XK8 or XJS 4.0?

Hi Guys,

Having just sold an E Type for what seemed a ridiculously good figure, I’m looking at a couple of cars, both convertibles, 1993 and 2000 and with roughly the same mileage at just over 100k and in equally good condition. XJS is £12k, XK8 £9k.

Really having difficulty deciding ! I think I prefer the look of the XJS, which is also an auto incidentally; it seems just a tad more classy and of course rarer, but the XK8 is more compact and wieldy.

Running costs? Presumably not much in it; the XK8 will have the edge in fuel consumption, but more DIY possible on the XJS. And, the great thing, far less electronics, at least as regards the running gear.

The XK8 feels more modern to drive, but the XJS is still a brilliant long distance car (I once had a V12, it rarely went a long distance as it kept breaking down - so never again!), plus you don’t necessarily want a classic car to feel modern anyway.

Neither car tax exempt but both qualify for classic insurance. Neither would be a daily driver, but I imagine I’d tend to use the XK8 more.

Anyone help me decide?



Having both a 93 xjs 4.0 convertible and a 97 xk8 coupe, ill say i actually get better mpg out of the xk8. I have more room in the xk8 also, comes in handy with my size lol. I will say what ive told other people though, i really don’t know which one id get rid of if i had to. I like them both for different reasons

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Having driven all 3, my overall favorite is the XK8. :smiley_cat::smiley_cat::smile_cat:

Thanks, Jason. Would it make any difference which you’d get rid of if the XK8 were a convertible?
Yes, I meant the XK8 would be more economical - 30mpg (Imperial) is possible driven gently, it seems, but I doubt you’d get that with an XJS 4.0.

Thanks for that, James !

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The AJ6 engine in the XJ S is very bulletproof. Much more so than the V8 in the XK8.


Yes, I’m aware of that, Grahame, although the later V8s were better (the XK8 is a 2000 car), having overcome the Nikasil and chain tensioner issues by then, or at least I think they had.

As far as know, it was the 4.2 l engine that was the safe one.

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The early XK8’s amongst the more beautiful iterations. The bucket style seats, and the centre guage cluster nicer. The font of the Jaguar XK8 also very stylish too. I recently sold my 00’ XKR coupe w 46k miles and immediately bought a 97’ XK8 coupe w 56k miles. They drive like a more modern version of an E type.

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Having looked and will own both, I’d go with either a XJ6 in the last 2 years of production, or a XK8 2001 or newer,
a 2000 is ok, if no history problems with engine or replaced with the newer engine. Top pick: 2001 XK8 or newer!

Both will take 2 sets of golf clubs in the trunk. Either will take a ski rack on the trunk lid.

Hi Anthony,
Some years ago, I sold my E Type FHC in search of a convertible. The owner of the OTS I had hoped to persuade refused to part with his, so I then looked at other options; MGB, Alfa and Fiat 124 spyders, XJS convertible and cabriolet, and finally XK8. Bizarrely, all were priced much the same at the time, the XK8 seemed to offer the most car for the money. I paid to have the timing gear done, about $1K for parts and the same for labour. At 80,000km, the tensioners looked ok, but slippers were not long for this world. All the other cars have since gone up in value; not so the XK8, but since it was bought with the profit from the E, it technically only owes me about $3K , and if it doesn’t ultimately go up in value, it will be the first open Jaguar never to do so. I doubt that will happen, as it’s arguably a better car than any of its predecessors.
My main criticism is that once you wash it, polish it and oil the leather, there’s not much more to do, so not terribly involving as a hobby car, if that bothers you. But having a decent heating and ventilation system, wipers, headlights, air con, heated seats, and all the other modern things you don’t realise you have until you don’t have them, means I think I made the right choice. Again, it may not matter to you, but it looks like a much more expensive car than it is, I think it is thought of as Aston| Maserati territory.

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That’s a hard call for me, seeing as how ive never actually been in an xk8 convertible. Ive seen a few and been tempted to look into them, but the wife wasnt lol. I guess if i absolutely had to get rid of one, my size would be the determining factor. As ive said before, in the xjs with the seat all the way back my knees are literally an inch or so away from the dash and I have to have my head crooked to sit in it with the top up. Its definitely smaller inside, at least my 2 seater is. If it were the 2+2, it might be different. In the xk8, i have about 3 inches between the dash and my knees and i can sit in it comfortably. Of course my hair does rub and the seat is definitely leaned back further. Of course, in my personal opinion, i think the xjs convertible looks more like it was designed as a convertible, whereas the earlier xk8s always looked lime they designed the coupe and then said “all we have to do is draw lines here and whamo! Convertible!” It just never looked as good as a convertible to me

I agree with the early styling being beautiful. Especially the coupe. I think after they changed to the xk’s the convertible looked better because they finally stowed the roof! The styling ques from the etype are definitely apparent in the early xk8. I would have liked if they would’ve made the rear hatch like the later xks and ftypes. More lile the etype hatch

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Belated thanks, for the advice, everyone. Which of course was largely ignored as I’ve acquired a '93 Diamond Blue XJS 4.0 convertible. This seemed to me to be the sweet spot of the range - facelift but without the fragile plastic bumpers and useless rear seats. Yes, the XK8 feels more modern to drive but then I did want more of a classic, really - entirely happy driving the '68 Mustang too.

But there’s a limp-home issue to sort out, taken into account in the price - hopefully just a sensor or something.


My 93 xjs threw the transmission light and went into limp mode. This was after i had the battery die and i jumped it to start it. I went for a drive and was like “oh no!” However, after shutting it off and restarting, the light was off and all was good! I read if the battery is low it can cause limp home sometimes

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I agree my 94 XJS Convertible has fragile plastic bumpers and useless rear seats.
Wish I could get rid of the rear seats.
Have the Prices of the XJS started to increase in the UK. ?
Soon we will be 30 years out of Production usually a Classic car milestone.
I think the XJS is looking like a Classic and the XK8 looking like an old Jag.
That will change in another 20 years.
Good luck with the new Purchase.

Sorry, Rob, only just seen this. Yes, prices have definitely increased for XJSs, but probably by no more or less than other classics. Whereas XK8s seem to be at the bottom of the curve at the moment.

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