Long-term update: Jaguar XK a spouse with expensive tastes

Long-term update: Jaguar XK a spouse with expensive tastes

Jaguar XK in the UAE
Our Jaguar XK has been running fine since we bought it in early summer. Which makes its minor non-mechanical issues rather annoying. The fact that we’ve covered only 800 km so far makes it doubly so.

Earlier this month, a warning light started flashing in the gauge cluster, letting us know that the turning-with-the-steering headlights had failed. Since that bit was working just fine, we figured we could just get it reset and be done with it. Our car also developed a climate-control issue, right after our previous a/c job, where the vents blow hot air until the car starts moving after start-up, but then cools fine after that, and again we assumed it was some minor sensor issue. A latch to pull the passenger-seat forward, needed for rear-seat access, has also broken.

So off we went to the Dubai dealer again, getting an appointment date in less than a week. After keeping the car for several days after that, they said an electrical module in the left headlight had screwed up, without giving any specifics, so the automatic self-levelling function had stopped working. Also, the a/c condenser had a very minor leak in it, so the system “could not build enough pressure” to start blowing cold air initially.

They said a new left headlight would cost Dhs 7,500, while a condenser replacement would cost Dhs 4,600, after discount. The total bill for both would be a slightly-less Dhs 11,500. It blew our minds for a brief period.

Jaguar XK headlight 1

Now, to the service advisor’s credit, he said we could skip both the jobs and just live with the warning light and the delayed a/c. Their policy is to replace rather than repair. But we wanted a perfectly-working car. And we weren’t in the mood to experiment with independent garages. After all, it’s a Jaguar XK, not some ratty old BMW 318i.

So after recovering from the initial shock, we called back and negotiated the bill down to Dhs 10,390. Now here’s the funny part — the dealer said they won’t start work until we deposited Dhs 5,000 first. We understand that they may have had deadbeat customers before who couldn’t pay up, but having to make yet another trip down to the service-centre, after actually agreeing to pay 10 grand for an easy job, isn’t exactly a “premium” experience. Maybe set up a bank account so we could wire you the money? Heck, there’s no courtesy car either.

Anyway, we went through the hassle, and the job was completed after almost a week. The seat-latch wasn’t in stock, so we’ll have to go in yet again after the part is shipped in.

So now the car has perfectly-working headlights again, although one is now shinier than the other. The a/c works fine now, but still takes about half-a-minute to really get going, and is eventually freezing cold.

There are a lot of other things you can buy for 10 grand. But if you start thinking in that way, then premium cars aren’t for you. An acquaintance of ours replaced the electronic parking brake on his BMW 7-Series for Dhs 22,000. Another tells us the adaptive headlights for his top-spec Mitsubishi Lancer EX cost as much as the one on our Jag, so premium features on an economy car aren’t better value either! Even that ratty old BMW 318i would cost just as much to fix such problems at the dealer, so if you really want to splurge on a used luxury car, go big and buy the flagship instead. That’s what we did, and for a car like the Jaguar XK, it’s more worth it.

Jaguar XK headlight 2

On a side note, we asked for the old headlight back. It’s now displayed on a coffee table in our living room. Whenever the wife asks me daily to throw it out, I tell her it’s a Dhs 7,500 piece of modern art. No kidding.

Original Mileage When Bought: 99,150 km
Latest Mileage To Date: 99,950 km
Latest Average Fuel Economy: 14.9 litres/100 km
Cost of Latest Problems: Dhs 10390
Cost of Latest Maintenance: Dhs 0

Total Non-Fuel Running Cost Since Bought: Dhs 13604

Read all Jaguar XK long-term updates

What do you think?



  1. If the expense keeps on going up like this , you will sell the Jag in the next 4 monts….

    • Author

      I saved a huge amount by buying a used one, and the new model still looks almost the same. So no, I’m not selling it anytime soon.

