Jaguar XK8 - Used

Car Review

GOODthough the marvellous F-Type is, I mourn the passing of the delectable Jaguar XK8.

Others lust after a Porsche or a Ferrari, but given the requisite lottery win, my garage would at the very least contain a convertible XK8 and an Overfinch Range Rover.

Now the Overfinch is a bespoke car built to any spec the owner desires, many having large American V8 engines.

But what makes them really special is that they have sorted suspension, so that although they will still tackle the side of a mountain with ease, they also track round the corners like a sportscar. Enough said I think.

The XK on the other hand I have always thought as the spiritual successor to the E-Type of the 1960s, with many of the same flowing, seductive curves, but with the delicious burble of a V8 under that long, long bonnet.

Even in standard trim, the sound from that engine is to die for - and far more musical than a Lambo or a Porsche 911.

The first XK is almost as beautiful as the last, and with prices down to very reasonable levels, they're within reach.

If you want to make a statement, a pristine XK is the car to arrive in as far as I'm concerned.

But don't buy without full service history and if it's with a main dealer, so much the better. These are cars that need to be cared for properly.

Check that all the electrics work and that any engine problems have been sorted.

The XK has enough performance for most in standard 4.2-litre trim, with 280bhp, but the 5.0-litre has 385 and the supercharged version over 500bhp under your right foot.

Road holding and handling are very good - just as they should be - and so is the level of comfort, with top-drawer refinement even in the soft-top.

The standard automatic gearbox takes all the strain in its stride and has sport and manual settings for those that want them.

Inside are all the toys you might expect, plus the luxury of electrically adjusted leather seats.

Check the electric hood works perfectly on convertibles and watch for kerbed alloys and other parking damage.

These are cars that are very expensive to run and drink unleaded like a 'dipso' at a wine tasting, but nothing feels so good from behind the wheel.

Pay about £18,000 for an '09 58-reg 4.2 Convertible, or £36,950 for a '14 14-reg 5.0-litre Signature. Coupes are about £1,500 less.

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