Jaguar XF problems WILL give you heartburn (the worst kind)

Jaguar XF Problems

I know this isn’t what you want to hear, but I’m going to say it anyway: Jaguar XF problems are not for the timid, and you’d probably be doing yourself a huge favor by considering another car to purchase.

Launched in 2009, the XF has been plagued with issues and glitches (and outright failures) from the beginning. The most common problems are:

  • Faulty hose clamps
  • Weak alloy wheels
  • Faulty airbags
  • Ineffective windshield wipers
  • A faulty instrument cluster
  • Noisy suspension
  • Electrical issues up the wazoo
  • Leaky fuel system
  • And more…

If you recall, I said some pretty nice things in my full review of the 2018 Jaguar XF. It is a nice car. However, even the one that I drove (an Avis rental car with low miles) had a handful of annoying electrical issues pop up before I even left the parking garage.

The 11 most common problems with the Jaguar XF (all models)

The Jaguar XF might be a sleek and luxurious sedan, but it has more than it’s fair share of shortcomings. Below are the most common problems that owners report (from all model years). I’ll talk more about which model years are the most problematic afterwards.

1. It has faulty hose clamps

According to a wide variety of owners, the hose clamps in some XF models are too loose. This issue causes hoses to detach and ultimately leads to engine stalling. The engine might fail to restart. Worst case scenario, the engine will overheat (or starve of oil) and it’ll be a catastrophic failure.

2018 Jaguar XF engine
Abrupt engine stalls can lead to crashes (and severe embarrassment). Hose clamps one of the very first things you need to check when buying a used Jaguar XF!

2. The alloy wheels crack easily

Owners of FX models have reported that their alloy wheels are prone to cracks after about 40,000 miles. Whether these failures come from manufacturing defects or an inferior quality aluminum alloys isn’t entirely clear at this time, but it is thought there may well be a correlation between the two.

3. The airbags are faulty

Airbag problems prevalent in earlier XF models (before 2015) that contain the Takata airbags.

These airbags use ammonium-nitrate-based propellants, which degrade after exposure to moisture and high temperature. In case of a collision, inflators might rupture and cause serious injuries. Jaguar has recalled all models that had these airbags.

2018 Jaguar XF interior
Better hope that airbag goes off. I see a lot of sharp corners in here!

4. The windshield wipers blades wear out fast

The windshield wiper blades in Jaguar XF models wear out abnormally fast, and you will need to replace them more than you would for other vehicles in this class. Increased maintenance costs are never fun.

5. The instrument cluster malfunctions

Another problem affecting many Jaguar XF model years is the instrument cluster blanking out without warning. This usually signals a software problem, and can be easily fixed by a reputable mechanic by installing the latest version. A cheap (but annoying) fix.

2018 Jaguar XF instrument cluster
So far so good. The instrument cluster still works!

6. The suspension is clunky (and noisy)

All Jaguar XF models are notorious for excessive rear suspension noise. It’ll be hard not to notice a knocking noise when driving over rough roads. You could potentially fix this with a full suspension rebuild, but the smarter option is to sell the car and move on.

7. The electrical system is annoyingly unreliable

There are so many complaints about the faulty electrical in the XF that I could probably write an entire article about it. Jaguar has never been known for building reliable cars, and build quality is almost a joke at this point.

For what it’s worth, I drove a nearly brand new 2018 Jaguar XF in Texas a while back that had what seemed like faulty low tire pressure warning lights. It would be easy to accept on a vehicle with 50,000+ miles on it, but this was a brand new car for crying out loud.

DriveAndReview selfie Jaguar XF
The look on your face when you realize that you’re driving a car full of electrical gremlins.

8. Some models lack an occupancy detection mat

Some Jaguar XF models manufactured between February-April 2017 may lack the occupancy mat that warns the driver if a passenger isn’t buckled up.

This is a real safety concern. Thankfully, Jaguar is fully aware of the mistake, and you can get one installed free of charge at your local Jaguar dealer.

