2015 Jaguar XK Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2015 Jaguar XK was new.


Performance: 8.6

Critics note that the 2015 Jaguar XK has powerful engines and quick acceleration. They bemoan the automatic transmission, saying it shifts slowly during spirited driving and can be rough when in manual mode. Test drivers comment that the XK has a comfortable ride, nimble handling, strong grip and accurate steering.

  • "All three trim levels of the Jaguar XK offer stunning performance at some level." -- Edmunds
  • "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." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "As for performance, the XK is a much faster car now than it used to be, from the 385-horsepower base model to the nuclear 550-hp XKR-S and race-ready XKR-S GT. It's not bad through the corners, either." -- AutoTrader (2014)
  • "The XKR adds near-supercar performance and sharper handling. The top-cat XKR-S is a pricey, track-focused collector's item, though still everyday useable." -- Consumer Guide (2014)

Acceleration and Power

The 2015 XK comes standard with a 5.0-liter V8 engine that makes 385 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. The base 2015 XK earns 16/24 mpg city/highway, according to the EPA, which is low for the class. The Jaguar XKR is powered by a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engine that makes 510 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque, and the XKR-S comes with a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engine that makes 550 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard on all models. According to Jaguar, the XKR-S coupe accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds and has a top speed of 186 mph.

Auto writers think the Jaguar XK's base engine has ample power, providing the XK with immediate burst off the line. Meanwhile, they think the XKR has thrilling acceleration that compares with top sports cars. Test drivers are disappointed with the XK's six-speed automatic transmission, saying it has poorly-timed downshifts. They add that when in manual mode, the transmission doesn't shift smoothly.

  • "There's plenty of power from the XK's naturally-aspirated V8, and even more from the XKR's supercharged version." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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." -- Edmunds
  • "Whichever version you select, a 6-speed automatic transmission will handle the shifting duties, and it's unfortunately a poor match for the sensational V8 engines. Kick-downs are sometimes delayed and then abrupt when passing, while downshifts in manual mode can feel rough. To be fair, it's seamless in relaxed driving. But kick things up a notch and it sometimes feels a step behind." -- AutoTrader (2014)

Handling and Braking

The 2015 XK comes standard with an adjustable suspension system with which you can choose different drive modes for greater comfort or a more performance-oriented ride. According to the automotive press, the rear-wheel drive Jaguar XK has nimble handling, lots of grip and is fun to drive on winding roads. They also like its smooth ride and add that the XK seems at home as a touring car.

  • "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." -- Edmunds
  • "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." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "While most comfortable as a long-distance cruiser, it also provides a surprising engaging drive on curvy back-roads." -- Left Lane News

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