EDITORS NOTEBOOK: 2008 Jaguar XF Supercharged, Day 1

Read Marc Noordeloos’s comments on driving the 2008 Jaguar XF Supercharged.

It’s nice to finally get behind the wheel of the much-hyped XF. First impressions, it is a very, very nice car. It feels special and has a typical Jaguar chassis: cosseting but sporty with accurate steering. The 20-inch wheels do give the XF a slightly choppy low-speed ride on our wonderful Michigan roads but things go back to just about perfect once you get above 40 mph or so. Also, I can’t wait to drive the car with smaller and narrower tires/wheels as the steering sometimes is ever so slightly twitchy off center. Inside, things look good as well. Sure, the pulsing start button, rotating vents, and rotary transmission selector are slightly contrived but you still feel like it is, once again, a special car. Yes, the silver buttons look and feel a tiny bit cheap but as nighttime falls, the blue interior lighting more than makes up for things.

Then there’s the styling. I loved the C-XF concept and really felt letdown when I first viewed pictures of the XF production car. At the launch of the XF at Geneva last year, I liked it a bit more in person but I still felt it looked too much like a Lexus GS with funny headlights. Designer Ian Callum kept telling me to wait until I see it in person, on the road with other cars. As I approached the car for the first time, I couldn’t agree more. It looked great in black with the 20-inch wheels sitting in the parking lot at the airport. Sitting in my driveway, I kept looking at the Jag and smiling. The next morning, I parked it outside the office and looked back as I walked away; it looked like a Lexus GS. So, from certain angles it still isn’t quite aggressive enough.

The only specific issue I had with the car is the glove box only opened once for me. The proximity sensor may be broken or it may be an adjustment issue.

I still love the XF and prefer it to the other mid-size luxury entries. It is a car I would own and love to drive everyday. Plus, for $65,000, the supercharged model with options is quite a deal given the performance and specification.