Are Jaguars good cars, you must be wondering? Find out if they are reliable in our honest assessment of the Jaguar brand.
Few car brands epitomize luxury and performance as much as Jaguar. The British car manufacturer has garnered a reputation for attractive designs, agility, comfort, and powerful engines from decades of making cars and continues to evolve.
But while there is a lot to like about modern Jaguars, poor reliability and other issues have hindered their success in many markets.
This guide breaks down everything Jaguar does right and the areas where it falls short to help you decide for yourself if a Jaguar is worth buying.
IN THIS GUIDE
About Jaguar Cars
Jaguar is a British luxury carmaker founded in 1922 by William Lyons and William Walmsley, originally as the Swallow Sidecar Company, a manufacturer of motorcycle sidecars. The first Jaguar car appeared in 1935, a sports sedan (saloon) named the SS.
The company shortly introduced a line of vehicles called Jaguar and changed its name at the end of World War 2 to reflect it. Thus, Jaguar was born.
Those early Jaguars quickly became renowned for their stunning looks and ground-breaking engineering. The original C-type, D-Type, XK, and E-Type models, in particular, laid the foundation for all modern Jaguars, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Related: Learn who owns Jaguar and where Jaguars are made.
Today, Jaguar offers a full line of vehicles that stay true to the brand’s roots of offering buyers a luxurious and engaging driving experience, including sedans, a coupe and convertible, and several crossover SUVs. Jaguars are sold all over the world, though their main markets are Europe, North America, and Asia.
Here is a full list of Jaguar’s current models.
|Coupe / Convertible
The striking, fun-to-drive I-Pace is Jaguar’s first all-electric vehicle and marked a new beginning for the brand. In 2021, the company announced that every Jaguar model will be fully electric by 2025.
Are Jaguars Good Cars?
Now that you know a little about Jaguar’s background and its model lineup, let’s look at just how good its vehicles are in terms of safety, reliability, performance, features and amenities, affordability, and cost of ownership.
Jaguar gets a lot of things right with its vehicles, and safety is one of them.
Thanks to their incredible structural integrity and comprehensive suite of driver-assistance features, modern Jaguars typically score high marks in crash tests performed by public crash agencies.
All models tested by EuroNCAP have scored five stars, the highest possible rating. But interestingly, not a single model offered in North America has been rated by the NHTSA or IIHS.
Regardless, you can expect solid all-around protection in the event of a crash. And should the collision be severe enough to set off the airbags, the vehicle will automatically notify emergency services and send them to its location.
To reduce the risk of accidents from occurring in the first place, new Jaguar vehicles come with a suite of safety features that includes Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, and Adaptive Cruise Control with Steering Assist and Driver Condition Monitor, a system that uses sensors to monitor the driver for signs of fatigue.
They can also be equipped with Blind Spot Monitoring, High-Speed Emergency Braking, Traffic Sign Recognition, Adaptive Front Lighting, and Auto High-Beam Assist.
So, are Jaguars safe? Yes. Jaguar cars and SUVs are very safe, providing top-of-the-line crash protection for occupants of all sizes and boasting modern driver-assistance and collision-prevention technologies.
This is a weak area of Jaguar, as Jaguar vehicles have historically been known to be unreliable.
There are two reasons for this. First, the company’s focus on being at the forefront of technology makes its vehicles complex, increasing the likelihood of something breaking. Second, build quality, while better than it has ever been, is not up to par with most other automakers.
RepairPal, a U.S.-based data aggregator that uses service invoices to track the reliability of a large collection of vehicle makes and models across multiple years, ranked Jaguar 29th out of 32 car brands. That places it in the same ballpark as BMW, Mercedes-Benzes, and Audi, three brands that also have a reputation for poor reliability.
Jaguar also often ranks at the bottom of the pack in Consumer Reports’ Annual Auto Survey and J.D. Power’s Vehicle Dependability Studies for the reasons stated above.
