Jaguar XK (1996 – 2006) Review

Jaguar XK (1996 – 2006) At A Glance


+Still a head-turner and now cheaper than ever. Refined, sporting drive. Luxurious feel to the cabin.

-Thirst exacerbates already high running costs. Potential build quality problems. V8 bore liner erosion on pre-2000 model year cars.

Launched at the 1996 Geneva Motor Show, the XK8 replaced the XJS. Available in either coupe or convertible guise, both cars used Jaguar’s newly-developed V8 engine for power.

Project X100, as the XK8 was codenamed, was part of then-owner Ford’s plan to revive Jaguar’s fortunes. Designed by Geoff Lawson, the XK8 was a winner from the start with its graceful lines and smooth power delivery from its 290bhp 4.0-litre. 

Things got interesting when the supercharged XKR arrived in 1998. With a 370bhp V8 under the bonnet, it was capable of hitting 60mph from standstill in 5.2 seconds. As well as the power upgrade, the suspension was also heavily revised resulting in a car that was much sharper, much more agile and much firmer than the standard version.

With more than 90,000 units shifted, the XK8 outperformed Jaguar’s expectations – despite complaints that it wasn’t a proper sports car (and that it used Ford switchgear). As a modern classic, the XK8 and XKR are well on the way. Just beware of early cars if there’s no evidence of the Nikasil bore liners or timing chain tensioners being replaced.

Ask Honest John

How much is my 1997 Jaguar XK8 worth?

"I have a 1997 blue hard-top Jaguar XK8 which has been off the road since failing its MoT in Summer 2018. Parked outside, uncovered. It’s a lovely car to drive and was reliable for the year I drove it. I am now abroad and never managed to get the car back up and running and now need to move it so I am exploring potentially selling it and wondered if you could direct me in value / price bracket? There is a crack in the front suspension and then a few minor issues that need fixing and it has of course not been driven in nearly 6 years."
The best way to obtain an estimated value for your vehicle is to look for examples currently for sale, taking into account the fact that the vehicle is SORN and also needs recomissioning. Running examples start at around £3500, so we would suggest pricing your car below this figure.
Answered by David Ross

How many Jaguar XK8s are there on the road?

"How many are there on the road and SORN?"
There are approximately 2500 coupes and 2600 convertible Jaguar XK8s currently registered in the UK, although this information should only be used as a guide.
Answered by David Ross

How can I clean the headlamps on my Jaguar XK8?

"The glass on the headlights of my Jaguar XK8 are becoming misty, not bright and clear as they should be. I'd be reluctant to replace them - they are only sold as a complete unit at, I believe, £200. Is there any cleaning product I can use to restore them?"
There are home remedies for cleaning fogged headlamp plastic (it is usually plastic, not glass), which include polishing with toothpaste. The results aren't as good as the proper kits on the market though: Armor All Headlight Restoration Wipes can be done by hand and come recommended, but for more intensive jobs you'll need a machine polisher and a restoration kit, such as Autoglym's.
Answered by Lawrence Allan

My convertible roof has jammed while open. Can I manually close it?

"The convertible roof of my Jaguar XKR (2001) seems to have jammed open. Thankfully, the weather is staying dry at the moment (not that I can drive it anyway due to lockdown). Any ideas how to fix it? The manual isn't that helpful. Should I wait for a garage to reopen or is there anything I can do? "
There is a manual procedure to close the roof - check either in your handbook, with your club, or have a look online. Once you've got the roof close, check the fluid level in the system. Chances are the fluid is leaking or overdue a change, which has resulted in it turning into a sort of weird jelly-like consistency and then not being able to close the roof.
Answered by Keith Moody
More Questions

What does a Jaguar XK (1996 – 2006) cost?