BMW E32 7-series (1986-1994)
BMW launched the second-generation E32 7-series in 1986 and it arrived on the scene at roughly the same time as the XJ40. Naturally comparisons were made, but in truth the 7-series took the looks and performance aspects in its bag. The Jaguar took the comfort, though. Initially it was available in six and 12 cylinder format before being offered as a V8 in 1992.

For all its luxuries and good looks, the pitfall is when it comes to maintenance and repairs. It suffers from the same Nikasil issues as the Jaguar XK8, apart from BMW decided to fight cases and not repair the issue. This only affects the later V8 engines though, so for those looking for the ’80s V12 model, fear not. Although that being said, the V12 is notoriously thirsty, so take that into consideration.

Price todays aren’t unreasonable either, with a 750iL setting you back around the £6000 mark and said to be in brilliant condition. V6-engined 728s are slightly cheaper at around £4000.

Mercedes-Benz 190E (1982-1993)
The W201 190E was the first compact executive car from Merc as it looked to enter a new market to continue good sales figures. In fact, the 190E was so successful that it went on to sell 1.8 million times in its production run up until 1993. The C-class continued its success in the compact segment up to present day, which goes to show the importance of the 190E in Mercedes’s history.

The model we’re focusing on here is the 2.6-litre straight-six model in both auto and manual form. It was often a car that people aspired to own, those that had perhaps owned a Golf GTI or even Sierra. It represented strong performance at a reasonable price but never faulted on comfort and class. As opposed to the 325i from BMW, which some people may have found a bit sporty in comparison.

We know the 190E 2.6 quite well here at CCB HQ as we currently have on in our staff fleet. We bought our 190k mile example for a little over £1550 and the expenses so far have been nothing more than £300. The car came with OK history but more importantly, once we’d inspected underneath, it was in cracking condition with virtually no rust to be seen. As a result, we recommend spending around the £2-£4k mark depending on mileage and history. Those over £5k must be in exceptional condition to tempt you, with low mileage too.

Jaguar XJ40 (1986-1994)
For quite some time the XJ40 wasn’t considered a proper classic Jaguar by enthusiasts. As a result, you could pick up an example for not too much money. However, this has since changed and enthusiasts now consider it a classic, which in turn has affected prices.

Initially, the XJ40 was riddled with reliability issues and a lack of quality, but despite this is probably regarded as the car that saved Jaguar until 2001. It was the last Jaguar to have been influenced by company founder Sir William Lyons, who often visited the design studio despite being retired.
From the off the car was a hit, deposits flew in and people were excited for its arrival. But this was also its pitfall as production was rushed to meet demand in order to not disappoint customers. Instead, the rush caused reliability issues and the quality wasn’t up to the Jaguar standard.

Today, an XJ40 with good history and under 100,000 miles will set you back a reasonable £3000 to £4000. But be warned engine failures and head gasket issues are not uncommon and can be hugely expensive to repair. A smoky engine may not always be a quick and easy fix.