Jaguar XK

When the Jaguar XK’s first generation came out, it harkened back to the days when the company built cars like the XKE, with the long hood and elegant lines. And while the car did look good, it was still a touring car more than sports car, and it seemed to age quickly.

 

I think that’s why this new 2007 XK Coupe seems like such a jump from the past generation. Now I will admit, when I first saw this car at the auto show in Detroit, I didn’t like it. I thought the grilled looked like it came from a Ford Taurus, and the proportions weren’t quite right. However, when I had a dark blue convertible delivered to test out a few weeks ago, I completely changed my mind. For some reason in the natural light, it all comes together. The car looks fast just sitting there, with wide rear fenders, dual exhaust and wide tires.

 

The coupe I’m driving is silver, and it still looks much better than it did at that auto show. I was surprised at the reaction to this car in my driveway. Lots of teens and adults stopping to see it, there were even a few instances were drivers stopped to take a look. I heard one person say that it looks a lot like an Aston Martin. While the front has grown on me, I think it looks best from the rear. 

 

Performance of the XK has moved up a notch as well. The standard 300-hp V8 has an excellent sound, and definitely gets you moving. Acceleration is relatively strong, especially when the 6-speed automatic transmission is put in ‘sport’ mode, which keeps the revs high for better performance. Of course, fuel economy suffers in this mode. The automatic is the only choice available, however there are paddles on the steering column for those who like to pretend its a manual.

 

The interior of the new XK is much improved over the outgoing generation. Tasteful use of wood and leather adorn the interior, and seats, which can be adjusted multiple ways, are quite comfortable. The rear seat is more decorative than useful, however my 8 year old daughter was able to squeeze in.

 

The large video screen that is used for accessing Audio, Nav, Climate, Phone, etc… is actually rather intuitive. There is a button for ‘Home’, which displays the climate control settings as well as the audio selection. Only complaint is that the touch screen did not work all that well. I found I had to hit buttons several times before it would register.

 

This is not an inexpensive car, starting around $75k for the coupe, but it does feel like you’re getting your money’s worth. For those looking for a bit more performance, the 420-hp XKR will be arriving later this year.

Perry Stern