mattmacklind UltimaDork
10/24/23 9:07 p.m.

Hello, been a long time.  Thought aI would recap my XK8 experience if anyone is thinking about it.  

I bought my 2003 XK8 in 2019. It had 69K on it and I paid just under 10K for it. It had nearly new Bridgestone tires on Apollo wheels, my personal favorite wheel for this model. I insure it as a classic with Hagerty.  When I first bought it, the coolant hose connections often called the "octopus", a group of connections sort of placed in the valley of the cylinder banks, needed repair.  That was the only thing I have actually had done.

It needs new rear shock mounts/bushings and I've been carrying the parts around in the truck for three years now lol, but its still on my list. The rear makes a slight clunking noise but it can only be heard when the top is up at slow speeds.  Still kind of annoying. AC and heat work, the top and all the windows and mirrors work, stereo/CD player and disc changer works, seat heaters work, most seat controls work. The headrest controls do not work and the lumbar on the driver side is stuck where it is. It has the nav unit.  I wish it had the three gauges but I dont care enough to go to the trouble of swapping, plus all the wood is in really good shape. I bought it without carpets so I bought some good matching pieces and some jaguar patches. I shaved the carpet down with hair clippers and glued the patches in the recess. 

I replaced the front "bumperettes", one was cracked and they both had plate mounting holes. That's about it, I don't drive it much. I dont drive it to work and my wife is hot and cold on a convertible but she really liked it when I bought it,  I do drive it on 4-5 hour trips, which is where I think it shines. 

Those wanting a sports car would be disappointed.  It feels very heavy and very solid, kind of reminds me maybe of a Lexus SC430.  It isn't particularly fast now but it can move out surprisingly good.  At times it can kind of feel hard to tell exactly where the corners of the car are which I do not like about it. Its not that the steering is vague (it may be over-assisted some) but the shape of the car combined with the sight picture for the driver seem to conspire to conceal important information at times. Kind of like siting in an inflatable raft where you cant see completely over the sides.  I read all the previous posts here on the model and someone said it was not practical. I disagree, the trunk is huge.  The rear seats could be for kids but I don't really consider that on the practical scale anyway. 

It has been very reliable.  When I initially found it I thought it was underpriced, and it may have been only a little.  It attracts a lot of attention on the road and women particularly seem to like it. I am often passed very loudly and quickly by Maseratis, Vettes and motorcycles.  

It's a 2003 so it has the 4.2 with metal tensioners and no nikasil liners and the Mercedes transmission. For a car that looks and goes like it does and is as reliable as they are I honestly dont think it can be beat for the money as a stylish car to just enjoy.  Actually I can't think of any other car that equals it for the money although there ar plenty that are more interesting and better performing. 



RacerBoy75 Reader
10/25/23 12:01 a.m.

I really like those cars! I dated a woman whose boss had one, and he would let us take it for the weekend when I was in town (long-distance relationship). It was very comfortable, as you said, not a sports car but a great GT car. When I was looking for a different car about ten years ago I considered a XK8, but ended up getting a Boxster (it was a very cheap project car).

Glad to hear that your Jaguar has been reliable!

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/25/23 10:37 a.m.

These years of jaguar (98-05ish) are huge amounts of car for the money right now. 

L5wolvesf Dork
10/25/23 2:38 p.m.

Beautiful car.

But on a bit of a sidebar, no response from Frenchy?

84FSP UberDork
10/25/23 2:42 p.m.

Interesting to hear how good a car it's been for you.  Wifee LOVES Jags but I have always been afraid of them.  I especially like the XK's...

Indy - Guy
Indy - Guy UltimaDork
10/25/23 8:41 p.m.

In reply to mattmacklind :

That's a gorgeous car and I Love the wheels too.


Thanks for sharing the review.


Indy - Guy
Indy - Guy UltimaDork
10/25/23 8:46 p.m.

In reply to mattmacklind :

That's a gorgeous car and I Love the wheels too.

Thanks for sharing the review.


You'll need to log in to post.

Our Preferred Partners