The British auto industry has undergone a number of changes in the past 10 years which have contributed to somewhat of a renaissance when it comes to their vehicle designs, quality and reputation. After years of faltering reliability and styling that was seemingly frozen in time, Jaguar in particular has benefited from the revolving ownership door that has seen the company answer to two separate masters in a very short span of time. Along the way the company has managed to pick up a considerable amount of technical knowledge that has enabled planners to steer Jaguar towards a new horizon that includes a much more solid product lineup when compared to their past offerings.
Despite substantial improvements, the automaker's reputation as a purveyor of elegant yet poorly built vehicles continues to dog sales of Jaguar vehicles in the used market. What this means for buyers is that there are a great number of excellent secondhand Jaguars available at prices which are a fraction of what one would expect to pay for a German luxury car featuring the same capabilities. The added bonus for those interested in the Jaguar brand is that these automobiles were produced in smaller production runs than their Teutonic brethren, making them that much more exclusive - always an important consideration when shopping for a premium vehicle.
The price difference between a new and used Jaguar is often dramatic, and this article takes a look at the two least expensive vehicles currently sold by the company and compares them in terms of features and cost to their recent used equivalents. This eye-opening exercise reveals that there are some astounding deals to be had on late model, gently used Jaguars. The prices in this article are meant to reflect low mileage examples in excellent condition, but since the asking price of a used vehicle can vary from region to region it is a good idea to treat the numbers found herein as a baseline for negotiations when purchasing a secondhand Jaguar.
2005 Jaguar XK versus 2009 Jaguar XK
The 2009 Jaguar XK starts at $79,000. For this price, buyers are treated to an ultra-modern grand touring coupe that provides drivers with a 300 horsepower, 4.2 V-8 engine coupled with a 6-speed automatic transmission that can propel the car to 60 miles per hour in just under 6 seconds. DVD navigation, adaptive suspension, keyless entry and a full range of power accessories make the XK an extremely comfortable place to spend some time.
The 2005 Jaguar XK offers a sleeker and some might say more attractive body shape when compared to the chunkier 2009 two-door. A longer hood with a more pronounced slope dominate the vehicle's styling, but when parked side by side the shared DNA is clearly visible between the two cars. The base 2005 XK's power plant is an earlier version of the 4.2-liter V-8 found in the newer edition of the car, and it makes essentially the same amount of power and uses the same transmission. The list of interior features is also very similar, although DVD navigation is optional and not standard.
The most glaring difference between the two vehicle is cost. There is a substantial price to be paid for the newer technology and design of the 2009 Jaguar XK, and most buyers are shocked when they discover that a sub-30,000 mile 2005 Jaguar XK8 can be purchased in the neighborhood of $30,000. Even more surprising is the availability of the supercharged 390 horsepower edition of the car, the XKR, for only a few thousand more. A savings of $50,000 is a significant amount no matter how large a car-buying budget might be, and while the architecture of the newest XK might be impressive the older edition represents such a stunning value that it is impossible to recommend the 2009 model over the 2005.
2005 Jaguar XJ versus 2009 Jaguar XJ
At $66,000 dollars, the 2009 Jaguar XJ is one of the more affordable full-size luxury cars on the market. The entry-level edition of the comfortable sedan makes use of the same 300 horsepower 4.2-liter V-8 engine as the XK coupe, along with an identical 6-speed automatic transmission. Features abound, with the XJ's standard equipment list including such goodies as xenon headlights, dual zone climate control, 16-way adjustable power seats, power everything and self-leveling air suspension. Attractive leather seats and understated Jaguar interior elegance are of course also part of the package.
The 2005 Jaguar XJ hails from the same generation as the newer vehicle, with an identical chassis and drivetrain. The primary differences between the two cars can be found in the exterior styling. In 2007, Jaguar updated the XJ's look to reflect a more streamlined, modern aesthetic that helped to bring it more in line with what other luxury car companies were putting on the market. This means that while the 2005 Jaguar is certainly not dated - the best word to describe it would be 'classic' - it is noticeably different than the new vehicle when the two are parked side by side.
How much can buyers expect to pay for the slightly older styling of the 2005 Jaguar XJ? Given the brand's penchant for rapid depreciation, savvy shoppers will discover that a 2005 XK8 with only 20,000 miles on the clock can be picked up for around $20,000. More powerful XJR editions, boasting 90 more horsepower can be had starting at $24,000, and extended-wheelbase cars are also in the same price range.
When deciding whether to buy new or used, it essentially boils down to a question of which styling period is more appealing: the traditional Jaguar look or the most recent interpretation of the vehicle's lines. Even if the newer car might look a bit more appealing to fashionable buyers, a $40,000 dollar price difference makes it difficult to justify purchasing a 2009 Jaguar XJ if money is any kind of consideration.