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2008 Jaguar XF

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Luxury Car Review: Much has happened at Jaguar since I last reviewed one of their cars. Tata, an automobile manufacturer based in India, purchased Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford for about $2.3 billion dollars. Gasps and dropped teacups were evidenced all round the English-speaking world.

Even though few people outside of the automotive world had ever heard of Tata, they are a huge and successful, automotive company. In addition they are definitely more British than Ford ever was. Do not forget that India was an English colony and part of the British Empire for far longer than the U.S.A.

Unfortunately the sale of Jaguar overshadowed the introduction of the XF, Jaguar's new mid-size sedan. The XF is a wonderful car, true to its heritage and thoroughly modern. The XF replaces the S-Type in the Jaguar lineup.  The XF at 195.3 inches long is 2.2 inches longer than the S-Type. Other dimensions are very close to the S-Type.

Some people, me included, were put off at first because the XF did not follow in the S-Type's footsteps of mimicking a former Jag model. I got over it after driving, and admiring the XF. The S-Type, which was a modern iteration of the revered 3.8 and 4.2 Salon, has run its course. Although it was handsome, and a true driver's car, rear seat room was very tight. And really, how long can a car company continue to build and sell the same old car?

So the XF looks different, so what? The only parts I really do not like are the "gills" just behind the front wheels. But the question you have to ask is, "How will the XF age?" Other Jags have aged very well, and only time will tell about the XF.

Inside the XF is pure Jag, leather, wood veneer, wool carpets. Inside a Jag, any Jag, is a wonderful place to be. Especially beloved by me as I age are the FULL SIZE seats. Jaguar apparently realizes that not all its buyers are reed slender and designs their seats accordingly.

The only engine and transmission available in the U.S.A. is the 4.2-liter, DOHC V8 with a six-speed automatic. There are two variants of this engine, the base and the supercharged. I drove a supercharged XF, which produces 420 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque. The base V8 is rated at 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. The extra 120 horsepower over the base engine does hurt fuel economy - the base XF is rated at 16-city and 25-highway, while the Supercharged is rated 15-city and 23-highway.

One area I think Jaguar has gone overboard is the tires. The standard wheels and tires for the XF are 18-inchers. The XF Supercharged uses 20-inch wheels with steamroller wide 255/25ZR20 tires in front and 285/30ZR20s in the rear. Not only are such low profile tires harsh riding, but also they leave the beautiful aluminum wheels open to attack from curbs, and they can be absurdly expensive. According to a well know Internet tire retailer the original equipment 18-inch Pirelli tires list for $371 each. Someone at Jag needs to get a grip (no pun intended) and get back to sensible tires.

I have driven a lot of cars over the years, and more than a few Jaguars. With the exception of the X-Type, every Jaguar I drive blows me away. The XF is right up there with the best. If you want to sedately cruise the boulevard, the XF is at home. If you want to blast down the Interstate (at legal speeds of course), the XF does so in style. And if you want to mix it up with some kid in his "rice rocket", well the XF, especially the supercharged model, will show that kid a thing or two.

The XF Jag is not cheap, the base "Luxury" starts at $49,975, the "Premium Luxury" is $55,975, and the “Super Luxury” XF Supercharged car is $64,475. The XF is not quite as sexual, as say the XK, but that is as it should be, for a four-door sedan. If you have a feeling for sensuous cars, then Jaguar is the marque for you.

By Bruce Hotchkiss © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco

Byline: Luxury Car Review provided by Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net


Jaguar Home Page

Column Name: Jaguar still builds sensuous cars

Topic: The 2008 Jaguar XF

Word Count:  759

Photo Caption: The 2008 Jaguar XF

Photo Credits:  Jaguar XF Internet Media

Series #:  2008 - 64

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