James Ruppert: used Jaguar coupes are spectacular value

My mind was on Jaguar saloons a few weeks ago, which went down quite well with you. So now it’s time for me to consider the grace and pace of the marque’s rather focused two-door offerings. These are spectacular value for money as used cars and, in an increasingly mediocre world, represent a truly stylish way to travel for less. Well, for far less than a Porsche, anyway.

The XK8 is the XJS of the 2020s: there are enough well-looked-after examples around that would feel relatively safe when buying, as well as some potentially ruinous sub-£5000 ones that you probably should avoid unless you have spanners and a ramp.

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I know the people at my local garage think of the XK8 as little more than a made-over XJS, but what a wonderful coupé or convertible it is.

I was tempted by a 1998 coupé with 155,000 miles listed as a part-exchange to clear for £1990, but realistically it ought to be the dealers-old 2005 4.2-litre facelifted model with 132,000 miles and loads of history at a shade under £7000.

There are a lot of decent privately advertised convertibles, but a 2004 4.2-litre with just over 80,000 miles was arguably worth a strong £12,995 from a dealer. Personal protection is essential at this low price point.

Talking of low price points, you can also get yourself a supercharged XKR: £5995 is sufficient for a tidy 2001 4.0-litre model with fewer than 100,000 miles. This is one of the truly affordable nailed-on future classics.

For £2000 more, a 2001 limited-edition (one of 100) car with 85,000 miles might be an even better bet.

However, I wouldn’t consider it unreasonable to pay £18,450 for a convertible XKR in immaculate condition and dating from 2008.

Let’s skip over the second XK and celebrate the F-Type. If all you want is a one-owner example, prices are far below £24,000. Well, I came across one: an 80,000-miler from 2014 with the 3.0-litre V6. Surprisingly, it wasn’t advertised privately but by a dealer, who has a legal responsibility to ensure it’s A-OK.

Then there was a roofless one with a full dealer service history, but this time with three owners, at another dealer: a 3.0-litre V6 automatic with just 40,000 miles that would set you back a bit less than £25,000. What great cars for hardly anything at all.

Is this the time to consider the rather overrated E-Type celebrating its 60th this year? Maybe, but you need at least £50,000. Perhaps a bulbous 2+2 from 1969 with the 4.2-litre straight six, but it will need a ton of history. Some coupés cost a lot more than £60,000, while any proper drop-tops are £100,000-plus. I would go with the fresher stuff, just in case.



Question: I want a small, petrol, manual 4×4 that can handle a Yorkshire Dales winter. What do you think of the Daihatsu Terios, the old Suzuki Vitara and the old Suzuki Jimny? Lisa, Yorkshire

Answer: You didn’t mention your budget, but I’ll assume it’s around £3500. Those cars are all suitably capable off-roaders, albeit not great on the road, but I would pick a Fiat Panda 4×4. Light, small and sure-footed, it can run rings around SUVs big and small. There are lots of older diesels, but try stretching to a later car, such as the 85,000-mile 2014 0.9 Twinair petrol with a full service history that we found for £4350. JE