2009 Jaguar XK Performance
This performance review was written when the 2009 Jaguar XK was new.
Built upon an all-aluminum structure, the Jaguar XK proves to be quick, agile and well composed. Overall, competitors offer a sportier performance, but few have as smooth of a ride as the XK.
- "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." -- Edmunds
Acceleration and Power
While many of the XK's competitors are substantially more powerful, test drivers don't seem to mind -- most find its smooth powertrain a joy to operate. The '09 Jaguar XK features a 4.2-liter V8 engine that produces 300-horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 310 pound-feet of torque at 4,100 rpm. A six-speed ZF electronic automatic transmission with paddle shifters is standard. Jaguar claims the XK has a top speed of 155 mph and can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.9 seconds (6.0 seconds with the convertible).
According to the EPA, the XK has a city/highway fuel economy of 16/25 mpg.
- "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. ... In both cars, the six-speed transmission is impressive, delivering quick, firm shifts that keep the engines in the thick of their power bands." -- Edmunds
- "The V-8 is unimpressive on paper: 300 horsepower at a time that family SUVs have as much; only a few horses more than in the XK8 it replaces and requiring a fast 6,000 revs to hit that peak. How misleading. The drive-by-wire system rapidly cranks on the revs and power, and you're shooting ahead at a very satisfying and exciting rate. The power is more than enough for sporty endeavors, owing to a car that's lighter than the one it replaced." -- USA Today
- "The regular XK should be more than fast enough for most drivers, and there's more to acceleration than test times. How a drivetrain does its job is critical, and here the XK is exceptional." -- Cars.com
- "Both [the XK and XKR] are aided by a quick-acting automatic transmission that doesn't hesitate to downshift for effortless highway passing. Standard steering wheel paddles are easy to use and provide even faster gear changes." -- Consumer Guide
Handling and Braking
Test drives reveal that the Jaguar XK is a well mannered, competent handler -- though it's more sporty than sports-oriented.
- "Handling is very good, the result of a sorted suspension system that displays very mild understeer, with excellent road feel. Don't let that road feel go totally to your head. This is a grand-tourer, rather than a sports cruiser that will match a BMW or a Porsche, corner for corner." -- Left Lane News
- "Base cars are confident and balanced in the grand-touring manner rather than razor sharp in the sports-car mold. There's little body lean even in fast turns. Here, 20-inch tires combine with the added rigidity of a coupe body style for crisper responses, added grip in turns." -- Consumer Guide
- "It drives beautifully and has better steering, with more precision and advanced conversational skills, than any Jaguar in memory, despite the optional twenty-inch wheels and enormous Dunlops on the cars we drove (Eighteen-inch wheels are standard, and nineteen-inchers are also available.)" -- Automobile Magazine
- "Jaguar's improved Computer Active Technology Suspension (they call it CATS, naturally) is a highly sophisticated, two-stage adaptive damping system with sensors that measure the XK's attitude, pitch and yaw, steering wheel angle and brake demand, then adjust all four shocks independently in nanoseconds." -- Edmunds
- "In braking, the requisite words are all there: four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, electronic brake-force distribution, etc. More important, the performance is very good." -- Cars.com