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.

Are you interested in Jaguar as a manufacturer? Let's explore all model types Jaguar has to offer

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.

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!

Has Jaguar as a brand caught your eye? Let's take a look at this brands quintessentially British heritage today!

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

24 Comments

  • Martin Green| 11th September 2019 at 9:19 pm Reply

    I Have just bought a brand new Jaguar XJ50 , I was lucky too! Normally only made in 4 colours on the XJ50 models Black, Red, White, Navy Blue, however when i rang the dealership Guy Salmon in Coventry they had 9 cars of which Jaguar took off the track with just 10 left to build and gave them the ” SVO” SPECIAL VEHICLE ORDER treatment. They gave it a £10.000 paint over and then with the other 9 cars placed it back on the track to completed it, June 20th 2019, The only one ever made in that colour ” Gardener Green, its like a blue one way in the light, and goes Green when you turn another way, looks beautiful and makes the XJ look like a brand new model even if it is a brand new car, The Gardener section was that Jaguar cars England gave these 9 cars names of workers off the XJ line, so Mr Gardener made mine and his name was chosen awesome factual story, the car was picked up Sept 2nd 2019 and now has 214 miles on the clock, its fantastic on pick up with over 300 BHP horses coming from the engine… excellent the JAGUAR XJ One of only 9 made with different colours, the others were different too, golds and bronze etc etc and ghost silver, that Ghost silver is the only one for sale left now.

    • Rachel Richardson| 12th September 2019 at 8:41 am Reply

      Hi Martin,

      It sounds like you have found a very unique colour for your new XJ50 and such a great story about how the colour came about. Having such a unique colour for a vehicle that normally comes in only 4 shades.

      We hope that you enjoy your new Jaguar and thank you for sharing your experience.

  • George N| 10th September 2019 at 4:53 pm Reply

    I have had jags for years and never had any problems
    Great cars

    • Rachel Richardson| 11th September 2019 at 11:21 am Reply

      Hi George,

      Thank you for your comment on the reliability of Jaguar. It’s always helpful for our readers to hear from other owners when they are considering purchasing or leasing a vehicle from any manufacturer.

  • Margaret Strambler| 12th August 2019 at 5:16 pm Reply

    Margaret/Hi I own my jaguar for about 3years beautiful car. I love it, if you just keep up with the service on it ,it’s a great car . Only one problem was when I drove for 13 hours the reservoir plastic pen broke.replaced it and no more problems.

    • Rachel Richardson| 13th August 2019 at 2:26 pm Reply

      Hi Margaret,

      Thank you for your feedback regarding Jaguar as a manufacturer. They are becoming more reliable, so it’s always great for our readers to hear about another owner’s experience of the manufacturer. Thank you for sharing.

  • Jen| 25th July 2019 at 11:36 pm Reply

    Thank you all the information. Looks like I have to change “my dream comes true” to “ my dream comes clear!”. Thank you very much.

    • Rachel Richardson| 26th July 2019 at 8:45 am Reply

      Hi Jen,

      We are happy to help. The purpose of all of these articles is to help you make the choice that is right for you.

      If you are based in the UK, we would love to help you find your dream car.

  • Chris| 19th June 2019 at 3:58 pm Reply

    I’ve owned a Jaguar XK Convertible for the past 3 years. Bought at 5 years old with 35,000 miles and use her everyday. This is an awesome car, its fun to drive, beautiful to behold and sounds fantastic, amongst the nicest V8s I’ve ever heard. Its a much prettier, more evocative and engaging car than comparable vehicles from German rivals. The Jag has never broken down or failed to start or suffered more reliability issues than other similar cars I’ve owned. To date problems consist only of a replacement Water Pump and a Pedestrian Safety System Sensor. Repairs are no more expensive on the XK than a comparable vehicle from BMW or Mercedes.

    • Rachel Richardson| 20th June 2019 at 8:44 am Reply

      Hi Chris,
      Thank you for sharing your experience of driving the Jaguar XK with our readers. I am sure that they will find this information helpful when they are looking for recommendations for a new vehicle.

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