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buying advice

How to buy a purring Jaguar for less than €20k - and 3 models to check out first

Want a Big Cat on the bonnet? Look no further.

THE JAGUAR NAME is synonymous with luxury saloons and classically styled sports cars that ooze class. As the brand has grown in popularity so too has its model range, and now there’s plenty of choices when it comes to picking up a quality used Jag.

Here’s our look at what a budget of €20,000 or less will get you from the Big Cat.

1. Jaguar XK8 (1996-2006)

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Hard to believe that the XK8 is more than twenty years old now. It was seen as a cut-price Aston Martin DB7 when it first came on the scene, and its design has stood the test of time well. Find a clean example these days in a darker shade, and it’ll still look good parked next to some more modern machinery.

Inside, it does now show its age, with a dashboard that looks dated. Jaguar may have a premium badge, but the XK series didn’t enjoy the greatest reliability, so do be thorough in looking at previous service histories and ideally try to find one with for sale with some limited warranty.

If you can find one, the supercharged XKR is the most potent model but with that extra power comes larger fuel bills. Worth it for the sound though.

2. Jaguar XF (2008-2015)

DoneDeal DoneDeal

If you’re looking for a big executive saloon but are bored by the ubiquitous Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class fleets, then the Jaguar XF could be your next best bet. Handsome styling on the outside is met by a decent cabin inside with build quality that is on par with its German rivals.

The car got an update in 2011 with a facelift version that got sleeker headlights and a new 2.2-litre diesel engine that provided good fuel economy, though it lacked outright performance. A more powerful 3.0-litre V6 pumped out 240hp and had plenty of torque – that engine also featured in the Land Rover Discovery and Range Rover Sport.

It is a car that looks good on larger wheels, and some models came fitted with 20-inch rims, but if you want to maximise ride comfort and refinement look to the smaller 17 or 18-inch wheels. All models came with a reasonable level of standard equipment too.

3. Jaguar X-Type (2001-2009)

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The X-Type isn’t a car that Jaguar tends to include when listing off its most iconic models. Designed to be the company’s answer to the BMW 3 Series, the X-Type shared its chassis with the Ford Mondeo and offered all-wheel drive transmissions. Its interior was basic enough for its time, and it’s a car that had something of a reputation for electrical unreliability.

These days even a well-cared for X-Type can be picked up for surprisingly little money, and it’s by far one of the cheapest ways to get yourself into a modern Jaguar. Rarer still, there was also an estate version available – which was the first Jaguar that was penned by designer Ian Callum. Since then he’s gone on to shape every new Jaguar model in addition to designing the Aston Martin DB9.

More: Want an SUV for €15k? 4 lesser-known brands to consider>

More: How to buy a second-hand car that’ll slash your bills – and two models to see first>

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