What Everyone Should Know About Jaguar Reliability
The Prince of Darkness.
No, we’re not talking about Dracula here. We’re talking about the infamous Joe Lucas, the engineering wizard whose electrical components flooded the British car market for decades. These parts added to surprise and excitement to British car ownership, and not always in a good way.
No top-down Sunday cruise in the country was complete without mystery smoke rising from under the dashboard. The excitement of headlights dimming wildly on a dark stretch of road was unmatched. Car radios might turn on as long as the overhead light was on, the passenger window was open, and your velocity was exactly 37.5 km/hr.
Jaguar reliability, or at least the car’s reputation for unreliability grew much under the dark reign of Lucas Electrics. Let’s explore more about the history of Jaguar’s reputation, Lucas or not.
A History of Cool
The Jaguar company, headquartered in Coventry, Great Britain, began as a sidecar company in 1922. Ten years later, the two owners, neighbors Billy Lyons and William Walmsley, ventured into manufacturing their coach line of sports cars.
The Swallow Sidecar Company (SS Cars) built the SS Jaguar 100 between 1936 and 1941. That “100” was the fastest speed of the vehicle. The company only made 314 of these beautiful cars and exported just 49 of them.
Around 1945 Jaguar dropped the legacy SS from the company name and car emblem due to WWII. They went on to manufacture the world’s fastest production car, the XK120 until 1954, which were driven in several races and rallies across Europe and America. The next iteration of the sports cars, the Mk II, or D-Type, was known as “the aircraft on wheels,” and also claimed many racetrack victories.
Riding on the coattails of its successful and stylish sports cars, Jaguar rolled out its E-Type, or XK-E, model in 1961. This car broke records at 150mph and had one of the most, if not the most beautifully styled auto bodies in the industry.
The rising popularity of all things British in the ’60s put British cars on Americans’ radars, and the XK-E was a hot commodity for car buyers.
The E-type engine sported an overhead cam, and brakes on all four wheels were disc, and the rear suspension was groundbreaking in its design and performance. Jaguar produced more than 70,000 of these popular cars until the company replaced this model with the XJS in 1975.
The Ford Partnership
In 1990 Ford bought the Jaguar company. Throughout the 90’s the financial support and engineering influence of Ford helped the Jaguar brand regroup and develop the line of XK8 and XKR sports cars. Jaguar had developed a compact and powerful V-8 engine for use in these vehicles, making them powerful and fun to drive.
In 2001 Jaguar launched the X-Type, its first diesel-powered, 4-cylinder engine, and its first entry into the compact executive car market. Projected sales were 350,000 units, and the car was expected to be hugely successful. It was Jaguar’s best-selling model during its production time, but sales peaked at 50,000 units in 2003.
In the United States, Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz far outpaced Jaguar’s market share by 2005. Ford, by this time, was facing its own financial and market-share challenges and sold the Jaguar company in 2008 to Indian manufacturer Tata.
About Jaguar Reliability
The Jaguar brand is about style and speed, and it is one of the strongest names in motorsports. Many British car brands suffered through the use of Lucas parts, but Jaguar has lasted through the decades as a pinnacle of excellence.
They are comfortable, high-performance vehicles, and the brand has experienced an extraordinary turnaround from its early days. The company gets it right, and when Jaguar gets things right, they produce some of the finest cars on earth.
Modern Jaguars achieve some of the best reliability ratings the brand has ever had, with many customers wondering how the car’s reputation was ever anything but stellar. They handle beautifully, achieve exceptional performance and fuel economy, and garner brand loyalty that few other vehicles earn from their owners.
Tata invested roughly $30B into the Jaguar brand by 2015. The brand is focused on successful younger buyers, and on meeting the German car competition head-on. Jaguar is no longer perceived as a brand to avoid, but rather a brand to aspire to own.
New owner Tata Motors has sweetened the Jaguar experience by offering customers a 5-year, 60,000-mile warranty, and added preventative maintenance during that time as well. This manufacturer confidence makes Jaguars more desirable than ever before and alleviates any concern about the car’s quality.
Rigorous Testing Yields Great Results
It’s important to note that the most common issues with Jaguars are quite minor: more quirks than problems. You may find yourself replacing windshield wipers a bit more often, or need the suspension adjusted a bit sooner than you think.
The company’s extensive climate testing is legendary. They subject the cars to extended exposure of -40ºF, then roll the cars out at 90mph in a 0ºF wind tunnel, while being sprayed with water.
They also test the cars’ vibration, noise, and harshness to 766 mph. These cars are quality vehicles with sleekly aerodynamic designs and are made to provide the driver with the best experience possible.
The Modern Jaguar
Jaguar is a luxury brand, and worth everything you put into it.
The company’s 2019-2020 offerings include a 100 percent electric car, the I-Pace, and several sedans and sports models that are as eye-catching as the classic coupes of the ’50s and ’60s.
Tata Motors has worked hard to elevate the brand’s reputation through effective marketing, beautiful car designs, and by making better cars. Check out our selection of Jaguars and see if there is one that you can’t live without.