The 2011 Jaguar XK may not be able to trade on its legendary name to appeal to buyers. It suffers from a tiny cabin, horrible back seat, confusing information and entertainment systems, poor rear visibility, and limited cargo space. Appearance-wise, however, this is definitely a Jag, with good looks that scream aggressive performance, which the car does deliver. Will buyers be willing to sort that mix out in an invoice range of $76,360 to $95,660 and be completely satisfied? Probably not. There are better models for the money.
If you're test driving sports cars, and who doesn't like to do that, take out the Mercedes-Benz SL. It's expensive, with an opening price of $103,000, but as city cruisers go, you're not going to do better. The Porsche 911 Carrera, even with less horsepower, gets higher marks from reviewers for nimble handling, but it's also pricey at a base of $78,000. The XK comes in either a coupe or convertible. Try to test drive the one that really interests you. Both have a 5.0-liter V8, but if you kick up to the XKR trim (starting at $102,000) you get a 5.0-liter supercharged variant with 510 hp over the lower trim's 385 hp.
Performance wise, there's nothing about the XK to engender complaints. The drive is smooth, powerful, and refined. Perfect for weekend excursions on winding roads, but completely practical in day-to-day driving. Gas mileage is 16/24 on the coupe and 15/22 on the convertible. It certainly is a plus that you'll be behind the wheel of a sleek, sexy, powerful car while you're lopping off those miles. The XK qualifies as one of the most beautiful cars on the road, with iconic, ageless design cues.
No one disputes that the cabin is feature rich and of a high quality. Unfortunately, the seating is cramped, and the infotainment systems are just too confusing. Jaguar would have been better off leaving the rear seat out all together. Even small children will find the back uncomfortable. That would be bad enough, but space is even too tight up front, and the driver experiences rear and side visibility issues, especially on the convertible. There's no blind spot monitoring or rear camera system offered to compensate for that. Cargo space is, simply, pitiful: 11.1 cubic feet on the convertible with the roof up, 7.1 cubic feet when it's down, 11.7 on the coupe.
The list of standard features is, however, impressive, and includes: heated and cooled leather seats, a heated leather steering wheel, humidity control, auxiliary input jack, message center, trip computer, keyless entry, and push button start. Entertainment features include a premium sound system with a six-disc changer, auxiliary power outlet, Windows Media and MP3 disc compatibility, navigation, SIRIUS, an a seven-inch touch screen. Safety systems include an engine immobilizer, tire pressure monitoring, anti-lock brakes, electronic brake force distribution, emergency brake assist, dynamic stability control, and standard roll-over protection on the convertible.
What's there to say? The 2011 Jaguar XK looks great. It drives great. It's just not a great experience. This one is fun to take for a spin, but not nearly so much fun to own. The seating is cramped and uncomfortable. The back seat actually makes more sense for cargo than people, which is good because there's no appreciable cargo space. And the electronics are confusing. This Jag is going to have very, very limited appeal and for the money, there are better choice on the market.