Used 2015 Jaguar XK XKR-S Review
Edmunds expert review
The 2015 Jaguar XK provides the luxury and performance expected from the legendary marque. There are some practicality issues, but they rarely detract from a very pleasurable motoring experience.
What's new for 2015
Odds are if you're shopping for a luxury sport coupe or convertible you're looking for more than just mere transportation. You desire a car that's sumptuously equipped, capable of tire-spinning performance and beautifully styled. The 2015 Jaguar XK fully embraces these ideals.
The XK's appeal starts with what's under the hood. Jaguar only puts 5.0-liter V8 engines in the XK, and the outputs range from a stout 385 horsepower all the way up to a ludicrous 550 hp. Stomp on the gas pedal and the XK launches with straight-line speed that is simply thrilling. Handling is impressively sharp as well (especially on the range-topping XKR-S), but every XK is ultimately a grand touring car, or GT. That means it's suited for long drives along the coast or through the country thanks to a surprisingly comfortable ride and a luxuriously trimmed cabin.
There is no question that the Jaguar XK is a joy to drive, but it does have a few drawbacks. The cabin can feel a bit confining, especially in the convertible, and while it technically has four seats, the rear ones are essentially glorified luggage racks. In-car technology isn't as advanced or easy to use as what you'll find in some competitors, and shoppers in the snowbelt will be disappointed by the fact that Jag doesn't offer all-wheel drive.
As for those competitors, first on the list is the Porsche 911, which is highly customizable, thrilling around corners and uncommonly comfortable for a sports car. The BMW 6 Series and Mercedes-Benz SL-Class are worth a look as they both offer strong engines and have luxurious interiors on par with the XK, with more sophisticated, cutting-edge technology to boot. The 2015 Jaguar F-Type is a worthy option, too. It provides some serious in-house competition thanks to exhilarating performance, boat loads of character and a lower starting price.
It's possible that the showroom was getting a little crowded, though, as Jaguar has announced that 2015 will be the last year of XK production. Even in its swan song year, though, we think the 2015 Jaguar XK deserves your consideration.
Trim levels & features
The 2015 Jaguar XK is available in three trim levels: base XK, XKR and XKR-S. All are available as a coupe or convertible. Later in the model year, Jaguar will also release the XK Final Fifty Limited Edition.
The entry-level base XK comes well equipped with 20-inch wheels, an adaptive suspension, keyless ignition and entry, automatic bi-xenon headlamps, LED running lamps, rear foglamps, power-folding and auto-dimming mirrors, a rear spoiler, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera and automatic wipers.
Standard interior features on the base XK include leather upholstery, 10-way power front seats (with adjustable bolsters and four-way lumbar), heated and ventilated front seats, a power-adjustable tilt-and-telescoping heated steering wheel, driver and front passenger memory functions and dual-zone automatic climate control. Electronic features include a 7-inch touchscreen interface, a navigation system, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and an eight-speaker Bowers & Wilkins sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface. The convertible adds a power-operated fabric roof and tonneau cover.
Options on the base XK include 19-inch wheels, chrome exterior mirror covers, a simulated suede sport steering wheel and various leather and suede headliners for the convertible.
The XKR adds a supercharged engine, a limited-slip differential, upgraded brakes, interior wood trim and different 20-inch wheels. Options for the XKR include the Performance Pack, the Dynamic Pack and the Black Pack. The Performance Pack adds a sport-tuned exhaust, upgraded upholstery and a simulated suede steering wheel. The Dynamic Pack adds different 20-inch wheels, a higher top speed, a lowered ride height, a more aggressively tuned suspension and a sport body kit. The Black Pack adds yet another style of 20-inch wheels, black brake calipers and gloss black trim on areas that would normally be bright or chrome. Stand-alone options include an upgraded exhaust and a carbon-fiber engine cover.
Jaguar says it will sell only 50 units of the XK Final Fifty Limited Edition: 25 coupes and 25 convertibles. It's based on the XKR and comes standard with black paint and the Performance and Dynamic packages. The Final Fifty also comes with the louvered hood from the now-discontinued XKR-S GT model.
