2007 Jaguar XK

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$74,835

starting MSRP

2007 Jaguar XK

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

1 trim

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

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2007 Jaguar XK review: Our expert's take

By G. Chambers Williams III


It’s easy to feel good driving down the road in a Jaguar XK. Granted, if you were having to make hefty monthly payments on it, that might take some of the pleasure away.

But Jaguar dealers say that most XK buyers are what they call “check-writers,” which means they don’t finance these cars – they just pay cash.

Some customers lease these cars and write off the payments as a business expense, but it’s rare to find someone financing an XK the way most of us would a Camry, Suburban or Civic.

Financial considerations aside, though, there is nothing quite like a Jaguar, and especially the XK, whose coupe version starts at $75,500 (including freight) and convertible at $81,500.

For this report, we tested the 2007 XK coupe, with a gorgeous “frost blue” exterior color and an elegant “caramel” interior with burl walnut trim.

“Gorgeous” is how Jaguar’s ad campaign describes the XK, which was completely redesigned for 2007.

Both the car and the ad campaign were designed to help pump up this British luxury car line, which already has made great strides in improving quality since it was purchased by Ford Motor Co. in 1989.

Although Ford is now looking at the possibility of selling Jaguar and Land Rover, the British SUV maker that Ford purchased in 2000, whoever eventually takes over Jaguar will find the company to be in much better shape than it was in 1989.

The beautiful XK coupe and convertible show that Jaguar knows how to create a vehicle that can compete successfully in the top end of the auto business, where style, comfort and performance must be blended perfectly to meet the expectations of customers who are used to having the very best of everything.

As for quality, Jaguar is ranked above its European blueblood rivals, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi, and is on par with the Lexus, the best of the Japanese luxury brands.

The XK “delivers on the Jaguar vision of beautiful, fast cars,” the company said. The vehicle signified a new design direction for Jaguar, and improved on the car it replaced by offering more power, a roomier interior, and improved fuel economy.

“This car is shattering misconceptions about the Jaguar brand,” marketing manager Heather Harkovich said when the car was launched in the U.S. market last year. Among those misconceptions, she said, are that Jaguar is “an older man’s car,” has “poor quality,” and is “behind in technology.”

The company’s vision for the brand, she said, “is to move from being a traditional British car to a global luxury brand that is contemporary and modern.”

Customers of Jaguar are seen as “connoisseurs of fine living,” she said. Those who buy the XK are predominately men 40 to 50, with a median income of $250,000, “people who appreciate art, fashion, travel and fine wine.”

After a few days behind the wheel of the XK coupe, I could almost see myself living that lifestyle. The bubble burst when I got my first $300-plus electric bill of the summer, but the dream was fun while it lasted.

The car drives as great as it looks, thanks in part to the normally aspirated Jaguar 4.2-liter V-8 engine. It cranks out an impressive 300 horsepower and 310 foot-pounds of torque.

This engine is connected to a six-speed sequential-shift automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted paddles that let the driver shift manually. The transmission has a sport mode for more aggressive automatic shifting.

With this drivetrain, the coupe can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds. Top speed is governed to 155 mph, but without the governor, the car could go a bit faster (on the track, please, not the highway).

Surprisingly, the XK is quite fuel-efficient. EPA ratings (using the less-stringent pre-2008 formula) are 18 miles per gallon in the city and 26 on the highway. Unlike some other cars in the XK’s class, the decent mileage keeps the car exempt from the U.S. gas-guzzler tax. To get that kind of mileage, though, the car could not be driven aggressively.

There is a theory that people who buy cars this expensive don’t really care about fuel economy or the price of gasoline, but that’s not true. While the average Jag owner might be able to afford expensive gasoline better than the rest of us, these consumers do appreciate saving money where they can.

Jaguar says the major competitors of the XK are the Lexus SC 430 at $66,000; Cadillac XLR at $77,300; BMW 650i at $81,200; and Mercedes-Benz SL500 at $93,700. But showroom surveys have found that 55 percent of XK buyers didn’t even consider another vehicle.

Major attributes of the XK that appeal to luxury-car buyers are its “beautiful styling, sporting credentials, versatility (the car’s two-plus-two seating and ample luggage space), a contemporary interior with superior craftsmanship, and Jaguar’s prestige and heritage,” Harkovich said.

As for the two-plus-two seating: There is no legroom in the back for anyone over about age 8, so this is not a car that two couples can take out to dinner. The trunk can easily handle a couple of golf bags, though, an important consideration among this class of consumers.

