You'll Like The 2011 Jaguar XK If...
If you're looking for a premium sports car with drop-dead gorgeous looks, plenty of luxury amenities and sophisticated ride and handling characteristics, the 2011 Jaguar XK is a perfect choice. You need only to decide if you want the open-air fun of the Convertible or the extra rigidity of the Coupe.
You May Not Like The 2011 Jaguar XK If...
If your sports car tastes run to harder-edged cars with sharper handling characteristics, you'll be better served by the German or Italian competitors, as well as the American performance leader, the Chevrolet Corvette.
After substantial engine and suspension changes for 2010, the 2011 Jaguar XK gets a new 5 year/50,000-mile complimentary scheduled maintenance program and a 75th Anniversary edition of the supercharged XKR Coupe, commemorating 75 years of cars carrying the Jaguar name.
Contemporary yet with classic overtones, the XK's interior is a mix of high-tech features surrounded by polished hardwoods and supple hand-stitched leather. The driver-oriented cockpit features white-on-black analog gauges, easy-to-reach controls and a simple center stack with audio and climate controls topped by a seven-inch touch-screen for the standard navigation system. The front seats are nicely bolstered to provide support during hard cornering, and they have enough room to accommodate six-foot-plus occupants. The rear seat is just for show; it's better left to briefcases or duffel bags than human occupants. The Coupe's hatchback design eases access to a relatively small 10.6 cubic-foot cargo area, while the Convertible's trunk holds 10.0 cubic feet of cargo with the top up, less with the top down.
Few cars can rival the sleekly sculpted lines of the 2011 Jaguar XK's aluminum bodywork. It has the long-nose/short-deck proportions of classic sports cars, including the marque's legendary E-Type. Key styling features include a low stance, a large grille with a bright mesh insert, prominently flared fenders and LED taillights. The Convertible has a power-activated soft top that can be raised or lowered in 20 seconds with the press of a button.
More of a grand tourer than a pure sports car, the 2011 Jaguar XK is capable, comfortable and exceptionally rewarding to drive. The silky and powerful V8 emits a throaty, enthusiastic rumble. It works well with the six-speed automatic transmission, which delivers quick, smooth shifts. The dynamic mix is well balanced, too, featuring stability and traction control systems that don't intervene too quickly, nicely weighted steering and an adaptive suspension system that delivers ride comfort as well as handling prowess. On the down side, some driver sightlines are blocked, especially in the Convertible with the top up, and the navigation display can wash out in bright sunlight. All things considered, however, the Jaguar XK is a beautiful cruiser that you'll love to drive.
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2011 Jaguar XK Coupe starts around $84,000, while the XK Convertible starts at closer to $90,000. Those prices make the XK a few thousand dollars more expensive than its BMW 650i and Porsche 911 Carrera competitors. To see actual transaction prices for the Jaguar XK in your area, be sure to check the New Car Blue Book Value. While Jaguar residual values have historically been significantly below those of BMW and Porsche, buyers who favor Jaguar's style and spirit might be inclined to buy the XK in spite of the steeper depreciation they may suffer at trade-in time.
Functional and fashionable, the 2011 Jaguar XK comes predictably well equipped. Customers can choose from wood or aluminum trim to go with the rich leather upholstery. Aiding passenger comfort are dual-zone automatic climate control and 16-way power front seats that are both heated and cooled. Tech features consists of bi-xenon headlights, a DVD-based navigation system with a seven-inch touch screen and a 525-watt Bowers & Wilkins audio system. Safety features include anti-lock disc brakes with Emergency Brake Assist, traction control and electronic stability control, front- and front-side airbags and active front head restraints that help prevent whiplash. The Convertible also has self-deploying rollover hoops.
With so much standard equipment, there are very few options. An Advanced Technology Package comes with Active Front Lighting that points into turns and Adaptive Cruise Control that maintains a safe following distance from traffic ahead. Stand-alone options include HD Radio, 19- and 20-inch wheels and either dimpled aluminum or (at no charge) Burl Walnut, Rich Oak or Figured Ebony veneers.
Impeccable Sense of Style
Owners of high-end sports cars want to feel like they're driving something special, and the XK delivers. Coupe or Convertible, the XK's looks transcend mere automotive design, giving each car a captivating presence.
From its exceptionally stiff bonded unit body to its sexy body panels to various suspension components, the 2011 Jaguar XK makes extensive use of lightweight aluminum throughout. This light and strong metal helps trim performance-robbing mass and optimize handling responsiveness and precision.
Under the Hood
The 2011 Jaguar XK models are powered by a 5.0-liter all-aluminum V8. This smooth and sophisticated engine features direct fuel injection and variable camshaft timing to produce 385 horsepower. The responsive six-speed ZF automatic transmission has a Sport mode that delivers quick upshifts and downshifts and can be manually shifted via the gearshift or a pair of steering-wheel paddles. It also incorporates a throttle-blipping feature to smooth transitions on the downshifts. With so much power on tap, the 2011 Jaguar XK Coupe and Convertible are capable of zero-to-sixty sprints in the low five-second range.
385 horsepower @ 6500 rpm
380 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/24 (Coupe), 16/22 (Convertible)
Now under the ownership of India's Tata Motors, Jaguar has undertaken a complete redesign of its product lineup. While the XF and XJ have received a bold new design theme, this luxury automaker's stylish 2011 XK Coupe and Convertible remain the brand's most powerfully emotional driving statements. Sexy styling, smooth and powerful V8 engines (supercharged in the XKR versions, reviewed separately), and sporty driving dynamics give these luxurious 2+2 grand tourers the chops to compete against the likes of the BMW 650i and Porsche 911. The XK may not be as ultimately sporty as those cars, but a distinct British accent gives it a charisma all its own.