I wanted my dry cleaning, but I wanted to drive that luscious Jag. Nowhere to put the clothes, except flat across the abbreviated back buckets. It would have to do. Once I stuffed them back there and refocused my attention on the task at hand (having a great, grand drive through the countryside), I forgot about everything except just how far and how fast Jaguar has come in the past five years. They are stunningly beautiful. They are thrilling to drive hard. They are luxuriously modern. May Ratan Tata live long and prosper.
Jean Jennings, President and Editor-in-Chief
For better or for worse, Jaguars have more character than any other modern vehicles. Everything about the XK is immediately distinctive, from the rich smell of the leather to its unique rotary shifter. It thrums down the road with effortless V-8 athleticism, negotiating curves more nimbly than cars that weigh several hundred pounds less and yet soaking up road imperfections better than most luxury sedans. Even the steering has a unique feel to it: light and quick as in an Audi, but much more communicative. Topping off all this perfection was the check engine light, which flickered on the moment I started the car and never went off. Yep, it’s a Jaguar alright.
David Zenlea, Assistant Editor
Speed junkies can still opt for the 510-horsepower, supercharged XKR, but I really think the basic XK coupe is a better grand touring car than the forced-induction feline.
It certainly isn’t lacking power. The direct-injection 5.0-liter V-8, which arrived for the 2010 model year, serves up a delightful 385 horsepower at 6500 rpm, and is all too happy to quickly rev away and deliver it at your right foot’s beckoning call. The six-speed automatic is quick to keep that engine in the power band, but I’m more impressed with the work performed by the chassis engineers, who’ve dialed in an amazing blend of comfort, communicative steering while curtailing most body roll.
There are plenty of ways to blow $82,000 on a sports car, but few other offerings are able to straddle the line between lunacy and luxury as well as the XK. If you’re looking for one car to blast you down back roads yet coddle you during daily driving, the Jaguar is certainly worth considering.
Evan McCausland, Web Producer
Seriously, what’s not to love about this automobile that is all about driving! Well that and turning a lot of heads along the way. The sexy lines of this car scream sexy yet classic. While it’s advertised as a 2+2 coupe, I’d say there’s really only room to hold bags from Stanley Korshack. I enjoyed the adaptive headlights on a dark winding country road as well as the parking assist when running about town. I wasn’t about to leave a scratch on this baby!
Kelly Murphy, Creative Director
Even after several years on the road, the XK still turns many heads, at least in mid-Michigan. I spent many happy hours in the magazine’s Four Seasons 2007 XK, and I found plopping into the driver’s seat of this Jag to be like having a pint with an old friend … we picked up right where we left off. I gladly reacquainted myself with the XK’s great handling, lovely transmission, and fine steering. Unfortunately, it’s still hindered by a slow infotainment system and random error messages. (For instance, the check-engine light went on for me following a warning message that the fuel cap wasn’t closed properly, even though I verified that it was properly sealed.)
Since our 4S car departed, though, I’ve become a father, and this XK turns out to be the worst car I’ve driven for cramming a baby seat into those two-plus-two rear seats. Not only can the front passenger seat not be slid back very far with the kid seat back there-as is the case in so many other four-seat coupes-the seatback can’t even be flipped back into the upright position. Needless to say, I won’t be doing any kid shuttling in an XK anytime soon.
Rusty Blackwell, Rusty Blackwell
2011 Jaguar XK Coupe
Base price (with destination): $83,000
Price as tested: $83,000
5.0-liter V-8 engine
6-speed automatic transmission
4-wheel disc brakes with ABS
Adaptive dynamics and DSC
Steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles
Jaguar drive selector
Tire-pressure monitoring system
Heated and cooled leather front seats
Bowers & Wilkins 525-watt sound system
7-inch touch screen navigation system
Options on this vehicle:
Key options not on vehicle:
Advanced technology package –$2625
Heated front windshield — $375
HD radio — $350
16 / 24 / 19 mpg
Size: 5.0L V-8
Horsepower: 385 hp @ 6500 rpm
Torque: 380 lb-ft @ 3500 rpm
Curb weight: 3770 lb
Wheels/tires: 19-inch aluminum wheels
245/40R19 front; 275/35R19 rear Dunlop SP Sport performance tire