Long-term wrap-up: Jaguar XK is an interesting contrast to our Mopar muscle

Long-term wrap-up: Jaguar XK is an interesting contrast to our Mopar muscle

Our Jaguar XK never had a fair shot in this market. While the car is perceived to be a modern classic in the United States and Europe, it had a weird reputation here — a mix between expensively unreliable, driven only by old British men, and expensive enough to get a ton of road respect.

There’s some truth to all three assertions, but not entirely accurate. It is “only” as expensive to run as any other luxury-branded German car, as we have proven multiple times over the last 6 years of ownership. While it is popular with old British men, there is a younger mostly-European following as well here. And while it gets the prime spots at valets, it’s cheaper to buy used than a new Kia nowadays.

But what no one looking in from the outside understands is that the Jaguar XK is more of an old Mustang than a Porsche. Our 2008 model’s old 4.2-litre V8 is lazy and full of torque. Mated to a 6-speed “J-gate” automatic with paddle-shifters, it was ridiculously fun to drive when there was enough space to open it up, with a raucous exhaust note and a tail-happy demeanour. It becomes a big old-school muscle-car when pushed.

The XK was like a refined alternative to our wannabe-luxury SRT-badged Mopar muscle, except with more durable leather, real aluminium trim and general upholstery that has lasted a decade instead of falling apart every summer. At least you get your money’s worth.

The last bit of work done was an a/c gas refill and cleaning of the a/c filter/evaporator/condenser for Dhs 275 from a quickie Fast Track garage.

Unfortunately our Jag failed the RTA annual testing this year, not because of emissions or actual safety concerns, but because the rubber bits on the suspension looked worn and the space-saver spare needed a replacement. They never thought of these as a problem in past years but decided to catch it for some reason this time. Literally no one beyond the dealer had a tyre for the space-saver spare, and the other work would’ve cost about a third of the car’s value. The ice-cold a/c was also recently showing signs that it might need another refurbishment, having never been fixed properly by the dealer years ago.

So it was a choice between pouring in more money into the car that we’ll never get back while wasting time at a garage (which we definitely would if we were keeping the car longer), or sell it to some poor sucker who doesn’t know what he’s in for (which is not our style). We did the honourable thing — even though our XK works 95% like a new car, we offloaded it at one of those WeBuyCarYouSellForCash-type outfits for a measly Dhs 13,500, out of which they even ate up Dhs 500 as processing fees. These much-hated places basically make you sit around (3 hours in our case, not the promised 45 minutes) while the car is put on an online auction for used-car dealers. If time is an issue and money isn’t a factor, this is still a quick and easy way to ditch your depreciating asset instead of giving test-drives to tyre-kickers at odd hours of the day. But whichever anonymous dealer bid on it will get a car that’s rather excellent for its age, and can clean it up a bit and sell it for more than twice that amount.

It still worked out well for us too. We got to drive a semi-exotic for 6 years with a total expenditure of only Dhs 150,000 (please don’t pull out your cheapskate cost-per-km calculator — it’s not that kind of appliance), which is less than just the depreciation suffered by the first owner in the car’s first 5 years. It definitely opened a lot of doors in terms of image, because it looks great when you roll up in one of these for a business meeting, so it’s paid back many times over already.

But to keep our fleet fresh, we were planning to sell the car anyway, and this just gave us that final push to let it go. It will be missed, as there is literally nothing like it around any more, especially as Jaguar is busy building little crossovers now and don’t even have a grand-tourer any more. We predict it will start climbing in value about 10 years from now, at least in Europe.

Original Mileage When Bought: 99,150 km
Latest Mileage To Date: 119,800 km
Latest Average Fuel Economy: 14.5 litres/100 km
Cost of Latest Problems: Dhs 0
Cost of Latest Maintenance: Dhs 275

Total Non-Fuel Running Cost Since Bought: Dhs 45,710

Read all Jaguar XK long-term updates

What do you think?



  1. The figure that is missing from the 160k Aed estimate is the amount of delays, efforts and inconvenience starting from the car breaking down right at the RTA in July 2013 soon after registration and the other times when it was taken to the garage to get fixed.
    As a petrol head I can understand the journey is more precious than the monetary aspects and kudos to you for the regular updates on the car.
    Moreover at AED7.7/KM as running costs, it’s not that bad even.( the calculator did come out);

    • Author

      The figure includes the depreciation, by the way. And yes, that initial breakdown was quite fun. Thankfully it was a relatively minor issue that could happen to any old car really (thermostat fell apart). After it had some engine misfiring later (at a mileage above 100k already), we put in money to make it reliable and it’s been largely fine since then (aside from the annual headlight issues). But indeed, it wouldn’t be our only car to depend on, being a 2008.

      We have bigger headaches claiming warranty work for our newer cars from the dealers, as you may read in stories for our other long-term cars — multiple trips back and forth over months just to get interior trim replaced.

  2. I like Jaguars. Thinking about buying one those soon

  3. I actually felt your post was timely and relevant. Thank you very much for penning this article; if more people wrote proper ownership experiences, I gander everybody’d all understand the costs of owning such cars better. You can tell the Yaris owner commenters to shut up about their cost per km.

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