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Jaguar XKR Convertible 5.0

 
0.0
 
8.4 (1)
0 1 0
Test coming soon

User reviews

1 review
Overall rating
 
8.4
Build quailty
 
7.5(1)
Reliability
 
9.0(1)
Performance
 
9.5(1)
Handling
 
7.0(1)
Safety & Security
 
8.5(1)
Touring capability (Luggage space, comfort etc)
 
8.0(1)
Main Dealer / Specialist experience?
 
10.0(1)
Servicing costs
 
7.0(1)
Availability of parts
 
9.0(1)
Ease of undertaking DIY work?
 
6.0(1)
Depreciation
 
6.0(1)
Feel good factor
 
9.5(1)
Did the car meet your expectations?
 
10.0(1)
Would you recommend this car?
 
10.0(1)
Surprisingly good
Overall rating
 
8.4
Build quailty
 
7.5
Reliability
 
9.0
Performance
 
9.5
Handling
 
7.0
Safety & Security
 
8.5
Touring capability (Luggage space, comfort etc)
 
8.0
Main Dealer / Specialist experience?
 
10.0
Servicing costs
 
7.0
Availability of parts
 
9.0
Ease of undertaking DIY work?
 
6.0
Depreciation
 
6.0
Feel good factor
 
9.5
Did the car meet your expectations?
 
10.0
Would you recommend this car?
 
10.0
I've never wanted to own a Jag.

For as long as I can remember, I loved Italian cars for their brio and the promise of a lifestyle both exotic and equally unaffordable; American cars for sheer unsophisticated grunt and soundtrack, and Japanese cars because they were able to make a product that was both reliable and innovative.

Barring the first series Escort RS2000 ( which I'd still have in my top ten fun list) most British cars were a pain in the proverbial, and working for an independent at the time made me realise how basically engineered many could be.

If a Jaguar came in, it was invariably because it had been neglected and fallen into the hands of somebody who valued nutrition over suspension components and therefore my exposure was invariably to poorer examples. That said, our head mechanic still raved on about the XK E Type doing 150 mph and the string of successes at Le Mans; it all went over my head because I was still obsessing over Veglia switchgear and exposed to lots of other toys through work that I could enjoy anyway.

When I got married I was in between jobs and a friend kindly loaned his XJ coupe as our wedding car; far from practical from the bride's perspective but it looked spectacular in red and ran as smoothly as a sewing machine that had consumed a bottle of Drambuie.

I still didn't get it.

For a while, I drove Jaguars and Daimlers together with the occasional hearse ferrying the occasional pop star or boxed person around whilst I rearranged my career and settled into married life; I remained nonplussed by the silky smooth engines and remained loyal to my cause. Even listening to Clarkson rant on about how brilliant the XJRs were, left me nonplussed and unemotional.

Over the years I was fortunate enough to have driven many weird, wonderful and exotic cars, with both Ferrari and McLaren taking poll position invariably. Nothing had changed.

Two house moves managed to wipe out my secret slush fund on both occasions and invariably I was pretty happy with what I was driving anyway, but fancied something a little low key that I could take anywhere without attracting too much attention but with a split personality of sorts.

A very close friend of mine suffered a stroke and was unable to drive. Living in West London could be a pain, especially where parking permits and flat batteries were concerned and he asked me to look after the XK8 that he'd bought as a weekend toy, on the condition that I used it weekly. It grew on me; the interior, although cramped reminded me of an aircraft cockpit and amazingly I drove three chums up to Birmingham for a motor show and none of them suffered and life changing displaced limbs thereafter.

The haunting continued.  A colleague bought a later 4.2 supercharged coupe on a whim and as was always the case with him, ran out of room. I ended up using it on a daily basis for the relatively short commute to the company at which we both worked. The looks didn't really strike me but the engine sounded magnificent when provoked. He traded it for a convertible ( which I ended up looking after yet again) and I took it out for a proper drive down to Goodwood. I realised that when all was said and done, it was pretty good at what it did and I grudgingly started to respect it, but still didn't think seriously about owning one.

Having moved again, I'd already made the decision to remodel our house and clear the mortgage and therefore didn't fancy selling my soul for something crazy that I wouldn't have the time to use. I liked the look of the 360 Spider, only really fancied the R8 as  V10 Spider but it was too lacking in character for my liking. A Vantage convertible fitted the bill in term of design but they never felt really quick and a V12 with anything other than a black interior was impossible to find. 

