Performance » 9
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PERFORMANCE | 9 out of 10
more relaxed and less sporty
never feels slow or winded
Car and Driver
deeply impressive on-road character
picture of composure
Reviewers across the Web are unanimous when it comes to the 2010 Jaguar XF's performance: It's surprisingly strong, they agree. In order to better compete with the high-performance models from BMW and Mercedes-Benz (M and AMG, respectively), Jaguar introduces the supercharged, 510-horsepower Jaguar XFR, which brings this Jaguar lineup into cheetah territory.
Last year's Jaguar XF Supercharged is replaced by a higher-output version with a larger engine, and a number of other powertrain changes have taken place for the Jaguar XF. Chief among these is the new Jaguar XFR, which Cars.com says features a "5-liter supercharged V-8, [with] 510 horsepower [and] 461 pound-feet of torque." Last year's 4.2-liter, 300-horsepower V-8 soldiers on in the base version, while Premium trims of the Jaguar XF get a new 5.0-liter V-8 that puts out 385 horsepower.
Even with the single remaining 4.2-liter engine in the base trim, Edmunds notes the XF will rush to 60 mph "in just 6.2 seconds," while the higher-output variants provide increasingly quicker acceleration times. In the new Jaguar XFR, which rushes from 0 to 60 in just 4.7 seconds, Los Angeles Times reviewers find that stepping on the gas makes it appear like "all other traffic slowed and stopped as [they] went screaming past." The naturally aspirated V-8 in the Premium version pushes the Jaguar XF to 60 in 5.5 seconds, and Left Lane News reviewers "appreciate the mid-level naturally-aspirated V8 more than the XFR" since it "seemed so well matched to the capable and stiff chassis." Last but not least, the Supercharged trim propels this agile cat from 0 to 60 in 4.9 seconds, just two-tenths of a second behind the XFR.
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 reports, 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 the shift paddles do most of the work, and with them, Popular Mechanics asserts, "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, calling the new shifter "brilliantly quick." In the Jaguar XFR, with the transmission in sport mode, Los Angeles Times reviewers remark that the gearbox "gets downright feisty, with epic rev-holding at the engine's red line and Ducati-like upshifts."
Even with V-8 power and an automatic gearbox, the 2010 Jaguar XF gets strong fuel economy for its class, at 16/25 mpg for the base engine and 16/23 for the 5.0-liter V-8. The 2010 Jaguar XFR checks in with a 15/21 mpg rating, which isn't outrageous considering its performance capabilities. For comparison, the Lexus GS 460 gets 17/24 mpg, the BMW 550i hits 15/23 mpg, and the Mercedes-Benz E550 checks in at 15/22 mpg.
When it comes to ride and handling, Edmunds reports that the XF's "smooth and hushed demeanor" doesn't cut out its responsiveness; "there's a stronger connection with the mechanical soul of the car than expected," they say. "This is no pompous land yacht," Kelley Blue Book agrees. "The 2009 Jaguar XF drives like a sports car." The upgraded Jaguar XFR boasts improved driving dynamics, though Edmunds laments the "dearth of communication between the tires and your hands." Left Lane News, on the other hand, states that the Jaguar XF lineup features "firm, beautifully weighted steering that's just a bit soft on feel at turn in."
German sports sedans, take notice-the 2010 Jaguar XFR is a serious competitor in the class, and the upgraded engines in the lower trims keep them up-to-date.