By Keith Buglewicz
KBB Expert Rating: 7.1
Making a beautiful car is one thing. Making a powerful car is another. But combining the two and creating an icon? That's the rare magic Jaguar crafted with its XK sport
Both elegant and menacing, the 2015 Jaguar XK, XKR and XKR-S blend clean, simple and powerful design with the horsepower and performance to keep the promise. Packed with luxury and technology, there's no doubt you're behind the wheel of a car that competes in the same rarified air as others like the BMW 640i, or even the Porsche 911. If it strikes a chord with you, this is your last chance to act, as Jaguar will be discontinuing the XK after the current model year to make room for an all-new XK.
Just look at it. If you want a car that looks this good, and has the horsepower to back up its promise of performance, the 2015 Jaguar XK and XKR models deserve a look.
While it's as easy on the eyes as any car out there, there's no getting around the fact that this car is now in its 10th model year. Besides, as a pure sports car, the Porsche 911 and new Chevrolet Corvette offer up an even better driving experience.
KBB Expert Ratings
There's little new for the 2015 Jaguar XK lineup. The limited edition XKR-S GT is gone, but otherwise there's nothing new, since the car is on its last model year in its current iteration. Keep your eyes open for an all-new XK in the next year or so.
There are two versions of the 2015 Jaguar XK models, and we don't just mean coupe and convertible.
The XK and XKR are classic grand touring coupes, offering a...
... comfortable suspension that nonetheless combines with steering, braking and cornering abilities to satisfy enthusiastic drivers. There's plenty of power from the XK's naturally-aspirated V8, and even more from the XKR's supercharged version. If you're looking for a version that trades off some of the luxury for performance, there's the XKR-S, with an even more powerful V8, a sharper suspension, and styling that trades some elegance for aggressiveness. In turns, the XK's electronic stability control gave drivers plenty of leeway before activating, and the adaptive suspension returned impressive road holding and ride comfort. On the flip side, the sleek shape makes outward vision difficult, and the navigation display can wash out in bright sunlight.
ANY WAY YOU LIKE IT
If self-expression is a measure of luxury, then the 2015 Jaguar XK is one of the most luxurious cars on the road. Even the "base" XK offers up 12 different paint colors, 11 different interior trims, and five different wheel styles.
BOWERS & WILKINS SURROUND SOUND
High-end audio systems are just as much a requirement of a luxury car as leather and chrome. But the Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system takes the 2015 Jaguar XF to a whole new level. Much in the way moms prefer Jiff peanut butter, choosey audiophiles choose Bowers & Wilkins.
The 2015 Jaguar XK's upscale interior features a pleasing mix of contrast-stitched leather overlays and polished hardwoods. The analog controls are intuitive, but unfortunately most interior functions operate 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. Technically there are two rear seats, but they're at best for extra luggage or small kids – two adults would just be cruel. There's more cargo space in the hatchback coupe than the convertible, where top-down driving further trims overall trunk space.
The 2015 Jaguar XK's short trunk and long nose are classic coupe proportions, with just a hint of the classic Jaguar E-Type thrown in for good measure. Move up to the XKR, and you get exclusive wheels and exhaust outlets, while the XKR-S adds a ventilated hood, unique bodywork, and a carbon-fiber spoiler. The convertibles look best top-down, which is easy enough to do with the push of a button, raising or lowering it in less than 18 seconds, at speeds up to 15 mph.
With its luxury pedigree, the 2015 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 heated and cooled 16-way power front seats. Tech features consist of bi-xenon headlights, an outdated and slow-reacting 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.
There's a lot of standard equipment on the 2015 Jaguar XK, so the options list is surprisingly short. Besides mixing and matching which exterior and interior colors you want, there's an Advanced Technology Package, which adds Active Front Lighting that points into turns, and Adaptive Cruise Control that maintains a preset following distance from traffic ahead. You can add HD Radio to the audio system, a heated windshield for icy climates, and aluminum interior trim instead of wood. The rest of the options list is made up of various trim pieces.
All 2015 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 brings that number to 510. The XKR-S ups the ante to 550 horsepower. 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 (XK)
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 (XKR)
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 (XKR-S)
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
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2015 Jaguar XK coupe starts right around $85,000, while the convertible starts closer to $91,000.
That's in the same general area as the Porsche 911 Carrera, but less than GTs like the Mercedes-Benz SL550. The supercharged XKR coupe starts at about $98,000, add another $6,000 for the convertible. And that 550-hp XKR-S? It'll set you back $133,000, and the convertible is an extra $6,000. To see actual transaction prices for the 2015 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.