Coventry-based Jaguar made its name creating high-powered, eye-catching sports coupes and for many, the XK model which was launched in 2006 as a replacement for the XK8, was a return to form. Although classed as a grand tourer, the car benefits from a lightweight aluminium chassis which ensures that it handles far more like a sports car. Initially powered by a 4.2 litre V8, the engine has since been upgraded to a 5.0 litre V8 generating 380 horsepower. This is enough to propel the car from zero to 60 in just 5.2 seconds and take it up to a top speed of 174 mph, though this is limited to 155 mph.
What you get
Drivers looking for a blend of excellent performance and high prestige will not be disappointed. The Jaguar also benefits from a far higher level of standard equipment than its rivals, making it far better value for money. Although billed as a four seater, the rear is extremely cramped and would be completely impractical for transporting anything other than very young children and even then only really for short journeys. On the plus side, the used Jaguar XK offers more than 300 litres of boot space in both the coupe and the convertible variants, making it far more practical should you intend to genuinely use it as a grand touring vehicle.
What you pay
While buying a recent, second hand Jaguar XK for sale will always save against the cost of a brand new vehicle, this model's desirability and reliability mean the level of depreciation is far lower than you might expect. A 2006 coupe model that would have cost just over £60,000 to buy new will today still cost around £50,000. Genuine bargains are rare and, as a result, any vehicle being offered for a price that seems too good to be true should be treated with extreme caution. Good second hand models remain in high demand so you're unlikely to be able to negotiate much of a discount. Expect to pay a significant premium for the special editions and the convertible models. Insurance falls into group 19 for the coupe and 20 for the convertible.
What to look out for
The Jaguar XK has a higher reliability rating than vehicles of the same class manufactured by its main German rivals of Mercedes and BMW. With no major problems or faults reported since the start of production - other than an issue with one of the airbags - no special precautions need to be taken by potential buyers. As with all prestige vehicles, be extremely cautious of any models that come without a full service history.
High reliability combined with a relatively low mileage among the majority of users means the chances of having to replace a costly major system are low. However, with starter motors available for around £300 and a front shock absorbers costing £110 for a pair, it is likely to be the cost of labour rather than the parts themselves that will make up the greater part of a bill.
On the road
The approved used Jaguar XK for sale is a car that sounds every bit as sporty as it looks, thanks to the engine and exhaust being specially tuned to emphasise that side of its character. This is a large car with a long wheelbase but is so responsive and agile that it feels much smaller on the road. This Jaguar is every bit as much at home on the open road as it is negotiating tight turns and hairpin bends and does so well, thanks to electronic stability and traction control, both of which come as standard. The six speed automatic gearbox features a rotary controller which rises up out of the centre console when the engine is turned on. For a sportier feel, you can select manual mode and change gear using paddles on the steering wheel. Post 2009 models feature Jaguar Drive Control which features three modes - standard, dynamic and winter - which optimise performance for various driving scenarios.
Having seen its fortunes rise and fall over the years, the used Jaguar XK is proof that Jaguar still has the ability to make cars that not only look good and drive well but are also capable of competing head on with the very best of the international competition.