Engine: The coolant pipes below the R’s supercharger can crack, leaking fluid over the gearbox. It’s an expensive fix. A mild noise from the supercharger is likely to be the nose cone bearing. High-milers can rumble like they’ve a bag of rocks in them. A reconditioned charger is the only cure. The 5.0-litre can suffer injector problems that destroy the engine. Poor servicing is at the root of it.
Transmission: The ZF ’box is sealed for life but a careful owner will have had it serviced at 80,000 miles using genuine ZF oil. On the propshaft, check for oil weeps from the input shaft seal to the diff.
Suspension, brakes and wheels: Replace worn bushes with stiffer Powerflex items. Check the adaptive suspension works. Make sure the electronic parking brake functions. Deep potholes can warp the 20in alloy wheels. Tyres are expensive so check their depth.
Body: Bubbling under the paint across the body, around the boot, the bottom of the doors and on the front wings is aluminium oxidisation. The area will need to be treated and resprayed. Check the operation of the bonnet, which has a pedestrian safety function
Interior: Check for damp footwells because the overflow drain from the air-con, located in the dashboard, gets clogged and leaks. The dashboard has to be removed to fix it. Redesigned drain in cars from 2009 on gives no trouble.
Also worth knowing
Although generally reliable, the XKR’s Eaton supercharger may start giving trouble from 50,000 miles. A shudder or clonk when turning off the engine is one indicator. To check, detach the drive belt and feel for sloppiness and clonking in the upper pulley. Specialists such as paramount-performance.com and powerhouse.uk can help.
How much to spend
£6000-£9999: Good choice of 2006-07 4.2 coupés, most with 100k miles.
£10,000-£12,499: More same-age 4.2s, including convertibles, with mileages closer to 80k, and the first XKRs.
£12,500-£14,999: Mostly 2008-10 coupés, including some higher-mileage XKRs.
£15,000-£19,999: Low to mid-mileage 2011 5.0 coupés and convertibles. The first XKR 5.0s from £16,500 or so and tidier 4.2 XKRs.
£20,000 and above: Mainly the best 2012-14 5.0 and 5.0 XKRs, with last cars around £37,000.