Used 2009 Jaguar XK
Used 2009 Jaguar XK for Sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
The 2009 Jaguar XK takes a balanced approach to luxury and performance, and the results are impressive. Although it's certainly not perfect, luxury-coupe and convertible shoppers will want to give it serious consideration.
The current XK represents the first step in redefining Jaguar for the 21st century. Although it certainly includes design details inspired by Jag's storied past, this is an all-new kitty. Even the interior doesn't have ye olde swath of veneered wood stretched across the dash. Oh, there's plenty of felled tree on display, but it complements the more modern design rather than dominating it -- aluminum trim is even available. This newfound design direction is refreshing, but it's the competent and refined driving manners that make the 2009 Jaguar XK a serious player in the realm of sub-$100,000 luxury coupes and more than just a quaint fashion accessory.
The XK sets itself apart by boasting an all-aluminum structure and body panels that make it not only lighter than the XK8 it replaced, but also less portly than its competitors. Jaguar also claims that the aluminum structure adds body stiffness for improved handling, ride quality and crashworthiness. While we took a pass on testing the validity of that last assertion, we can confirm that ride and handling are certainly class-competitive.
The lighter weight also pays dividends with the XK's pair of V8 engines, although the base 300-horsepower mill doesn't impress as much as it might have 10 years ago. On the other hand, the 420-hp supercharged XKR has a whole Costco case of oomph on hand for matching (or dispatching) competitors like the BMW 650i, Mercedes-Benz SL550 and Porsche 911. That strong straight-line performance doesn't mean this Jaguar coupe and convertible can quite match those cars in terms of being fun to drive -- it is more of a grand tourer with the ability to casually tackle a curvy road. However, this year's new XKR Dynamic Handling Package should certainly narrow the gap with more athletic competitors, especially the BMW 6 Series.
In a recent comparison test with the BMW, we ranked the XK coupe 2nd due to its higher price and relative lack of performance and practicality. However, the 2009 Jaguar XK and XKR should strike a chord among those seeking out high style and a certain type of heritage and prestige -- even if there's not as much lacquered tree to show off.
Trim levels & features
The 2009 Jaguar XK is a luxury sports car available in coupe and convertible body styles. There are two trim levels that correspond with engine selection. Standard equipment on the regular XK includes 19-inch wheels, adaptive suspension damping, bi-xenon HID headlamps, front and rear parking sensors, power folding mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control with air-quality sensor, a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, 10-way power heated front seats with driver memory, leather upholstery, wood trim, a touchscreen control interface, Bluetooth and an eight-speaker surround-sound stereo (with subwoofer, in-dash six-CD changer, satellite radio and USB interface for digital music players). The convertible adds a power-operated cloth top and power rear windows.
The performance-oriented XKR adds a supercharged engine, a firmer suspension with recalibrated adaptive settings, larger brakes, retuned steering, different 19-inch wheels, active headlamps (optional on the XK), an aluminum mesh grille, quad exhaust outlets, stainless-steel pedals, aluminum interior trim and more aggressively bolstered seats.
Available on both the XK and the XKR, the Luxury Package adds 16-way power seats with four-way lumbar and adjustable seat bolsters, a heated steering wheel and upgraded leather upholstery and trim. Both trims can also be outfitted with the Bowers & Wilkins upgraded audio system. The XK's Technology Package adds active headlamps and adaptive cruise control. The latter is available as a stand-alone option on the XKR.
The XKR Dynamic Handling Package adds 20-inch wheels, Alcon performance brakes and revised damper and steering settings. The XKR Portfolio Package includes the Luxury Package and the Bowers & Wilkins sound system, and adds unique paint, special interior and exterior trim and contrast-color leather stitching. The Alcon performance brakes and adaptive cruise control can be added to the XKR Portfolio Package.
Performance & mpg
The 2009 Jaguar XK is powered by a 4.2-liter V8 producing 300 hp and 310 pound-feet of torque. The only transmission is a six-speed automatic unit with manual shift control. In performance testing, the XK coupe went from zero to 60 mph in a tidy 5.6 seconds, while the convertible did the same sprint in 6.3 seconds.
The XKR features a supercharged version of the same V8, producing 420 hp and 412 lb-ft of torque. In testing, the XKR convertible went from zero to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds, while the XKR coupe should be a few ticks quicker.
