The 2003 Jaguar XK-Series received some major retooling for the 2003 model year. It received a new 4.2-liter, V-8 engine and a six-speed ZF automatic transmission. This engine boosted the horsepower range and improved performance. Jaguar last redesigned the coupe and convertible in 1997. This was when it received the XK8 model, replacing the XK6, which had a V-6 engine. The new XK8 and XKR models are a lot more powerful than previous generations’. All the technological features, including traction and stability control, Emergency Brake Assist, and the Computer Active Technology Suspension that has two-stage adaptive ride control, make this one of the best XK models ever.
Body Styles: coupe, convertible
Engines: 4.2-liter V-8
Transmissions: six-speed automatic
Models: Jaguar XK8, Jaguar XKR
Jaguar makes several changes to keep the Jaguar XK-Series competitive. Changes to the exterior are not extreme; only the wheels, slightly different badging, new colors, and xenon headlamps are changed and added. Two new engines are added to the line though, increasing the vehicle’s power and reliability. New standard safety equipment includes stability control and BrakeAssist.
The 2003 Jaguar XK-Series comes in a coupe and a convertible model. The new exterior receives a few changes in 2003, including new headlights and new badging. The style is almost the same as the old XK-E models of the 1960s. The XKR model has a new hood, a rear spoiler, and Xenon high-intensity discharge headlamps.
The 2003 Jaguar XK-Series is meant to hold four passengers. However, the jump seats in the back are only able to fit children, making it only suitable for two adult passengers. Climbing in and out, even for the front passengers, is a bit difficult since the vehicle is so low to the ground. Space is limited as well. The seats are very comfortable, boasting Connolly leather and lots of wood trim. It also offers heated front seats and a premium Alpine audio system with a CD changer. A GPS system is included, but it is incredibly hard to use at times.
Performance & Handling
The 2003 Jaguar XK-Series comes equipped with a supercharged, 4.2-liter, dual-overhead cam, V-8 engine that produces 390 horsepower at 6100 rpm and 399 lb-ft of torque at 3500 rpm. The engine is paired with a six-speed ZF automatic transmission. Driving the XK is a true thrill. The addition of brake assist, dynamic stability control, and other features ensures it stays confident, even in the biggest curve. Handling is capable and shifting is smooth with the new ZF automatic transmission. The Computer Active Technology Suspension, which is added standard to the XKR, has an adaptive two-stage ride control that selects firm or soft dampening from the suspension depending on the driving style.
The 2003 Jaguar XK-Series has a slew of safety features. It comes equipped with four-wheel anti-lock brakes, dual front-side mounted airbags, child seat anchors, a remote anti-theft alarm system, emergency brake assist, front and rear ventilated disc brakes, rear door child safety locks, front fog lamps, dusk sensing headlamps, front seatbelt pretensioners, stability and traction control, electronic brake force distribution, and an emergency trunk release. The Jaguar Adaptive Restraint technology system includes head and thorax protection airbags, something not common on sport coupes at the time. Sensors that determine when a seat is occupied and whether the driver or passenger is wearing a seat belt control deployment of the airbags. A reverse parking control sensor sends a warning beep into the cockpit while reversing if there is an obstacle. The XK-Series was not tested by the NHTSA or the IIHS for 2003.
EPA Fuel Economy
Jaguar XK-Series XK8: 16/24 mpg city/highway
Jaguar XK-Series XKR: 14/21 mpg city/highway
- Great exterior design
- Supercharged V-8 engine
- Luxury and performance are well balanced
You Won't Like
- Cramped interior
- Cheap plastic interior pieces
- GPS system is fussy
More powerful than expected.
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