Yes, the Jaguar XKR slightly resembles an XKE (from the front, at least). And it has the same basic underpinnings as its XK8 sibling, which shares its XJ-S platform with the Aston Martin DB7. But the 2000–06 XKR is a luxury sports car that can stand on its own merits—and that includes the Jag’s current market value, which is so far below its original MSRP that you might wonder what exactly is wrong with the thing.
The answer is: nothing much. True, the marque was owned by Ford at the time, but that in itself certainly isn’t enough to explain how a car with a base price of $82,000 when new in 2000 (that’s $122,500 or so today) has a current average value of $28,400 in #1 (concours) condition.
Did we fall asleep and wake up in the middle of an “Everything Must Go!” inventory reduction sale?
The U.S version of the XKR, considered the performance version of the XK8, received a supercharged, 375-horsepower 4.0-liter V-8 with an Eaton Roots-style blower and a five-speed Mercedes-built W5A580 automatic transmission. The car could accelerate from 0–60 mph in 5.2 seconds and cover a quarter-mile in 13.8 seconds at 105 mph. Top speed: 155 mph.
Slightly more aggressive-looking than the XK8, the XKR features hood louvers, mesh grille, and a small rear spoiler. The Jag was offered in both coupe and convertible models, and both featured interiors swathed in leather and wood trim.
Motor Trend certainly loved it. After test-driving one of the first U.S. models in 2000, the magazine declared that “R stands for Respect.”
“If a machine can be said to have a character, the XK is one such machine,” Motor Trend wrote. “Not just because of its looks. Although pastiche or otherwise, those lines have some cool curves. It’s the whole driving experience. How great would it be to gaze on that crafted wood trim and sit comfortably on fine hide while being master of such sinewy power? Who cares if standards are slipping elsewhere in the world when we have this oasis of sophistication and calm?”
The XKR received a 4.2-liter engine and six-speed automatic in 2003, followed by a redesigned grille in ’04. After decent early-year sales, fewer than 1000 coupes and convertibles were built during the final full model year in 2005. Production ended in May of that year.
For the most part, XKR values fell consistently year over year before bottoming out in 2016. Why? Here are some things to consider:
The interior, although beautiful, is a little cramped. The rear seats are the “plus two” variety and are essentially useless for passengers, so this “four-passenger” vehicle really isn’t.
Early 4.2 engines had plastic timing chain tensioners before switching to steel. Any XKR that still has the plastic versions should go into the shop for steel replacements.
Common problems include faulty water pumps, sticky thermostats, and corroded radiators.
Since the XKR is heavy—about 4000 pounds—the front suspension bushings and rear shock absorbers suffer additional wear and tear.
Wires in the XKR’s Computer Active Technology Suspension (CATS) tend to fray.
The exterior lacquer commonly peels on early-2000s Jaguars.
Convertibles suffer from body flex, which causes cracking, particularly around the windshield.
In other words, there are no major problems to be frightened of, but there are plenty of things that can’t be neglected.
“What makes them great is their good looks have aged well, they have similar underpinnings to an Aston Martin, and they offer impressive performance even by today’s standards,” says Hagerty valuation editor Andrew Newton. “The biggest reason they’re so cheap is things break on old Jags... expensive things. A lot of pricy-to-fix, computer-heavy luxury cars from that period are on the low end of the price spectrum these days.”
Although XKR values have risen overall since 2016, gains have been modest. From January 2017–January 2018, the Hagerty Price Guide raised the #2 (excellent) values of XKRs by 17 percent across the board, but they slid back 6 percent in the 18 months that followed. The same values have been flat throughout 2019.
The average value of a 2000–02 Jaguar XKR in #2 condition is $20,200 for a coupe and $20,700 for a convertible, while the #2 value for a 2003–06 XKR is $21,000 for a coupe and $21,500 for a convertible.
As long as you can commit to carefully monitoring the problem areas and staying on top of maintenance, the XKR provides a lot of car for the money. Even the best examples cost about 75-percent less than they did when new, proving there’s value in a good nap.