I drove the Jaguar XK convertible with my family in tow for a full week. My 8- and 10-year-old daughters fit the limited age/size range to be able to ride in the XK convertible's backseat, which is so small that it's better to think of it as an additional cargo area. My girls are old enough that they no longer have to ride in booster seats (Colorado law says kids must stay in boosters until age 8), and they're still small enough to scrunch into the convertible's Thumbelina-sized rear seats. They quite liked the "just-their-size" rear bucket seats when the top was down, but with the top up, the complaints of feeling crowded started to flood in. It's probably best to keep the XK in the heated garage until the kids go to Grandma's for the weekend. When the kids are away, the parents must play!
After driving a slew of cars with overly harsh suspensions to make them seem sportier or overly cush rides in an attempt to appear more luxurious, the rear-wheel-drive convertible's suspension hit the sweet spot in the middle for me. It was responsive and offered enough road feedback for me to feel connected to the pleasure of the sport of driving while still being smooth enough to enjoy a mundane drive to the grocery store.
With EPA fuel economy estimates at 16/22 mpg city/highway, a premium fuel requirement and a premium price tag to boot — my base model test car cost $89,000 — you may need to hit Grandpa up for more than just weekend baby-sitting in order to add this gem to your family fleet.
With Denver's crazy weather, I only got one full day of weather cooperation to test out the XK convertible in topless mode. The power soft-top opens with the press of a button on the overhead console. In no time I was on the road, enjoying the wind in my hair. With the soft-top up, wind noise is definitely noticeable; for nearly $90K, I wish Jaguar would offer a quieter hardtop version of this convertible.
The XK convertible's two doors opened easily for both my kiddos and me. My girls easily maneuvered into the backseat by lifting a lever on the front passenger seat that folded it forward and out of the way, making room for their little legs to climb in.
The four-seater has sleek, classic Jaguar lines that look equally feminine and powerful to me. Of course, driving though the carpool lane in anything this fancy, especially with the top down, is guaranteed to warrant plenty of oohs and aahs. More important than impressing the elementary school sect is keeping Mama happy, and the XK convertible made me feel like I looked hot driving it, even when reality may not equal fantasy.
The XK convertible I drove featured a 385-horsepower, 5.0-liter V-8 engine with a six-speed automatic transmission. If that's not enough horsepower, the top-of-the-line XKR convertible has a 510-hp V-8.