MotorEasy Reviews - The 5 Best Used British Sports Cars

By: Motor Easy
Some of the best made cars are made on our shores

If you want a used car that will tickle your tummy and put an inane grin on your face, some of the best are British. Aston Martin, Jaguar and Caterham all make cars we don’t need, but our lives would be dull without them. So enjoy them while you still can. So which red white and blue bruisers should you be considering?

Best of British - Jaguar XK8 This Jaguar makes you feel special

Jag XK8

If the new XK is gorgeous according to the ads, the old XK8 still makes a grown up go cor! Plus Jags deliver great value and a lot of big-engined car, loaded with extras for supermini money. Certainly the XK8 spoils you in so many ways being hugely comfortable with more than adequate performance and above average refinement. The fact that you can’t see very much in the mirror thanks to massive blind spots, and the rear seats are for tiny kids hardly matters at all, because this Jaguar makes you feel special. Also the XK, with some exceptions, is one of the better-built Jaguars for several generations.


Watch out for:

The timing chain and tensioners can fail once the miles build up, given away by a metallic rattle from the top of the engine, but make sure you start from cold to hear this. If you do need four 4 new tensioners and a new timing chain that will cost around £700 to sort out.





With an Aston Martin as your everyday car, every journey will be an adventure and a real driving pleasure.



 Aston Martin DB7

The DB7 is the Aston you can drive every day, actually afford to buy and even more important than that it is straightforward and economical to maintain. Best of all the DB7 isn't a Porsche 911. With an Aston Martin as your everyday car, every journey will be an adventure and a real driving pleasure. The DB7 is beautiful, hand built and easy to own, provided it isn’t being temperamental. Also the driving experience is tuned to be totally Aston (a good thing!). Fat tyres and a stiff chassis help handling. So why slum it in a mass-produced 911 when you can have a characterful DB7?


Watch out for:

15,000-mile service is for spark plugs and air filter (£500), but it is the 30,000-belt change service, (£1000+) that is the big one. The unique Bridgestone tyres are £360 plus VAT each. Damage to the composite body panels, wings boot and nosecone is a worry as repairs are futile once the membrane is broken.

Best of British - Caterham Seven Fall in love with the Caterham Seven


Caterham Seven 1.6

One ride or drive is all it takes to intoxicate, or repulse. This is pure minimalist fun, which is what a real sports car is all about. You soon forget that the hood is a pain to fit and the sheer discomfort of being buffeted by the elements. Even better a Caterham either depreciates very slowly or not at all. Contrary to appearances no two Caterhams are alike: side or rear-exit exhausts, flared or cycle wings, leather, limited slip differential, five or six speed gearbox, Minilite or 'Prisoner' style alloys even a heater could be an option. What’s not an option is, falling in love.


Watch out for:

Exhausts are probably the single most expensive part to worry about and can cost upwards of £500 to replace. On most models the rest of the parts are easy to source consumables from starters to water pumps at affordable prices. The visible chassis tubes should be dead straight; otherwise the 7 could have had a knock.

Best of British - Lotus Elise The Lotus Elise - Those who love driving


Lotus Elise 

Early models are little more than four wheels, a pretty glass fibre body and an MGF engine sitting on the driver’s shoulder. That is all anyone needed, they didn’t even get a radio, just an excuse for a hood. Utterly impractical, but the handling and performance are utterly breathtaking. The Elise offers the single most satisfying drive on the planet. It is perfectly balanced at all times and can be flung around in complete safety. Even if the Elise gets into trouble there is lots of warning and even a novice driver could recover. What’s not to fall in love with?


Watch out for:

At its centre is the Rover engine, which has proved to be very reliable and requires a cambelt change service at 54,000 miles that costs around £300. Owners have to keep an eye on coolant levels as there have been leaks and mad dog owners have managed to split the cylinder liners.

Best of British - MG ZT 260 MG ZT 260 - a big friendly bear of a car


MG ZT 260

As MG Rover went steadily bankrupt and quite mad, some good came out of the situation in the shape of the ZT 260. Effectively a noughties P5B with the same air of rumbly V8 menace and roughish wood and leather charm. It is even something of a charmer on the road, with nothing remotely scary about the handling. Yes it’s a big friendly bear of a car and considering they are both affordable and seriously cool with room for a few more bodies in the cosy and cramped rear. It might not look like fun, but it is.


Watch out for:

Burst radiators because cooling fan resistor fails. You need to take the front off the car to fix. Heater hoses can fail and climate control can be marginal due valve failure. Also related to this is alternator belts that can start to shred because of tensioners underperforming. Basically make sure your ZT stays cool.

You don't have to go far from our shores for a sports car to make you smile from ear to ear. Before you hand over your cash, these articles will make finding the car, easy. 

Fancy picking up one of these sport cars? 

Test driving secrets to help you

Before you go have a closer look. 

Checks to perform before you leave the house

Remember, a warranty will give you peace of mind.

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