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Jaguar XK8: Buying guide and review (1996-2006)

Jaguar XK8: Buying guide and review (1996-2006) Classic and Performance Car
Jaguar XK8 Jaguar XK8 Jaguar XK8 Jaguar XK8 Jaguar XKR
It took a long time for the Jaguar XJS to be accepted in the classic world, but years before that happened its successor, the XK8, was heartily embraced by classic car fans. It’s easy to see why; where the XJS looks awkward the XK8 is svelte, beautifully built and great to drive. Packed with modern equipment the XK8 is also utterly usable and to cap it all this is a car that’s proved to be dependable as long as it’s looked after.
 
With the XK8 and its supercharged sibling the XKR being at the stage where supply exceeds demand, this is one of the most affordable classics around, so you can afford to be choosy when buying. There’s a choice of coupé or convertible, both bodystyles being offered with a normally aspirated (XK8) or supercharged (XKR) V8. With even the slowest edition being capable of an electronically limited 155mph performance is guaranteed, yet 30mpg is possible if you drive with restraint.
 
Thanks to its modernity the Jag comes with all of the kit you’d expect of a luxury grand tourer, such as electric seats, windows and mirrors, climate control and leather trim. There’s plenty of safety kit too, including driver and passenger airbags plus anti-lock brakes. That luxurious cabin is suitable only for two though; the rear seats are next to useless, but if you want to carry no more than two people and you want incredible value for money, there’s no good reason to overlook the Jaguar XK8 and XKR.
 
Which one to buy?
 
The earlier cars (with the 4.0-litre engine) weren’t as well developed as the later 4.2-litre editions, which is why the earlier variants tend to be cheaper. There’s little difference in demand between XK8 and XKR or coupé and cabrio; there’s a buyer for anything as long as it’s in good condition. Despite this, XKRs are worth more than equivalent XK8s while cabrios are more valuable than equivalent coupés. So if you’re on a budget you’ll get the most for your money by buying an XK8 coupé; if you want an investment, the most collectible of the lot is likely to be the XKR convertible.
 
What equipment is fitted can also make a difference to values and desirability. Buyers love factory-fit options that improve a car’s spec, with heated seats popular, along with stereo upgrades and Recaro seats. The latter was rarely chosen, especially on the XK8, but you’re more likely to find them in an XKR.
 
The factory-fit navigation is outdated now so not worth seeking out, but if you can find a car with Brembo brakes that’s a definite plus. Wheels are a matter of taste as the 20-inch rims can look overblown or they might look superb – it’s just a matter of preference. But even if you like the look of them, check out the ride first. An XKR on 20-inch rims doesn’t feature anything like a magic carpet ride...
 
Performance and specs
 
Jaguar XKR 4.2 coupé
Engine 4196cc, V8
Power 400bhp @ 6100rpm
Torque 399lb ft @ 3500rpm
Top speed 155mph
0-60mph 5.2sec
Fuel consumption 23mpg
Gearbox Five-speed automatic
Insurance group 39-41
 
Dimensions and weight
 
Wheelbase 2588mm
Length 4760mm
Width 1829mm
Height 1295mm
Kerb weight 1653kg
 
Common problems
 
• Corrosion is unlikely to be taking hold, unless the car’s been crunched. The only exception is on some very early cars, which can suffer from corrosion in the front footwells and rear wheelarches.

• Expect tight, even panel gaps, but even low-speed knocks can take their toll, especially as parking sensors aren’t fitted to all XK8s and visibility isn’t great. Check the central jacking point up front along with the radiator, and on an XKR inspect the intercooler too; they can all be damaged by the car bottoming out on speed bumps.

• Early V8s could be destroyed by their Nikasil-coated cylinder bores being damaged by high-sulphur petrol; post-2000 engines have conventional steel liners. The earlier powerplants can’t be rebored, which is why some cars had fresh powerplants under warranty; chassis numbers 001036 to 042775 were affected. A tag on the nearside of the block denotes a replacement V8. The VIN indicates what type of cylinder liners the engine has; a six-digit sequence at the end means Nikasil liners, while an A then five digits means steel liners.

