1997 Jaguar XK-Series Review

Used XK-Series for sale
List Price Estimate:$1,475 - $3,258
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Jaguar XK-Series model years
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Beautiful car, gutsy engine, wonderfully refined.
  • Price.

Vehicle overview

Old enough to order a drink. The car that the XK-Series is replacing had been in production for a full 21 years before finally being retired in 1996. That's an awfully long time for any sheet metal to grace the flanks of any automobile, but when the automobile is a mega-bucks sports car it is even less acceptable. Fortunately, Jaguar has set things right by introducing the completely new XK-Series. The only thing it shares with its predecessor is the basic floor plan; everything else is fresh off the design table.

Like the engine, for instance. This ultra high-tech aluminum block DOHC V-8 engine is the first V8 engine ever to appear in a Jaguar. It makes an impressive 290 horsepower and 284 lb-ft of torque, enabling the car to launch to 60 mph in less than 7 seconds. Aiding the engine in this impressive task is an enhanced five-speed automatic transmission whose knob and lever rest in the familiar J-gate. Also new is Jaguar's approach to the interior. Gone are the hard-to-find auxiliary controls and poorly placed gauges; the new XK-Series draws from Jaguar's racing heritage to make sure that everything is in its proper place. Not that Jaguar threw the baby out with the bath water. The gents in Coventry know that their customers enjoy being coddled in soft hides; thus the standard Connolly leather remains. Also featured in the interior is the requisite walnut trim that makes a Jaguar a Jaguar.

The latest cat-car is a hoot to drive. Effortless acceleration, precise steering, a supple suspension, and fade-free brakes make the experience memorable. Available as a coupe or convertible, this luxury sports car is guaranteed to put a smile on anyone's face.Perhaps the most important thing about the XK-Series is its indication of Jaguar's new direction. With the addition of the XK-Series, Jaguar proves that it can look toward the future without forgetting the good things about its past. If this E-Type-inspired XK-Series is any indication, we will continue to see some wonderful things from the manufacturer.

1997 Highlights

An all-new Jaguar debuts this year, replacing the stodgy XJ-S. This new sports car boasts the first V8 engine ever found in a Jag, as well as an all-new five-speed manual transmission that features normal and sport modes. The XK-Series is available in coupe and convertible forms, but Jaguar insiders expect a full 70 percent of sales to be of the convertible.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1997 Jaguar XK-Series.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

4.13 out of 5 stars
Jaguar XK-8 Coupe Saphire Blue
Ben Leone,03/31/2010
XK8 2dr Coupe
When critiquing a vehicle like this you must look at the unique elements of the piece. This piece is nothing less than STUNNING. I bought my Jag used. I LOVE it! The original owner paid 80K for it. I paid 14K. I did the valve cover gaskets and the top tensioners and that cost me 900 bucks. So far knock on wood, the car has been great! I would recommend this car to anyone. I am tired of looking at vettes and porsches, nothing personal of course. My car is one of 40 to come to the US in Sapphire Blue! Now that is rare, coupled with the fact that only 1129 coupes were made for America that year!
4.63 out of 5 stars
New owner
XK8 2dr Convertible
Set out to find a fun but cheaper car for the summer. It needed to do a few things...open air car, T top or rag, some power and must carry 2 sets of golf clubs. Looked at Trans Ams, Regal turbos, Corvettes, Mercedes, BMW, Porsche etc. A Jag had never even crossed my mind. Came across an ad for a 1997 xk8 in Alberta where I live, about 4 hrs away. Long story short, bought it and love it! 16 yrs old 80k, 50,000 miles and mint! British racing green, green rag and tan int. The car has 2 mods, cold air intake and a stainless exhaust that runs under the rear axles. Not sure what it does for power but milage is great! Drove it home at 130kph, 80mph and got 28 mpg!!
4.38 out of 5 stars
Worth more to me than it's resale value!
XK8 2dr Convertible
My car has been great to own! It has been both fun to drive, reliable and reasonably inexpensive to service, less its gas mileage, which is 11-12 in town (on the good stuff, of course!). Really, my only problems have been with trim pieces; gear shift surround replaced because "S" mode switch got stuck in "S", both visors had mirrors that flopped open (replaced at about $375 ea), headlight assembly which fogs up (still not replaced), lumbar support (which inflates, then slowly deflates...) and the radio backlight is not lit...not bad for a nearly 10 year old car with 48k miles. I still love it and will probably replace it with a used XKR when I find a color I like for the right $. Thanks.
4.25 out of 5 stars
Stunning cat
Ben Leone,10/08/2007
XK8 2dr Coupe
This car is a sheer rush to drive. I have five other cars that all look great but this car is a stunner, stunner, stunner. The coupe is what makes it so different compared to today's vehicles that resemble soap bars. I have been taking care of some basic areas of maintenance, the tranny needed a fluid change. I put new platinum plugs in. Fixed the rear deck brake lamp. Now I am contemplating the engine timing tensioners which are said to be a weak point in the 4.0 motor. Mine is not showing any indication of ticking or jumped timing on cold start-up. I will look into this further. I still love the car, even if someday I put a ford 351 motor in it.


IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1997 Jaguar XK-Series

Used 1997 Jaguar XK-Series Overview

The Used 1997 Jaguar XK-Series is offered in the following submodels: XK-Series Coupe, XK-Series Convertible. Available styles include XK8 2dr Convertible, and XK8 2dr Coupe. The Used 1997 Jaguar XK-Series comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed automatic.

What's a good price on a Used 1997 Jaguar XK-Series?

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Which used 1997 Jaguar XK-Serieses are available in my area?

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Can't find a used 1997 Jaguar XK-Seriess you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Jaguar XK-Series for sale - 1 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $7,777.

Find a used Jaguar for sale - 2 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $16,011.

Find a used certified pre-owned Jaguar XK-Series for sale - 6 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $22,554.

Find a used certified pre-owned Jaguar for sale - 6 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $7,469.

Should I lease or buy a 1997 Jaguar XK-Series?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Jaguar lease specials
Check out Jaguar XK-Series lease specials