New Car Reviews

2009 Jaguar XF Supercharged – Four Seasons Fleet Update – February 2009

Long-Term 2009 Jaguar XF Update: Winter 2009 ( 1 of 5 ) Miles to date: 0

We’ve now passed the six-month mark with our 420-hp Four Seasons Superchaged, and its dual personality continues to vex us: lovely styling and first-rate vehicle dynamics made this car a 2009 All-Star, but a seemingly endless list of quality problems has seriously marred the ownership experience. When the XF first arrived in our fleet in August, staff members lined up to sign it out, so enamored were we. Web editor Phil Floraday even complained that it took four months before he had his first chance to actually get behind the wheel. Nowadays, however, there is a general reluctance to sign out the XF for any trip of more than a hundred miles, for fear that something might break.

Our last update on the XF included a laundry list of minor quality glitches: an inoperative power socket, a bad rear window regulator, stubborn glovebox sensors. In the weeks since then, the problems have escalated. The odd vibration at the rear of the car turned to to be a faulty rear differential, which took seven days to be replaced. No sooner was the Jag back in service when we got this ominous report from Floraday: “The power steering is totally gone. You can hear the pump straining away, but there is no assist. At speeds above 10-15 mph you don’t even need power steering, unless you’re trying to countersteer. Even then it’s just helpful, not required. But it was an absolute bitch trying to back this car out of its spot in the garage and then back out of another parking spot.” Sigh.

So it was back to the dealer–our fifth visit in six months. The verdict: a bad steering pump and contaminated fluid. The fix: replace the steering rack and pump. Total number of days the XF has spent in service during its first six months: 19 (!).

To be fair, the XF has never left us stranded at the side of the road, and all of the fixes have been covered under Jag’s 4-year/50,000 mile warranty. (The rear differential fix alone would have cost more than $3000 had we had to pay for it ourselves.) But our confidence in this sumptuous, fluid-handling luxury sedan has been severely eroded, and the next six months will determine whether this All-Star lives up to its early promise or is put on permanent waivers.


Base price (with dest.): $64,675
Price as tested: $66,675


Body Style: 4-door sedan
Accommodation: 5-passenger
Construction: Steel unibody


Engine: DOHC 32-valve supercharged V-8
Displacement: 4.2 liters
Power: 420 hp @ 6250 rpm
Torque: 413 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic transmission
Drive: rear-wheel
Fuel economy: 15/23/17 mpg (city/hwy/combined)


Steering: Power-assisted rack-and-pinion
Turns lock-to-lock: 2.8
Turning Circle: 37.7 ft
Suspension, Front: Double wishbone
Suspension, Rear: Double wishbone
Brakes F/R: Vented discs, ABS
Wheels: 20 x 8.5 / 20 x 9.5 in (f/r)
Tires: Pirelli P Zero
Tire Size: 255/35R20 97Y X/L / 285/30/R20 99X X/L (f/r)


Headroom F/R: 39.0 / 37.4 in
Legroom F/R: 41.5 / 36.6 in
Shoulder Room F/R: 56.8 / 56.3 in
Wheelbase: 114.5 in
Track F/R: 61.4 / 61.8 in
L x W x H: 195.3 80.8 x 57.5 in
Cargo Capacity: 17.7 cu ft
Weight: 4194 lb
Weight Dist. F/R: N/A
Fuel Capacity: 18.4 gal
Est. Range: 312 miles

Standard Equipment

Front, side, curtain airbags
Heated and cooled leather seats
Reversing camera


Adaptive Cruise Control – $2200