same rating on a newish car. So the ratings do have some use.

But there is no special rating hell at CR, just Much Worse Than Average. A car at the 4% division with Worse Than Average is lumped in with with this Jaguar. But with cars with closer reliability ratings, like Worse Than Average and higher, it is possible to look at estimated costs of repairs to see if the more expensive car makes sense. A base Ford Focus has a value of $10,000 (2011) while a similar Corolla has a market value of $11,700. Edmunds estimates that maintenance and repairs over 5 years is $6700 and $6800 respectively. You save $1700 up front and have similar M&R expenses over the next 5 years. Why pay extra for the Corolla?

Because my personal experience has led me to believe that I’ll still be driving the Corolla the second five years, and the third five years, and maybe even the fourth five years. And I like to keep my cars forever if I can.

It’s a preference thing.

We drive ours as long as we can, too. The Regal lasted 14 years and was running well when my daughter hydroplaned, crashed, and it wasn’t worth fixing. Our Silhouette is 12 years old and still running fine. We plan to keep it until a big repair comes up and then probably donate it. We won’t need it after a few more weeks when our last child graduates. She who wrecked the Regal, I might add. But she is more important than the Regal was, so I bought her a 2010 Cobalt, which also runs just fine. I only paid $10,000 for it. The extra couple of Gs I saved rather than buying a more expensive Corolla or Civic is a rainy day fund if it needs repairs while we own it. Nothing except price against those other two cars, and I keep the Supreme Allied Commander happy when I save lots of money.