How reliable is Jaguar? A balanced look at the luxury British manufacturer

Jaguar is synonymous with British luxury and style. Jaguar is the luxury vehicle brand of Jaguar Land Rover, and have been a symbol of British engineering for some years now and one dealership supplied cars to the Queen, the Queen Mother and Prince Charles. In fact, they even modified one of the Queen’s Jaguars to make it more environmentally friendly.

But despite this, Jaguar has been plagued with the issue of dependability for some time now. Although they are known for their build quality and style, Jaguar has always been considered quite unreliable cars.

Is this still the case? How reliable are Jaguar?

In this article, we look at how reliable Jaguar is and how this compares to their rivals.

How reliable are Jaguar?

As we said, there was once a time when Jaguar was considered unreliable. And, this wasn’t actually too long ago. In fact, in 2014, the UK was placed at the bottom of the reliability table in a WarrantyDirect survey partly due to the low-reliability score of Jaguar. This survey was compiled to show the best nations for reliability, and the UK came last out of eight nations.

Jaguar also placed 29th in comparison to the automotive industry in terms of reliability, click here to discover where their competitors placed.

This also appeared to be the case in the 2017 survey by WarrantyDirect, which found that British cars were some of the worst on the roads in terms of dependability. This again, was partly due to Jaguar’s unreliability. That said, they also factored in Land Rover and Vauxhall in this survey, so it wasn’t all to do with Jaguar. And we all know how unreliable Land Rover are, so there’s a good chance that they brought down the overall reliability considerably.

red Jaguar XE on the road going round a corner with mountains in the background

However, the Telegraph put Jaguar 16th in their table for car reliability. This was up from 23rd last year. Jaguar have reduced their problems to 123 problems per 100 vehicles, this is down from 173 the previous year, which is quite an achievement.

Reliability Index put Jaguar 29th out of 39 on their reliability table. They also gave Jaguar a reliability index of 171. This isn’t a great score (the lower the score the better), and is quite a bit below the industry average. That said, they still rank their reliability as average and compared to some of their competitors, their score is sky high. To give you a quick comparison, Bentley scored 529 on the ReliabilityIndex.  

If we look at individual scores, then the results are mixed. The Jaguar S-Type is given a poor reliability index and a score of 226. It is also expensive to fix, with the average cost of repair at £516.88.

White Jaguar XF side view on the road

The Jaguar XF scores better, with a reliability index of 136. This isn’t great but it’s not terrible. It also costs much less to repair at £376.72 on average.

The Jaguar XK does even better, with a reliability index of 116. This is just a bit better than the industry average. It does cost more to repair though, with an average repair cost of £434.10.

So the results are mixed. Jaguar were once unreliable, scoring low in reliability tables and with a high number of problems per 100 vehicles. However, they appear to be making a comeback, and there could be a few reasons for this, which we will talk about now.

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Why are the results so mixed?

So why are the results so mixed? The Telegraph put them as considerably more dependable than they were last year, with a jump of almost ten places in their table and a decrease in problems per vehicle by 50 but WarrantyDirect still claim they bring down the UK in their reliability table.

There could be a few reasons for this.

The WarrantyDirect survey studied cars that were over 4 years old and was measuring long term reliability. There is nothing wrong with this and usually a brands reliability doesn’t change that much in a few years. But, you may remember that Jaguar have recently been taken over by Tata Motors and underwent new management.

And, in 2015, this new management swore that the days of dubious dependability were over. All vehicles in the 2016 lineup were to come with a five-year, 60,000-mile warranty and free scheduled maintenance for that period. This would have increased consumer confidence, brought down maintenance costs and in turn, increased their reliability rating. This may explain why they shot up in the Telegraph reliability table.

Another reason Jaguar have increased their reliability is due to increased reliability of their technology. In recent years, luxury cars have seen decreased reliability because of the advanced technology put in their cars. This technology can go wrong and can be expensive to repair and replace. However, with all technology, the more popular it becomes the easier it is to repair and tweak and ensure that all problems are ironed out. So, any problems Jaguar may have had in the past have been resolved.

So those are some of the reasons Jaguar might have become more dependable in the past year. Whether this will extend into the long term remains to be seen, but for now it looks like the days of Jaguar being unreliable are over.

What are the common Jaguar problems?

