Import Sport Sedan Comparison: Third Place: Jaguar XF

Posted on 22. Oct, 2009 by in Auto News

If there was a counterpoint in this test the robot on the GS350 rationality, it is the Jaguar XF. If the Lexus makes perfect sense, the kind of people who see the car purchase as an equation to solve, the XFR is the only choice for right brain aesthetes. It screams sex appeal as nothing has since Sophia Loren could steal your virginity once with a view of the screen. And yet, as with most good things a hard look reveals past the outer things that you want, you might not know. Love at first sight can be a blessing and a curse.

Take a moment to enjoy you the XF looks – slim, elegant and beautifully tailored. The XF is the best-looking Jaguar XKE for the old, perhaps because it is the first time Jaguar has tried a new look, as the E-Type came out is. The XF also breaks a newer Jaguar tradition – instead of all-aluminum construction, it uses a conventional steel frame and sheet metal. This adds some weight, but it certainly also keeps the price down. The XF starts at a reasonable $ 52,800, and unlike BMW, most of the goodies you expect in a car like this are standard.

The XF inside breaks even with Jaguar in the past. Is the usual wonderful fragrant leather and wood trim it gracefully echo the original XJ, but the interior has been updated to fit the XF sharp new suit. The result is a sweeping, elegant dashboard in genuine wood and aluminum, wrapped smashing looks and works commendably well. At least until you hit the key. When that happens, a round aluminum knob appears about the size of a hockey puck from the center console, which is the shift lever, and they stir up and down to change gears. If the XF is off, the button disappears in the console. This arrangement is easy to use, but feels like an unnecessary gimmick, just like the ignition keyed vents, and the sensor-controlled lock for the glove box, which you use your finger to wave about.

Call me cynical, but Jaguar is far enough away from his time as a synonym for unreliability away with shenanigans like this?

Other ergonomic details are in order, including the standard touchscreen controls, you do not need a million buttons or MMIDrive style folly to use the navigation system or the radio station proves to switch.

The wide, comfortable seat throne offers decent ergonomics, easy and elegant instrumentation and a thick grip steering wheel with shift paddles. Of the captain position, could the illusion that love at first sight is forever immortalized well. Hauler as a passenger, but the XF is too short compared with some of its competitors. The coupe-like profile is limited rear headroom, and while the rear seat is comfortable, space is at a premium.

The XF base engine is a carryover from days when Jaguar Ford subsidiary, the 4.2-liter V-8 found originally in the old Lincoln LS and Jaguar S-Type. While powerful enough – 300 hp feet – and blessed with a wonderful exhaust note, the 4.2 suffers from a very narrow power band and setting a low redline of 6000 rpm. This, combined with the XF stout curb weight, the car's power delivery a most inelegant "on-off" feeling – probably the only real downer in the XF's driving experience. For a few dollars Jaguar offers a new 5.0-liter V-8 with 385 horsepower and a lot more money, it also far more XF Supercharged and XFR models offers with 470 and 510 hp, respectively. But the base engine is certainly adequate, especially at this price. And as long as you're in love, fair, good, sufficient.

In contrast, it is hard, no big concerns about the steering and suspension have momentum. Although definitely tuned for a silky ride, make the XF steering and suspension setup, it is fast and friendly compared to the legs, especially the deaf bleakness of the Lexus. The current BMW and Audi are the pure sports machine, always driving on the edge of the search, which prompts you to run faster, and reward you when you do. The Jaguar philosophy has more to do with poetry in motion. The XF, you can almost, but not quite as fast as the BMW-driving, but that does not hit the spot. There is an elegance of XF dynamics that fail to capture the two pure athletes. While the Germans played gym-rat at the Nürburgring was the XF the winding roads around Monaco stripes: the XF does not lack ability, it's just too fine to ask for a flogging until the last tenth. In an age of speed traps and expensive speeding ticket, this can be a surprisingly rational reason to choose the Jag.

Of course there is the price as well. The XF