Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

Some Cats are Forever
2005 Jaguar XK8 Convertible
By Alain Gayot

In short: A classic sports convertible with innovative technologies.

For an auto enthusiast, the decision on what the next car purchase might be—without thinking too much about money—could cause a bit of a predicament. Cars these days are built to be enjoyed, and each manufacturer is quick to capture or create a new market segment. So if you are in the market for a hip sports convertible that feels good, gives you a sense of security, handles the road capably and fulfills your fantasies about a life of luxury, consider taking this cool cat out for a spin. We liked it and would not mind driving it daily.

It’s a big car but remains quite nimble. The engine is smooth and responsive at all times. Rear passenger space is strictly for leprechauns; on the other hand, the trunk will give you more capacity than you’d expect. Of course you’ll want to drive it with the soft top down, but if cocooned, you’ll still have a lot of room and decent rear visibility.

We simply love little details like rain-sensing wipers. We’re also particularly keen on some of the mechanical components, namely the dynamic stability control, the smart six-speed automatic transmission, variable-cam phasing, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and the adaptive cruise control.

Buy it for yourself or wrap a big bow around one and make it a present. Your special someone will love you forever.

Read a review of the Jaguar XK

Warranty/Service: 4-year/50,000 mile new vehicle limited warranty, complimentary scheduled maintenance, 24/7 roadside assistance.

Price as tested: $78,230

Technical Specifications

Performance Data

Engine: 4.2L DOHC 32 Valve V8 engine, 294 hp

Transmission: Six-speed automatic

Safety: Anti-theft engine immobilizer, driver and passenger front and side airbags

Top Speed: 155 mph

Acceleration: 0-60 in 6.1 sec.

Braking: 60-0 in 125 ft., 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS

Fuel Economy: 18 city / 26 highway

Handling: Dynamic stability control, speed sensitive steering, variable cam phasing

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Photography: AlphaMedia

(Updated: 07/24/08 HC)

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