Greatest Jaguars

Greatest Jaguars
2 Feb, 2010 2:31pm

The coolest cats of all-time go head-to-head in a unique shoot-out!

It's one of the best loved marques in motoring – and with the arrival of the new XJ, Jaguar is ready to take on the world again!

So what better time to look back at some of the models that made the legendary company such a force to be reckoned with? Over the next 24 pages of this special collectors’ supplement, we’ve driven the most significant cars in the firm’s history in a never to be repeated test special.

From the MkI Saloon to the E-Type and the XJ13 to the XJ220, they’re all here, as we put them through their paces to compile our Greatest Jaguars ranking on Page 24. It’s the most thrilling group of big cats ever – but there can be only one winner...

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Ok I do remember the XK 150 S in westminster in black with a black mohair hood in the fifties what was magnificient,the sound of a D type racing is music to the ears and I owned a MK2 3.8 Saloon in BRG at 19 which was really cool in 1970,so that would do for me - especially as it only cost me £110 with spares and was a nice one.. A Pal had a series 1 3.8 E type was great and superb styling in 1970 - But I woul dbe just as happy with a C Type to day or the latest XK supercharged on sale now..How can you have a favourite if your older ?

I had the great pleasure to be with them coming from The Austin motors Company, MG Car Company, Morris Motors, BMC, then BMH Suise and Jaguar Germany. These were great times for the world of motor sport.

I remember well the great cars such as the lighweight E Types of Peter Lindner of Frankfurt, the E and D Types of the great Ecurie Ecosse and of course the successes of the real ADO 15 Mini Cooper Ss of Paddy Hopkirk and Bill Lidden and others.

Jaguar is really on the right track now with the new XF and XJs and is even now modestly successful where others are strugghling.

I shudder at the Deawoo Corrando like cheap plastic Kit Car Minis coming from Magna in Graz now! Poor dear Alec Issigonis must be revolving in his grave like a turbine when he sees the latest bangers from Graz with a Mini laben stuck on the bonnet!

We can be proud of the Jaguar heritage and the great achievments of the people that designed, built and drove them to their many successes!

Remember other companies have had and are having disastrous times with as those that produced junk cars with people like Mr Schrempp who even halved the share value of his company in times of rising share prices! Or those that even now burn money in Formula I escapades doomed to economic failure!

Just about anyone I've known that's had a Jaguar has had the same experience as those who have buy Land Rovers: The cars just fall apart and have non-stop weird electrical and mechanical issues.

At least the Jag won't run away from you with a stuck throttle. We love our '05 XJ VDP. It's a wonderful and reliable machine. I'll replace it with a good,used McCallum version in three years and thereby preserve my estate. All must admit that Jag's quality has progressed by leaps and bounds (sorry for the pun).

I thought the XFR (225.675 mph) now was the fasted Jaguar, not the XJ 220. Rumor is that an XKR did 230 mph unofficially.

Has anyone noticed the horrific attempt at photoshop in the main picture... I've certainly never seen a hill like that..

Has anyone noticed the horrific attempt at photoshop in the main picture... I've certainly never seen a hill like that..

I read the comment posted by LotusYank with regard to the misfortunes that Toyota has faced this past month.
I've owned many cars in my life. Probably my favorite was the TR4 IRS that I had under my wing for about two years.Like most British Leyland cars of its era, they were fun to drive, but had poor reliability. When it rained, the car would sing.
I've owned three Toyotas - an old Corolla that I shared with my Mom, an FJ40 Landcruiser and a '79 Celica that I bought brand new. They were all extremely reliable cars and fun and comfortable, and the gas mileage was excellent.
Toyota has consistently delivered a quality product for many years, and they've been pioneers in their field - and have succeeded in producing an environmentally positive car (Prius) far ahead of anyone else. Their service has always been top-notch. They've never been afraid to think outside the box, both in domestic sales and in competition.
It really irks me when all people can do is sit back and bitch about a huge misfortune for a company that has really given it a go, and cared about what they do. Don't people have something better to do? Maybe not.
They will bounce back from this setback, stronger than ever, and they wil always be leaders, more than I can say for Detroit, or Britain for that matter...

Where is the S Type? I have the magnificent 4.2 supercharged ‘R’ and can’t vote for it !! !!

So many people seenm to know someone that had a bad Jaguar but apparently at least in the UK virtually no one has had a bad Mercedes, BMW, Porsche or VW?

Bullshit! I live and work now for quite some time - over 30 years - now in between Düsseldorf, Zürich and Gran Canaria and the problems with these - in the UK wonderful - marques in these countries is sometime quite amazing! Is it the air in the UK that causes this perfection there?

Believe me living over here I know lots of owners that have had terrible problems with new BMW, Mercedes and VW! Yes you name it customers have had it and just like discribed above - electronics, terrible rust, re-acurring mechanical problems with many dealer visits without result etc.

In fact that is why all these companies strangely enough have warranty departments with at times very high budgets! And why dealers workshops are often then quite busy righting these problems!

And quite often then the car is even taken back by these manufacturers - in fact there is a particular point ín German civil law covering this point! It is called " Wandlung " and is covered by the German Civil Code BGB!

So please no more inuations about these perfect other cars!

My family has owned probably 5-6 Toyotas in 25 or so years. My 96' Toyota Tacoma truck has 230,000 miles and so far I've only had to replace the starter motor( 10 minute job) and the original clutch, which lasted until 210,000 miles. My Brother has a 98' Avalon. 270,000 miles. No problems except one of the seat warmers quit working which is amazing considering his car has loads of gadgets.

