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2011 Jaguar XK Convertible (photos)

Jaguar's XK model, whether in coupe or Convertible form, is a beautiful car. It also runs an excellent direct injection engine that makes it drivable on the track or around town. But it suffers from inferior cabin tech and some bad design decisions.

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Wayne Cunningham
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1 of 18 Josh Miller/CNET
The current XK model heralded major design changes at Jaguar, borne out in the XF and XJ. Although this new model lineup was developed while Jaguar was owned by Ford, it is not being carried out under the auspices of new owner Tata.

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2 of 18 Josh Miller/CNET
The long torpedo nose of the XK is reminiscent of the legendary Jaguar E-type. This sleek design carries back to the rear fenders, which rise up as powerful haunches.

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3 of 18 Josh Miller/CNET
The XK Convertible loses some nice roof lines from the coupe version, but remains a very good-looking car because of the sleek sides.

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4 of 18 Josh Miller/CNET
The XK Convertible uses a soft top, as opposed to the retractable hard tops being used by many competitors. This top offers good insulation from road noise.

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5 of 18 Josh Miller/CNET
An active suspension helps the XK Convertible's handling, pushing back against body roll and making it feel like a smaller car.

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6 of 18 Josh Miller/CNET
The convertible top rests in an area at the top of the trunk, leading to reduced cargo space.

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7 of 18 Josh Miller/CNET
The cabin of the XK Convertible lives up to Jaguar's luxury mission with its fine materials. We are particularly impressed that Jaguar uses very few plastic surfaces or buttons.

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8 of 18 Josh Miller/CNET
Controls on the steering wheel spokes are nicely integrated, carrying off the luxury feel well.

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9 of 18 Josh Miller/CNET
The display between the tachometer and speedometer shows route guidance information when the navigation system is active.

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10 of 18 Josh Miller/CNET
This drive mode selector debuted in the XF sedan, and has now found its way into the XK.

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11 of 18 Josh Miller/CNET
We like that Jaguar put the seat controls on the door, making them much easier to reach and figure out.

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12 of 18 Josh Miller/CNET
The navigation system and cabin tech interface need a lot of work. The DVD-based navigation system lacks advanced features such as traffic and 3D maps.

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13 of 18 Josh Miller/CNET
The look of the onscreen keyboard mirrors the overall style of the interface.

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14 of 18 Josh Miller/CNET
Instead of immediately showing a list of phone contacts, this interface first requires a letter input, followed by hitting the search button, a process that is too strained for car use.

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15 of 18 Josh Miller/CNET
The stereo offers a good number of audio sources, but this interface is crowded and not intuitive.

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16 of 18 Josh Miller/CNET
The Bowers and Wilkins audio system sounds excellent, and offers multiple surround technologies.

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17 of 18 Josh Miller/CNET
We particularly like that the iPod gets a separate interface from the USB, as dedicated interfaces usually work better.

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18 of 18 Josh Miller/CNET
Distance sensors are useful when parking, but a backup camera would also be helpful.

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