2012 Jaguar XK Convertible: The Cool Cat with Class

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  • Highlights: Jaguar’s new XKR-S model achieves 186 mph and 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds. The XKR-S engine is based on the supercharged XKR model.

    Test vehicle’s MSRP: $99,350 (Base Model starts at $91,375)

    Seating Capacity:  4 (only 2 small kids can fit in the rear)

    Standard Safety Features: airbags; a rollover protection system; emergency brake assist; electronic brake distribution; and a tire pressure monitoring system

    Standard Equipment: 19-inch wheels; heated and ventilated (front) seats; 16-way power leather seats; a keyless entry system; a push-button starter system; a touchscreen navigation system; a power operated convertible w/cloth top; and a heated steering wheel

    Standard Audio: a 525-watt AM/FM/ 6-disc CD player with satellite radio

    Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty:  4 years or 50,000 miles

    Powertrain Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

    Bluetooth Compatibility: Yes

    Standard Engine/Horsepower: 5.0-liter, 8-cylinder/385-hp

    Recommended Fuel: Premium

    Standard Fuel Mileage: 16-city/22-hwy

    Trim Levels:
    XK
    XKR
    XKR-S
     
    What’s New: For the 2012 model year, the XKR receives a few styling upgrades that differ from the coupe.  Also new LED technology is incorporated into the redesign front headlights.

    Furthermore, an all-new performance-oriented XKR-S model has been added to the line up. The XKR model pushes out 550 horses from underneath the hood.

    Seat Comfort/Support: Very Good with its 16-way power-operated seats

    Pros: Inside the Jaguar, the vehicle exudes luxury, with its handcrafted-stitched leather interior surrounded by the Burl Walnut veneer to its easy-to-use rotary-dial electronic shift lever.

    Furthermore, to match the smooth-riding wild cat’s aggressive wide-mouth grille and horsepower, Jaguar had enhanced its signature active exhaust system, which lets everyone within ear shot of the vehicle know what’s under the hood – every time the gas is stepped on. Yes, this is one wild cat that shows out on-demand.

    Moreover, once inside the Jaguar, occupants will find a multitude of seating positions with the brand’s 16-way power front seats on both the driver and the passenger side. The vehicle even offers a memory control for up to three drivers. With that being the case, it was easy to find a comfortable seating position, especially in the buttery-soft heated (and ventilated) front seats. And you won’t be disappointed with the premium-class audio system either, regardless if the easy-to-use power operated top is up or down. In fact, the audio system in the Jaguar XK is one of the best factory installed radio we’ve experienced in a drop top.

    Also the classic styling of this Jag oozes out the words class, luxury, style and elegance. Jaguar has its own distinct styling.

    Furthermore, the touchscreen applications for the ventilation, the seat controls and the audio system are relatively simple to use, as opposed to some of today’s high-tech touch screens.

    Cons: Unfortunately, this four-seater isn’t really capable of carrying two adults in the rear due to its limited space. Also while most automakers are offering hardtops with their convertibles, the Jaguar XK is only available with a cloth top. Lastly, why does the XK not offer an electronic blind spot technology or an active radar cruise control system?

    The Verdict: Consumers seeking a premium class two-seater convertible have a number of options and configurations to select from. And although we reviewed the convertible, the vehicle is available as a coupe, too, which we have yet to review. New for this year, consumers can opt for a super charged version of the XK, the throaty and powerful XKR-S, which places the drop top in a whole new hemisphere from what we hear. Besides a few slights gripes we noted in the previous section, Jaguar’s XK is worth every penny, if you have a minimum of $90,000 to part ways with.
     
    Competition:
    Aston Martin Vantage Convertible, BMW 6-series, Mercedes SLK-Class and Porsche 911

    Jeff Fortson is an auto analyst and editor of a car-buying website for women and minorities. To learn more about his popular car-buying workshop and/or to price a new-vehicle, drive on over to JeffCars.com. Follow him http://twitter.com/#!/JeffCars/.

     

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