The interior is elegant without being the least bit gaudy, and aluminum interior trim can be substituted for the burl walnut for those who don’t care for the wood. Some younger buyers – mostly those in their 30s and 40s – don’t appreciate the traditional Jaguar wood trim the way older customers do, the company noted.

To me, though, having grown up in the ’50s and ’60s when Jaguars were among the most revered luxury cars on the market, the wood trim is synonymous with Jaguar. It’s just something I would expect to find on the dash, door panels, shift knob and so forth. Jaguar officials said there was a heated internal debate over the issur of wood or aluminum trim, so offering both was the solution. The aluminum is standard, but there is no extra cost to substitute the wood.

The new XK is “two cars in one,” said Russ Varney, the car’s chief engineer, “both a sports car and a GT.” The GT (grand touring) designation means the car is designed for long trips – something that the traditional sports car often is not suited for because of lack of cargo space, a less-than-comfortable interior, and a harsh ride.

But the XK still drives like a sports car, despite the attributes that make it practical for everyday use. Even with that practicality, the XK continues Jaguar’s mission of delivering “beautiful, fast cars,” Varney said.

The XK comes with an all-aluminum body, which Jaguar developed based on its experience with the current XJ lineup, also made of aluminum.

Using aluminum makes the XK significantly lighter than its BMW and Mercedes competitors, Varney said. The weight savings over the previous XK with a steel body is equivalent to two adults and their luggage. The lighter weight helped increase fuel economy.

Technology also is showcased in the new XK, which comes with a computerized active suspension and electronic stability control, among other things.

The car is as comfortable as a living room recliner for front passengers, and, of course, leather upholstery is standard.

Safety features, besides the stability control and antilock brakes, include driver and passenger seat-mounted side air bags, along with seatbelt pretensioners.

Other standard amenities include a security system; an Alpine audio system with six-disc, in-dash CD changer; bi-xenon headlights; Bluetooth hands-free telephone system; rain-sensing windshield wipers; reverse parking sensor; a DVD/GPS navigation system with a seven-inch color touch screen; keyless entry and start; automatic climate control; and a universal garage/gate opener.

Extras on our test vehicle included 20-inch Senta wheels ($5,000) and a luxury package ($3,300). That gave the car a total sticker price of $83,335, including freight.

G. Chambers Williams III is staff automotive columnist for the San Antonio Express-News and former transportation writer for the Star-Telegram. His automotive columns have appeared regularly in the Star-Telegram since 1995. Contact him at (210) 250-3236; chambers@star-telegram.com.

At a Glance: 2007 Jaguar XK coupe/convertible

The package: Luxury, midsize, four-door, two-plus-two passenger, rear-drive sports coupe or roadster from England. Highlights: This is Jag’s sports car, which was completely redesigned for 2007. It comes in coupe and hardtop convertible versions. It’s beautiful, elegant and great fun to drive. Negatives: Rear seat too small for practical use. Engine: 4.2-liter V-8. Transmission: Six-speed automatic. Power/torque: 300 HP./310 foot-pounds. Length: 188.6 inches. Curb weight: 3,671-3,814 pounds. Brakes, front/rear: Disc/disc, antilock. Side air bags: Front seat-mounted, standard. Electronic stability control: Standard. Fuel capacity/type: 18.7 gallons/unleaded premium. EPA fuel economy: 18 miles per gallon city/27 highway. Major competitors: Lexus SC 430, Cadillac XLR, BMW 650i, Mercedes-Benz SL500. Base prices: $75,500, including freight (coupe); $81,500 (convertible). Price as tested: $83,335, including freight and options (coupe). On the Road rating: 8.7 (of a possible 10).

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.7
  • Interior design 4.8
  • Performance 4.9
  • Value for the money 4.6
  • Exterior styling 4.9
  • Reliability 4.5

Most recent consumer reviews

5.0

Fun car

Value for dollars spent on is a great deal. Good investment representative was honest would buy from again. Easy to deal with Herb and staff David were helpful.

4.9

Purchased for our 50th wedding anniversary

Picked up in Tampa,Fl. with 60,000 mi. drove 4,206 mi. home to Wa. state computer:28.6 mpg.@ 70-75 mph At every stop a+ comment was received, restaurants,hotels,service stations.Colour is Winter "GOLD" My wife & I Love this XKat: Convertible PS: Former owners of 1970 XKE Roadster. BiLL & Patricia Goldfoos

5.0

Beautiful automobile inside and Out

This car is smooth riding and looks fantastic. I am 6 feet and I fit comfortably in this ride. Very reliable and maintenance free. Truly a head-turner everywhere you go. I have 3 Jags (xk8, XF & XK) and this is one of my favorites. Drive it--you will see what I mean.

See all 27 consumer reviews

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