Currently reading: Buy them before we do: second-hand picks for 1 March
At less than £10,000, could this 2009 Jaguar XFR be the ideal hot rod in executive clothing?

Jaguar XFR, £9990: Where do we sign? This 2009 XFR has 90,000 miles on the clock and a full service history. 

Its 20in alloy wheels are described as being in “mint condition” and it has two new front tyres and a new battery. It also has a new coolant expansion tank, a common requirement on this model. 

Jaguar xfr

So it’s set fair for some 503bhp japery, but before we slide into those black, electrically powered leather seats and turn up the volume on the upgraded Bowers & Wilkins sound system, we best do some checks. 

Such as listening for timing chain rattles when cold, supercharger rattles when warm, and water pump noises and leaks whenever. (It usually lets go at 60,000 miles.) Then, at the back and with the 5.0-litre V8 engine running, we’ll check the colour of the exhaust smoke: right-hand pair of pipes goes to the right-hand cylinder bank, and vice versa. While there, we’ll inspect the reversing camera lead for fraying caused by the boot hinge, and the boot floor for damp. 

Moving to the transmission, the ZF six-speed automatic is a tough old thing but we’ll still want to see that it has had its fluid changed at 60,000 miles and that it’s not leaking from the electrical connectors at the back. This car has just been serviced so the differential oil level should be fine. 

In the cabin, we’ll feel for damp front carpets caused by water ingress from the windscreen scuttle (it can upset the Bluetooth and touchscreen systems) and check that the air vents rotate. Then, on the test drive, we’ll feel for juddering and looseness caused by tired rear upper and lower arms, and clonks caused by worn rear lower shock absorber bushes. Fingers crossed it’s a good one.

Proton satria gti


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Car review

The Jaguar XFR is a crushingly effective super saloon. Its 503bhp supercharged V8 has relentless pace, and it's the prettiest car in its class

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Proton Satria 1.8 GTI, £5995: This rare 2003 example of the Malaysian hot hatch caught our eye, and not just for its low, 51,000 miles, Recaro seats and one-owner history. No, it’s the fact that Lotus had a hand in its chassis tuning, a hand that received warm praise from reviewers. 

Volvo s60 r

Volvo S60 R, £5850: This four-wheel-drive 300bhp S60 is a manual version, plus it’s had just one owner and has 14 service stamps. Tempting, except that the 4WD system was flawed, the adaptive dampers were fragile and it had a habit of splitting its cylinder liners.

Maserati ghibli 0

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Maserati Ghibli 3.0 TD, £18,500: It never unseated rivals such as the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class but the mid-sized Masser still holds appeal. That V6 diesel is punchy and sounds good. And few exec cars look so dramatic. This one is a 2014 model with 38,000 miles and full history. 

Alfa 147 1

Alfa Romeo 147, £995: The 147 is a pretty car that continues to dignify the bargain end of the price spectrum. Our find is a 2005-reg 2.0 Twin Spark with 99,000 miles on the clock and a leather interior. It’s a two-owner car with, incredibly, full main dealer service history. 

Auction watch

Austin 1800

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Austin 1800: Had it not already sold, here’s one our own Mr Cropley could have driven to the Festival of the Unexceptional at the Claydon Estate, Bucks, on 20 July. It’s a 1969 Austin 1800 Mk2 ‘Landcrab’. It needs a bit more than a polish, obviously, but is structurally sound and has done just 40k miles. 

A colleague’s father had two, in which he racked up around 200k miles without any issues. He recalls the novel, floor-mounted umbrella handbrake, the spacious rear bench seat and the pride he felt when seeing it described in his local Halfords as a ‘saloon’. 

Get it while you can

Jaguar xe 0

Jaguar XE 2.0d 240 R-Sport 4WD Auto, price new - £41,930, price nearly new - £30,844: With a facelift now revealed, an 'old' look XE should be easy prey for a bargain hunter. Sure enough, a dealer we know has a clutch of pre-registered examples in a variety of colours and trims, all on 68-reg plates and with delivery mileage. His 2.0d 240 R-Sport 4WD caught our eye. Ask nicely and a Jag dealer will knock around £2500 off the new price, but for the sake of an extra name in the logbook, our acquaintance can save you £11,000 on a nearly new one. 

Clash of the classifieds

Brief: If it’s not a contradiction, find me a used SUV that’s fun to drive for £20k.

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BMW X6 xDrive40d, £18,967: Neither car here is particularly attractive, but it’s the BMW X6 that’s the more capable SUV on the road. Yes, Mark’s Cayenne has more power, but the 40d’s 306bhp and 442lb ft of torque are still enough to keep things interesting. What’s more, the X6 has the high-speed cornering abilities of a sorted hot hatch, road tax is only £290 compared with £540 for the Porsche, and the BMW should return high-30s economy as opposed to a figure south of 20mpg for the Cayenne. Which means fewer opportunities for people to see you in it. Max Adams


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Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, £19,995: Asking the near impossible here, John, an SUV that’s fun to drive, but there is one that springs immediately to mind. The Cayenne might have divided opinion with its looks, but no one’s denying its performance. This 4.8 S Turbo can blast from zero to 62mph in just 5.9sec. It’s surprisingly nimble in the corners, too, with loads of grip and well-balanced handling. Inside, it’s as opulent as you’d expect, given the badge. If you fancy a bit of oneupmanship on the school run, it’s unbeatable. Mark Pearson

Verdict: Superior practicality, performance and badge – it has to be the Cayenne over the beetle-backed Beemer. Now all I have to do is find the cash to run it. 

Read more

Jaguar XFR 2013-2015 review​

Used car buying guide: Jaguar XJS​

Jaguar considers transformation to EV-only brand​

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WallMeerkat 1 March 2019

Some great selections here.

Some great selections here.

XFR a classy bruiser, though one that will empty your bank account during ownership.

Protons of that era are much underrated, especially the GTi - Mitsubishi based mechanicals fettled by Lotus.

Some good deals to be had on XE pre-facelift runout specials, though the dealers still need to get over their snobbishness - not every XE customer is going to be wearing a business suit.