List price when new £66,745
Price today £22,500*
Available from 2012-present
The BMW 6 Series Coupé promises speed, comfort and refinement and, in this 640d diesel-engined form, surprisingly good fuel economy as well.
List price when new £65,000
Price today £30,000*
Available from 2006-2015
The sharp-looking Jaguar XK handles like a sports car and sounds like one too, but it can still play the role of the refined GT when it needs to.
Price today is based on a 2012 model with average mileage and full service history, correct at time of writing
Fast supercars are all very well, but you’ll soon tire of their noise and impracticality if you want to use them for any great distance. What you need for effortless speed and comfort is a GT car, a big coupé that does all that a car should do without any unnecessary compromises. Step forward, the BMW 6 Series Coupé and the Jaguar XK, both of which offer a good turn of speed but are also exemplary cruisers, able to cross a continent in style and leave you feeling as fresh when you arrive at your destination as you were when you left home.
The 6 Series Coupé did things a little differently back in the day by offering a diesel option, and it’s one that most purchasers took up. Does that decision still stack up and how does it compare with the petrol-powered XK now both cars are available to pick up for less than half their original price? We've lined up a 640d M Sport and an XK 5.0 V8 to help us find out.
What are they like to drive?
The 640d is down on power, but it still has the edge for performance because it has more low-down torque and a super-slick eight-speed automatic gearbox (the XK makes do with a six-speeder) that helps it respond that bit quicker. Both engines make everyday driving effortless, though, and deliver brutal acceleration when you flatten your right foot.
Only the XK sounds so good that you find yourself revving it just to hear it. However, what the 640d's engine lacks in aural appeal, it makes up for in smoothness. It’s easy to mistake it for a petrol, even when you’re working it hard, and the 640d is the quieter cruiser because it’s better at shutting out wind and road noise.
All 6 Series coupés come with Drive Dynamic Control, which, at the flick of a switch, lets you alter the way the steering, accelerator and automatic gearbox react.
If you can find a car with the optional adjustable dampers, so much the better; however, even when you select the most comfort-oriented setting, the ride can get a bit unsettled over broken surfaces. The M Sport trim probably doesn’t help this because it comes with bigger wheels and a lowered ride height. At least things get better with speed; the 640d is a comfortable and planted motorway cruiser.
Its grip also impresses and you can practically eliminate body roll if you put Adaptive Drive in its Sport setting. It’s just a shame the steering offers little feedback in any setting.
Jaguar doesn’t bother offering numerous adjustments, and it’s hard to argue with the result when you’re on a challenging road, because the XK feels like the lighter car (and it is, thanks to its aluminium body), changing direction quickly and precisely.
If only the ride were as good; the XK is a bit more unsettled than the 640d over patched-up roads.
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