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.
The last generation of the Jaguar had a massive factory problem. One of several electronic control modules on the HID headlights used to keep shorting out in some way or the other every time there was some sort of power surge, such as when your battery dies or sometimes even randomly, maybe once every two years. This used to cause the auto-levelling function to go stupid, making the headlights point permanently downwards even though they are perfectly working fine otherwise (while flashing a warning light in your gauge cluster permanently as well). Oddly enough, the warning light was for the turning-headlights feature,
Hard to believe, but our 2008 Jaguar XK is a decade old now. I’d say we’ve kept it cleaner than most, even though we simply park it outside all the time and service it once a year. Real premium cars (not the rebadged stuff from mainstream carmakers) are generally built with better materials, so they last longer in terms of trim and leather (but not always mechanically). However, our Jag needed a bit of care to keep it looking fresh.
If you roam around enthusiast circles, you will consistently hear just one thing — “It’s much cheaper to buy car parts online than at the dealer!” And for the most part, it’s true. But is it universally true though? We find out with our aging Jaguar XK, which had a minor issue recently.
There are a few obvious things you should know about owning a luxury car. One is dealer maintenance and repair can be ridiculously expensive. The other is that most non-dealer garages don’t know how to maintain or repair a modern luxury car beyond the mechanical basics. So you can save money by going to non-dealer garages, but certain tasks can only be performed by the dealer. The tricky part is figuring out which is which without losing a ton of money on experimentation. We did exactly that with our Jaguar XK.
Our Jaguar XK went in for its annual service the other day. We generally take our car in only once a year because we do maybe 4,000 km per year with this car, and modern synthetic oils can last that long without any ill effects, despite what your dealer or your great-granddad told you. Here’s an idea of what the regular cost of running a Jaguar XK looks like.
On his visit down to the UAE for the Dubai Motor Show, British serial-entrepreneur David Brown told us during a private dinner that he once went on a classic car road rally using a borrowed 1960s Ferrari Daytona. While that car was stunning to look at, he came to realise how uncomfortable and unreliable cars that old can be, and actually enjoyed driving a new Peugeot rental car more because of its modern conveniences. We tend to agree with his line of thinking. Classic-car ownership is not as glamourous as the media makes it out to be, although what David came up with as an alternative is much more agreeable in all but one aspect —
It was time to get some new tyres for our Jaguar XK, since the old ones had “expired” as per the RTA. Considering it’s always a hassle to go get tyres changed, we decided to try shopping for tyres online, on the only local tyre site we’d heard of in Dubai.
Our Jaguar got a bit of work done last December, and also got a fancy new set of aftermarket door gadgetry last month.
Our Jaguar XK’s flying along just fine since the last update, having completed one year of ownership. We’re always discovering new things about the car, especially since, like most people, we haven’t bothered reading the manual. Stuff like the valet mode to stop random people snooping in your boot and glovebox, and the screws in the carpeted cargo area that double as hangers for grocery bags. Aside from door dings by douches and occasional selfie-takers leaning on the car, we had to deal with two other pending wear-and-tear issues that we inherited when we got the car.
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