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Jag XJ long term review (Autoweek)

Old 11-29-04, 12:52 PM
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Default Jag XJ long term review (Autoweek)

We almost traded in our 03 LS for the new XJ............ whew.......


2004 Jaguar XJ8: Third-quarter update
Of Lemons and Lemonade: Jaguar can't sweet-talk our sourpuss

NATALIE NEFF
Published Date: 9/6/04

THIRD QUARTER
MILES DRIVEN (quarter/to date): 7590.8/20,220
FUEL MILEAGE (quarter/to date): 23.32 mpg/21.58 mpg
FUEL COST (quarter/to date): $710.89/$1,817.10
DAYS OUT OF SERVICE (quarter/to date): Eight/nine
MAINTENANCE: Replace parking brake module, twice (warranty); replace one tire, rotate and balance four tires, four-wheel alignment ($415.53); re-dye back seat (warranty); spit-shine passenger seat (no charge)

As you skim over these words keep the number 66,770 in mind. That’s the sticker price on our long-term Jaguar XJ8, slathered in all the luxury bits any lover of fine cars demands.

By now you know we use these quarterly updates to showcase how our test cars behave on the road and how they help us escape into the joy of driving. This update, however, is different because our experience was different. This story focuses on our dealer experience, a big part of the own ership experience, and we can only hope ours is different from yours.

Last quarter we chronicled the troubles we had with a recurring parking brake fault light, which required a second service. One new battery and parking brake motor later the same problem returned to haunt us for the third quarter—not once but three times. That’s right: Through nine months in our garage the parking brake fault light flashed and stayed
on five separate times.

This time, however, our fancy-pants car garnered dungaree service. Specifically, this quarter (though we put 7590 miles on the car) we endured the worst dealership experience and service that we’ve encountered in 12 years of long-term vehicle evaluations.

We know dealers are independent businesses separate from the factory. But is it not reasonable to believe that a local Michigan Jaguar dealer—one that services Ford’s executive fleet business—would be more attentive, more customer oriented? Yes, you’d think that, and we found you’d be wrong. Also, we know that as a company Jaguar has vaulted toward the top in a number of internal and independent quality audits. Simply, the cars are better today than when Lucas, the "Prince of Darkness,"reigned supreme.

Still, we had problems. To wit: This quarter’s first visit required we give up our XJ8 for seven days to wait for a new parking brake module, as well as to have a damaged tire that we had changed replaced. During that week we made calls daily to
check on the car’s status. Those calls went unanswered; promises of completion dates passed unfulfilled and claims of work completed proved untrue.

When we did pick up the car, we found the spare tire still mounted and the damaged one still in the trunk. To top it off, we found the set of (wrong size) replacement Kumho treads, which we had previously toted to the dealer in the back of a pickup and personally delivered to the service department, chucked into the dove-colored back seat of our Jag. Do you know how tough it is to get tire skid marks off leather?

Two days later, when the parking brake fault light reappeared, back went the car. We finally got the damaged tire replaced and another parking brake module installed. But we weren’t finished.

During the next three days we returned to the dealership three additional times to get the"vulcanized"rear seats cleaned; when that failed, they were re-dyed (which itself was an ordeal).

If you can’t guess what happened next you’re not alone.

The service manager, speaking to how the Kumhos got in the back seat, said, "Our guys would never do that."You fill in the blanks.

But wait... When we went to retrieve our car, we inspected it thoroughly and pointed out a dirt smudge on the back of the passenger seat. The sales manager stopped a service clerk who was running to get some cleaner and right there in front of us proceeded to—no joke—spit-clean our seat.

Ten days later, as we came to the end of this quarter’s review, the stains showed through the dye job and, yeah, that parking brake fault light returned. One saving grace: Jaguar U.S., alerted to the car’s woes, dispatched help dedicated to getting to the bottom of this brake fault light problem, the result of which we’ll share next update.

What was that number again?
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Old 11-29-04, 01:14 PM
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Sadly, this is not surprising. Most all Jag Long Term reviews, the cars are still problematic. And they FINALLY raise the issue, "THIS CAR is 66K"!!!! Before Lexus, it was assumed unreliable came with the luxury territory. We know now, that is nowhere near the case. Not sure what is up with that dealer, as Jag has improved dealer service tons.
Really sad, even with the same styling as last model, the new XJ is a wonderful car. But for those not in the know, Jag is still losing tons of money, they are shutting down their historical plant to only use the new one. Since Ford owns RR, no Jag SUV is coming.
 
Old 11-29-04, 05:35 PM
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I read that article in the AUTOWEEK paper copy when it came out a couple of weeks ago. While the car itself , of course, was clearly under Lexus standards in its build quality, many of the problems with that particular AUTOWEEK test vehicle were due to a poorly run dealership that had no idea at all how to treat luxury-car customers. And not just dealerships either.......I have not been impressed with many of the Jaguar company representatives that I talk with at auto shows. They tend to be aloof and unresponsive. It is just not a customer and public-oriented company like Saturn or Cadillac.
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Old 11-29-04, 06:55 PM
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Re-dye backseats? I really wonder what type of leather Jaguar actually uses in its $66k+ sedan.

