Road & Travel Magazine

Auto Advice & Tips
Auto Buyer's Guides
Car Care Maintenance
Climate Views & Videos
Auto Awards Archive
Insurance & Accidents
Legends & Leaders
New Car Reviews
Planet Driven
Road Humor
Road Trips
RV & Camping
Safety & Security
Teens & Tots Tips
Tire Buying Tips
Used Car Buying
Vehicle Model Guide

Travel Channel
Adventure Travel
Advice & Tips
Airline Rules
Bed & Breakfasts
Cruises & Tours
Destination Reviews
Earth Tones
Family Travel Tips
Health Trip
Hotels & Resorts
Luxury Travel
Pet Travel
RV & Camping
Safety & Security
Spa Reviews
Train Vacations
World Travel Directory
Bookmark and Share

by Steve Siler

Jaguar XK8
2003 Jaguar XK8
Sex appeal hath no more explicit form than the cars from Coventry, among the most beautiful of which is the Jaguar XK8. Since its introduction back in 1997, the sexy kitty has beguiled us with its voluptuous contours, its smart, sassy gaze and its prodigious power. And no more alluring has it ever been than it is today.

Now, most movie stars get facelifts more often than do Jaguars, but six years is nonetheless a long time to duke it out in the none-too-fickle premium sports car market. Fittingly, the XK8 has been touched up a little for 2003 with new headlight surrounds, new wheels and various minor trim changes. But those are only minor enhancements, testimony that the design needs no real improvement in spite of its age.

The interior of the XK8 is coddling and snug. Its 320-watt sound system is as delightful to the ears as its Connolly leather seats are to the bum. The wood is, in a word, spectacular. Both the curvalicious coupe and the racy ragtop have a silly littls back seat that, honestly, makes a much better auxiliary storage space for your purse or a few shopping bags than anything else. And anything you can't fit back there, however, you can probably fit in the trunk, which measures a generous 11.5 cubic feet in coupe models and a nearly-as-generous 10.8 in the convertibles.

The long, notched key stirs the XK8's 294-hp engine to life, a power plant now mated to an automatic transmission with no fewer than six forward gears. A 390-hp, supercharged version of the engine is available, too, but it helps launch the car to way over our $80K threshold, so we won't dwell on it (it sure is fun, though). Just know that an XK8 in any form is an extraordinarily beautiful, loin-stirring, capable, prestigious and sexy automobile that drives as wonderfully as it looks.

Price: $75K-$90K