Most of the problems with Jaguar vehicles relate to their non-engine electrical systems, though issues with their engines, brakes, bodywork, and trim elements are not uncommon.
In RepairPal’s analysis, the most reliable Jaguars are the XF and XJ, both of which have average reliability. The XJ was discontinued in 2019 but can still be purchased on the used car market.
The good news is that the build quality of modern Jaguars has improved over the years and continues to improve with each passing generation of vehicles, so much so that many models are now considered as dependable as their German rivals.
Jaguar also provides one of the best warranties in the luxury car segment. To provide owners with some peace of mind, new models come with bumper-to-bumper and powertrain coverage of five years or 60,000 miles (whichever comes first), with scheduled maintenance included.
Of course, it goes without saying that the better you take care of your Jaguar, the longer it will likely last.
So, are Jaguars reliable? Although Jaguar has made great strides in recent years, the brand still has a reputation for bad reliability. Jaguar cars and SUVs tend to have more problems than most other vehicles.
Superb performance is a defining feature of both past and present Jaguar cars. In fact, whereas an increasing number of Jaguar’s competitors have shifted focus away from their performance heritage to target a broader audience, Jaguars remain among the most sporty luxury cars and SUVs on the market.
They tend to have powerful engines with competitive fuel economy and handle well enough to appease most driving enthusiasts. The engineers at Jaguar managed to achieve this while maintaining the quiet, composed, and comfortable ride commonly associated with luxury vehicles.
The F-Type is a sports car through and through and is intended for serious drivers, while Jaguar sedans and crossovers cater to motorists who want a comfortable and luxurious ride with a dash of fun. The I-Pace is proof that electric vehicles don’t have to be boring to drive.
Jaguar vehicles easily give BMWs, Mercedes-Benzs, and Audi vehicles a run for their money in both performance and luxury, and it’s not unusual for them to come out the winner in comparison tests.
Do Jaguars have good performance? Yes. Jaguar cars and SUVs strike a solid balance between comfort and performance, making them appealing whether you’re someone who enjoys driving or just wants to cruise along comfortably.
As a premium brand that strives to outdo Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Cadillac, and other key rivals in the premium car segment, Jaguar goes above and beyond to provide drivers and passengers with the best in luxury, tech, and convenience features.
Its interiors are crafted with the finest materials and have an ergonomic design for unprecedented comfort and convenience. Expect advanced technologies such as an easy-to-use infotainment system with a massive touchscreen, Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a laser head-up display (HUD), and powerful sound systems.
Heated seats and steering wheel? Massaging seats? Ambient lighting? Why, you can have those, too.
Nearly every tech and convenience feature currently available for cars is offered by Jaguar.
So, do Jaguars have good features and amenities? Yes. Jaguar vehicles are available with a comprehensive suite of the latest luxury, tech, and convenience features, all designed ergonomically to make driving comfortable.
If you’ve ever wondered why Jaguars are so expensive, it’s because Jaguar is a premier premium brand, one that even aims to surpass BMW and Mercedes-Benz in luxury, tech, and performance.
Jaguar cars and SUVs feature higher quality materials, more sophisticated engineering and tech, and better craftsmanship than the average vehicle, making them more expensive to build. People are also willing to pay high prices for their perceived quality and prestige.
That being said, the company has broadened its lineup over the years to accommodate a wider audience. While models such as the XF sedan, XJ crossover, and hot-blooded F-Type sports car cater to wealthy individuals, the entry-luxury XE sedan and small E-Pace crossover have a bit more of a mainstream focus.
But even with a few somewhat affordable models under its lineup, Jaguar cannot be considered a “near-luxury” car brand like Acura, Buick, and even Infiniti — that is, a brand that competes somewhere between the mainstream and premium segments. It’s a serious premium that prices accordingly.
