The standard XK has a 380bhp 5.0-litre V8, while the XKR and XKR-S use supercharged versions of this engine that produce 503bhp and 542bhp respectively. Even the XK delivers scorching performance, while the supercharged models are simply staggering. The speed of the shifts from the six-speed automatic gearbox also helps the pace of your progress.
The XK Convertible isn’t quite as stiff as the Coupe, you’ll feel some wobbles and thumps over patched-up urban roads. It gets better with speed, though, feeling firm but nicely damped. The steering weights up nicely in bends, too, and the XK always feels like a smaller car than it is, changing direction quickly and precisely. The XKR has stiffer suspension, but its ride still isn’tterrible. Only XKR-S is overly firm.
You'll love the V8 gurgle and growl, though it disappears when cruising. Less welcome is the tyre noise on coarse roads. The automatic gearchanges are smooth, though you notice them a bit more when braking hard with the gearbox in its sport setting. With the roof down, you’re reasonably well protected from wind buffeting.
This is a very expensive car to buy and it has running costs to match. Even the cleanest version returns an official average of only 25mpg, and that’ll plummet if you drive the car as its makers intended. Depreciation will be the biggest killer, though; you’ll lose a scary amount of cash over three years.
Jaguar’s reliability has been impressive in recent years. Unfortunately, many of the materials feel woefully cheap given the XK’s hefty list price. The gearshift paddles, steering column and touch-screen surround are particularly disappointing. Many of the switches feel flimsy, too.
The XK has a pyrotechnically triggered bonnet lid, which pops up to protect pedestrians in the event of a crash. It's the only way Jaguar could retain a sleek, low nose while providing decent protection to people on foot. The expected active and passive safety features are all present and correct, and Jaguar security is usually very good.
The XK's driving position is excellent and electric adjustment for the seat and steering wheel makes it easy to get comfy. It’s a shame, then, that the seats themselves are rather narrow. The touch-screen centre console minimises clutter, but it’s fiddly to use and hard to read in strong sunlight. A narrow rear window means that view behind is rather compromised, too.
Nominally, the XK Convertible is a two-plus-two, but it would be optimistic to try to accommodate anyone bigger than a small child in the rear. However, the XK still gives you a big boot in convertible format, so you won't need to commandeer rear-seat space on trips to the golf club.
Leather upholstery, heated seats, satellite-navigation, keyless starting, Bluetooth and dual-zone climate control are all fitted as standard, but you may want to add active suspension if you opt for the standard XK (it’s standard on the XKR and XKR-S). Portfolio trim brings higher quality interior fittings.
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The XKR may be more desirable, but we reckon this standard XK is more than enough car for anyone. And, given how much less it costs, we think it's better value.