• The secondary timing chain gets thrown off after the plastic top tensioner has cracked. The engine is rarely wrecked, but a new set of chains and tensioners will be needed.

• On the XKR, the rubber hose hidden below the supercharger perishes. Called the valley pipe, it’s easy enough to renew but this entails removing the supercharger. The hose should be renewed every eight years; some owners take this opportunity to fit a smaller pulley, to increase boost and power.

• All XKs have power steering; the system is reliable but the track rod ends wear out, so feel for vague steering.

• Feathering around the edges of the front tyres betrays wear in the front wishbone bushes combined with tired front wheelbearings.

• It’s worth finding an XK8 with Computer-Active Technology Suspension (CATS). Standard on the XKR, XK8 owners had to pay extra for it – but it’s worthwhile. This adjusts the dampers between hard and soft for better cornering, anti-dive under braking and anti-squat under acceleration. However, CATS dampers are costly compared with the standard items.

• The standard brakes are superb, but the Brembo system provides truly awesome stopping power. There are no common issues, but aftermarket discs tend to wear quickly and judder, while the front callipers of the Brembo system need to be cleaned every three years or so, to stop the pads binding in the sliders.
 
Model history
 
1996: XK8 introduced with 3996cc V8 in coupé or convertible forms.
1998: XKR goes on sale in coupé and convertible forms, with 370bhp supercharged 4.0-litre V8.
2000: XKR-based Silverstone special edition has silver paintwork, 20-inch alloys and Brembo brakes. Just 50 are made.
2001: 100 special edition, based on XKR, has nine-spoke BBS alloys, anthracite paintwork, Recaro seats and alloy interior detailing.
2002: XK8 gets 19-inch ‘Apollo’ wheels; the XKR gets 20-inch ‘Paris’ alloys and Brembo brakes. Also, a 4.2-litre V8 replaces previous 4.0-litre version.
2003: Special edition 400 in showrooms, based on XKR, with Alcantara seat inserts and black, silver or grey paintwork.
2004: XK8/XKR Premium arrives in coupé or convertible guises, with standard xenon lights, 18-inch alloys and rear spoiler. Parking sensors become standard for all models.
2005: S limited edition (based on XK8 or XKR) has new choice of interior and exterior colour schemes plus 19-inch alloys.
 
Owners clubs, forums and websites
 
• jaguardriver.co.uk
• www.jec.org.uk
• www.xkec.co.uk
 
Summary and prices
 
With low prices, and excellent specialist support, it really is a great time to buy a Jaguar XK8, and there are cars out there to suit most budgets. If you’re feeling very brave, there are quite a few examples from just £2000. Beware though; you’ll almost certainly need to spend the same again to get the car into road-worthy condition. Spend £4000-£8000 to begin with, and there’s a great choice of metal on the market. The very best standard models will command up to around £12,000. 
 
The much sportier XKR model carries a slight premium, with decent cars generally sitting between the £9000-£12,000 mark. Top low-mileage examples are still trading for north of £15,000. 
 
Words: Richard Dredge
Jaguar XK8 Jaguar XK8 Jaguar XK8 Jaguar XK8 Jaguar XKR
Last updated: 6th Jan 2016
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Jaguar XK8
3200 22950 GBP
  • JAGUAR XK8 convertible 2001

    £8,995 £8,995

    jaguar xk8 2001 4.0 v8 convertible in metalic blue with black mohair hydraulic hood with contrasting beige heated leather upholstory electric windows remote central locking memory seats and steering wheel electric mirrors abs ect 2 owners from new with full jaguar service history 107000 miles NUMBER PLATE NOT INCLUDED IN THIS SALE

    • Mileage: 107000 mi
    • Engine size: 3.996
    For sale
    £8,995 £8,995
    UK Car Van and Truck
    01163 678545 View contact number
  • JAGUAR XK8

    £12,495 £12,495

    Two Previous Owners, Service History, Serviced At 5k, 14k, 26k, 37k, 47k, 52k, 55k, 56k, 59k, 60k, 61k, Clean Car For The Age, Bargain, Low Mileage, Showroom Vehicle , Why not come down and have a look ? We have a relaxed no pressure sales approach . Established family run business supplying quality pre used vehicles to the Solihull and Birmingham area for 40 years .

