KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors
Recently acquired by India's Tata Motors, Jaguar is currently embarking upon an unprecedented new chapter in its illustrious history. While the pivotal vehicle in determining Jaguar's ultimate fortunes will likely be the new XF luxury sedan, this legendary automaker's stunning 2010 XK Coupe and Convertible remain its most powerfully emotional driving statements. Sensational styling, sophisticated V8 engines (supercharged in the XKR variants, reviewed separately), and finely tuned suspensions allow these luxuriously appointed 2+2 grand tourers to vie for the attentions of potential upscale owners against prime competitors that include the BMW 650i and Porsche 911. As always, the Jaguars do it with a distinctly – and distinctive – British accent that gives them an abundance of sheer, unmitigated charisma.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you favor premium sports cars that match sensual design cues with outstanding creature comforts and you will happily trade a measure of brute force for more sophisticated ride and handling characteristics, the only choice you'll need to make is for a 2010 XK Coupe or an XK Convertible.
You May Not Like This Car If...
Those whose tastes run to harder-edged supercars would likely find something with a German or Italian pedigree, or even America's bang-for-the-buck champ, the Chevrolet Corvette, better suited to their upscale desires.
What's New for 2010
For 2010, the Jaguar XK receives wide-ranging improvements including brand new engine choices, an adaptive suspension and subtle exterior tweaks. The XK also offers JaguarDrive Selector, previously introduced on the XF Sedan, a rotary transmission shift knob that rises from the center console on startup.
More sports car than supercar in either body style, the 2010 Jaguar XK embodies the Grand Touring ethos with a total package that's capable, comfortable and exceptionally rewarding, whether you're in high-profile cruise or hard-charge mode. Tap the starter button and the potent V8 springs to life with a throaty, enthusiastic rumble. It's superbly complemented by the six-speed sequential automatic that plays a great support role in this quick-response team. Rounding out this stellar dynamic mix are well-mannered stability and traction controls, nicely weighted steering and an adaptive suspension system that nicely balances the needs of ride comfort and handling prowess. Caveats include modestly compromised driver sightlines, particularly in the Convertible with the top up, and a navigation-system display that can be difficult to read in bright sun. But those downsides pale when compared to the overall rewards either of these Jaguars delivers to anyone behind the wheel.
Impeccable Sense of Style
Coupe or Convertible, inside or out, there's something special about the XK's appearance that transcends mere automotive design and endows each of them with a captivating presence.
Extensive use of lightweight aluminum throughout the XK – from its exceptionally stiff bonded unit construction to its striking bodywork to its primary suspension bits – helps trim performance-robbing mass and optimize handling responsiveness and precision.
Contemporary with classic overtones, the XK interior has a bounty of high-tech elements framed by polished hardwoods and supple hand-stitched leather. Its driver-oriented layout incorporates white-on-black analog main gauges complemented by a logically arrayed center stack with audio and climate controls and topped by a seven-inch touch-screen for the standard navigation system. Although the front seats will easily accommodate six-foot-plus occupants, the rear seats are best left to briefcases or duffel bags. A liftback eases access to the Coupe's 10.6 cubic feet of cargo space, while the Convertible's trunk can stow a maximum of 10.0 cubic feet with the top up, less with it tucked away.
Few cars of any kind can match the exotic visual character of the 2010 Jaguar XK's sleekly contoured aluminum bodywork. Classic long-nose/short-deck proportions impart a sporting flair to both the Coupe and Convertible that hearkens back to the marque's legendary E-Type. A large grille with bright mesh insert, prominently flared fenders, LED rear lights and refreshed front and rear fascias serve as primary accent ingredients in this styling recipe that's guaranteed to turn heads, whether it's the sleek Coupe, or the Convertible with the power-activated soft top that raises and lowers in 20 seconds at the press of a button.
Notable Standard Equipment
Function and fashion elegantly interface in the stunning XK package. It starts with rich leather and wood or aluminum accents plus a full complement of power assists, including 16-way power front seats. Richening the mix are dual-zone automatic climate control, bi-xenon headlights, DVD-based navigation with seven-inch touch screen, heated and cooled front seats, and a 525-watt Bowers & Wilkins audio system. Safety features include powerful anti-lock disc brakes with Emergency Brake Assist, front and front-side airbags and active anti-whiplash front head restraints, plus automatic-deploying rollover hoops on the Convertible.
Notable Optional Equipment
Thanks to a long list of standard equipment there is only one option package offered for the XK. The Advanced Technology Package adds corner-following Active Front Lighting and distance-maintaining Adaptive Cruise Control. Other options include HD Radio, alternative 19-inch or 20-inch wheels, and either dimpled aluminum or (at no charge) the choice of Burl Walnut, Rich Oak or Figured Ebony veneers.
Under the Hood
The 2010 Jaguar XK variants share an identical 5.0-liter all-aluminum V8. Jaguar's sophisticated engine uses direct injection and variable camshaft timing to produce 385 horsepower. The responsive six-speed ZF automatic transmission includes a Sport mode that delivers quick upshifts and downshifts through a pair of levers mounted on the steering wheel, and incorporates a throttle-blipping feature to smooth transitions on the downshifts. Thanks to a bump in power for the 2010 model year, both the 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)
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2010 Jaguar XK Coupe starts around $83,000, while the XK Convertible opens closer to $89,000. Those figures put the XK's base prices a few thousand dollars above its BMW 650i and Porsche 911 Carrera counterparts. To compare the actual transaction prices for the Jaguar XK in your area, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price. Historically, Jaguar residual values have been significantly below those of BMW and Porsche. However, it's also true that many people who favor Jaguar's style and spirit might be inclined to prioritize the gratification of driving one of these Top Cats in the near future over worrying about the steeper depreciation it may suffer at trade-in time.