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What Car? says

4 out of 5 stars

For A soft-top sophisticate with pedigree, panache and plenty of pace.

Against Running costs aren’t cheap, and the rear seats are almost useless.

Verdict The classiest way to get the wind in your hair – without it costing a king’s ransom

Go for… 4.2

Avoid… n/a

Jaguar XK Convertible
  • 1. The XK’s advanced aluminium construction gives the Jag a very stiff (and light) chassis, so it’s great to drive for a convertible.
  • 2. Despite the modest price for a used version, the XK Convertible isn’t going to be cheap to run. Fuel, maintenance and insurance costs are all high, even though they’re more palatable than those of riv
  • 3. Claimed average economy is 25.0mpg for the 4.2 V8 and 22.9mpg for the 4.2 R, and 25.2mpg for the 5.0 V8 and 23.0mpg for the 5.0 R. A word of warning, though: exploit the engines’ power and those figur
  • 4. The aluminium body isn’t particularly hard to repair, if the garage has the skill and correct spare parts. Be on your guard for botched work, and anything that doesn’t look like it came from the facto
  • 5. The fabric roof has also been known to freeze. Inspect the hood for signs of cuts or tears, and check the cabin for signs of leaks.
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Jaguar XK Convertible full review with expert trade views

The XK Convertible is a return to Jaguar’s past form: fast yet elegant cars that don’t look out of place on the Côte d’Azur. That’s not to say that you need a playboy’s income to afford one: it costs less to buy and run than more exotic rivals from Porsche and BMW, yet doesn’t short change you on driver satisfaction.

The XK’s advanced aluminium construction gives the Jag a very stiff (and light) chassis, so it’s great to drive for a convertible. It comes alive on fast, twisty roads, with impressive grip and nimble handling. If you want to take it easy, though, the slick automatic gearbox makes it easy to pootle around town.

Drop the fabric hood and you’re sheltered from wind and buffeting, leaving you to enjoy the weather. The XK is best seen as a two-seater with some extra storage space – the tiny rear seats will take the smallest children only. However, the boot is surprisingly large, even with the roof down.

Trade view

The standard car is quick enough for most, and the best value on the used market. Only those with a real need for speed should consider the XKR.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

From launch, you could have a 300bhp 4.2-litre V8 or a 420bhp supercharged 4.2-litre R model. Both are fitted with a slick automatic gearbox that has a sports mode and F1-style steering wheel-mounted gearshift paddles.

The R is a much more aggressive-looking car, with a bodykit, larger wheels and sportier cabin trim. The standard car sounds great, but the R swaps the V8’s growl for a roar under hard acceleration.

An active suspension system was available as an option on the 4.2 and standard on the R. This enhances the car’s dynamics, giving a sportier and more stable feel – especially at speed.

The XK was overhauled in early 2009, with revised styling and new engines. The entry-level model has a 380bhp 5.0-litre V8, while the R gets a 503bhp supercharged version. Along with the new engines, Jaguar fitted the adaptive suspension as standard to all XKs.

Trade view

Stylish and desirable, but easy to live with and reasonably practical. This soft-top can cope with all seasons.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

Despite the modest price for a used version, the XK Convertible isn’t going to be cheap to run. Fuel, maintenance and insurance costs are all high, even though they’re more palatable than those of rivals such as the Porsche 911 and Aston Martin V8 Vantage.

Claimed average economy is 25.0mpg for the 4.2 V8 and 22.9mpg for the 4.2 R, and 25.2mpg for the 5.0 V8 and 23.0mpg for the 5.0 R. A word of warning, though: exploit the engines’ power and those figures will nosedive.

Better news is that, if you buy a used XK at the right price, you shouldn’t lose a fortune in depreciation. Regular maintenance is essential. Jaguar dealers have a good reputation for customer satisfaction, and while you don’t have to use them, it will help your car’s future value. You can always use a good independent garage to save money once the car is out of warranty.

Trade view

The standard car is quick enough for most, and the best value on the used market. Only those with a real need for speed should consider the XKR.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

Like any sports car, the XK can be driven fast, so look for accident damage. The aluminium body isn’t particularly hard to repair, if the garage has the skill and correct spare parts. Be on your guard for botched work, and anything that doesn’t look like it came from the factory.

So far, the XK Convertible is free from any serious complaints or faults, but there are a few things to check. The electrics can go haywire, and batteries can flatten for no obvious reason. Other issues include the engine management light coming on, and the car’s keyless entry and ignition system playing up.

The fabric roof has also been known to freeze. Inspect the hood for signs of cuts or tears, and check the cabin for signs of leaks.

The tyres can wear quickly and aren’t cheap to replace, so check the tread depth before agreeing a price.

Trade view

Stylish and desirable, but easy to live with and reasonably practical. This soft-top can cope with all seasons.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor
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