    • Mileage: 65000 mi
    • Engine size: 4.196
    For sale
    £12,495 £12,495
  • Jaguar XK8

    £8,995 £8,995

    Air Conditioning, Climate Control, Full Leather, Alarm, Adjustable Steering Column, Multi-function Steering Wheel, Power Steering, Stability Control, Traction Control, Trip Computer, ABS, Child Locks, Multiple Airbags, Auto Lighting, Colour Coded Body, Front Fog Lamps, Metallic Paintwork, Premium Cloth soft top, UK Supplied, UK Specification, Radio Cassette, Multi-Disc CD Player, Power Hood, Electric Windows, Electric Mirrors, Electric Aerial, Electric Seats, Front Centre Armrest, Head Restraints, Heated Seats, Height Adjustable Seat, Lumbar Adjustment, Auto-dip Rearview, 18'' Alloys, Full service history A stunning XK8 Convertible finished in unmarked Meteorite Metallic with Ivory Classic Leather interior. Meticulously maintained by Main Agents and Specialists. Had timing chains done. Tonneau cover. Classic Burr Walnut.18'' Flute Alloys. Original Radio/Cassette with multi Cd.Alarm.3 keys. Just driven her 500 miles with no issues. Hpi clear. Extended Warranty and delivery nationwide and overseas at extra cost.Private plate included.

    • Mileage: 92000 mi
    • Engine size: 3996
    For sale
    £8,995 £8,995
  • JAGUAR XK8 CONVERTIBLE 1999

    £10,995 £10,995

    Genuine Low Mileage Jaguar XK8 Convertible! 1999. 50,000 Miles. Full Service History Right Up To 46,000 Miles! Metallic Platinum Silver. Warm Charcoal Leather Interior. Black Power Roof and Matching Tonneau Cover. Interior. Sat Nav. Electric Seats. Alpine Sound System With CD Multichanger. Cruise Control. 18" Flute Design Alloy Wheels. Wood and Leather Multi Function Steering Wheel. All Documentation, Booklets, Manuals and Spare Key. Lovely! Part Exchange Considered.

    • Mileage: 50000 mi
    • Engine size: 3.996
    For sale
    £10,995 £10,995
  • JAGUAR XK8 COUPE 2003

    £9,995 £9,995

    STUNNING LOOKING XK8 4.2 FACELIFT MODEL;;SHE IS FINNISHED IN MIDNIGHT BLACK with IVORY LEATHER;;19" APOLLO ALLOY WHEELS (recently refurbished by Wicked Wheels);AUTO ON WIPERS;AUTO ON HEADLIGHTS;BI XEN0N HEADLIGHTS;CLASSIC WOOD TRIM;CRUISE CONTROL;C.D MULTISTACK;COLOUR KEYED BODY WORK;CLIMATE CONTROL;ELECTRIC HEATED SEATS;ELECTRIC TINTED WINDOWS;ELECTRIC HEATED MIRRORS;FRONT ARM REST;MEMORY PACK;MIRROR PACK;MULTI FUNCTION STEERING WHEEL ;REAR PARK ASSIST;REMOTE ALARM WITH INTRUSION SENSORS;SAT NAVIGATION;SIX SPEED AUTO GEARBOX;TRIP COMPUTOR;WINTER PACK;;ALL KEYS, INCLUDING THE GREEN ONE, AND HANDBOOKS ARE PRESENT AND CORRECT;;VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED INDEED;;12/36 MONTHS EXTENDED WARANTEES AVAILABLE;;Debit/Credit card facilities;

    • Mileage: 92300 mi
    • Engine size: 4.196
    For sale
    £9,995 £9,995
  • JAGUAR XK8 4.2 S CONVERTIBLE 2005

