If you want some sport with your long-distance driving, which one of these would better fit the reasonable bill?
These are the cars for those who don’t want the instant flash and noise of a supercar, one which rarely goes far, one you’re wary of where you even park. These are for people who like to travel in some style and luxury, and who like to travel far. As continent crossers they’re both excellent, but in this form, with that initial depreciation knocked off, they represent good value too. But which is the one you want to go the furthest in?
On paper this looks an easy one in terms of performance as the Jaguar has 67bhp more, but actually the key differentiator is the BMW’s 464lb ft of torque compared to the Jag’s 380lb ft. That gives a deep reserve of poke pretty much across the spectrum, helped by that smooth-shifting eight-speed auto.
BMW 640d M Sport
Engine: 3.0-litre diesel
List price when new: £66,745
Price today: £22,500
Torque: 464lb ft
Top speed: 155mph
Fuel economy: 51.4mpg
CO2 emissions: 145g/km
On the other hand you’re unlikely to want to rev up that 3.0-litre diesel just for the hell of it, whereas you’ll be jabbing at the Jaguar’s accelerator just to hear that gorgeous 5.0-litre petrol V8 soar up the scales. It sounds marvellous, and can be brutally potent when you really let it go – as can the 6 Series BMW.
In the BMW you’ll have Drive Dynamic Control, which allows you to set different modes for everything from steering to gearchange points. Depending on what car you find, it may have the adjustable dampers, which are a desirable option, although it’s not the last word in terms of ride comfort – something hardly helped by the M Sport package on our particular car.
However, it handles a treat, and grips really hard even if the ride can be a touch rough over broken roads. The Jaguar’s ride can a fraction more unsettled still, so neither are luxury limos. But that won’t bother the Jaguar driver much as the handling is simply stupendous. There aren’t tons of modes and tweaks, it just handles brilliantly straight out of the box.
Neither of these cars is particularly family friendly. If you’re putting your offspring in the rear of the Jaguar for any length of time you should perhaps be questioning your values. The BMW can at least take a couple in the rear seats but you wouldn’t want to be doing that continent crossing thing from there.
Jaguar XK 5.0 V8
Engine: 5.0-litre petrol
List price when new: £65,000
Price today: £30,000
Torque: 380lb ft
Top speed: 155mph
Fuel economy: 25.2mpg
CO2 emissions: 264g/km
The Jaguar doesn’t have a load of headroom even in the front, and it feels the slightly more dated of the cabins. The BMW, while being five years old, still feels fairly fresh, and more airy. And it’s also got a feeling of real solidity to it. With BMW you get the iDrive infotainment system, while with the Jaguar you don’t. So that’s a win for BMW there.
But if you wanted to buy this five-year-old BMW you’d only have to find £22,000 compared to the Jaguar’s £30,000. That’s good news, right? It’s odd actually, as the Jaguar was fractionally cheaper when new and you could get some discounts off that list price. That ought to mean the Jaguar would have suffered more depreciation, but that hasn’t happened.
Is it because I is diesel? Perhaps, because otherwise it’s hard to see why this very modern BMW is a third of its original price, whereas the Jaguar is more like half. And that’s with the Jaguar managing about 25mpg, with the BMW managing a massive 51mpg. And that means the BMW can travel nearly 800 miles between fill-ups – it really is a continent crosser. Cheaper tax too due to fewer emissions.
Both these cars should be pretty reliable, and the Jaguar XK can add to that a stylish exterior and interior, a delightful and powerful engine, and a handling response that is a true joy to enjoy.
But if the thought of owning a thirsty if desirable V8 petrol engine isn’t for you then the BMW 640d makes an enormous amount of sense. It’s fast, frugal, beautifully built and for some reason comes in at the price that makes it look like really excellent value. Nobody’s a loser here.
Price today is based on a 2012 model with average mileage and full service history, correct at time of writing