When the Jaguar XF first went on sale in the United States it was offered with only two engines, a 300bhp 4.2-liter V8 and a 420bhp supercharged V8. Luckily, just a year after the car was launched, Jaguar revamped the powertrain lineup.
In between the base model and the supercharged model, Jaguar created the Premium version that gets a direct-injection 5.0-liter V8, which makes 385bhp and 380 lb-ft of torque.
The supercharged model was upgraded as well. Jag strapped a supercharger to the Premium’s direct-injected V8, increasing the power to 470bhp, while the XFR has a whopping 510bhp.
I was able to test the Premium model, as it offers the best combination of performance and value. The car comes well equipped with 19-inch wheels, navigation, heated and cooled leather seats, blind-spot monitoring, front parking assist, a rearview camera, bixenon headlights, a sunroof and a power tilting-and-telescoping steering column.
The only options that are available on the Premium XF are a premium sound system, a heated steering wheel, adaptive cruise control and a power rear sunshade.
If you really have money to spend, the Jaguar will sell you 20-inch wheels, a suede headliner, deep pile carpeting and contrasting stitching. All of that can be yours for $4,000. No thanks.
The big Jag has a supple ride with good body control. The steering is accurate and nicely balanced. The new motor is smooth and has a nice growl under hard acceleration. Road noise is hardly noticeable, even on the roughest of roads.
The six-speed manual transmission shifts smoothly and has an excellent manual override via paddles on the steering wheel. When used, the paddles provide quick down changes, which gives the XF a sports sedan feel.
When pushed to the limit, the Jaguar XF Premium hits 60 in 5.1 seconds and does the quarter mile run in 13.6 seconds at 106 mph. Compare that the old supercharged model and the Premium is 0.1 second slower in both categories.
The new Premium XF was 0.1 second quicker then the old model from 30 to 50 and from 50 to 70, at 2.6 seconds and 3.5 seconds.
The brakes were excellent, as they brought the XF from 70-0 in just 157 feet, just two feet longer then their German rivals, the Porsche 911 Carrera S and Cayman S.
On a full run, the XF got 20 mpg overall. The EPA gives the Premium model figures of 16 mpg city and 23 highway.
The interior of the XF is simply stunning, a confection of simple planes, graceful lines and quality materials. Yet, despite the modern approach, Jaguar has kept tradition alive with more wood the anything else available in the market.
Front occupants sit low down, giving a feeling of being surrounded by the high center console.
Once the driver gets inside, closes the door and presses the red start button the rotary gearshift knob rises out the center console and the air vents rotate forward. While this is all merely a show, it’s rather neat.
Quirky, modern yet traditional, the new Jaguar XF is a step in the right direction for the English car company. The test car had a price tag of $57,000, $4,000 cheaper then the Audi A6 4.2 and the BMW 550i. A great choice for those looking for something a little different.