    £18,995 £18,995

    This is the highly collectable 4.2 S model with the final edition white chequered flag badges. Car has Full Service History, MOT 02/11/18 and 3 months warranty, Upgrades - R Performance Alloy Wheels 20in Sepang, Carbon Fibre Veneer, Full Charcoal Black Leather Sports Seats with White Stitching, Special Front White Chequered Flag Badge, Polished Door Treadplates with Chequered Flag Emblems, Standard Features - Jaguar Alpine Premium Sound System, Xenon Headlights (with Auto Levelling/Powerwash), Memory Pack, Seats Electric (Driver/Passenger), Heated seats, Seat Lumbar Support (Driver/Passenger Electric), Mirrors - Power Fold Back/Electrochromic, Steering Wheel Mounted Controls (Audio/Telephone), Bluetooth Connectivity, Rear Parking Assist, Convenience Pack, Cruise control, Traction Control System, Airbags, Air conditioning, Climate Control, Heated Front Windscreen with Rain-Sensing Wipers, Remote central locking, CD Player, Electric Windows (Front/Rear), Black Power Hood, Metallic Paint, Great Condition Throughout. 4 seats, Silver, This special car was launched as the final edition model to the XK range. Very rare and an appreciating asset, the car was only a limited run, with only 193 of these xk8 s' in the convertible form sold in the uk. The Jag has a high level of premium features giving it like a 'bespoke feel' to the interior and premium technology package taking it to the best of the marque. This particular S has the upgraded 20" Performance Sepang alloys above the standard 19" Atlas alloys, and the Carbon Fibre Veneer over the Elm trim at a cost of GBP 4000 extra. SERVICE BOOK HAS 11 SERVICE STAMPS, THE LAST SERVICE AT 80330 ON 23/10/17. 3 KEYS. ALL CARS ARE FULLY VALETED, FULL DEALER FACILITIES, ALL MAJOR DEBIT AND CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED, EXPERIAN CHECKED, ADDITIONAL WARRANTIES AVAILABLE WITH WARRANTY ASSIST, PLEASE HAVE A LOOK AT OUR 80+ REVIEWS, THIS SPECIAL CAR IS LOCATED AT OUR INDOOR SHOWROOMS ONLY 5 MINS FROM BOURNEMOUTH TRAIN STATION, PLEASE HAVE A LOOK AT OUR WEBSITE WWW.KJPRESTIGE.CO.UK FOR ALL OF OUR CURRENT CARS,

    • Mileage: 81000 mi
    • Engine size: 4.196
    For sale
    £18,995 £18,995
  • 2002 Jaguar XK8 Coupe

    £10,995 £10,995

    This stunning metallic Light Blue XK8 Coupe was supplied new by Stratstone of Mayfair, Park Lane, London on 4th March 2002. The first four services were carried out by Guy Salmon Jaguar, North London at 9323, 20669, 30448 and 40276 miles and the dealership changed hands to HR Owen prior to the Jaguar being serviced for the fifth time at 49184 miles. Jaguar dealership Hatfields of Sheffield serviced the car at 59618 miles and since then the car has been maintained by various garages that have stamped the service book at 69904, 82149 and 87104 miles. We sold the car the last owner, a classic car enthusiast in Lincolnshire and serviced the car at 91,000 prior to his ownership. In three years the XK8 has performed faultlessly, has been completely reliable and has covered 9000 miles. The car has come back to us in part exchange against an XK8 Convertible and the V5 now records four former keepers and is HPI clear. It comes with its original handbooks, manuals, current road tax and advisory free MOT certificate. The Jaguar was driven to us from Matlock, Derbyshire when it came to us for the first time in 2014. Three years later it has driven to us from Market Rasen and has arrived in exc

    • Year: 2002
    • Mileage: 40276 mi
    For sale
    £10,995 £10,995
  • JAGUAR XK8 COUPE 2005

    £9,495 £9,495

    2005 Jaguar XK8 4.2 Coupe. Last Of The Classic Shape. 70,000 Miles. Metallic Platinum Silver. Warm Charcoal Leather Interior. Huge Specification: Satellite Navigation. Bluetooth. 20" Sepang Alloy Wheels. Electric / Heated Seats (Driver's Memory Function). Adaptive Forward Alert Cruise Control. Alpine Premium Sound. XKR Mesh Grille. Upgrade XKR Brakes. Park Distance Control. Last Serviced May 2017 - Including New Brake Discs and Pads. A Rare Example. Part Exchange Considered.