When you are looking at buying a car, it’s good to know what problems you could encounter further down the line. Here are some of the problems you may have to deal with if you own a Jaguar;

  • Suspension problems
    • The suspension on Jaguar’s is prone to wear and tear, so this is something you should look out for if you are buying a second hand Jaguar.
  • Windscreen wiper failure
    • Jaguar cars are also known for going through windscreen wipers quicker than others, so you will probably have to replace them more often than you would on another car.
  • Water leaks
    • Some have reported that there have been incidents of leaking in the boot and the front footwell. This has often been caused by faulty outer-door seals.

Those are some of the things that you may want to be aware of when you are looking at a second hand Jaguar. This is also worth knowing if you are buying a new model, so you can know what sort of problems you may encounter later down the line.

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How reliable are surveys?

When determining the reliability of a brand, surveys are pretty good. Surveys by the likes of WarrantyDirect are useful because they can pull their data from a huge amount of information and therefore get an accurate view of how reliable a brand is.

Surveys also use information from owners, who are the ones who are most likely to know how reliable a car is. After all, they drive it everyday so know exactly how reliable it is or isn’t.

That said, in this context, surveys should be taken with a pinch of salt. Or at least older ones should, anyway. It’s very rare that a brand makes such a leap in terms of reliability as it appears Jaguar have. Therefore, the most recent surveys, that look over the past year rather than longer, are probably the most accurate because of the amount of changes Jaguar have made and the impact this has had on their reliability.

woman on her laptop taking part in a survey

However, if you are looking at a used Jaguar, then the long term reliability surveys are the best place to look because they will be most accurate in terms of used car longevity.

In general, consumer surveys are a good place to look when determining reliability. In this case, it is better to look at the most recent surveys rather than ones that are a few years old. This is simply due to the drastic change in reliability we have seen in Jaguar. The chances are, there aren’t many brands that have had such a dramatic change in such a short space of time.

Jaguar vs. Porsche vs. Bentley; Which is more reliable?

Red Porsche Cayenne driving round corner

So how does Jaguar measure up to its competitors?

We said that Jaguar have had a drastic change in reliability, but they aren’t the only ones. Porsche are very much the comeback kid when it comes to dependability as well. Porsche have consistently been at the bottom of the reliability tables and charts for years and were known for their unreliability. However, it was this year (2017), that they were named the most reliable car brand by J.D Power in their annual Vehicle Dependability Survey.

That said, Reliability Index hasn’t been kind to them, reporting that almost all of their models poor for reliability and as very expensive to repair. Porsche overall has a very high-reliability index, even higher than Jaguar at 308. However, if Porsche really has made their models more reliable then we should see this change over the coming years.

Bentley, on the other hand, are still as unreliable as ever, it seems. They are the second from the bottom of the Reliability Index with a reliability index of 529. They have also come last in several dependability tables and are widely known as being unreliable cars. When they are off the road, they are off the road for a long period of time and parts are expensive to source and replace. This can bring the dependability down.

If you’re trying to decide between the three and reliability is your priority, then Jaguar does come out on top. Porsche isn’t far behind though, so you wouldn’t be too worse off looking at Porsche. However, if you value longevity then you might want to look elsewhere than Bentley, as they are still an unreliable brand.

In conclusion, Jaguar are actually pretty dependable at the minute. They were once very unreliable, coming in at the bottom of the reliability tables. But recently that has begun to change and have been creeping their way up to the top of reliability charts. This could be for a number of reasons, but the main reason is most likely the fact that the new management made it their aim to produce more dependable vehicles and instil more consumer confidence in their products. To do this they have offered longer warranties with scheduled maintenance included, and it seems like this is paying off. If you are looking for a new car that is as luxurious as it is reliable, then you might want to look at a Jaguar.

Jaguar recently put their E-Pace through some of the world’s most extreme weather conditions, you can watch the video below to see how it got on!

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Holly Martin

Content Co-ordinator at OSV Ltd
Holly enjoys: Reading, music and spending time with friends.

Within a week of Holly starting work at OSV she became an indispensable part of the marketing team. She's very intuitive and gets on with the whole office effortlessly.
Holly Martin

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38 Comments

  • Alan Levick| 31st December 2019 at 11:59 pm Reply

    I have a jag xj sport which is 23 yrs old and still drives beautifully .The exhaust has just developed holes and we believe it is the original one.There is wear on drivers seat and the paintwork has gone awry in places but frankly that’s my fault .Certainly never problems with suspension,water leaks etc .I will be swopping it with same car a few years younger ,less mileage only because I don’t want to do the paintwork etc and this “new” car is is such good condition it would be silly to pass it up.As I say ,never any technical,mechanical issues so ” unreliable” ? Do me a favour !

