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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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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.
The XK Convertible loses some nice roof lines from the coupe version, but remains a very good-looking car because of the sleek sides.
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.
An active suspension helps the XK Convertible's handling, pushing back against body roll and making it feel like a smaller car.
The convertible top rests in an area at the top of the trunk, leading to reduced cargo space.
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.
Controls on the steering wheel spokes are nicely integrated, carrying off the luxury feel well.
The display between the tachometer and speedometer shows route guidance information when the navigation system is active.
This drive mode selector debuted in the XF sedan, and has now found its way into the XK.
We like that Jaguar put the seat controls on the door, making them much easier to reach and figure out.
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.
The look of the onscreen keyboard mirrors the overall style of the interface.
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.
The stereo offers a good number of audio sources, but this interface is crowded and not intuitive.
The Bowers and Wilkins audio system sounds excellent, and offers multiple surround technologies.
We particularly like that the iPod gets a separate interface from the USB, as dedicated interfaces usually work better.
Distance sensors are useful when parking, but a backup camera would also be helpful.