But to cut to the chase, we've always put at least 200,000-250,000 miles on our Toyotas and they just run and run and run. Ironically most luxury brands particularly from Europe have awful quality ratings. Ironic since they cost 2 and 3 times as much to buy. One co-worker of mine had a 2 year old Jaguar. It blew a head gasket on the way to work one day. It had 30,000 miles. Still another had a 2003 Audi A4. One day the coolant hose came loose, spilling all the coolant all over the freeway.

On the other hand I have a 55' Ford Fairlane. 350,000 miles so far. I wouldn't say its reliable but its easy and dirt cheap to fix. I can usually fix whatever is wrong with it in an hour or less.

But anyway, I guess this is more of a matter of opinion than anything. People like certain brands and will fiercely defend them. As for me, I see little reason to switch beyond what has given me flawless service.

I am the first to admit that Toyotas are generally very reliable. It's just that they're so........boring. They're ubiquitous and they rarely break. They really goofed on this throttle problem. I hope it won't spill over into the Evora. Let's hope the Lotus people have looked it over carefully.

The early Elan was such an exhilarating car, but it was always broken. My brother had one and I skinned lots of my juvenile knuckles helping him keep it running. The Mazda people adapted it into the MX5 which was fun, very reliable, but heavier and slow. My sister, my brother-in-law, and my friend all had early Miatas. I always found myself urging them along. ("Come on, let's go already!")

I yearned somehow for the British engineers and Japanese manufacturers to cross-fertilize and produce a car that had the best of both worlds. Presto! The Lotus Elise. British engineering brilliance and Japanese reliability in one car. I bought one and love it. Incidently, my son discovered that if the throttle and brake pedals are pushed together, it cuts the throttle. He had to remove his wide shoes so as not to trigger the drive-by-wire cut off. It's a Toyota (Yamaha) engine and it's programmed right. Maybe the Lotus reflash included what the Japanese overlooked.

Our experience with our XJ has been great and it's anything but boring, even in its retro style. I've spent a lot of time driving V12 S and SL M-Bs, three different VW Phaetons, Lincolns and Cadillac DTSs and the Jag feels so much more nimble. It is because it's lighter, has a respectible pwr/wt, a riv-bonded alumin(i)um chassis, and all around upper and lower A-arms. It's also fun to be different when it's the only one in a lot full of German, Japanese, and US cars and SUVs.

I saw my first Panamera last evening. The reviews have been stellar, but they're right. It's not very pretty. It looks like a squashed Cayenne, albeit an extremely fast and competent one.

Recently, I circled and sat in the new XJ that was at the dealer for a day for training purposes. I think it's a stunner and definitely won't be mistaken for other makes. The new Jags are the best ever and you Brits can be proud of them. Congratulations for building beautiful, agile, advanced, and reliable luxury cars. I find that very exciting.

Ive had a Merc , BMW and Audi, my X type beats the lot. I bought a 2.0d estate sport from new on a 54 plate, its done 166,000 miles, had one clutch and front brakes and just serviced every 12k, it has no rust or mech defects, a very relible and comfortable car.. Brilliant, unlike my German car experiences that got to 80-100k and then played up no end. Keep it up Jaguar you are doing just next order is on its way and i will probably go for the XF next time.

Just to keep you all honed and in the picture on our automobile heritage and Jaguar I strongly remmend you click on and read Link:

And whilst we are talking about reliabilty and building real cars it is very comforting to know that the present and future Mercedes Grand Prix Silberpfeil Formula I - cars will continue to be built in Britain!

Thank you Mercedes Benz AG and the forsighted Board of Directors of Daimler AG in Stuttgart for your vote of confidence and putting your money where others have their mouths!

I worked in a garage in the early 1960s, one of our customers was a used Jaguar dealer and we often had one of any age in for pre delivery service or repair before being sold on. I do get a bit nostalgic when I see an early Jag.

@77ngs: Jaguar always deliver their cars to photo shoots under giant green toupees - the one in the photo just happens to have caught the February breeze. I'm disappointed that they've not published the results from the test on the stunt ramp on the right - I'm dying to know which tree they managed to get the XJS into.

Did someone mis-count the number of pages they were supposed to fill in this week's magazine? The editing seems to be as rushed as the photoshopping - according to the XJ page, Auto Express won't be allowed to test drive one until next year.

Loved my Jag, the best car I owned and it felt so special too. I always had a big grin whilst driving it as it was so much fun

Dave in Newport SW
Where is the S Type? I have the magnificent 4.2 supercharged ‘R’ and can’t vote for it !! !!

By dave_d5 on 5 February, 2010, 7:58am

Agree 100% where is this everyday supercar?
When my Maserati got written off I fancied an S Type R. All the younger members of the family ribbed me about it, "you don't want a jaguar, they are old mens cars" "buy another Maserati, they're cool" so a Maserati It was. Passing a Jag dealership one afternoon - with nothing much to do that day, I went in and asked to test drive an S Type R, after the drive I ordered one. That was 2004, I still have the car and still love it, it's been fast, very comfortable and reliable. The car is now 6 years old but there is nothing I want to replace it with, I have looked at the XF and don't like it, the new XJ is too big! maybe I will look at the Xk when I'm forced to get rid of the S Type.

What was so unbelievably hideous about the original picture that you had to use *that* unbelievably hideous edit for your lead photo?

Wow. I've seen crayon masterpieces on refrigerators that are more convincing.

I just found this, albeit a year late, but I had to comment about the STR. I purchased mine in '06 after trading a BMW MRoadster and a Chrysler Crossfire. I liked the S-Type, but it was too luxury looking for me. Then I saw the R version on the freeway one day and tried my best to catch it for a better look. Well I couldn't, but I went to the dealership, test drove it, and purchased it. I have never driven such an awesome car. I have test driven many, and none have been able to inspire the enjoyability I get when driving this car. It's almost five years old now, but I too have not run across anything that could take it's place. Even if replaced as my DD, I think I will keep this JAG!