Thursday, March 11, 2010

Jaguar XF is Extra Fun, Extra Fine


Speed, style and sophistication.
That's what the 2010 Jaguar XF is all about.
This screamin' demon of a machine has three available engines, all of which are capable of blowing the competition away.
There's a 4.2-liter V-8 that makes 300 horsepower, a 5.0-liter V-8 that makes 385 horsepower and a ridiculous 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 that makes 510, yes, 510 ponies.
Jaguar says that supercharged power plant offers a 23 percent upgrade in horsepower and 12 percent more torque than its predecesor, but is capable of similar fuel economy and emission levels.
With all that power, fuel economy is modest, but not terrible: 15 mpg city, 21 highway in the largest engine.
But if you're not impressed by the power, surely you will be struck by the great craftsmanship that this Jag's interior offers.
The cockpit is quite refined, but somehow manages to not be pretentious.
The shiny metals, polished woodgrains and rich leathers in the interior will have you shaking your head.
Mashing on the gas pedal will have you snapping your head back.
Jaguar says this model offers a variable dampening system and electronic rear differential that deliver the best possible road grip when strong acceleration takes place, and bolsters the XF's cornering capabilities.
Jaguar also boasts about the transmission, a six-speed automatic, that adapts to the driver's style.
These claims are all true. Engineers at Jaguar truly deserve applause for the masterful work they have done in creating a driving experience that is outstanding.
But with so much power and performance, it doesn't hurt to have some nice safety features, and the XF delivers.
For instance, there is cruise control with automatic speed limiter.
A radar-based blind spot alert can let the driver know when another vehicle approaches in an adjacent lane, and there is also a backup camera -- both features are optional.
Another option is adaptive cruise control, which lets you set a top speed and then just steer as the car adjusts its velocity according to traffic.
Emergency brake assist is standard on the XF.
When it comes to conveniences, the XF has some nice high-tech offerings, such as the turn-by-turn directions that are offered from the navigation system.
There is an MP3-compatible portable audio interface that features touch screen controls as well as controls mounted on the steering wheel.
And if you're really into music, you can opt for the Bowers & Wilkins 440-watt sound system, which has Dolby ProLogic II surround sound.
HD radio is now also an option, and Sirius satellite and digital radio are available.
For comfort, driver and passenger can enjoy the heated and cooled seats, which are multi-way adjustable.
Drivers will appreciate the heated steering wheel when the weather is chilly.

Exterior styling is brilliant and distinctive.
The redesigned front end clearly has Jaguar heritage with a modern flair.

For a high-end luxury model such as this one, the XF is somewhat reasonably priced.

The test drive model, an XF Supercharged, carried a sticker price of $68,000.

That buys a lot of speed, style and sophistication.