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Rear View Mirror: Jaguar's XK GREAT.

Byline: Quentin Willson

SPENT an enormously agreeable week blatting about in the current XK8 Coupe, and I have to say that, venerable or not, the XK8 is still a player.

Brisk, refined and very urgent, Jag's sinewy GT still makes you feel special, still turns plenty of heads and has, over the years, assumed a rather pleasant neo-classicism all of its own.

I loved the blade-sharp steering, seemingly endless wall of torque and mighty brakes, but most of all I was struck by its total lack of temperament and vast improvement in build quality.

There's still a touch too much Fordism in the cabin's minor switches and controls and the interior does lack a sense of occasion, but perhaps that's a small price to pay for what's fast becoming Jaguar's tour de force - a Mercedes-like integrity.

The body control is perfect, noise vibration and harshness is minimal and everything clunks, clicks and thuds like a quality car should. Maybe that's why I stepped out of the thing feeling such a surprising glow of warm approval.

Jag's brave new build quality has reached such exalted levels that any comparison with the three-pointed star is entirely justified. What's more, Jag dealers are the epitome of charm.

The bloke who talked me through the sat-nav system should be working at the United Nations, such was his disarming professionalism.

An elderly design it may be, but the XK8 is still a very capable Great British Bruiser.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 20, 2004
Words:242
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