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2012 Jaguar XK Series

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2012 Jaguar XK Series Review

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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)

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2012 Jaguar XK Series Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 86 Ratings for the 2007 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    9.3/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    9.6/10
  • Comfort
    9.3/10
    Styling
    9.6/10

I LOVE this car

By on Friday, January 8, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,000

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: "Awesome handling and just beautiful"

Cons: "Mine is not supercharged"

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

"I plan to buy a newer XKR just because it is faster. I really wish I would have done that the first go around. This car is plenty fast for the normal person, but I am a serious motor head. This car is just beautiful, and I mean a real head turner."

7 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Most reliable car we've ever owned!!!

By on Friday, December 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 49,000

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: "Super fun, super reliable too."

Cons: "Back seats for bags or small kids only."

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

"We own and enjoy a 08 xk luxury convertible with 20 inch wheels, fantastic looking!!! People always stop and look at it and give us complements. Many think it is an Aston Martin. This 08 xk has been the most reliable car we have ever owned. It is super fun to drive and super reliable too. You can drive it fast, slow and it is always fun and holds the road very well. It also will never rust as it has an all aluminum body!!! Formerly we owned a 2002 BMW M5 which was also fun to drive but a disaster maintaining. Not a year passed where the M5 didn't need some sort of repair. The 2008 xk is certainly a looker and low maintenance car. When driven at 78 miles an hour we get 29 miles a gallon, city driving 20 miles per gallon. Pretty good for such luxury ride."

7 people out of 11 found this review helpful

If you love to drive

By on Saturday, November 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 79,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Stunning yet subtle looks, sound, performance"

Cons: "no room to spare"

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

"Having owned most of the models in the high end sports car market, I can say without hesitation, the XK is much better than the competition. Pretty much an Aston Martin that you can use as a daily driver. Love it!"

19 people out of 34 found this review helpful

Exceptional luxury sports car

By on Sunday, November 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 49,900

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Very fun to drive!"

Cons: "Back seats that only hold a grocery bag."

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

"I'm the second owner of a 2007 executive lease car. I've owned the vehicle for 6 years and had one odd problem associated with the car starting and then dying immediately when being restarted after driving up a steep hill. You'd have to wait about 20 minutes and then the car would start and run normally. The car was under warranty, but needless to say, it took some time to sort out and I had to engage Jaguar North America to get it resolved, the dealership having attempted everything they could. It was fixed by a thorough cleaning of the injection system. The little plastic tabs that hold the door panels on are prone to break after time, creating a buzzing/rattling in the doors that can be fixed by simply pulling the bottom of the door panels out a bit so the plastic falls out. This happened with one tab on each door. The car has its own particular functional idiosyncrasies, such as having to open the door 'just right' using the keyless system -- pull the door handle slightly, pause 50 milliseconds and continue pulling; another is you need wait a couple seconds after exiting the car before locking with the keyless system or it will beep at you. Kind of typical British car stuff. A third example, well noted in the literature, is the very slow to react infotainment system after pushing a button. Nothing working incorrectly, just their operator/machine interface considerations. Other than these few things over the years, the car has truly been an exceptional drive -- smooth, reasonably powerful (300 bhp), quiet, nice handling and quite beautiful lines. Clearly I like it very much as I haven't replaced it! 2015 having been the last of the model year, I doubt I ever will."

9 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Electrical problems

By on Monday, October 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "Good looking car and fun to drive"

Cons: "Quality and consumer service by Jaguar corporate"

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

"Since 1960's Jaguar still have a problems electrical, computer. In 2 years replaced battery 4 times Under warranty? At 34000 replaced transmission! Jaguar corporate does not care about consumers good luck to get in touch with them. This was my first and last Jaguar in my life. Going back to German cars."

13 people out of 31 found this review helpful

Sleek black beauty supercharged

By on Tuesday, October 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,100

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: "Fast, handling, braking, comfort and design."

Cons: "Bad press, no flaws"

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

"Exceeds my expectations, a real head turner. When I open the car up and roar the 510 HP down the strip in sport mode the acceleration is about 0-60 in roughly 4.5 sec. The noise footprint from the rear is second to none. Braking and handling is awesome, a real treat and fun driving experience. The interior with its 16 way seats can fit most drivers to pure comfort. The less than good press about the interior must be written by those who have never taken this baby on a long ride through the countryside or the straight away."

8 people out of 15 found this review helpful

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