The Jaguar XK comes with front-seat side airbags (that provide both head and chest protection), whiplash-reducing front seats, traction control, antilock brakes and stability control. The standard XK's stability control system has two stages, one of which gives the driver more responsibility for the car's handling before the system activates. The setup is similar on the XKR, though its system gives the driver even more leeway and allows him or her to disable it completely if desired. All XK convertibles have two aluminum hoops that automatically deploy in case of a rollover accident.
When accelerating hard through the gears, the standard 2009 Jaguar XK's V8 makes up for its relatively modest punch with an enjoyable intake and exhaust soundtrack. As you'd expect, the supercharged XKR feels much quicker, as forced induction transforms the XK from "eh, it's sorta quick" to "wowsers, I'm going 90 already?" In both cars, the six-speed transmission is impressive, delivering quick, firm shifts that keep the engines in the thick of their power bands.
Sent through corners, both the standard XK and the XKR display the advantages of aluminum construction, as both versions of the car feel more agile and precise than their predecessors. They're certainly not sports cars, though, with their suspensions biased toward a plush ride more than canyon carving. As a result, competitors like the BMW 6 Series and Porsche 911 are more fun for serious driving enthusiasts. Having said that, this year's new Dynamic Handling Package may make the XKR a stronger competitor against the Germans.
The 2009 Jaguar XK's interior is a pretty dramatic departure from the traditional Jaguar look, with a modern dashboard design and the availability of aluminum trim in place of wood. This serves to bring Jaguar into the 21st century, though some might argue that a Jag without wood is like Tom Selleck without the mustache.
Unfortunately, the Jaguar penchant for down-market plastics continues, which contributes to an overall ambience that doesn't quite match its price tag. Also, the multipurpose touchscreen that controls audio, navigation and climate systems could use a little work. It's simple and intuitive in concept, but we've found it frustrating in practice, with a screen interface that's neither sensitive nor accurate enough. The transition between menu screens also takes too long. On the upside, Jaguar has upgraded the standard stereo for 2009, while adding the XF's thumping Bowers & Wilkins speaker upgrade as an option. We highly recommend it.
While the XK has a rear seat, it's really only suitable for small children or emergency use (and even then, it had better be a pretty big catastrophe). The convertible's soft top does an excellent job of noise insulation when up, and it disappears underneath a hard tonneau cover in only 18 seconds with the push of a button. The XK coupe's trunk can hold about 11 cubic feet of cargo. With the top down, the XK convertible can still hold 8 cubic feet.
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Features & Specs
More About This Model
Jaguar's test facility is gigantic. Covering 2,000 square miles, it borders Snowdonia National Park, which sweeps alongside the rivers and craggy mountainsides of Wales.
These roads are purpose-built for fine-tuning cars. There are cambers, compressions and crests preserved within every road surface ever invented. Throw in unpredictable weather, kamikaze sheep and Jaguar's ace chassis engineer Mike Cross, and you begin to understand why the new 2009 Jaguar XKR-S is so brilliant.
But right now, Cross doesn't want to talk about the Jaguar. He's more interested in the Maserati Gran Turismo S we drove a couple days ago.
"How does it ride?" he asks us.
"What's the gearbox like?"
Later we discover Jaguar has a Maserati Gran Turismo S on order. The team is clearly taking the Italian competitor very seriously indeed. So how does the XKR-S stack up?
A Rare Jaguar
Limited to just 200 units and available only in Europe, the 2009 Jaguar XKR-S has the Maserati beat in the exclusivity department, although at roughly $111,000 it's significantly less expensive than its $135,000 Italian rival.
The $18,000 premium over the standard XKR adds lightweight forged 20-inch wheels; upgraded brakes from Alcon, a racing specialist; suspension revisions; unique styling tweaks; and interior upgrades borrowed from the earlier Portfolio edition with soft-grain leather and a Bowers & Wilkins stereo.
There are no changes to the supercharged 4.2-liter V8, so it makes the same 420 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque as the standard XKR. Jaguar says the XKR-S is capable of zero to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds, while the car's top speed has been raised from 155 mph to 174 mph.
Not Quicker, but Quick Enough
So the XKR-S is really an XKR equipped with an optional sports pack and while the wheels and aero mods will remain unique, you'll be able to spec the same brakes and suspension upgrades on a regular R.
