Jaguar XK Coupe or XK Convertible: Which is the Best Buy?
Fifth Gear retro review has us looking at one of the finest Jaguar grand tourers on the used car market today: the XK.
Jaguar has quite the history when it comes to building desirable sports cars. Ever since the E-Type set the motoring world on fire in 1961, it’s kind of been Jaguar’s “thing,” and, man, have they had some great follow-ups since. Of course, in 2019, the hot Jaguar to have is the F-Type. It’s stunning, sexy, powerful, loud and deeply desirable. That, perhaps, explains why even the cheapest used example we could find on the forums traded hands for $40,000.
But what if you don’t have that kind of cash? Well, fret not, because, as this retro video review from Fifth Gear shows, there’s another, slightly older Jaguar sports coupe that you shouldn’t ignore. Before the F-Type debuted in 2013, Jaguar sold the XK. This large grand tourer model, which debuted in 2006, was the first hint that a revolution was happening at Jaguar. So, is it any good?
Host Tiff Needell, circa 2006, begins his monologue with Jaguar’s stumbles and failures of the era. His apprehensions and criticisms were valid, before the all-new XK arrived, Jaguar was in hot water. Right away, Needell is critical, proclaiming the XK is too conservative, inside and out, to really lead the revolution that the brand needed.
Needell elaborates that Jaguar hoped the XK would slot into the market between the softer, cushier BMW 6-Series, and the more focused Porsche 911. However, this “best of both worlds” approach often leaves the final product compromised, according to Needell.
The $70,000 introduction-spec car he’s driving, with the naturally-aspirated 4.2-liter V8 isn’t lighting Needell on fire, nor is the slightly numb steering. He does praise the transmission as being the “best auto box [he’s] driven,” though, he rightly points out that the shift paddles are oddly placed, making the whole experience a bit frustrating. Later models rectified most all of these quips, with larger supercharged engines, more hardcore suspensions and revised interiors.
However, in an attempt to derive more excitement from the XK experience, Needell switches over to an XK convertible. While, ultimately, the XK convertible is pretty much identical to it’s coupe counterpart, removing the roof does make for the more enjoyable drive. The too-toned down exhaust note is more clearly heard, and the open air ride is more fun around town.
Interested in an XK now? Well, you should be because you can pick up a nice example for under $20,000.