Jaguar Bests Lexus in Reliability Survey

By Brendan Moore


jaguar-logo-smallHas the Earth stopped rotating on its axis?

Have pigs sprouted wings?

Has Hell frozen over?

No, but Jaguar, a brand long stained with the reputation of unreliability, has beaten out Lexus for the top spot in J.D. Power’s annual reliability study. Lexus has held that top spot for 14 consecutive years.

Not to give short shrift to Buick, who tied with Jaguar for the top spot and also dethroned Lexus this year, but Buick tied Lexus for first in 2007 and therefore didn’t have as far to go in terms of improvement. Buick beating Lexus is not surprising; Jaguar beating Lexus is about the same as the Detroit Lions winning the Super Bowl next year. Or Myanmar winning the World Cup.

I speak from experience. Back in the day, I owned four Jaguar sport coupes; two with six-cylinder engines and two with twelve-cylinder engines. I loved those Jaguars in an almost desperate way.

But things went wrong with the Jaguars frequently, things that would have been laughable if they hadn’t been happening to me. The electrics in the cars were constantly acting up; electric components wouldn’t work, or, bizarre things would happen, like the windshield wipers coming on when I went over railroad tracks. The carburetors were so temperamental as to defy description. The cars leaked just about every fluid that existed in the car – radiators, radiator hoses, engine oil, transmission oil, brake fluid, etc. I had large rubber mats on my garage floor for years.

The interior bits would loosen or break with regularity. The windows on two of the cars leaked. The paint on three of the cars had serious imperfections right from the factory.

But when those Jaguars were right, life was good. Very good.


Jaguar has a wonderful new model called the XF which I love (I’m not alone in that ardor) which has gotten kudos from Autosavant and others since it arrived on the scene. It’s the first Jaguar I really desire since the ones I had so long ago. It makes me a bit dizzy to think about getting that much pleasure without the pain of constant down time and accompanying expense as I had previously with those other Jaguars.

Of course, I would be remiss in not mentioning Ford’s part in Jaguar’s improvement. They are the reason Jaguar scored so well, and it is indeed unfortunate that they had to sell Jaguar to Tata recently.

Regardless, congratulations to Jaguar on their showing in the reliability survey. It is wonderful news for the company and its customers.

COPYRIGHT Autosavant – All Rights Reserved

Author: Brendan Moore

Brendan Moore is a Principal Consultant with Cedar Point Consulting , a management consulting practice based in the Washington, DC area. He also manages Autosavant Consulting, a separate practice within Cedar Point Consulting. where he advises businesses connected to the auto industry. Cedar Point Consulting can be found at .

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  1. Kudos also to Buick, which tied Jaguar at the top of the charts. Interesting to me is that the XF (which I had the chance to review last summer) is the car that is putting Jaguar back on the map, but the new-for-2009 XF isn’t doing anything for three-year dependability.

  2. I didn’t get that he was saying the XF was the reason for the good score. What I got was that he thought the idea of having a great Jaguar without worrying about it breaking down was an attractive thing.

    But I congratulate Buick too because even if Buick was closer than Jaguar it is still hard to get to the top.

  3. it was partially thanks to Ford (when they owned Jaguar before they sold it to Tata) then Jaguar was on its way up and kudos to Buick as well (Buick should capital on this)

    “…the Detroit Lions winning the Super Bowl next year…”

    Or the Toronto Maple Leafs winning the Stanley Cup at last (the last time they won was 1967) 😉 LOL

    Since it’s 50 years then Detroit Lions star Bobby Layne was traded from Detroit to Pittsbugh and it’s 50 years since the “curse of Bobby Layne” some said after 50 years the curse will be lifted and the Lions could win a NFL championship. Let’s wait and see and let’s hope then some other sports team cities might get rid of their curses as well (Buffalo Sabres(NHL) and Buffalo Bills (NFL, more infos at ), Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Cubs (MLB) and Blackhawks(NHL), Boston Bruins, etc…there a list of sports-related curses at 😉

  4. lyle on the ball, I didn’t mean to imply that Brendan was saying that the XF was the reason for the score improvement. I just found it ironic that before the XF even affects these results, Jaguar was building better cars.

  5. My ’04 S-Type is still dutifully transporting me 75 miles to and from home and office every day, with no hiccups to report other than a short-lived transmission malaise and a window regulator. Oh, and a nonfunctioning right-turn indicator. And did I mention the broken suspension bushing? Never mind–I still love the thing more than any other car I’ve ever owned. Heartiest congrats to the Coventry Cats for the J. D. Power award, which covers ’06 models. Now I can plan on my next car being an ’06 S-Type R.
    More by me on Jags:

  6. This is why people rely on Consumer Reports and not J.D. Powers for their reliability info.

  7. Maybe if and when Ford makes it through these rough times, they’ll buy Jaguar back… bit of a tragedy to put all that effort into something and not have it pay off until after it’s out of your hands.

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