9. It leaks fuel

Wondering why your car smells like gas? Some Jaguar XF models (especially from 2010 and 2011) have fuel leak problems. The fuel tank’s outlet flange of these models is susceptible to cracking. The probability of fuel leaking from a damaged flange is very high, and it’s a serious issue because fuel leaks can fires (and the kinds of explosions you see in 1980’s TV shows). Jaguar has recalled most models with this issue.

10. The inner sill is prone to cracking

Models manufactured in December 2016 may have cracks on the left side inner sill. This is a major structural issue, so do not buy a Jaguar XF with any visible cracking in the body structure. If you’re not sure what to look for, take it to a mechanic for a pre-purchase inspection. Better yet, choose a different car than the XF.

11. It has an utter lack of usable storage and space

Compared to other midsize cars, XF owners find the cargo space to be far too cramped (and limiting) to be useful. I personally thought the same thing when I test drove an XF. It looks big on the outside, but it’s very tight on the inside.

What model years of the XF were the most problematic?

The earlier Jaguar XF models are the ones with the most problems. However, nearly all Jaguar XF vehicles produced suffer from the following issues:

  • Stalling problems
  • Rear brake pipe leaking brake fluid
  • Fuel pump issues
  • Hardware problems leading to car instability
  • Fuel outlet flange easily cracks

That’s not to say that other model years won’t have any issues. The 2018 I drove felt cheap. Which, at the time, didn’t surprise me considering the reputation Jaguar has in the automotive community for building unreliable cars.

The 2013 Jaguar XF is widely known as the most problematic. There are 12 recalls on the 2013 XF alone (you can get the latest recall information on Jaguar’s website). This car suffers from nearly all of the issues I listed above (engine stalls, airbag problems, and fuel leaks specifically). Most of these issues start appearing after 100,000 miles.

2018 Jaguar XF front end
You have no idea how much anxiety I had driving this 2018 Jaguar XF out to the middle of nowhere.

How long will a Jaguar XF last?

There is no definite answer as to how long a a Jaguar XF will last, as this depends entirely on care and maintenance. Longevity will also depend on the the environment and your driving habits.

With that said, once a Jaguar XF surpasses the 100,000 mileage, it would be foolish of you to not expect an onslaught of problems. It could literally be anything at that point: suspension, gearbox, engine, electronics…you can expect all of these things to fail eventually.

With proper care and maintenance, the FX should easily last 100,000 miles. Anything beyond that is a gift.

2018 Jaguar XF rear end
I pulled over so that I could get out and take a few pics, but I’m fairly certain that everyone who drove by thought that I was having car problems. Not an uncommon experience when you’re driving a Jag!

Why shouldn’t you buy a Jaguar XF?

Competition in the luxury vehicle niche is beyond cut-throat. The Jaguar XF falls short compared to models of the same class from other brands. Here are the reasons why you might want to resist the urge to get an XF of your own:

It’s underpowered

The only model year that the XF was considered “fast” was 2020 (my opinion anyway). From what I’ve been told, the 380 hp V6 engine was the best in it’s class.

Otherwise, the FX has always been trailing behind the competition in regards to performance. The 2018 model that I drove didn’t feel fast to me, which was disappointing considering how good it looked.

It’s reliability rating is low

Jaguar XF models are known for being unreliable. Many owners give the car low ratings because there is no telling if it will continue to perform well long-term. This makes Jaguar a bad choice as an expensive luxury vehicle IMHO.

The warranty only covers 60k miles, which is not great when compared with other high-end brands. This goes along way towards explaining why so many people aren’t lining up to purchase used Jaguars.

It uses premium (expensive) fuel

The 2021 Jaguar XF model uses premium unleaded fuel. Unfortunately, while this will give you the best possible performance, it’s expensive. You also need to consider the rising price of fuel costs, and how this will affect your budget over time.

I’ll say it again: unless you really want an XF, there are better choices (I mean, even 2015 Ford Escape problems aren’t as bad).

It has poor visibility

All Jaguar XF models have a sleek profile, but this results in poor outward visibility (especially out the back window). Owners complain of trouble seeing approaching vehicles from the rear.

Later models feature an effective blind-spot monitoring system to counter this issue. But still, driving on a congested freeway may be challenging for some drivers.

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