    • Whatever you saved, it looks like you are going to spend it slowly on repairs. It is as you said, you either pay a lot of money and get a car with waranty or you get a cheaper preowned car and spend the money as issues arise. Luxury cars dont come cheap either way.

    • I know a Company, had 4 Range Rover trucks, when they ran into continuous expensive repair bills, they started parts cannibalizing.

      Saved money for them but in the long term they had 4 junk trucks, non moving and rusting.

      Still can’t understand the decision was wise or worse.

    • Author

      If a cheap company tries to maintain a Range Rover like a bunch of Corollas, that’s what they deserve.

    • Mash, companies are run by cost conscious managers, not torque loving enthusiasts.

  2. Uffff. Thats pricey! Drive the car more so its worth it at least.

  3. If it’s still under warranty all these issues could be handled for free
    I don’t mean only jag any luxurious brand startung from Infiniti up to Porsche. .etc
    Yeah I would buy it used but I will search for one still under warranty or with extended warranty option
    More important than the money is the peace of mind

    • Author

      Having a warranty makes little difference in our case. A warranty would mean buying a slightly newer model for about Dhs 40,000 more, and we still have to keep running to the dealer with each issue, even if fixed for free. That was the case with our Renault previously. Instead, we just paid less and fix the problems as they come along. Either way, you’re spending money.

      Jaguars have a poor reputation, but these newer ones are about as reliable as any BMW or Merc, maybe even more so when it comes to mechanicals, based on the owner experiences we’ve researched.

  4. The modern art piece is a classic! Lol

  5. ouch… you could buy a second tercel for 10,000 🙂 in working condition

  6. Why use the dealer for things like replacing the headlights?
    Go online, plenty of places in uk and USA will ship new or used headlights for cheap. Install yourself, of if DIY is frowned upon take it to a competent garage something other Than the roadside petty shops.
    It’s shocking to see how many people use the dealer for small issues which is an easy DIY and purchase parts online sometimes works out cheaper, maybe not always

    • Author

      In this case, a Jag XK headlight costs about the same or more online. Ignoring the dubious crap on ebay as well as used junk, the online shops in both UK and USA end up being more expensive after shipping, that too without the installation cost. In this case, the dealer actually saved me money.

  7. My father has the same issue but with a different car. His 2009 Ford Expedition keeps failing. The AC, windows, engine, battery, tires. Everything keeps failing. He bought it second hand with only 52 KMs on the odometer.

  8. Keep the headlight Mash for sometime as a showpiece and later sell it off…to make good the huge blow!!

  9. happy with corolla jags are still junk as they were before….most land rovers are same most bmw are same and even benz is crap….they are good if u dont have to pay for them and strictly keep them only till warranty lasts not a day more…….useless junk for useless rich boys!

    lexus is an exception in luxry line up as it holds as good as any good toyota for 20 years…

  10. The experience with Al Tayer’s service garages tends to be pretty crap, regardless of which car you own (same service centres, unlike Al Futtaim).

    • Never seen a good service center till date. Al Futtaim, Trading, Liberty and Arabian Autos are all looters. Juma Al Majid and Galadari are a lazy bunch of bums. Al Tayer seems to be not bothered at all about lower-end cars and minor-but-disturbing issues, as those minor issues take a lot of time to be diagnosed. Habtoor is simply pathetic.

  11. And that’s why Japanese cars are the way to go..

  12. So far, I had the best experience with Trading Enterprises – Volvo. Not even Al Tayer is good, I can tell that from my experience with them from this June onwards. Very slow is acknowledging issues. Ford Middle East is just crap! They have not responded to my emails sent in June, not even an acknowledgement!

    Of other vehicles I owned, Peugeot was good balanced in terms of service and ownership, Renault used my car when given for service (so you can guess the rest) and then there was Volvo, which looted my pockets but very smooth and ‘premium’ experience. Took good care of it and they guys over there knew a thing or two about automobiles. Heck, Fiskers are getting serviced in the same facility!

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