Balmy summer evenings should be just around the corner and these are perfect for cruising through the countryside - so let's consider the top three grand tourers for summer 2010. Grand tourers need to be stunningly attractive, great to drive, and more comfortable than being massaged on a multi-million pound yacht. So, which prestigious vehicles make the grade?
The Audi A5 Coupe makes a triumphant entry into position three. This two-door beauty is listed in Motoring.co.uk's new car database with 'buy safe' sellers from £24,415. The A5 is available with a range of engines from the 1.8-litre turbocharged 157bhp four-cylinder, to the 4.2-litre 350bhp V8 fitted to the S5. However, the 3.0-litre 236bhp diesel is the best choice as it offers an excellent compromise between performance and economy. This versatile engine propels the A5 to 62mph in 5.9 seconds, returns a combined average of 40mpg, and perfectly suits this grand tourer's confident handling.
Swerving past the Audi to finish second is the BMW 6 Series. This GT may be associated with flashy adventurers but it is actually a very credible vehicle. The handling is sporty and entertaining, the steering provides useful feedback, and the ride is smoother than an ocean liner on a calm day. Engines come in various flavours including the astonishing 5.0-litre 500bhp V10 and the more economical 3.0-litre 281bhp diesel. Motoring.co.uk's database reveals the 6 Series is available from £58,884.
Leap-frogging the M6 to claim the best grand tourer prize is the achingly beautiful Jaguar XK Coupé. This aluminium bodied brute is proof that Jaguar can make a thoroughly modern vehicle, and it is listed in Motoring.co.uk's new car database from £60,555. The XK is available with two V8 engines – a 4.2-litre 300bhp and a 510bhp supercharged 5.0-litre. This latter unit roars to 62mph in 4.8 seconds and reaches an electronically limited 155mph. The handling is responsive and thrilling and this big cat has plenty of grip to inspire enthusiastic drivers The Jaguar XK is clearly an exceptionally desirable grand tourer and another iconic vehicle from this legendary manufacturer.