I agree with the person above. I have had and driven lots of cars in my 40 yrs. Nothing handles like my JAGUAR! I guess it's true what they say.. You get what you pay for.
I have owned them all, including the 2001 XKR. This is an apples to oranges kind of car, on its way to being incomparable. By this, I mean that you cannot compare this car to Hondas or even porches, vettes, Mercedes or BMWs. Jag has always been a different animal, and that continues to distinguish the car from all other versions of luxury sports cars.
The whole thing comes down to subjectivity. If you like the GT boulevard cruiser with a safe, hefty feel substantiated by two ton weight, then put the top down and feel no pain.
Don't get discouraged when you can't spar and win with Porches. The 2001 ain't for that. It's comfort, power, luxury, style, class, build quality and ride.
If you need the "track speed" raw power with a cheesy interior, get a Charger SRT or pay a XKR new car price and get a Viper. Your ego will be safe.
I currently own an 07 Vette. The styling is as close to Ferrari in quality and style as it gets but the inside looks like a Mazda. I love the vette, but the economy won't let me keep it without a job.
I am loosing a few miles for gallon by trading back to an 01 XKR... and lots of ferocious power but, having has this car before, I can tell you, I feel like I am trading way UP.. even when Chevrolet does it completely right with the seats, positioning of the wheel and all that a REAL sports machine should be.
I don't know how many times I have had someone ask me if this car is an Aston Martin. The XKR turns heads like no other and despite the 2010 XKR styling being a design masterpiece, this is typical Jag classic styling that never ceases to look contemporary and timeless. You can't really say that about too many "sports" cars.
Now, let's feed our ego about the XKR again... in recent Jame Bond movies, 007 has been demoralized by driving Lincolns, BMW Z3, even Impalas and Jeeps. Although every car manufacturer pays dearly for that exposure and generously offers to supply their cars, the band trademark is the Aston Martin just as much as the Bond trademark gun is the Walther PPK. The Aston and the JAG have a lot in common. You might say the XKR is Aston DBS junior.
I guess we could all justify new times calling for James to drive that Charger in the same way that we could accept his new nose ring, tattoo and purple hair, too. NOT!
If you spot an 01 XKR with 20k miles or less, with all the maintenance records for 25k or less (I write this in 06/09).
Seize the moment!
My wife has an XKR coupe, fun car for the 2X a year I drive it, and it performs well for what it was meant to do. It does not handle as well as my Vette, nor a good feel for its limits, and the Vette is not the handler my Lotus is. Might be related to one of Newton's laws about mass, momentum and the forces it take to change its direction. The XKR = 3,850lbs, the Vette 3,100 and the Lotus is about 1,900.
Want style, class, and high speed fun, the Jag. Want the best bang and durability for the $$ with some confort and very good overall performance, the Vette. Want no frills everything designed to corner, the Lotus.
Wife loves her XKR and that is what counts, but drives the left over 15 year old Mustang 95% of the time... I guess it makes the Jag more special when you get in it. The style is nothing but class.