While some of us journalists can’t get around the XK’s Taurus-inspired face and cost-cut interior details, we all agree that it’s an incredibly compliant cruiser. The Jag’s 300 hp isn’t quite enough to shift the earth’s rotation, but the 4.2-liter V-8 emits some truly glorious sounds and at the same time will achieve 27 mpg on the highway. The XK’s suspension borders on flawless, as does its paddle-shifted six-speed automatic transmission. Inside, the car’s touch-screen navigation system is confusing and complex, but outside, the XK coupe’s silhouette is truly classic in a way that only a Jaguar designer can pen. Load up the rear hatch with a weekend’s worth of luggage, and you’ll still have the tiny back seats waiting to wield wine cases on the way home from Napa.
No other sports car short of the Corvette has a history as storied as the Porsche 911, and no other car–period–would be able to get away with a having an engine mounted behind the rear wheels in this day and age. For the current generation car, Porsche engineers invested a lot of time making the cabriolet model more rigid than previous cars, and it really shows. With the sun shining down and the flat six singing its song, the 911 cabriolet would be the ideal car to venture up California’s coast on a late spring day, feeding all the senses.