FOR A certain generation, the thought of owning a Jaguar used to be a byword for unwelcome aggravation, but over the past decade the British maker of sporting cars has pulled up its cashmere socks and produced cars it can be proud of. The latest of these is the XE, a car which – as Driving’s first review suggests – is able to comfortably rub shoulders with the competition.
However, it takes a long time for drivers who have migrated to German brands such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes to forgive and forget Jaguar for its patchy past. Which is good news for used car buyers, because a lot of secondhand Jaguars are something of a steal.
Driving has rounded up five Jaguars that should give buyers that distinct, warm fuzzy feeling that you simply can’t get from cold, clinical German machine. From convertibles to estates, luxury cruisers to B-road bruisers, here are five great Jaguars for £10,000.
Jaguar XK convertible
Picture the scene: Sunday morning, bird song at sunrise, a V8-powered Jaguar convertible in the garage and you only filled the tank with petrol yesterday… time for a drive. Throw open the garage door, set the electric roof gliding back, fire up the engine and set the heating to toast your toes and the seat to maximum bum-warmth.
This is a sensible choice for those who like their sports car to allow for a certain amount of middle-aged spread
If this sounds like your idea of a great way to start a Sunday, an XK8 is a sensible choice for those who like their sports car to allow for a certain amount of middle-aged spread. It’s not some stripped-out, bare bones racer; rather, it’s a tourer for jaunts to the coast, or, indeed the Continent.
For £10,000, there is plenty of choice of XK8 or XKR convertibles from private sellers or independent dealers. The former is likely to be younger in age and lower in mileage. The XK8 features a naturally aspirated, 4-litre V8 engine, and has 290bhp, which makes it quick enough to skip to 60mph in just 6.7 seconds. The XKR engine is supercharged and, with 370bhp, it flies faster than a golf ball struck by a driver, reaching 60mph in 5.3 seconds.
Jaguar X-type estate
Looking for a practical but affordable Jaguar? Look no further than the X-type estate. This compact estate car is similar in size to an Audi A4 Avant or BMW 3-Series Touring, but wouldn’t you agree it’s nice to stand out of the crowd and be able to tell other drivers you own a Jaguar?
The estate was launched in 2004, three years into the X-type’s life, but it’s the post-2008 models that buyers should seek out; that model was comprehensively updated and restyled, and was a big improvement in many ways over the older versions.
The estate is a much better looking car than the saloon
Most observers agree that the estate is a much better looking car than the saloon upon which it’s based. A relatively low mileage (under 40,000 miles) 2009 2.2d SE model with an automatic gearbox is comfortably within budget, which is good news: the 143bhp engine is the pick of the range and can return up to 41mpg.
Pick one with an interior lined in black leather and complimented by charcoal-finish wood trim and it won’t feel like a golf club, and the 445-litre boot is surprisingly practical.
There was a time when a big Jaguar saloon conjured visions of an Arthur Daley character at the wheel, decked out in a camel-haired coat and Trilby Fedora and with a trademark Castella Panatella cigar on the go. But in 2003, the plushest saloon in the range, the XJ, underwent the sort of image makeover that Trinny & Susannah would be proud of.
The XJ was capable of holding its own against the Mercedes S-class, the best luxury saloon car going
What used to be a gas-guzzling relic from a bygone era was transformed into a modern machine, capable of holding its own against the Mercedes S-class, the best luxury saloon car going. The key to this was building the big Jaguar out of aluminium, which made it light, quick, economical – well, by the class norm – and fun to chuck around a corner.
Sure the cabin could do with more headroom and the boot was only deep enough for a Chancellor’s red briefcase, but the rest of the interior is as soothing as a drawing room with a well-stoked fire and the V8-powered 4.2 model with 300bhp delivers the genuine Jaguar purr.
Jaguar S-type R
This big cat should probably be added to the endangered species list. Not many drivers bought them when the S-Type R was launched, because buying and running one involved burning through a mortgage-sized pile of money.
The supercharged V8 was capable of launching the car to 60mph in just 5.5 seconds
The good news is that now, a few owners down the road, the limited number that are around have been pampered by third or fourth owners who treat them with kid gloves and only indulge in sunny Sunday morning drives. So the bodywork, complete with subtle styling kit and wider alloy wheels, should be lustrous and the 4.2-litre, supercharged V8 should be nicely run-in and still quite capable of launching the car from standstill to 60mph in just 5.5 seconds.
The key to living happily with a high performance car like this is ensuring it has a comprehensive service history and evidence of past owners who have pampered the car, money-no-object. Ensure the tyres are of a reputable brand, have plenty of tread and the brakes have lots of life left in them – you’ll be calling on the abilities of both a lot in a car this quick.
Jaguar XF 2.7d
This is, arguably, the perfect motorway express. If you’re the sort of driver who needs to cover high mileage and likes to do so in comfort and at speed, the twin-turbo diesel-powered XF saloon should be on your test drive short list.
The engine is smooth and virtually silent, even at an idle, (it can return up to 37.6mpg, too) there’s a creamy-smooth delivery of power and the supple suspension and assured gearshifts from the six-speed automatic make the ideal car for taking the edge off a long, hard day at the office.
The style of the interior calls time on golf clubs and dusky libraries
Better still, this is the most modern of the Jaguars you’ll find for £10,000, as 2008 cars are within budget. The style of the interior calls time on golf clubs and dusky libraries; it feels like a car designed with the tablet generation in mind, with touchscreen tech and a gear selector that raises from the surface of the centre console with a humorous amount of pomp and ceremony. Throw into the mix comfortable seats and fine high-speed refinement and this is a seriously desirable alternative to the countless Audis, BMWs and Mercedes’ out there.