So I put the search on hold whilst I directed my attention at other more pressing matters.

Purely out of chance, I went out for a drive on a Sunday afternoon as the weather had broken; and there's nothing like a blast on a sunny winter's day to stir the soul. I turned around and pulled into a dealership out of curiosity as a car that we had passed caught my eye.  The colour just popped and it was impossible to miss. Favouring form over function as I often do, we tracked down the guy that owned the place and pressurised him as nicely as possible into letting me take it out for a spin.

The car in question was another Jaguar; but this time the 5.0 supercharged version in convertible format. Now, if I had to spec the car for all the colour and trim options, this would have been the one, right down to the matching hood. Suddenly the shape worked and it smelt like new. 

As soon as the engine started I grinned; the sort of grin that I'd always reserved for 16Ms and Dodge Challengers. Two minutes up the road I'd already decided to buy it, irrespective of whatever it was going to cost. It looked special, felt special....and went like absolute stink.

Ironically I drove a Brabus SL that I had an option on the following day, and it was technically brilliant. I preferred the interior, too. I still had the option to back away from the Jag. So, my wife asked me how the test drive went. I told her that the car was faultless and that it pulled like a train.

'But you're not smiling', she said.  

QED.

Positives and negatives........I can get more that one person in the car as a passenger if we are creative and friendly to each other.  The sound system is a pretty good offering from Bower and Wilkins, but I can probably count the number of times that I've used it without resorting to using my toes as well. The seats are incredibly comfortable and it's pretty hard to find a proper Grand Tourer these days; in that respect it fits the bill as there is a usable boot with the roof retracted along with the back seat space, if there are only two of you. Brakes are more than adequate.

Heated windscreens are always a boon, together with directional headlights and wind buffeting is minimal at illegal speeds if you use the wind deflector; that keeps the interior as warm as toast if, like me, you tend to drive with the roof down all of the time. 

The exhaust note is incredible, especially when you start to push the V8 a bit. It's an active system so you can choose to be discreet or to be a hooligan should your mood so dictate. Getting the power down is the car's big failing; even with decent Michelin rubber, it will happily wheel spin accelerating from seventy as 580 horses and 700 or so torques fight the tarmac for supremacy as mine has been tweaked a tad. In truth, it's more of a refined thug in a sharp suit than a point to point racer in the way that smaller and more nimbler cars often are. 

But that's not the point.

I like that it's a bit of a bastard, in all honesty. 

Driving it invariably keeps me on edge, and that in itself stops me from completely succumbing to the Dark Side. I remember my first impression when driving the McLaren MP4  12C post launch was that it could get round most corners faster than I could figure out what was around them, and being a fairly quick driver that never really boded for me to enjoy a long and happy life. 

The onboard computerised graphics feel a tad clunky and antiquated; give me function specific knobs and switches over soft keys any time. Don't bother looking underneath the hood, it's full of engine and plastic, as is too often the case these days. The brakes are more than adequate and the wheels relatively huge for what it is. Somewhere at Jaguar, they must have a skunk work minded group of engineers that just enjoy throwing caution to the wind on occasions. Obviously, that's become much more apparent in recent years with the coming of the Project 7 and Project 8.

The only unexpected costs involved replacement of an aircon radiator following a chance encounter with a suicidal muntjac on the M40 a couple of years ago. I've even seen 32 mpg average at a constant high speed, which truly staggered me. as I normally expect something in the twenties if I'm not being too boisterous. It's invariably been full of pleasant surprises.

I've come to enjoy the imperfections, and love the compliments that it attracts; people actually talk to me in traffic jams about the car as it's pretty classless and maybe in that sense they feel that I am approachable.

I love the duality of it's personality, it never looks as fast as it really is.

But all said and done; in terms of sheer fun and bang per buck, it's been hard to beat. 

And I'm still smiling.......



Car reviews

Full model designation of your vehicle
Jaguar XKR convertible 5.0
Bought it
Used
Model year
10/11
Ownership period
2+
Miles / km driven?
6000
Would you buy from this manufacturer again?
Maybe
TP
Top 10 Reviewer 1 reviews

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