This is really a shame, considering that Jaguar still makes some of the most beautiful cars out there.

Only if their reliability and customer service are as good as the way their cars look.

Jon
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Old 11-29-04, 09:54 PM
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I believe i know what the root of all the problems are...



jaguar is owned by ford motor co.
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Old 11-30-04, 05:30 AM
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Originally posted by jracerlmn
I believe i know what the root of all the problems are...
jaguar is owned by ford motor co.
Well, it's true that Ford is not one of the better corporations in dealing with customers, but even with today's problems, Jaguars are now light-years ahead of the Lucas Electronics days and the jokes about a good Jaguar going coast-to-coast and only catching fire once. Ford ownership since 1989 DID bring a measure of improvement to the quality level at the Coventry, England factory.
That dealership that AUTOWEEK dealt with with was an exceptionally poor one even by Jaguar standards.
Why that particular dealership was so poor, (especially dealing with a well-known national auto publication) I don't know, but my guess is that so few Jags are sold in Michigan.....a traditionally domestic-nameplate state.......that they are probably the only Jag dealership for quite a distance around, and, with lack of competition, have local Jag customers over a barrel.
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Old 11-30-04, 07:12 AM
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Originally posted by ImportFAN
I have a Jag.....

It's very fragile to say the least and the dealerships suck.

But it's different...and you can't keep owning the same car over and over.
After owning 3 Lexus, I decided I "needed" something different too. I bought an X-Type and while I enjoyed the styling and novelty, I did not enjoy the constant trips to the dealer for replacement parts. Most of the time the service manager did not have a clue as to what was wrong or how to fix the problem. I often heard, "they all do that". Calling Jaguar Customer Relations was as useless as dealing with city government. Stupidly after a year of frustration, I traded the X-Type on an '03 S-Type V8. The S-Type was much better quality than the X-Type, but after several months, the rattles started, but one morning the car refused to (start, that is). It was a week in the shop for a flooding problem and when I went to pick it up, there was more bird sh_t on my car than on the statues in town square and the one-touch up/down windows no longer worked. The parking assist would continually give false warnings. The worst problem was the lurching transmission. When accelerating from a stop, the transmission would slam into first with a hard jolt. There was a recall with new software loaded to the ECU. After the reflash of the transmission, the lurch changed from accelerating to stopping. As I came to a stop, the transmission would bang into first, and when briskly accelerating the transmission began to groan when changing gears, like it was slipping.

So I decided I had enough of "different" and traded the S-Type on my '04 LS430. I can't see Jaguar surviving with dealers as poor as mine and a Customer Relations organization that is totally apathetic to its customers. I sometimes wonder if Ford is trying to kill Jaguar rather than rescue it. Ford has completely mismanaged Jaguar since it bought the company 15 years ago. As proof of Ford's incompetence, Toyota created Lexus about the same time Ford bought Jaguar. See any difference in the 2 companies' successes?

Mike
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Old 11-30-04, 09:44 AM
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Hmm, that sucks...It's a little disturbing...I'm a big fan of the XJ. Sad to Jag in trouble in general, they had to sell their F1 team too...Which is lame because Ford throws away more money on rebates and 0% in one weekend than Jag F1 has in their entire yearly budget.
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Old 11-30-04, 10:03 AM
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Volvo's dearlership are as bad if not worst than the Jag's.
It won't be long before Ford messed up all the great marques. Jag, Volvo, Aston, Lincoln
Land Rover..........

If they don't turn things around soon, Ford will start killing off the nameplates (GM / Oldsmobile came to mind) ........ it'll be a sad sad day for car lovers
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Old 11-30-04, 11:40 AM
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Originally posted by TRD-bB
Volvo's dearlership are as bad if not worst than the Jag's.
It won't be long before Ford messed up all the great marques. Jag, Volvo, Aston, Lincoln
Land Rover..........

If they don't turn things around soon, Ford will start killing off the nameplates (GM / Oldsmobile came to mind) ........ it'll be a sad sad day for car lovers
Yeah Volvo dealerships are pretty bad. I work for one. The service department is horrible, but the sales is very very good. Many customers love the salesmen, and only buy Volvos because of the relationships they have with them.(well my dealership anyway) But whats funny is that a few other dealerships that we do business with arent so bad as mine. I think it has a lot to do with management. My dealership has been going through so many managemnet changes in the past few years. They are now only getting things in a good working order. I guess there was to many complaints from customers (Way to many complaints). Overall, they need room for improvement and bigger dealerships cause this is the first time Volvo has sold so many cars. Growing pains I guess?

Last edited by magneto112; 11-30-04 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 11-30-04, 11:44 AM
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Fords been doing a good job with Volvo. Out of all of the luxury marques they have, I think Volvo is the only one that is making a lot of profit. People are really buying them up these days and are becoming cross shopped with BMW's and Audi's.

But, I have always been a big fan of Jaguar. There cars are so classy (I think that they still design one of the best looking cars out on the road today, very timeless designs)and no matter how lacking there quality is I think I still wouldnt mind owning one. Its kinda like how certain MB fans feel. No matter how manytimes they take there car back to the dealership for problems, they will still buy another MB.

Last edited by magneto112; 11-30-04 at 11:53 AM.
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