For 2010, the Jaguar XF gets Jaguar’s all-new, 5.0-liter V-8 engine, which displaces the long-serving 4.2-liter V-8 across the Jaguar lineup. Its 385 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque represent substantial increases over the outgoing 4.2-liter engine’s 300 hp and 310 lb-ft, such that this normally aspirated XF model felt nearly as fast and energetic to me as our Four Seasons 2009 XF Supercharged, which has 420 hp and 413 lb-ft. The same engine is also available in the 2010 Jaguar XK coupe and convertible.
Our affection for Jaguar’s ability to combine athleticism with luxury in the XF has been well-documented. Anyone considering a BMW 5-Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Audi A6, or Lexus GS ought to test-drive the XF as well.
What’s even more amazing about Jaguar’s chassis tuning is that the company’s engineers manage to instill the XF with a comfortable ride even while using huge wheels and tires. Our XF Premium test car was shod with 20-inch “Senta” wheels that were simply stunning. Jaguar has, arguably, done the best job of any luxury carmaker over the past decade with its wheels. They’re invariably gorgeous.
Joe DeMatio, Executive Editor
Like our Four Seasons XF, this car has a lovely exterior (like some people, it’s better-looking in person than in photos) that envelopes an opulent interior. The new, 5.0-liter V-8 in this example is very refined, with the power being delivered quickly and smoothly through the six-speed ZF transmission. As with every version of the XF that we’ve driven, this car offers a nice balance between sport and luxury. The steering is perfectly linear, the suspension mellows out the bumps without feeling floaty, and road and wind noise have been nicely filtered out without making you feel like you’re completely isolated from the road. Of course, there are still some niggles that we’d like to see fixed: a touch-screen system that is a little slow to respond, a glovebox that seems to take a magician to get open if you don’t hit the sensor just right, and the lack of dedicated switches for the seat heaters/ventilators (accessible only through the touch screen).
Amy Skogstrom, Managing Editor
I love the Portfolio interior package on this 2010 Jaguar XF. The Alcantara headliner is a great touch and ventilated seats are most welcome when the humidity and temperature creep up. Can we borrow this one again in August?
Jaguar’s new 5.0-liter engine is spectacular. Power delivery is very smooth and much more impressive than the old 4.2-liter unit. I immediately thought about the 5.0-liter engine making its way to the Land Rover portfolio and how great it will be to have the extra power in those heavy, boxy vehicles. Luckily I will have a chance to sample those SUVs in a few weeks to see how well the engine does when it’s got a more taxing vehicle to propel. I see no legitimate reason to opt for the supercharged XF now unless you want to go all the way to the XFR and its 510 hp.
The XF remains dynamically amazing. It’s an absolute delight to drive and, as Joe DeMatio already noted, even rides well with these 20-inch wheels. Looks, luxury, and the driving experience to back it up. Here’s a very legitimate competitor to the traditional luxury sedan heavyweights.
Phil Floraday, Senior Online Editor
It’s amazing what a nice color can do to the exterior of a car. This XF is a stunner! The dark gray exterior contrasts beautifully with the chrome wheels and trim and gives this XF Premium an athletic, almost svelte look that is absent from our silver Four Seasons XF. Over the weekend, several friends asked to check out the XF, a request that has never happened with our long-term XF.
The interior is just as beautiful and all who climbed in immediately began touching every surface and control within reach. The dark wood and rich brown leather seats received the most praise and the brushed metal switchgear also got several compliments. This is the third XF I’ve driven in a month. The wood, leather, and headliner of each one has had a slightly different combination of brown and gray hues that always manage to look rich, modern, and distinctly English, just like a Jaguar should.
Jennifer Misaros, Production Editor
I haven’t been as happy to see “5.0” badging since I caught my last glimpse of the the mid-90s Ford Mustang that used to cruise my local streets. But that was a Fox-platform Mustang, and this – this is a world-class Jaguar.
Though the interior is virtually identical to our long termer’s, save for a different grain of wood, the exterior on this model seems to glow. Perhaps it’s the sublime combination of Lunar Gray paint with the beautiful multi-spoke wheels; Andrew Trahan noted that it was perfect to photograph against our overcast skies. I love it! The gray hues accentuate the curves that separate the XF from its midsize luxury competitors. I know there are XF-haters out there who say that the design is “too derivative,” or “looks too much like an Aston Martin.” Since when did that become pejorative?
The engine is a gem, and I wish I had more time behind the wheel. Power delivery in “D” mode (as opposed to sport “S” mode) wasn’t as fluid as I remembered it in our 4.2-liter supercharged version, but I didn’t really getto bring it up beyond B-road speeds. It has a great snarl, though.
The most telling moment of our short time with the XF was when we were parked briefly, debriefing. A U-of-M techie walked by with an iPhone and with some hesitation asked me, “Is this brand-new?” No, sir – Jaguar’s been selling these for almost two years now. His reaction? He took out his iPhone, snapped a million pictures, and walked away. Five minutes later, two coeds in a Pontiac G8 drove by and yelled, “Sweet car!” Right away, we could hear them whispering to each other, “What was that?”
Jaguar, get this car some more exposure. The people love it!
Jeffrey Jablansky, Intern
2010 Jaguar XF Premium
Base price (with destination): $57,000
Price as tested: $62,875
-Ventilated front seats
-Electric rear window sunblind
-20″ Senta wheels
Figured Ebony Veneer N/C
Bowers & Wilkins sound system $1875
Size: 5.0L V-8
Horsepower: 385 hp @ 6500 rpm
Torque: 380 @ 3100 rpm
ZF 6-speed automatic
Weight: 4067 lbs
20 x 8.5 inch Senta wheels
P255/35-R20 Dunlop Sport Maxx