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Jaguar XK Coupe 4.2 V8

Date: 09 August 2006

Category: Sports Price: £58,752-£64,752

Per month: £1183 Key rival: BMW 6-series

The XK is a great example of a car that grows on you. When the first pictures were released late last year, there was general disappointment at the conservative styling, but seeing it in the flesh a few months on it's a classy piece of kit.

That feeling only increases when you drop into the cabin to find a beautifully-crafted interior that provides a great driving position. The rear seats though are merely a token gesture, struggling to house even small children unless seated behind a very short driver.

Firing up the 4.2-litre V8 is a pleasure in itself, because of the beautiful roar it emits, but on the road the XK remains refined. The biggest surprise is how well it rides, despite our car's huge 20-inch wheels which would normally ruin ride comfort.


Our test car was also fitted with the best intelligent cruise control we've ever tested. Once you've adjusted your driving style to take account of the car sensing other vehicles and adjusting from the set speed accordingly, it takes you much closer to the car in front than other systems that leave too big a gap that's constantly filled on the motorway.

The cost per mile figure for the XK is also closer than Jaguar traditionally gets to its BMW rival. The 650i is the Jag's most natural rival, and the two are separated by exactly two pence per mile in the BMW's favour, close for a £60,000 coupe.

The range is completed by a 400PS XKR version late this year, available as both a coupe and cabrio. If it's just like the standard XK only quicker, it will be a hell of a car.