Used Jaguars can be quite affordable, however. Even when considering that luxury vehicles tend to depreciate quickly because of their high prices, Jaguar models lose their value far quicker than most of their rivals because of their reputation for poor reliability.
That means it’s not difficult to find and buy a used Jaguar for a much lower price than a comparable Lexus, BMW, or Mercedes-Benz.
If you’re thinking about buying a used car, make sure to read our comprehensive used car buying guide so that you can shop with confidence.
Are Jaguars affordable? No. New Jaguar cars and SUVs are quite expensive because of Jaguar’s status as a premier luxury brand. Used Jaguars, on the other hand, can be cheap due to their low perceived reliability.
Cost Of Ownership
There is no beating around the bush — Jaguars are expensive vehicles to own and operate. On top of having below-average reliability and depreciating quickly, they are also expensive to maintain and repair due to a high cost of parts and servicing.
According to RepairPal, it costs an average of $1,123 per year to maintain and repair Jaguar cars and SUVs, nearly double the average cost for all models evaluated.
Jaguars are, in fact, more expensive to maintain and fix than BMWs, Mercedes-Benzs, and Audis, which also have below-average reliability.
About 14 percent of all repairs are considered severe, higher than the 12 percent average across all models.
Some Jaguar models (e.g. the XF) are cheaper to own than others, however, and Jaguar continues to improve the reliability of its entire lineup.
So, are Jaguars expensive to maintain? Yes. Unfortunately, a poor track record for reliability and high cost of parts and servicing make Jaguar vehicles particularly expensive to operate over the long run.
Jaguar Car FAQs
We have answered some other popular questions about Jaguar’s cars and SUVs to provide you with more insight into their quality.
Are Jaguars Luxury Cars?
Yes. Jaguars exhibit all the characteristics of a luxury car. Compared to the average mainstream car, they are crafted from higher quality materials, have more powerful engines and better performance, more advanced tech and convenience features, and oftentimes, a higher level of status.
Jaguar has such a strong luxury and performance pedigree that its vehicles have become synonymous with luxury.
Why Are Jaguars Not Crash Tested In North America?
Like Land Rovers and Porsches, no Jaguar vehicle has a crash-test rating from the NHTSA or IIHS because so few of them are sold in the U.S. and Canada that testing them would be cost-prohibitive for either agency.
If you’re in Canada or the U.S. and want to know how well Jaguars perform in collisions, look at their EuroNCAP ratings to get an idea. They usually perform well in European crash tests, often earning 5-star ratings.
Jaguar’s SUVs have been increasing in popularity in North America, so the IIHS and even NHTSA may eventually test some of them.
Do Jaguar Cars Last Long?
Jaguars are not known for having good reliability, so don’t expect Toyota- or Honda-level durability.
That being said, Jaguars typically last as long as BMWs, Mercedes-Benzs, Audis, and other European premium cars and can potentially last 100,000 miles (160,934 km) or longer if properly serviced and maintained.
Is It Worth Buying A Jaguar?
Jaguar has been making luxury cars for decades and offers an impressive lineup consisting of sedans, a sports car, and crossovers. As a premier premium brand that competes with the likes of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi, it aims to provide a superior level of tech, luxury, performance, and overall sophistication than any of its competitors.
Jaguar cars and SUVs are, therefore, very safe, fun, and luxurious vehicles that leave little to the imagination. Unfortunately, these attributes also make them quite expensive when purchased new.
The biggest problem with Jaguars is their reliability and cost of ownership. While there have been improvements in both areas, these vehicles still have a reputation for being unreliable and expensive to maintain and repair.
But that’s not enough to deter many car buyers from getting one. Modern Jaguars are a solid alternative to BMWs, Mercedes-Benzs, and Audis and are worth buying for anyone looking for an authentic luxury car experience.
So, are Jaguars good cars? While Jaguar vehicles typically lag the competition in reliability and cost of ownership, you may find that the amount of indulgence and driving satisfaction they provide will make up for such shortcomings.