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PERFORMANCE | 9 out of 10
“only a V-8 under the hood”
“passing power in a heartbeat”
Kelley Blue Book
shifter is a “James Bond just-in-time gizmo”
Car and Driver
“shifts are brilliantly quick”
18/23 mpg fuel economy (base car)
Reviewers across the Web were unanimous when it comes to the 2009 Jaguar XF’s performance: it’s surprisingly strong, they agree.
Enthusiast magazine Automobile points out that the XF is actually available in two editions. The same 4.2-liter V-8 comes “in either normally aspirated or supercharged guise, developing 300 and 420 hp, respectively.” An XFR version comes next year, with 500-plus horsepower, they predict. The lack of a V-6 engine is a conscious choice, Edmunds.com says: “as part of Jaguar's upscale push, you'll only find a V8 under the hood.”
Even with the less powerful engine, Edmunds.com notes the XF will rush to 60 mph “in just 6.2 seconds,” while they estimate the supercharged version will “trim the 0-60 sprint down to 5.1 seconds.” That higher-output engine got Kelley Blue Book’s motor running: “the supercharged 4.2-liter V8 delivers horsepower in a smooth, linear fashion, providing off-the-line acceleration and passing power in a heartbeat,” KBB said.
The automatic transmission on the 2009 Jaguar XF--there is no manual option--is a slick, futuristic piece of styling and operation. Coupled to steering-wheel-mounted paddles, the shift knob is unlike anything in any new vehicle tested by reviewers. At startup, Car and Driver describes, a knob rises on the console, and gears are selected on the rotary dial. “It’s a great act, like the deployment of some James Bond just-in-time gizmo.” But it’s the shift paddles that do most of the work, and with them, Popular Mechanics writes, “the shift-by-wire 6-speed automatic is smoother-shifting than many sequential gearboxes, but it offers a standard automatic, sport automatic or sequential manual modes.” It’s “a significant improvement over the old Jaguar J-gate shifter,” they say. Motor Trend agrees, and calls the new shifter “brilliantly quick.”
Even with V-8 power and an automatic gearbox, the 2009 Jaguar XF gets strong fuel economy for its class at 18/26 mpg (and 17/23 mpg for the supercharged V-8). For comparison, the Lexus GS 460 gets 17/24 mpg, while the BMW 550i gets 15/23 mpg and the Mercedes-Benz E550 checks in at 15/22 mpg.
When it comes to ride and handling, Edmunds.com felt that the XF’s “smooth and hushed demeanor” didn’t cut out its responsiveness; “there's a stronger connection with the mechanical soul of the car than expected,” they said. “This is no pompous land yacht,” Kelley Blue Book agreed. “The 2009 Jaguar XF drives like a sports car.”
With the 2009 Jaguar XF, they’ve come as close as anybody to delivering the sport sedan feel of a BMW 5-Series.