The 2005 XK8 two-door coupe exhibited elements of both a sports car and a luxury coupe. The sporty exterior received a minor refresh, with new bumpers, wheels, rocker panels, and a new mesh grille, which was particularly stylish and even a bit menacing.
Inside, though, the XK8 was all luxury, with heated leather seats, extensive use of burl walnut for the trim and dash, a leather-and-wood four-spoke steering wheel, an electrically adjustable steering column, an illuminated entry system, cruise control, and Alpine AM/FM stereo with a six-disc CD changer.
Power was provided by a 4.2-liter V8 that produced 294 horsepower. The only transmission available was a six-speed automatic, which was ideal for around-town driving but limiting for those who wanted to explore the XK8's wildier side on the open road. A manual shifting option was provided by the transmission's J-Gate.
As far as other features, the XK8 was well-equipped, with everything from four-wheel anti-lock brakes, electronic traction control, stability control, and brake assist to a climate control system, rear fog lights, an automatic-operating rear-view mirror, rear parking distance sensors, rain-sensing headlights, and a ventilation system with a micro filter.
Overall, drivers liked the exclusiveness of the XK8, as well as its sporty good looks, roominess, smooth ride, aggressive power, and luxury features. Some felt the exterior design was dated, and others were less than impressed with the car's stereo system. Still, drivers felt the 2005 model was a big improvement over previous models, and were generally happy with the vehicle.