Flash Drive: 2009 Jaguar XKR Convertible
This 2009 review is representative of model years 2007 to 2013.
By Staff of MSN Autos
There's no question that the Jaguar XKR is a sexy looking car. Long hood, bold fenders and an elegant interior — it has all the makings of a luxury saloon. But start this supercharged Jag and that throaty V8 tells you that this luxe vehicle has the power under the hood to back up those good looks. It sounds even better with the top down. Acceleration is quite impressive, and while it may not handle as well as a true sports car, it can hold its own in most situations. What the XKR gives up in sharp handling it makes up for with a comfortable ride. The automatic transmission shifts quickly and smoothly, adding to the luxurious ride. While this car is a 4-seater, don't count on putting anyone in the rear seat — it's almost too small even for children — and the trunk is rather tiny as well. But put the top down, hit the accelerator and these small issues are easily forgotten. -Perry Stern
The Jaguar XKR is a thoroughly modern interpretation of the traditional Jaguar "grand tourer." With the top down, it has the graceful looks that made Jaguar famous; but with the top up, it looks even better. Yet the view from inside is best of all. The dashboard is classy and elegant, with an unusual blend of silver metal accents, and with suede surrounding the windshield, it looks gorgeous "in person" and is a tactile indulgence. Although there are rear seats, they're not big enough to suit any but the youngest children, so this Jaguar is really a car for two people. The engine is well-suited to powering across continents, with a smooth delivery and nice sound. But the XKR isn't a nimble or quick sports car (in spite of the 400-plus horsepower). So instead just sit back, relax and cruise the fast lane to wherever you might want to go. -Paul Hagger
Jaguar's XKR convertible is a sophisticated, open-top, grand touring car that continues to exude the mystique of the storied British marque while delivering all the refinement and comfort afforded by modern technology. The current XK Series, debuted for 2007, has a much stiffer chassis than the predecessor, which allowed the engineers to tune the suspension for excellent handling and still deliver a comfortable ride for everyday driving. The XKR adds mesh grilles, hood vents and a 420-horsepower supercharged V8 engine with a fantastic exhaust note under acceleration. The supercharger means abundant power is available at all times, and the transmission shifts smoothly and quickly, with rpm matched on the downshifts and manual shifting via paddles behind the steering wheel. The soft top raises and lowers quickly, and the interior is quiet with the top raised. While there is a back seat, this is truly a 2+2 with room only for small children for a short time. This car is fun to drive because Jaguars are not common cars and many people share enthusiasm for the brand. -Mike Meredith