What should I look for in a used Jaguar XK coupe?
There's plenty to go wrong - expensively - and you should expect it to. According to the What Car?/Warranty Direct Reliability Index, Jaguars aren't reliable and are costly to fix.
Older engines can suffer bore wear, so watch for misfires and exhaust smoke as you blip the throttle, and oil that needs topping up weekly. If an owner reports problems like these, fixing them will cost thousands.
Timing chain rattles are also worth investigating because a relatively cheap repair to the tensioner can prevent a much dearer engine rebuild. The gearbox may also need a rebuild after a few years - if its shifts are less than smooth, it's time to spend plenty. Or, just walk away from the car you're test driving.
When buying, a full service history is invaluable, but you should also check that every switch and gadget operates properly because even minor repairs can mount up. Scratches or rips in the cabin can also cost more than you'd guess to fix.