    • Mileage: 70000 mi
    • Engine size: 4.196
    For sale
    £9,495 £9,495
  • Jaguar XK8 cabriolet 2000

    €19,950(£0) €19,950(£0)

    Jaguar XK8 cabriolet 2000 British Racing Green New delivery of this Jaguar XK8 cabriolet was in 2000. The car is in a very beautiful condition. The car has British Racing Green paint and beige leather interior. The car also has fabulous alloy wheels, electrical seats, cruise control and climate control. This XK8 has only driven 71600 Miles. Car has USA title and document importduties for every EU country are paid by us. Documentation is complete for registration in every EU country. You do not need to pay any importduties. We can help with transport. Trading in, buying and consignment possible.

    • Year: 2000
    For sale
    €19,950(£0) €19,950(£0)
  • Jaguar XK8

    £9,995 £9,995

    Climate Control, Air Conditioning, Cruise Control, Power Hood, Full Leather, Adjustable Steering Column, Height Adjustable Seat, Electric Seats, Front Centre Armrest, Head Restraints, Lumbar Adjustment, Retractable Headrests, Sports Seats, Rear Headrests, Remote Central Locking, Central Locking, ABS, Multiple Airbags, Metallic Paintwork, Colour Coded Body, Electric Aerial, Electric Windows, Electric Mirrors, Radio Cassette, Multi-Disc CD Player, Steering Wheel Audio Controls, Multi-function Steering Wheel, Alloy wheels, Service history Appreciating future Classic - How much is an E type now ? - LOW MILES - Jaguar Luxury Convertible Sports motoring - Stunning Performance yet drives like a pussy cat - MOT to June 2018 - 12 Month Comprehensive WARRANTY included.

    • Mileage: 85000 mi
    • Engine size: 3996
    For sale
    £9,995 £9,995
  • 1999 Jaguar XK8 Convertible

    POA POA

    Here is a great opportunity to own a nice XK8 that has been pampered since new. It started its life in Florida, and has been a California car for the last half of its life, with no snow or ice to cause rust issues. It has an elegant color combination, with a beautiful burl walnut dash and trim. Comes complete with original books and extra keys. It has had a recent service, and is loaded with factory options: Air conditioning that blows cold, power steering, power brakes, power seats, power windows, power convertible top, factory AM/ FM cassette stereo with CD disc changer, and full factory instrumentation. The XK8 is a fabulous handling car with good power, and is very comfortable and sporty. The last owner purchased the car with approximately 55,000 miles and put about 10,000 miles on the car over the past 3 years. Several years ago, the engine was gone through, and the car received four new struts, new front/rear brakes, new battery, new tires were installed, and the two front seats were recovered with Jaguar upholstery. More recently, the car has been meticulously maintained by an independent Jaguar Repair shop locally, where they just went through the entire car including: filt

    • Year: 1999
    • Mileage: 65440 mi
    For sale
    POA POA
  • Jaguar XK8 Cabriolet 2000

    €22,950(£0) €22,950(£0)

    Jaguar XK8 cabriolet 2000 Champagne 141.000km This chic Jaguar XK8 cabriolet was delivered in the fabulous Champagne colour ‘Topaz’ paint and provided with a beige softtop. Both the exterior and interior are very luxurious. The interior has beige leather upholstery finished with a marvellous wooden dashboard. Technics are fully checked in our workshop so the Jaguar drives great and the V8 engine is in very good condition. Since 2000 the car has driven only 141.000 km. The engine has 294 HP and is connected with the automatic gearbox which makes the car drive very comfortable. This chic Jaguar is fully ready for a lot of comfortable rides. Car has USA title and document importduties for every EU country are paid by us. Documentation is complete for registration in every EU country. You do not need to pay any importduties. We can help with transport. Trading in, buying and consignment possible.

    • Year: 2000
    For sale
    €22,950(£0) €22,950(£0)