    • Rachel Richardson| 2nd January 2020 at 9:41 am Reply

      Hi Alan,

      Thank you for your feedback on your experiences with the Jaguar brand. We use data available from several sources, including warranty companies, manufacturers, consumer reports and surveys in order to ensure that the information we provide is unbiased and balanced. We understand that every experience is different, while some are positive like yours, others have experienced repeated breakdowns. We are looking to conduct a comprehensive reliability survey this year, so would be interested in hearing from you.

  • andy| 19th December 2019 at 6:39 pm Reply

    I have owned a Jaguar XF 3.0D Premium luxury, had it for 4 years and did 70k in that, the majority of the driving was spirited. Never let me down once. Started first time every time and even returned 60mpg driving to York. Loved the car, I have missed it ever since. Swapped it for the last edition of the XK, the 5.0 litre beast…. Had this for 5 years now, covered 62k in this car and the only problem I have every had with this car is the battery needed changing just after I bought it. Reliability has been exceptional, especially given its a performance car and they usually tend to be very temperamental. Highly recommend Jaguar as a brand, I wouldn’t see myself driving anything less. Ride is outstanding and the performance just breath taking. The interiors although on the XK its beginning to look a bit dated, you cannot fault the materials and workman ship. BMW and Audi are leagues behind IMHO

    • Rachel Richardson| 20th December 2019 at 11:32 am Reply

      Hi Andy,

      Thank you for your comment on the reliability of the Jaguar as you’ve experienced it. We are currently in the midst of updating our reliability articles and the information is still being gathered for Jaguar. Hopefully, if you’re based in the UK, you will be willing to participate in our reliability study.

  • Steve| 18th December 2019 at 3:14 am Reply

    Reliability..Common Jaguar problems.. suspension, wiper and water leaking.. Only?
    Nah.. that’s not really an issue.
    I was expecting bigger ones such as engine failure, electrical and electronics problems.

    But if these aren’t common in a recent year Jag, it’s not a reason to shun it.
    By the way, I drive an 2017 Jag XE daily. Ingenium engine.
    It has done nearly 80k km mostly in a city traffic condition.
    No problem whatsoever since Day One.

    • Rachel Richardson| 18th December 2019 at 8:11 am Reply

      Hi Steve,

      Thank you for your message on Jaguar reliability. We are currently in the process of updating our reliability reports with the most current available data from multiple sources, so this information is from 2016/17.

  • Graham Butler-Shawe| 22nd November 2019 at 12:58 am Reply

    MY IMPRESSION IS THAT WHEN THE “A” TEAM WERE BUILDING THE 50S AND 60S XKs RELIABILITY WAS NEVER A PROBLEM BUT WITH THE FIASCO OF BL IN THE 70s JAGUAR SUFFERED A REVERSE WHICH IT STILL NEEDS TO RECTIFY.COME ON YOU KNOW YOU CAN DO IT!!! I OWN 55 JAGS………ALL IN 1/43 SCALE

    • Rachel Richardson| 22nd November 2019 at 8:41 am Reply

      Hi Graham,

      Thank you for your comment. The Jaguar has had 6 owners since its inception, and 5 owners since the 50s, so changes will happen. Reliability is something that all manufacturers look to improve, so there is hope that they will be able to regain this element of their manufacture. That said, Jaguar has come into its own in the last 12-18 months, with new vehicles that are admired prize-winners. The turnaround has begun.

  • Constantin m.| 5th October 2019 at 10:42 pm Reply

    Jaguars are verry nice and luxury cars, my friend owns one for couple of years now and he never mention about any problems , I’m a bmw lover but 1 week ago my 5er get on fire, why? Wire sistem from battery so not only jag have problems, depends how lucky you are… All brands have probs, some of them bigger some of them smaller…

    • Rachel Richardson| 7th October 2019 at 2:35 pm Reply

      Hi Constantin,

      Thank you for your comment regarding the reliability of Jaguar in your experience. We acknowledge that all brands have their faults and we are always looking for sources that can aid in updating the information we have on the website. The reliability pieces are currently under review and will be updated over the next few months.

      We are sure that many will find your driving experience of the luxury that is Jaguar helpful when they come to make their decision regarding a new vehicle.

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