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Used car Jaguar XK8 1998-2006

The XK8 may have been on the road since 1996, but it still has the looks to impress. The supercharged R version is seriously rapid and a budget alternative to an Aston Martin or a Ferrari GT. The new model – launched in early 2006 – has moved the game on, but this XK remains stylish, good to drive and good value.

Driving and performance
Newer cars have a V8 with 300bhp or 400bhp with a supercharger. Older cars have a 4.0 V8, which is again available supercharged.

Both the 4.0 and 4.2-litre engines are charismatic, have a deep roar and pull strongly. They also have the refinement that buyers expect from a Jaguar. All cars are autos, but it suits the car well.

XK is more of a grand tourer than a sportscar. It doesn’t revel in tight, twisty roads, but it does have a soft, supple, serene ride and a well-controlled body.

The steering can feel a bit remote, but it’s always controllable. Grip levels are high and handling is balanced. XKR model features computer-controlled suspension for even greater composure.

Given the exterior dimensions, the cabin is tiny, but that’s the price you pay for such graceful looks. Rear seats are for short trips or children only. However, it feels very plush and extravagant for front occupants or anyone who fits in the rear.

The luxurious wood and leather interior is charming, if rather traditional, something Jag fans love.

Not crash tested by Euro NCAP, but there’s no shortage of safety equipment, with an abundance of airbags, traction control and a radar-based cruise control system. An alarm and immobilizer are standard.

On the forecourt

Fast movers
Jaguar XK8 Carbonfibre
Run-out special spec.
Trade 0404-0554: £29,400-33,000. Retail 0404-0554: £35,200-39,000
Jaguar XKR 4.0/4.2
Supercharged performance puts R into supercar territory.
Trad: 98R-0606: £12,800-38,300. Retail 98R-0606: £15,000-48,900

Ones to avoid
Small range – none.
In the workshop
Recalls for possible disengagement of diff output shaft, possible restricted throttle opening, gearbox lock-ups, and an auto ’box that mistakenly engages reverse while in forward gear.

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