Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: 2010 Jaguar XF

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,968

    2010 Jaguar XF

    Even the rich are hurting - or more accurately, they're throttling back just a bit on their spending. That includes spending money on luxury cars, which is bad news for everyone involved but most especially for Jaguar - a brand that was struggling even before things went sour.

    I was in California about a year ago for the press introduction of the then all-new '09 XF, replacement for the aging and slow-selling S-Type sedan. Jaguar had every reason to expect good things - until the whole industry slipped on the proverbial banana peel and found itself flat on its back.

    Jaguar's trying to regain its footing, just like everyone else - and hopes an early update of the XF (a car barely a year old) will help make 2010 a bit more cheerful than 2009 has been so far.

    WHAT IT IS

    The XF is Jaguar's mid-sized, mid-priced luxury-sport sedan. It replaces the S-Type in Jaguar's lineup. It is V-8 powered (supercharged or not) and rear-wheel-drive.

    Prices begin at $51,150 for the standard XF and run to $79,150 for the supercharged XFR. Primary competitors are prestige-branded mid-sized luxury-sport sedans like the BMW 5-Series, Audi A6 and Mercedes E-Class.

    WHAT'S NEW

    A third trim line - XF Premium - has been added to the lineup. It includes both a new/larger/more powerful 5 liter V-8 as well as many of the luxury upgrades that came on last year's top-of-the-line supercharged XF. But its base price of $56,150 is about seven thousand dollars less than last year's top-of-the-line supercharged XF - which carried a sticker of $62,975. The new XF Premium offers almost as much power as last year's supercharged model (more below) and comparable amenities at a significantly lower price, relative to last year's lineup.

    The theory is that more people will want this car, which has high power/performance and high-end luxury - but doesn't cost quite so much as last year's top-of-the-line XF.

    And for those who do want maximum performance, a new XFR - with the 5 liter V-8 and a supercharger and 90 more hp than last year's supercharged XF - is also available, for $79,150.

    The base model XF continues more of less the same - with a slight price uptick to $51,150 vs. $49,975. This increase reflects a year's worth of inflation and works out to about the same, in real terms, as the '09 car cost in '08.

    WHAT'S GOOD

    Superb performance from all three versions - brutal performance from the new 510 hp XFR - which has more underhood muscle than a BMW M5 or Benz E63 AMG for significantly less money.

    Standard V-8 engine in a category where most competitors' models - such as the BMW 5, Audi A6 and Benz E - still come standard with much less powerful V-6s.

    One of the most driver-oriented Jags to hit the streets in years.

    WHAT'S NOT SO GOOD

    If you are Jag traditionalist, you might not like the XF's stiffer, sport-oriented ride.

    Styling is attractive but not immediately recognizable as a Jag - formerly one of the most desirable aspects of owning one. At least, if you are a traditionalist. Some gimmicky gadgets. Manual mode for the automatic transmission needs some fine tuning.

    ENGINES & PERFORMANCE

    While the base XF carries through with the same 4.2 liter, 300 hp V-8 as last year, the step-up XF Premium comes with a new, larger 5.0 liter V-8 and 385 hp. That is a big uptick (85) hp over last year's base 4.2 and within striking distance of last year's supercharged 4.2 V-8, which managed a "mere" 420 hp. Equipped with this engine, the XF Premium dips into the mid-5 second range, 0-60.

    The standard XF is good for 60 on 6.1 seconds, a very respectable run.

    The new XFR with the supercharged, 510 hp 5.0 V-8, ought to be able to tickle the high 4s - enough to give the beat down to just about anything on four wheels, let alone with four doors.

    All versions of the XF are rear-drive and all come standard with a six-speed automatic, with manual mode and F1-style paddle shifters.

    Gas mileage is, well, what you'd expect it to be. The standard XF with 4.2 V-8 registers 16 city, 25 highway - which to be fair is pretty good for a 300 hp V-8 powered luxury sedan. Models with the 5 liter V-8 (supercharged and not) might hit you with a gas guzzler penalty if they dip too close to single digits.

    Actual EPA figures for the 5 liter supercharged XFR weren't available at the time of this writing, but will probably come down around 14-15 city and 22 or so highway.

    RIDE & HANDLING/DRIVING IMPRESSIONS

    Jaguar clearly sees it as crucial that its cars behave more like BMWs and Benzes than the traditional Jags of the past - meaning, that they respond more sharply and feel just as good when driven hard and fast as they do when gently cruising along.

    On the first score, Jaguar met its objectives. The XF will satisfy all but the most demanding enthusiast drivers. Steering feel may not be quite as dead-on as BMW's - but the car corners superbly and feels much lighter on its feet than the E-Class.

