2006 Jaguar XKR 2dr Coupe (4.2L 8cyl S/C 6A) review: 2006 Jaguar XKR 2dr Coupe (4.2L 8cyl S/C 6A)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
  • Overall: 8.4
  • Cabin tech: 9.0
  • Performance tech: 8.0
  • Design: 8.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good An opulent yet modern interior marks the 2006 Jaguar XKR. The cabin is loaded with standard GPS navigation and Bluetooth phone integration. A supercharged 390-horsepower, V-8 engine offers plenty of power.

The Bad The stereo in the 2006 Jaguar XKR plays CDs only from a changer in the trunk, and it won't accept MP3s. An archaic cassette deck sits in the dash. The windows have the one-touch-down feature only, and the backseat is virtually unusable.

The Bottom Line Although it takes a hit for an outdated audio system, the 2006 Jaguar XKR's timeless looks, serious power, and integrated electronic road-holding technology make up for quite a lot.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

2006 Jaguar XKR

The 2006 Jaguar XKR is the last model year of a body style that launched in 1997, to be replaced in late 2006 by the radically redesigned 2007 Jaguar XK. The 2006 XKR bests the upcoming next-generation XK, at least as it will initially be released, in one very noticeable way: pure, raw power. Its supercharged version of the 4.2-liter AJ-V-8 engine makes a maximum of 390 horsepower, with 399 pound-feet of torque. The XKR is a fine homage to Jaguar's heritage in both performance and luxury. And it's one of the last of the big cats to come from Jaguar's venerable Brown's Lane plant, first used in 1951.

Our test car was a 2006 Jaguar XKR coupe, one of a limited number of Victory models released to commemorate Jaguar's successes in Trans-Am racing. In addition to the XKR's standard supercharged engine, four-piston-caliper Brembo brakes with cross-drilled, vented discs, Computer Active Technology Suspension (CATS), and cosmetic distinction, the Victory package includes carbon-fiber interior trim in place of wood veneer, special soft-grain leather upholstery, distinctive badging, Bluetooth capability, 20-inch BBS wheels and matching high-speed tires, and a Momo gearshift knob. As in all XKRs, a DVD-based navigation system and Xenon HID headlamps are standard. At $88,495 including destination charge, it's not inexpensive, but in the manner of Jaguars from the beginning, it compares very well to the German and Italian competition.

The 2006 Jaguar XKR's styling is pure Jaguar and most influenced by the E-Type, a.k.a. XK-E, of the 1960s. It's a timeless design that has aged well, and its aerodynamic cleanliness ensures stability and low wind noise at speed. The XKR has larger wheels and tires than the XK8, functional cooling louvers in the hood, a bright mesh grille at the front, and a small ducktail spoiler at the rear of the trunk lid. It does an admirable job of combining the contemporary look of high performance with timeless elegance.

Inside, the twin traits of luxury and performance continue. No manufacturer does burled-wood trim as well as Jaguar, and the standard XK models feature that material across the dashboard. But, befitting its role commemorating contemporary competition successes, the XKR Victory replaces wood with carbon fiber. It blends well with the overall design.

The design of the stereo and the climate controls have not aged as well as the rest of the Jaguar XKR.

In front, excellent seats, power adjustable in every way but with idiosyncratic controls, are covered with soft leather and provide the expected comfort and long-distance support for the driver and the passenger. But don't expect to use the backseats for anything but packages, as legroom is nonexistent. The coupe does have plenty of trunk space for fast, light touring by two people.

The 2006 Jaguar XKR's age shows only in small interior details. A physical key is used for the ignition, although it is an unusual shape. The side windows operate with the one-touch-down feature but not up. CDs are played by a magazine-type changer in the trunk, which does not play MP3 CDs. There is a cassette deck but no MP3 player or iPod jack. Strangely enough, the cassette deck makes this car more easily adaptable to an MP3 player than newer cars with in-dash CD players.

Although the LCD is on the small side, it's bright, and the controls are easy to use.

The DVD-based navigation system, standard in all XK models, is no relic. It has a simple-to-use interface, and its screen, while a touch on the small side, is easy to see in all lighting, even with polarized sunglasses. Control is simple, via marked hard buttons to the sides of the screen--the cursor can be manipulated by means of a joystick button and zooming by a rocker switch. Destination entry is done by the usual one-letter-at-a-time, joystick-controlled method or from a point chosen on the map with the cursor. The rocker switch for scale control makes the latter method especially quick and easy.

Editors' Top PicksSee All


Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Where to Buy

2006 Jaguar XKR 2dr Coupe (4.2L 8cyl S/C 6A)

Part Number: 100511027
Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Trim levels Base
  • Body style coupe
  • Available Engine Gas