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2012 Jaguar XK Series

Overview
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2012 Jaguar XK Series Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.4

In a category defined by supreme levels of prestige, opulence or performance, the 2012 Jaguar XK delivers on all counts. Boasting elegant exterior styling and an interior to match, the Jag XK adds an inimitable Britannic dimension to the grand touring segment. The latest addition to the XK lineup represents the pinnacle of Jaguar performance engineering in the limited-edition XKR-S. Available in coupe or convertible form, the XK's wealth of standard equipment coupled with a reasonable starting price fare well against such well-entrenched competitors as the Mercedes Benz SL-Class, BMW 6 Series and Porsche 911. With three distinct versions to choose from, the 2012 Jaguar XK offers the comfort and grace of a grand tourer, the stirring dynamism of a high-performance sports car, and virtually everything in-between.

You'll Like This Car If...

If a distinctive sports car with a near-perfect balance of performance and comfort sounds enticing, place the 2012 Jaguar XK at the top of your list. The most challenging component of your purchase is choosing between the open-air freedom of the convertible or the streamlined good looks and added rigidity of the coupe.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If razor-sharp handling and visceral feedback are prerequisites for your next sports car, you will find the Jaguar XK comes up short. We recommend the Porsche 911 or the considerably less expensive Chevrolet Corvette to sufficiently arouse your senses. Moreover, the XK's appealing upfront cost is offset by notoriously low residual values.

What's New for 2012

For 2012, the Jaguar XK series adds a new 550-horsepower XKR-S variant to the top of the roster. Changes to the base XK and sporty XKR include a restyled front end with revised headlights and LED running lights. Similarly, the interior receives a slight refresh, with upgraded materials and a rear backup camera as standard on every trim level.

Driving the XK Series

Driving Impressions 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 Jaguar XK is a beautiful cruiser that you'll undoubtedly love to drive.

A MYRIAD OF COMBINATIONS
Resorting to the aftermarket for individual expression is a superfluous matter with the Jaguar XK. 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.

2012 Jaguar XK Series Details
Interior

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.

Exterior
2012 Jaguar XK Series photo

The 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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Functional and fashionable, the 2012 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.

Optional Equipment

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 safe following distance from traffic ahead. Stand-alone options include HD Radio, a heated windshield for icy climates, 19- and 20-inch wheels and aluminum interior trim.

Under the Hood

All 2012 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.

5.0-liter V8
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 (coupe), 15/22 mpg (convertible)

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 (coupe), 15/22 mpg (convertible)

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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2012 Jaguar XK Series Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 70 Ratings for the 2007 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    9.4/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    9.5/10
  • Comfort
    9.3/10
    Styling
    9.6/10

Awesome power, convenience, comfort and beauty

By on Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Supercar performance with Everday Drivability"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"This 2013 XKR convert blows away the MB SL550 I previously owned in many ways. It is a Portfolio Special Edition, and had a base 550HP (same as XKR-S) which I had the supercharger tweaked to produce over 600HP. So in Sport Mode, it absolutely screams and 30MPH to 100MPH takes about 2 seconds - scary! The downside is that without AWD or Launch Control, it will go sideways from a standing start too easily, at least with the OEM rubber. Even with all of the power, in Comfort Mode, it is extremely easy and comfortable to drive, and the interior in the portfolio models is in my opinion, of a higher quality than any of the kraut or even italian competitors. The only negative to the car is because it is a GT configuration, its longer wheelbase to accomodate the rear jump seats reduces the ability to pivot tightly in hard cornering. But, the extra length also gives it a smoother highway ride. Otherwise, if you can find a Portfolio Special Edition model - Buy It"

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

I love this Car!

By on Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive!"

Cons: "None"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I own a 2013 XKR-S. This car is beautiful and an absolute blast to drive. The exhaust emits a guttural growl. I get a lot of positive comments and attention from people when I drive this car."

27 people out of 59 found this review helpful

Best supercar for the price.

By on Friday, March 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Look, performance, durablitly, look, pizazz."

Cons: "For what the car is made to be, none."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is one of only a few cars that will consistently put a smile on your face. This is a beautiful car inside and out! My car is 5 years old now and shows almost no signs of wear. The quality in this car is amazing, both in fit and finish, performance, and durability. This car has held up far better than I expected, nothing but oil changes and it literally looks new still with 42k on it now. This is not a thinly veiled race car though. Even with 420 horsepower, this car won't slam you into to the seat like a full-out sports car of similar power. This car is super smooth, yet still handles extremely well in the corners for a car with such a compliant ride. The shifts are quick and seamless, even under hard acceleration you can barely feel them. However, if you want a stiff ride, blinding acceleration, and all out performance at the cost of comfort then this is probably not your car. If you want one of the sexiest cars on the road, one that turns heads everywhere you go, one that will fly by most any car on the road with a simple touch of the gas (at speed this car flies!) but still one of the most comfortable cars around, one that can be driven and holds up to daily use, and a supercar for a steal of a price, than this is your car!"

27 people out of 39 found this review helpful

Great value and gorgeous styling.

By on Saturday, March 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Iconic styling, light weight aluminum, VERY plush"

Cons: "Everyone wants to look at it and ask questions."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car is quite nimble and offers great power. Very comfortable seats, stunning wood work. Amongst it's competitors, this car is cheap to keep as it requires maintainance once a year or at every 12000 miles. The tuned exhaust is very seductive. Mine is Salsa Red with Oyster/Ivory. After driving Mercedes Benz cars for so long, this is a refreshing change and it's nice that when I stop by the service department, it's usually just to say hello."

7 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Best vehicle ever bought

By on Thursday, February 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Awesome power but very controllable"

Cons: "The sat-nav absolutely sucks!!!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have owned high end Mercedes before, this Jaguar is my best car by far. It's power is awesome but never feels unsafe and the ride is not too hard, unlike some pure play sports cars. This is definitely a grand tourer and ideal for the quintessential "road trip". But the best thing by far is the fact that it is dead drop gorgeous - one of the hottest looking cars ever, sleek, sophisticated and stylish. The only downside comes with the toys, the sound system is great but the GPS is an absolute nightmare."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Best car I have owned.

By on Saturday, January 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Beautiful design, performance, good gas mileage"

Cons: "Not a car for snowy conditions"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Having owned 36 cars in my lifetime, including Porsches, BMWs, Mercedes and many varieties of Japanese cars, this is the best car that I have owned. It is also one of the most reliable. The performance is outstanding as is the build quality and the luxury and quietness of the cabin, at least until it is floored."

6 people out of 12 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?