    Plus, it's hard to argue with the Jag's power advantage. BMW's 5 comes standard with an embarrassingly weak (for the money BMW charges) 230 hp, 3 liter six that's less powerful (by some 40 hp) than the V-6 in a new Toyota Camry. At $45,800 the base 5 Series is cheaper than the base XF, but still.

    To reach par in the BMW lineup you'll need to step up to the 300 hp 535i - which at $51,100 is priced almost exactly the same as the base XF. But BMW still won't give you a V-8 until you pony up to the 550i, which at $60,400 is almost nine grand more than the V-8 XF and four grand less than the XF Premium - which boasts 385 hp vs. the 550i's 360 hp.

    The sole saving grace for the BMW, from an enthusiast driver's point of view, is that you can get a manual transmission with the 4.8 liter V-8 under the BMW 550i's hood, while the Jaguar is automatic-only across the line.

    Which brings me to a nit about the XF.

    Like many cars in this class, it has those "F1-style" paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel for manual control (to an extent) of up and down gear changes through the six-speed automatic. The problem I encountered was that manual mode, once engaged (on purpose or not) sometimes seemed to want to remain engaged - holding whatever gear it happened to be in, leading to lots of angry engine/driveline noise as the revs ran up the scale along with road speed.

    In other cars, if you tap/move the main shifter lever on the console back into "Drive," the transmission usually goes immediately back to full automatic operation. But this was not the case with my XF tester. Once engaged (often, by accident, because the paddle shifters are very close to the steering wheel and also to the stalk that controls the windshield wipers) it wanted to stay engaged. This happened several times. Maybe it was just my test car (or maybe it was just me). All I can tell you is this hasn't happened to me in other cars with similar F1-style controls - and I have driven dozens of them this year alone.

    I'm also not a huge fan of the pop-up knob on the console that replaces the traditional shifter lever.

    BMW started this business of turning a simple function - moving a gearshift lever from Park to Drive and so on - into an elaborate electronic song and dance routine. Now everyone's doing it.

    In the case of the XF, first you push the keyless engine state button on the console. This, in turn, causes a round chromed knob to rise up from the center console. You then rotate the knob left or right to get into the desired mode - Park, Drive and so on. It works ok - but what happens when it doesn't? With a standard ignition key and gear lever, things rarely break - and when they do the fix is usually easy and inexpensive. When a control interface like this fails, forget it. You are stuck - and can expect a huge bill, too.

    Plus, it's now a process to just start the car and be on your way. You have to do this - then wait for that - before you can just go. It takes a moment for the action of pushing the "start" button to translate into engine on. Then another moment for the round knob to rise up into position. If you try to rotate it before it's fully up, you might break it.

    I find this annoying. But maybe it's just me.

    Jaguar's by no means the only guilty party. I just wish we could go back to the simple, functional, old-school system of put the key in the ignition, pull the lever into Drive and that's it.

    Leave the pop-up knobs, glowing push-buttons and mice for the options list.

    STYLING & UTILITY

    The old S-Type had its flaws but one of them was not that it didn't look like a Jaguar. Then again, maybe it was a flaw. Some critics complained that it looked too much like one - to be specific, too much like a Jag from the '50s or '60s. Too many pleats, too formal.

    In a word, too "old."

    The new XF, on the other hand, is as sleek and youthful and modern-looking as any Lexus or Benz - and that will either address the problem some saw with the old S-Type, or cause the XF to belly flop because it's now so much like everyone else's luxo sport-sedan. Jaguar has tried to retain the feline DNA with cues like the XJ-style lower front fender slats, low-cut horizontal tail-light bars (with stylish chrome "leaper" badge set between them) and a Jaguar-ish mesh grille up front.

    But there's no getting away from the car's more mainstream looks on the outside - for good or ill.

    Inside, things are tidy and functional - but other than the gimmicky pop-up knob shift controller, flat panel control for the glovebox and dash vents that roll open when you first start the engine (and roll closed again when you shut down) there's nothing that really pops out at you. More specifically, that really says "Jaguar."

    Lots of pewter-colored plastic trim (on the base model) that may be not exactly right for a $50k car, either.

    On the plus side, the XF has a very large trunk - 17.7 cubic feet (vs. a rather cramped 14 cubic footer in the BMW 5). Rear seat head and legroom is good, too.

    I'm 6 feet 3 and 210 pounds, and my head didn't bump the roof and my knees weren't rubbing up against the front seatbacks.

    Anyone under six feet and 200 pounds should find it very comfortable in the rear of an XF.