The XKR-S adds an even more powerful supercharged engine, wider 20-inch wheels in a matte gray finish, an upgraded exhaust, a more aggressively tuned suspension, a carbon-fiber front splitter and rear aero diffuser, a partially carbon-fiber rear wing, an extensive aerodynamic body kit, heated sport seats (ventilation function removed) and unique interior trim. Options for the XKR-S include the Bright Pack and Carbon Fiber Pack. The Bright Pack adds some chrome exterior trim and bright polished wheels in place of the standard darker components on the XKR-S, while the Carbon Fiber Pack adds carbon-fiber exterior trim on the hood, fenders, mirrors and trunk.
Performance & mpg
The 2015 Jaguar XK is powered by a 5.0-liter V8 that produces 385 hp and 380 pound-feet of torque. As with every XK, rear-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission are standard. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 19 mpg combined (16 city/24 highway). The convertible achieves 18 mpg combined (16 city/22 highway).
More power is available from the XKR, which gets a supercharged version of the same engine to bring output up to 510 hp and 461 lb-ft of torque. In Edmunds performance testing, an XKR convertible went from zero to 60 in a very rapid 4.5 seconds (the lighter coupe should be a smidge quicker). EPA-estimated fuel economy is 18 mpg combined (15/22) for the coupe and 17 mpg combined (15/22) for the convertible.
The XKR-S gets a more powerful version of the supercharged 5.0-liter good for 550 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque. In Edmunds testing, the standard XKR-S coupe went from zero to 60 in 4.3 seconds. The difference in acceleration numbers between the XKR-S and XKR may appear insignificant, but the former is limited by traction at the drag strip. Believe us, power is prodigious on the XKR-S and it feels much quicker. Fuel economy ratings are identical to those of the standard XKR.
Standard safety equipment on the 2015 Jaguar includes traction and stability control, antilock brakes, front seat side airbags, active front head restraints, front and rear parking sensors and a rearview camera. Side curtain airbags are not offered. The convertible adds pop-up rollover bars.
In Edmunds brake testing, a convertible XKR with 19-inch wheels and tires (a no-cost option on this trim) came to a stop from 60 mph in 111 feet, which is a typical distance for this class of car. The XKR-S stopped from 60 mph in 110 feet.
All three trim levels of the Jaguar XK offer stunning performance at some level. Even the base XK is impressively potent, and its V8 engine provides near-instant responses and a wide, muscular power band. The supercharged XKR, meanwhile, is blisteringly fast, and it can accelerate as rapidly as some of the world's best sports cars.
In the XKR-S there is always the sensation that you can overpower the tires any time you'd like. You'll need to go easy on the gas pedal while moving out from a stop; otherwise, you'll likely set the tires spinning as the traction control struggles to rein in all that torque. These cars demand to be driven with respect, and they'll reward your efforts, as their increased abilities yield truly impressive overall performance.
It's no surprise that the 2015 Jaguar XK is an impressive straight-line cruiser. The XK might not be as responsive as a Porsche 911 or Jaguar's F-Type on a curvy road, but it's more nimble than the latest BMW 6 Series. Ride quality on the XKR-S is expectedly firmer than that of the regular XKR, but it's still surprisingly comfortable and suitable for road trips.
The Jaguar XK's cockpit is well tailored and inviting, with special touches like a rotary gear selector that rises out of the center console upon start-up. However, it lacks the design flair of Jaguar's other models and there are some ergonomic glitches. The multipurpose touchscreen that operates audio, climate, navigation and phone systems works fairly well, but still isn't as user-friendly as most competing systems. Another downside involves the rear seats, which are cramped even for small children. The cabin can also be a little claustrophobic, with a rakish greenhouse and slim windows making the Jag feel more akin to an Aston Martin than a BMW 6 Series.
The XK's power soft top takes a scant 18 seconds to lower and is well insulated for a quiet ride when deployed. The XK coupe's trunk can hold 11.7 cubic feet of cargo -- much larger than the trunks of the 911 and Mercedes SL-Class, and just slightly smaller than that of the 6 Series. With the top down, the XK convertible can still hold a respectable 7.1 cubic feet. This is a key differentiation point between the XK and the smaller Jaguar F-Type, which has a barely usable trunk.
Edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.