There's really no need for an engine upgrade in the XKR-S anyway. It's still capable of melting the huge 295/30R20 rear tires with ease. Squeeze the accelerator a little more and the six-speed auto kicks down quickly, intensifying the supercharger's otherwise unobtrusive whine. From there it's a one-dimensional charge to the redline and it feels good every time.
An active exhaust system gives the XKR-S an appropriately rich sound, but it can't quite match the Maserati's more expressive normally aspirated V8. More important, the XKR-S is more than 200 pounds lighter and has more engine torque than its Italian rival. Slingshot out of hairpins and the Jag has an excess of power where the Maserati takes time to gather speed.
A Proper Automatic
Like the engine, the XKR-S's six-speed automatic transmission remains unchanged. It's a good call. The clumsier in-town progress of the Maserati's single-clutch automated manual is at odds with the refinement customers expect. The Jag's torque converter blurs the transitions between gear ratios more effectively and still offers shift paddles (attached to the steering wheel, not fixed on the column), and the smooth gearchanges are still quick enough when the mood takes you.
Unlike the Gran Turismo S, however, a pull on a paddle doesn't lock the XKR-S into manual mode. It will still kick down, still change up at the redline and quickly revert to auto mode if you stop making paddle inputs. It's an automatic, not an automated manual.
Getting Your Money's Worth
If it weren't for the revised suspension and upgraded brakes, the XKR-S would be a far more questionable purchase. New springs, stiffer antiroll bars, retuned dampers and a quicker steering ratio work with a recalibrated version of Jaguar's Computer Active Technology Suspension (CATS) to give the XKR-S its unique feel.
When you turn into a corner, you can feel the weightier steering effort, a by-product of changes to the front suspension's steering geometry. The steering is still fingertip light, but the quicker reactions give clearer feedback from the front end. When you travel over broken tarmac in the Maserati, you find it's pretty unyielding. Yet while the XKR-S is unmistakably stiffer, it remains supple. Wind the car out over these tricky Welsh roads and it becomes sensational. The standard car's slightly lolloping on-limit behavior is gone, as the R-S feels far better tied down over crests and more composed through compressions.
The more robust brake system is a noticeable improvement as well. Up front there are 15.7-inch rotors with six-piston calipers, while the rear end gets 13.8-inch discs with four-piston calipers. As good as the standard car's pedal feels, the XKR-S is even better, with a firmer pedal with a progressive bite and no apparent brake fade.
There's such highly detailed communication from the front end that you stop braking hard into corners and start working the tire grip more aggressively. You feel the weight build on the outside front tire, feel the light smudge of the rubber nudging into very mild understeer, then choose either to back off and ride it out or push through for oversteer.
With all the traction control systems off, you can go as hard as you want without ever questioning what's going on below. This experience bests the Maserati in both intuitive involvement and refinement.
Not Quite the Ultimate Jaguar, but Close
We did notice one obvious flaw: the 2009 Jaguar XKR-S does without a limited-slip differential. Floor it out of a hairpin and one tire bonfires.
Mike Cross points out that this is very rarely an issue on the road. But he also describes the XKR-S as "a road car you can take to the track." And what's the fun of a powerful rear-driver on track without a limited-slip diff?
We suspect that the folks at Jaguar are counting on the fact that those who are willing to fork over the extra cash for the XKR-S won't be too concerned. And they're probably right.
As much fun as this XK is to flog hard, it's the badges, both the growler on the front and the "XKR-S" plate on the back, that'll sell it. Too bad really, as it's one of the most engaging coupes in its class when the road gets twisty. Jaguar has no reason to fear its Maserati rival, because the XKR-S holds its own just fine.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.
Used 2009 Jaguar XK Overview
The Used 2009 Jaguar XK is offered in the following submodels: XK XKR, XK Coupe, XK Convertible. Available styles include 2dr Convertible (4.2L 8cyl 6A), XKR 2dr Convertible (4.2L 8cyl S/C 6A), 2dr Coupe (4.2L 8cyl 6A), and XKR 2dr Coupe (4.2L 8cyl S/C 6A).
What's a good price on a Used 2009 Jaguar XK?
Price comparisons for Used 2009 Jaguar XK trim styles:
- The Used 2009 Jaguar XK XKR is priced between $21,995 and$21,995 with odometer readings between 90170 and90170 miles.
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Should I lease or buy a 2009 Jaguar XK?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.