By KBB.com Editors
Jaguar's aluminum-bodied XK competes in an elite field of expensive sporting cars that blend the oft-competing virtues of pavement-ripping performance and senses-coddling luxury. Some, like the Porsche 911 Carrera and Dodge Viper, are mostly about performance. Others, like the Mercedes-Benz CL500, BMW 650i and Cadillac XLR, slide toward the other end of the scale. The 2008 Jaguar XK is a nicely executed marriage of both. While its 300-horsepower V8 is not as brutally powerful as some, its lightweight aluminum construction keeps it well in the performance hunt.You'll Like This Car If...
If your taste runs toward sleek and sensual design, exhilarating performance and superb curvy road composure, combined with posh country club accouterments, the 2008 Jaguar XK Coupe may be right for you.You May Not Like This Car If...
If you need more than this Jaguar's small rear seats, or if acceleration from zero to 60 miles per hour in a "mere" six seconds seems tame by your standards, you may prefer to shop up or down the practicality or performance scales.What's New for 2008
19-inch Run Flat tires are now available, while the radio antenna has been incorporated into the rear spoiler.Driving It Driving Impressions
This British-built beauty's sensuous look and mellow, muscular exhaust note tell you right away it's something special. The proximity key fob unlocks the doors and enables the ignition without leaving your pocket or purse. A large red console button fires up the engine with a muffled roar and the shifter slides rearward to "D" with an unhindered stroke. Slide it to the left for "S" (Sport) to transfer control of the six-speed automatic to the driver through a set of steering wheel paddle shifters that are among the industry's best. Sixty miles per hour comes up in a tick under six seconds, accompanied by a musically throaty V8 roar. But the most fun for serious drivers comes through the corners as its big, meaty tires keep the XK's lightweight aluminum body on path with the pavement. Steering and braking are equally outstanding, and the sumptuous seats provide all-day comfort, at least for a pair of front-seat occupants. As with other 2+2 tourers, the token rear seats are best reserved for excess cargo or children. We loved the easy-to-use touch-screen control system and appreciated its graphic back-up warning system nearly as much as a rear camera.Favorite Features
4.2-Liter DOHC 32-Valve V8
This smooth-as-silk sweetheart generates 300 thoroughbred horses for acceleration of 5.9 seconds for zero to 60 miles per hour and 14.4 seconds in the quarter-mile -- nearly as quick as the 400-horsepower previous-generation supercharged XKR -- thanks largely to the new XK's lightweight aluminum construction.
Touch-Sensitive Control Screen
This seven-inch, menu-driven, full-color touch screen lets you easily and intuitively select and control the DVD-based navigation system as well as elements of the climate, audio and telephone systems, and certain other vehicle settings, with minimal distraction.
Inside, the 2008 Jaguar XK wears rich materials and craftsmanship befitting traditional British luxury cars. Finely stitched leather and a choice of woodgrains (burl walnut or light-colored poplar) contrast with soft plastic trim and bright metallic surfaces. The layout is driver-focused, with excellent ergonomics and body-hugging seats set low in the high beltline body for a "cockpit" feel. With its longer wheelbase, wider tracks and taller roofline, the 2+2 layout has significantly more front room and longer seats than the previous model. The large round speedometer and tachometer are split by a comprehensive driver information center.Exterior
With classic long-hood, short deck sporting proportions, large fender-filling wheels and minimal overhangs, the 2008 Jaguar XK is more aggressive than previous designs of recent memory, seeking to recapture some essence of the legendary E-Type sports cars of the 1960s and 1970s. In fact, the large oval grille opening, power-bulge hood and cargo access-enhancing rear liftback nicely echo the classic E-type. Fresh from its complete makeover last year, the XK Coupe is just slightly longer than its predecessor, looking more contemporary and athletic, with cargo capacity sufficient for a pair of golf bags. The non-functional front-fender vents are one of Jaguar's newest signature design touches, although dozens of other manufacturers seem to be following suit with their own interpretation of the faux side vent.Notable Standard Equipment
The well-equipped 2008 Jaguar XK comes with 18-inch alloy wheels with tire-pressure monitoring, four-wheel disc brakes with four-channel anti-lock braking system (ABS), traction control and electronic brake force distribution (EBD), Trac Dynamic Stability Control (TracDSC), speed-sensitive variable-rate power steering, Jaguar's adaptive Computer Active Technology (CATS) suspension, power windows, locks and mirrors, keyless entry and keyless start, steering wheel-mounted shift paddles, dual-zone climate control, DVD-based touch-screen navigation, anti-theft security system with engine immobilizer, three-position memory system, Bluetooth wireless communications system, Bi-xenon headlamps with power-wash and self-leveling, rain-sensing wipers, garage-door opener, Reverse Park Control and Alpine six-speaker audio with a six-disc CD changer. Standard safety equipment includes advanced driver and passenger front airbags, front-seat head and thorax side airbags and Jaguar's dynamic head restraint system that helps prevent whiplash in case of a rear impact.Notable Optional Equipment
The Jaguar XK offers four optional packages. The Luxury Package includes 19-inch wheels, softgrain leather interior appointments and power-fold side mirrors; the Aluminum Luxury Package includes 20-inch wheels, softgrain leather and some aluminum trim; the Premium Sound Package offers an eight-speaker Alpine system with 525 watts, Dolby ProLogic II Surround Sound and SIRIUS Satellite Radio; and the Advanced Technology Package includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Adaptive Front Lighting and Front Park Control. The 19-inch and 20-inch wheUnder the Hood
The 2008 Jaguar XK's all-aluminum 4.2-liter four-cam 32-valve V8 is substantially improved over the similar-size version that powered the 2006 model, especially in its fuel injection technology. Combined with its upgraded electronic engine management and variable intake valve timing, it delivers U.S. ULEV (Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicle) II emissions along with fuel efficiency that's impressive for its high performance level.
300 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
310 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/25
The 2008 Jaguar XK Coupe's Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) ranges from a base of around $75,500 to a high of about $88,000 when fully loaded. The XK's closest competitors include the similarly-priced BMW 650i and Porsche Carrera Coupe, and the less- expensive Audi A5. Before you buy, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Prices that represent what consumers are actually paying in your area. The previous-generation XK was quite low in average five-year residual values, but the 2008 model promises a marked improvement, with projected values sitting just below those set by the BMW 650i and Porsche 911 Carrera.