Both my parents drive Jaguars. A ’98 XJS and a ’99 Vanden Plas. I really dislike these cars.
- The seating is way too low, so that you feel like you are in one of those two inch tall beach chairs.
- The accelerator pedal is situated so that you have to point your toe in order to depress it all the way.
- The radio is very difficult to operate with way too many buttons that do way too little.
- The clock is very difficult to read. It’s too small, the hands don’t have high contrast against the backing in day or night. The hands are mirrored which would be tough enough if the hours weren’t demarcated by mirrored bars.
- The chair is difficult to adjust properly. The controls aren’t intuitive. At it’s best, the seat remains moderately uncomfortable to me.
- There isn’t much headroom.
- Heat is slow to come up.
- Regular maintenance is very expensive. The “regular” 40,000 mile dealer service cost $400 (no expensive parts (timing belt, battery, etc) were replaced!)
- It vapor-locks like a mother fucker. If you start the car, move it 10 feet and shut it off, it sometimes will refuse to start for 24 hours. When this happened to us, the dealer was consulted and told us that this was a common vapor lock problem.
- If you leave the the air conditioner on “automatic” during the summer it starts blowing on full blast too soon after starting. It’ll burn your face with hot air and numb your ears with a noisy full blast fan before letting you settle in.
- With the air conditioning set to “automatic”, it seems that the A/C compressor runs even in the wintertime, drying out the air even more (the lights indicate this but I’m not sure the compressor is actually running)
- The Vanden Plas has folding tray tables (as in “please put your seat and tray tables in their upright position…) in the back seat. That’s kind of cool. Unfortunately, the tray table is a mirror-smooth surface with no edge-lip so that anything placed upon it is bound for the floor in seconds.
- The buttons that control the windows don’t offer enough tactile feedback. You have to look at them to know which window you’re about to open or close.
- You can’t open the window a crack. The power window system interprets you pushing the button for a 1/4 second or less as a command to open the window all the way.
- If you floor the accelerator, the ABS brakes sometimes kick in because it thinks you’re slipping. But you’re not.
- If you try to start the car before it’s “ready” (the seat and mirrors adjust themselves to each driver) the key won’t turn. You have to turn the key all the way back off and wait until it’s good and ready.
- The cruise-control buttons are situated very strangely.
- The center armrest is too high. Only someone who is 6’10” with no head and midget arms could actually lean his elbow on it.
The door armrest isn’t quite as high but is bad too. The armrests aren’t at a similar height.
- It only has one windshield wiper. It does a fine job of cleaning the center of the windshield but misses the right and left sides. This creates a large blind spot between the 10 and 11 o’clock position in front of the driver during inclement weather.
- The windshield wiper fluid comes out poorly. The stuff is sprayed out from the middle of the wiper, down toward the front of the car. This of course leaves the entire upper half of the windshield untouched by fluid.
- The windshield wipers are a non-standard 17 1/2 inches. The regular $3 replacements come in whole-inch sizes only. Factory authorized, Jaguar-blessed 17 1/2″ replacements cost around $20. Watch out, the books in auto centers claim to have the right size, but don’t.
- The cup holders suck. No really. The front ones are just in front of the driver’s arm-rest which means a cup-laden vehicle prohibits the driver from moving his right elbow past the width of his right shoulder without a spill. The cup holders are too shallow and flimsy. Many cups and mugs have flipped out of this holder during turns and stops. The rear cup holders aren’t flimsy but they’re too shallow and shaped perfectly to hold an ice cream cone with the bottom cut off. This shape doesn’t hold a CUP snugly.
- It’ll set you back $65,000. Monthly lease payments on one of these things costs twice as much as most loan payments. And at the end of the lease, you’ve got nuffum.
- 17 MPG city, 24 highway. Premium gas only.
- People call it “Jag-ee-wahr”. That reminds me of pretentious people that use the word “utilize” when they should be saying “use”.
- No user serviceable parts. Open up the hood and you won’t find an internal combustion engine, you’ll find… something else (I suppose on some toolie/techy/gee-wiz level, this comment should be in the Pro category).
- Not much interior space. It’s 17 feet long and almost 6 feet across, so where is all the interior space? Sure, it’s comfortable, but it isn’t “roomy” by any accounts. The trunk looks huge from the outside but it houses a spare tire and the mother of all car batteries in the false-bottom floor.
- When you start it up, the exhaust reeks of unburned gas.
- You can’t use the car keys to open packages because they are cylindrical and have no sharp edges.
- A few days ago (on 4-2-04), I put it in Park while I was stopped at a traffic light and it refused to go back into Drive until I shut the car off and restarted it, twice.
- Powerful headlights
- Excellent acceleration
- Quiet interior
If you think the Cons outweigh the Pros, buy one. Just stay away from me.