2009 Jaguar XKR Review
The 2009 Jaguar XKR handles comfortably, yet is sporty enough for spirited drives.
The Jaguar XKR is a performance-tuned variant of the Jaguar XK, a super luxury sports car that stands out for its comfortable handling dynamics, luxurious accommodations and long list of standard safety equipment.
Taken as a whole, auto critics like the XKR, but aren't thoroughly impressed. "The 2009 Jaguar XK takes a balanced approach to luxury and performance, and the results are impressive," writes Edmunds. "Although it's certainly not perfect, luxury-coupe and convertible shoppers will want to give it serious consideration." Many of the XKR's imperfections are carried over from the base XK -- namely a cramped backseat, understated looks, and sports performance that's lacking when compared to competitors. For a luxurious touring car, however, the XKR is one hell of a deal.
The 2009 XKR features a 420-horsepower supercharged V8 engine and is available in two body styles: coupe and convertible.
- "A few external design tweaks move the beautiful XKR from superstar status up toward supercar territory." -- Road and Track
- "Those who like a bit of beast mixed in with their beauty will find the 2009 Jaguar XKR's added muscle a perfect complement to the car's stunning good looks. The net result is an exquisitely rendered package that works as well in everyday commuting duties as it does when challenging a twisty back road." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "The Jaguar XK is an absolutely gorgeous sports car that will appeal broadly to successful men and women looking for the latest in sleek affordability. We are smitten by this beautiful Jag and the way it drives down the road, changing direction like the big cat it's named for, but coddling the adventurers inside like an English nanny." -- New Car Test Drive
The Bottom Line
Tuned more for comfort than sports performance, the XKR makes a great choice for those in the market for a relatively affordable super luxury grand tourer. Its sports performance, however, pales in comparison to competitors like the BMW M6 and Porsche 911 Turbo.
If you're in the market for a vehicle that offers super luxurious touring, also test drive the Maserati GranTurismo. It's more expensive, but arguably more attractive and a certified exotic.
Test drivers find that the Jaguar XKR is a superb performer, but tuned more for grand touring than all-out sports performance.
The XKR features a supercharged 4.2-liter V8 engine that produces 420 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 413 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. A six-speed ZF automatic transmission with Jaguar Sequential Shift steering wheel mounted paddle shifting is standard. Jaguar Sequential Shift allows for drivers to choose between "Drive" and "Sport" transmission modes. According to Jaguar, the XKR has a top speed of 155 mph and can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds with the coupe and 5.0 seconds with the convertible. The EPA reports that it nets a city/highway fuel economy of 15/23 mpg.
The rear-wheel drive XKR features a Bosch Servotronic 2 power-assisted, speed sensitive, variable-ration rack and pinion steering system. Also standard is Jaguar's Computer Active Technology Suspension (eCATS), which automatically and continually adjusts the XKR's shock absorber settings to maintain optimum balance.
Stopping the XKR is a performance braking system with an Anti-lock Braking System, passive brake booster, hydraulic brake assist and electronic brakeforce distribution. Jaguar's Trac Dynamic Stability Control with traction control improve directional stability during hard cornering and adverse driving conditions.
- "Tap the starter button and the potent V8 springs to life with the throaty rumble of 420 horses. It's matched with a paddle-shifted six-speed sequential automatic and a sportier version of Jaguar's Computer Active Technology Suspension (eCATS) that uses stiffer springs and two-stage adjustable shock absorbers, plus a rear-mounted strut brace, to sharpen control and response without ruining ride compliance. Rounding out the dynamic mix are driver-selectable stability and traction controls, higher-effort power steering and bigger, confidence-inspiring anti-lock brakes." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Standard steering wheel paddles are easy to use and provide even faster gear changes." -- Consumer Guide
- "Its Computer Active Technology Suspension adjusts shock valving individually based on the car's pitch/yaw rates and steering input, and the spring rates themselves are 38 percent stiffer in front and 24 percent stiffer in rear than the normally aspirated XK." -- Road and Track
- "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." -- Edmunds
- The XKR "[d]eftly transitions from luxury cruiser to back-road villain when called upon. Feels light and agile." -- Car and Driver
- "The ride is more compliant that most sports cars -- though acceleration is beyond brisk, the XKR emphasizes civility over outright racetrack-style handling. That said, it's very happy to tackle winding back roads, but there are less expensive cars, such as the Dodge Viper and Chevrolet Corvette, that are more at home on racetracks." -- Orlando Sentinel
- "[E]ven on a tight leash, the XKR is a quick, efficient, comfortable cruiser, a Gran Turismo in the truest sense of the term." -- Motor Trend