Test Drive: 2011 Jaguar XK Coupe

There?s really nothing like a Jaguar for a road trip, and that?s what I did last week with the 2011 Jaguar XK Coupe. I had a wedding to attend about 250 miles away, and it was a good excuse for an overnight road trip.

The Jaguar XK comes in a coupe or convertible form, and you can also get the super-high performance XKR version in the coupe. But this was the ?basic? big cat Jag, with just 385 horsepower from its 5.0-liter engine, mated to a 6-speed automatic. Perhaps the most amazing thing was that the XJ Coupe is rated at 16 MPG city and 24 MPG on the highway ? there are a lot of V6 and even 4-cylinder cars that don?t do that well.

You might think with an $83,000 base price that anyone shopping the Jaguar XK coupe wouldn?t care much about fuel economy ? but I don?t know anyone who really enjoys wasting fuel, or spending a lot of time at the gas pump.? On our road trip, we got an aggregate 23 MPG with mostly highway but some city driving, so you can believe Jag?s numbers.

So, the driving experience is everything you want and expect ? the Jag XK coupe has great acceleration, flat cornering, confident suspension, great braking and all that. Plus, you get the ego boost of all the admiring looks and compliments while you?re driving. I swear, you?ll end up drinking more coffee because of the praise that drive-through espresso baristas heap upon this car!

Inside, the car has every comfort you could imagine, including a suede headliner. The Bluetooth hands-free phone service (required in most states if you want to use your phone in the car) works effortlessly and when a call comes in, it automatically pauses your tunes. Of course you also get zone climate control, heated and cooled seats, and a truly large cargo area under the hatch.

On a long road trip, the lumbar support in the seats is a great touch ? you can cruise down the road for 5 or 10 hours and hop out of the Jag ready to party. And you can follow every aspect of your trip on the navigation screen. It?s just tailor-made for the experience.

The bottom line on the 2011 Jaguar XK Coupe is simple ? if you?ve got $83,000 and you?re looking for a nice luxury sports coupe, this is a worthy contender. For performance, luxury and looks, the Jaguar name still means plenty.

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