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Jaguar Reviews

Jaguar was founded by William Lyons in 1922 as Swallow Sidecars (SS) in Blackpool. ‘Jaguar’ was used as one of the firm’s model designations in 1935. Following the war – when the SS initials had very unfortunate connotations – the whole business simply became the far more appealing Jaguar instead.

The newly christened company made a name for itself with such desirable cars as the XK and the Mk2 saloons. It will forever be lauded for the legendary and beautiful E-type (1961 to 1975), while the XJ6 saloon was the mainstay of the British Leyland years from 1968 to 1984. After a period in the private sector, Jaguar was sold to Ford in 1989 for £1.6bn and has recently ended up in the hands of the Indian tea/steel/cars conglomerate TATA.

Good: Svelte post-war styling, and elegant all-round demeanor. Values are agreeably low at the moment, meaning you can buy an important piece of Jaguar history without breaking the bank.
Bad: Good ones are scarce, and projects will cost a small fortune to replace. Not as easy to locate parts for as later Jaguars. You need to buy a 2.5 Litre for the best driving experience.
Good: Beautiful Jaguar roadster and coupe that really set the bar high for the company. Brilliant to drive for its age, and proven competition history. Active social scene with full specialist support.
Bad: Fragile and expensive to restore to a high standard. Beware of non-standard cars, and fake SE upgrades.
Good: Won the Le Mans 24 Hour twice and is an absolute dream to drive.
Bad: Try finding one for sale...
Good: Good to drive, big and comfortable Jaguar saloon that doesn't have too much of the 'spiv' image that would be associated with later saloons. Fast too if tuned.
Bad: Big, big, big and misunderstood by anyone who's not driven one.
Good: Fast, charismatic, and excellent handling when fitted with modern radial tyres.
Bad: Heavier and less responsive than the XK120.
Good: The ultimate 1950s road/race car
Bad: You pay for the privalege
Good: Good to drive, excellent parts and specialist support. Fast in 3.8-litre form, and well-suited to historic racing.
Bad: Difficult and complex to restore, so buy a good one. 2.4-litre car slow, but more than acceptable if you're not in a hurry.
Good: Comfortable, fast, excellent road manners, and styling that continues to age well. As with all Jaguars, great specialist and club back-up.
Bad: Not as focused a drive as the XK120 or even XK140. Beware aftermarket upgrades, and poorly executed restorations.
Good: Gorgeous styling and amazing to drive
Bad: There's not enough of them
Good: Great to drive, roomy and agreeably fast
Bad: By 1959, it was beginning to look like a bit of an anachronism
Good: Fast, pretty and good to drive. The definitive sporting Jaguar saloon which they got right (second time). 3.4 and 3.8-litre cars still genuinely quick.
Bad: Look for poorly restored examples, and like its predecessor, the Mk1, it's more show than go in 2.4-litre form.
Good: Enormous, with room from three on the front bench seat alone. Still looks and feels like a Jaguar, despite how big it is.
Bad: Complex to restore and low relative values make this often financially unviable, so look out for bodged examples being paraded as nice ones.
Good: Beautiful styling, excellent road manners, and in real terms, for a car with such iconic status, values are still realistic.
Bad: They're a common sight at classic car events. 2+2 version looks ungainly compared with the rest of them.
Good: Quicker and better to drive than the Jaguar Mk2
Bad: Uglier than the Jaguar Mk2
Good: Useful revisions to the Mk2 theme, especially with the bluff-fronted 420's additional power.
Bad: Later cost-cut interiors and less-than-lovely Ambla trim
Good: Sleek styling, and an oh-so English image. Superbly comfortable ride, and effortless performance.
Bad: Expensive to restore in relation to values, complex to fix, and hardly economical in V12 form, suspension set-up could break the odd bush here or there without the driver feeling a thing.
Good: Grace, pace and space. It's getting better as the years go by. Lots of versions to choose from - six-cylinder cars are brilliant.
Bad: Voracious thirst, V12 is an expensive engine to rebuild, long body; cramped interior.
Good: Wafty, effortless and even poorly-maintained examples feel a million dollars to drive.
Bad: Rust, suspension problems, electrics on early cars, and general fragility. An all-time classic, then.
Good: Still a head-turner and now cheaper than ever. Refined, sporting drive. Luxurious feel to the cabin.
Bad: Thirst exacerbates already high running costs. Potential build quality problems. V8 bore liner erosion on pre-2000 model year cars.
 

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