The Jaguar XJ series has long been created to showcase the best that this British manufacturer has to offer, allowing those who are in the market for a refined yet sporty executive saloon to choose something that wasn't designed and built in Germany.
Beginning life back in 1968, the XJ was initially noteworthy since its production was overseen by Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons just prior to his retirement from direct involvement with the development process.
Between 1968 and 1992 the XJ was produced across three distinct series and these have become classic cars in their own right, while the 1990s saw the arrival of a modern version with fresh engines and styles.
After the turn of the millennium, Jaguar went back to the drawing board and came up with the X350 iteration of the XJ marque, this time building the body entirely out of aluminium to reduce weight and improve performance. This made its debut in 2003 and remains a popular used choice, surviving in various guises until 2010.
The XJ range got yet another shot in the arm in 2009 when Jaguar used the Saatchi Gallery in the heart of the capital to showcase the brand new X351 generation, complete with looks and gadgets borrowed from the XF.
This range has continued to be a strong performer for Jaguar both domestically and in overseas markets, so you'll have plenty of choice if you want to pick up a used example.
Bang for your buck
Jaguar has dabbled with a broad range of engine options for the XJ range over the years, blending a choice of straight six, V6 and V12 power plants to give different buyers with different budgets a chance to invest.
From 1998 the XJ8 even uses a V8 engine for the X308 generation, while the XJ6 from 2003 onwards went back to V6 as a base model.
On the inside the XJ family has always offered classic touches of luxury, from the leather seats to the wood panelling on the dash, so you shouldn't be surprised to find that it offers a quite, composed experience for drivers and passengers alike.
With the most recent post-2009 XJ, Jaguar has seriously modernised the interior, with advanced entertainment and navigation systems, combined with an intuitive interface, making it feel more like the cockpit of a spacecraft than a not-so humble British executive car.
What you'll pay
You'll be able to pick up a used Jaguar XJ model built in the mid to late 1990s for under £1000 today, although you'll obviously have to contend with high mileages and other potential problems at this price.
Solid examples can be found for £2000 to £10,000, depending on the age of the car and the combination of engine and options that it delivers. Meanwhile the most recent generation of the XJ will cost from between £25,000 and £50,000.
What to check
Jaguars built in the last 10 years have been some of the most reliable around, not only in terms of the firm's history but in the context of the wider market, thanks to big spending by its various corporate overlords.
That means if the service history is glowing, buying a late model XJ won't leave you with too many sleepless nights.
Older examples are less reliable, so you have to take into account that mechanical failures might be around the corner even if everything is aesthetically acceptable.
Jaguars aren't that cheap to maintain, with modern examples coming with £425 radiators and £375 starter motors. But with much improved build quality, you should be able to avoid these costs for as long as possible.
How it drives
The used Jaguar XJ range has been designed to offer a great driving experience with plenty of power even on the most basic models. If you go for supercharged iterations like the XJR, you can expect to have your socks blown off.
The attention to weight that was paid post-2000 makes a real difference to the handling, while more efficient diesel engines have also been introduced to give you a bit of a break at the petrol station check out. If you want to buy British, Jaguar's XJ is not going to disappoint on any level.