    QUALITY & SAFETY

    The XF appears beautifully finished (including fully painted and clear-coated door jambs/the underside of the trunk lid, etc.) and, more importantly, Jaguar has rehabbed its quality control - which slipped a bit during the '90s but recovered during the partnership with Ford Motor Co.

    Luxury cars are by definition indulgences, but the XF is a smart buy compared with its main competition, specifically the BMW 5 and Benz E-Class, which charge a lot more for their optional V-8s and which on a price-competitive basis come up looking a little overpriced.

    Sometimes, a lot overpriced. For example: Mercedes-Benz asks $53,200 for the 268 hp V-6 powered E350 - which is some three grand more than Jaguar charges for the 300 hp V-8 powered XF. No offense to Benz, but how much is that three pointed star worth, really?

    In addition to its standard V-8 engine, the base XF also comes with DVD navigation/touch screen display (with Bluetooth and a nine-speaker stereo/satellite radio), 10-way heated leather sport buckets, 18 inch rims and power pretty much everything.

    A Blind Spot Warning System is the only major safety feature that's extra cost. ABS, side-impact and curtain air bags, traction and stability control, etc. are all included.

    The $56,150 XF Premium adds the 385 hp 5 liter V-8 (3 hp stronger than the $61,700 Benz E550's 382 hp V-8) as well as high-capacity brakes, 19-inch rims, 16-way (and heated and cooled) driver seat, heated steering wheel, 19-inch rims and a lot more besides. It's a lot more car (and more powerful, too) than the $60,400 BMW 550i - for about three grand less.

    And the Big Kahuna - the 510 hp, $79,150 supercharged XFR - ought to make the $85,500 (and just 500 hp) BMW M5 blush . Ditto the $87,700 Benz E63, which comes up 3 hp shy (507 hp) of the XFR for $8,550 more.

    THE BOTTOM LINE

    Jaguar may lose a few traditional buyers - but potential BMW/Benz (and Lexus, etc.) buyers now have a car to cross-shop. And for Jaguar, that's the sweet spot, tradition be damned.
    Last edited by Eric; 05-19-2009 at 07:52 AM.

  2. #2
    Staff
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    3,126
    I don't like the car. It's ugly. Of course, I'm a traditionalist.

    This is the automotive equivalent of the Republicans becoming left wing big spenders, becoming pro-choice, and raising taxes. Of course, over the course of years, they did that and look where it has gotten them.

    Jaguar has similarly abandoned its base of loyalists. I own a 2003 Jaguar S-type and it is the last Jaguar that I will ever own. I said that before when the first XJ6 came out, replacing the much more cheerful and regal looking saloons of the 1960s. I thought it looked like a Chevy by comparison.

    The XF looks like a GS350.

    Ian Callum, Jaguar's designer, is Jags equivalent of Chris Bangle.
    Last edited by swamprat; 05-16-2009 at 08:39 PM.

  3. #3
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,968
    Quote Originally Posted by swamprat View Post
    I don't like the car. It's ugly. Of course, I'm a traditionalist.

    This is the automotive equivalent of the Republicans becoming left wing big spenders, becoming pro-choice, and raising taxes. Of course, over the course of years, they did that and look where it has gotten them.

    Jaguar has similarly abandoned its base of loyalists. I own a 2003 Jaguar S-type and it is the last Jaguar that I will ever own. I said that before when the first XJ6 came out, replacing the much more cheerful and regal looking saloons of the 1960s. I thought it looked like a Chevy by comparison.

    The XF looks like a GS350.

    Ian Callum, Jaguar's designer, is Jags equivalent of Chris Bangle.
    Personally, I agree.

    I have no love for the new, Callum-designed Hags, either. They are virtually indistinguishable from a similar Lexus or Infiniti or what have you.

    Jags used to be so distinctive.

    But maybe that's not what the maggots want anymore!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mase's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    840
    ...


    Jaguar XF
    Attached Images Attached Images

Similar Threads

  1. 2010 Jaguar XK
    By Eric in forum New Car/Truck Reviews
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-01-2010, 01:01 PM
  2. 1990 Jaguar XJ6
    By Mase in forum Classic Car Corner
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 01-17-2010, 07:27 PM
  3. Saw a Jaguar XF today
    By dBrong in forum Motor Mouth
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 05-25-2009, 08:06 AM
  4. 2008 Jaguar XKR
    By Eric in forum New Car/Truck Reviews
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 01-01-2008, 06:23 AM
  5. Jaguar Mk 2
    By Kwozzie1 in forum Classic Car Corner
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 04-28-2007, 02:56 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •