Jaguar - XK
Handsome, muscular and classy. Front end looks distinctly feline and touches like the twin-air inlet on the supercharged XKR mark out the sportier model.
Despite initially light-feeling steering the XK drives brilliantly, with loads of grip and flat, drama-free cornering.
Outstanding suspension allows the XK to combine sporty handling with impressive ride quality. High speed stability is excellent, and refinement is very good at all speeds.
Generally good, although a few areas of the cabin feels relatively low-end compared to some rivals. In the main, a comfortable and luxurious place to be.
The 4.2 litre V8 makes some lovely sounds and gives decent urge, but 295 bhp isn't very much by segment standards these days - real thrill-seekers must look to the 420bhp supercharged XKR.
Front seat occupants enjoy plenty of space, although the rear pews aren't up for more than very occasional use. The boot is big and easily accessed through the rear tailgate.
Decent fuel economy helps to take some of the financial sting from XK ownership - driven gently it will better 25 mpg - but servicing and insurance are pricey.
Generous standard equipment makes the XK look like strong value compared to its relatively spartan rivals - all versions have satnav and power leather seats.
The stereo sounds brilliant and the satnav works well, although it takes time to learn to navigate the fiddly touch-screen control interface.