What didn’t win the XJ40 so many fans was the build quality. That all-electric instrument panel gave trouble and the various mini- computers and microprocessors behind the scenes were known to fail too. Rust was a huge problem and the engines had a question mark over them, with oil leaks and reports of head gasket issues, and even the hydraulic suspension gave trouble.
50 years of the Jaguar XJ
However, some say this reputation isn’t completely deserved, especially on the later models. We found one on PistonHeads, a well-maintained 1993 car with a full service history and only 80,000 miles, up for just £4600. It represents pretty good value for an XJ, although all the usual caveats will still apply when buying this or any old Jag. Expect hefty bills.
Lotus Esprit, £21,995:
This well-maintained 74,000-mile S3 Esprit has a 160bhp 2.2-litre engine mounted midships, good enough to propel it from zero to 62mph in 6.7sec. Even though it’s more than 30 years old, it still looks stunning. Indeed, it’s quite possible you won’t get anything lower and wider for this sort of money.
Honda Odyssey, £4995:
This privately imported 2016 Honda features a 200bhp 2.4-litre VTEC petrol engine for mum or dad up front, and has seven seats for the family to fill. It’s well-equipped, too, and a bargain at this price. This Odyssey would certainly be nice to come Homer to every night.
Vauxhall VX220, £8450:
So you’ve got a mid-engined two-seater that dispatches 0-62mph in 5.9sec and has handling that matches an Elise’s, and with a mere 69,000 miles showing, all for just over £8k. What’s not to like? Er, well, the badge, maybe, but if you can overlook that, you’ve got yourself a sports car bargain.