If someone passed out beauty contest awards for performance, the 2013 Jaguar XK would have a mantel full of trophies. Combining stunning good looks with a passion for performance, the luxurious XK coupe and convertible know how to please, be it in the guise of the 385-horsepower entry-level model or the audacious 550-horsepower XKR-S.
You'll Like The 2013 Jaguar XK If...
If you're looking for a distinctive sports coupe/convertible that doesn't sacrifice performance for good looks, put the 2013 Jaguar XK at the top of your list. The coupe's rigid body will likely appeal to performance enthusiast, but the siren song of a topless Jag is equally irresistible.
You May Not Like The 2013 Jaguar XK If...
While the 2013 Jaguar XK is a lovely driving machine, it doesn't exude the same visceral feedback found behind the wheel of Porsche 911, or even a less luxury oriented car such as the Chevrolet Corvette or Dodge Viper. The XK's appealing upfront cost are somewhat offset by its consistently low residual and resale values.
For 2013, the Jaguar XK series sees changes mostly in the form of trim and feature content. New 20-inch wheels replace last year's 19s, while XK Touring trim is offered. The limited production XKR-S returns with 100 coupes and 100 convertibles available for U.S. market.
While it may not share the same level of architectural sophistication as the XJ flagship, the Jaguar XK's interior feels particularly upscale with a pleasing mix of contrast-stitched leather overlays and polished hardwoods. The analog controls are straightforward and intuitive, though most interior functions are operated via the frustratingly lethargic touchscreen interface. Comfort, on the other hand, is top-notch. The 16-way adjustable front seats provide endless arrangements and strike a pleasing balance between plush and firm support. Cramming two adults into the rear seats might pass for cruelty, but luggage or small children will fit fine. The coupe's hatchback design affords a slightly larger cargo area than the convertible, where top-down driving further trims overall trunk space.
The 2013 Jaguar XK's short rear deck and extended nose combine to produce a contemporary interpretation of Jaguar's legendary E-Type. The XKR distinguishes itself from the regular XK with exclusive wheels and quad exhaust outlets, with the XKR-S featuring gunmetal-painted wheels, a ventilated hood, unique bodywork, and a carbon-fiber rear spoiler. Convertible variants include a power soft top that can be raised or lowered in less than 18 seconds and is operational at speeds up to 15 mph.
Apart from the range-topping XKR-S, the Jaguar XK is more of a grand tourer than a pure sports car. Unlike a dedicated sports car, the XK's harmonious blend of performance and luxury provides a substantial measure of adaptability. The silky and powerful V8 emits a throaty, enthusiastic rumble. It works well with the 6-speed automatic transmission, which delivers quick, smooth shifts. The stability and traction control systems tolerate a suitable amount of latitude before taking the reins, while the nicely weighted steering and adaptive suspension system deliver remarkable 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 2013 Jaguar XK is a beautiful cruiser and a lovely drive.
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2013 Jaguar XK coupe starts just north of $85,000, while the XK convertible starts closer to $91,000. Those prices make the XK a few thousand dollars more expensive than the Porsche 911 Carrera, but considerably less than the Mercedes-Benz SL550. As a special order, limited production car, the XKR-S commands a lofty $133,000 sticker price. To see actual transaction prices for the 2013 Jaguar XK in your area, be sure to check KBB's Fair Purchase Price at the bottom of this page. While Jaguar residual values have historically been significantly below those of BMW, Mercedes-Benz 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 endure at trade-in time.
Functional and fashionable, the 2013 Jaguar XK comes predictably well equipped. Customers can choose from aluminum or a variety of wood trims to go with the rich leather upholstery. Aiding passenger comfort is a dual-zone climate-control system with humidity control and 16-way power front seats that are both heated and cooled. Tech features consist of bi-xenon headlights, a rather outdated DVD-based navigation system with a 7-inch touch screen and a 525-watt Bowers & Wilkins audio system. The Convertible has self-deploying roll hoops for added protection in the event of a rollover.
With so much standard equipment, the XK offers very few options. An Advanced Technology Package comes with Active Front Lighting that points into turns and Adaptive Cruise Control that maintains a preset following distance from traffic ahead. Standalone options include HD Radio, a heated windshield for icy climates and aluminum interior trim. Twenty-inch wheels, once optional, are now standard on all but the XK Touring, which rides on 19-inch rims. A new Portfolio Pack adds a designer's touch with five recommended exterior colors for the coupe and seven for the convertible. Interior themes in either Navy or Truffle round out the package.
A MYRIAD OF COMBINATIONS
Resorting to the aftermarket for individual expression is a superfluous matter with the Jaguar XK for 2013. With 18 exterior paint finishes, seven interior trims, nearly a half dozen wheel choices, and four interior color schemes, you can custom tailor your XK to suit your individual taste.
BOWERS & WILKINS SURROUND SOUND
Not all premium audio systems are created equal. Dazzlingly high speaker counts and wattage outputs topping the quadruple-digit mark look impressive on paper, but the final word in sound quality is ultimately determined by the listener. Much in the way moms prefer Jiff peanut butter, choosey audiophiles choose Bowers & Wilkins.
Under the Hood
All 2013 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 in base form, while the supercharged XKR and XKR-S up the ante to 500 and 550 horsepower, respectively. The responsive 6-speed ZF automatic transmission has a sport mode that delivers quick upshifts and downshifts, and can be manually shifted via a pair of steering-wheel-mounted paddles. The gearbox also incorporates a throttle-blipping feature to smooth transitions on downshifts and enhance vehicle stability.
385 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
380 lb-ft of torque @ 3,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/24 mpg (coupe), 16/22 mpg (convertible)
5.0-liter supercharged V8
510 horsepower @ 6,000-6,500 rpm
461 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500-5,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/22 mpg
5.0-liter supercharged V8
550 horsepower @ 6,000-6,500 rpm
502 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500-5,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/22 mpg
In a market that demands its performance coupes be both elegant and extraordinary, the 2013 Jaguar XK has the formula down pat. Its elegant exterior is unmistakably Jaguar and its interior takes the British art of blending wood and leather to new heights. While the standard XK is simply jaw-dropping in its execution, it's the limited edition XKR-S that shows just what this cat can do. Available as either a coupe or convertible, the XKR-S features a wealth of standard features, a performance-inspired suspension and a 550-horsepwoer engine. Yet, even with all this, the XKR-S' price remains reasonable when compared to the likes of the BMW 6 Series, Porsche 911 and Mercedes-Benz SL. Offered for 2013 in three distinct trims, the Jaguar XK covers the gamut from respected grand touring car to tire-smoking joy ride.