Car of the Year 2009: No. 8: Jaguar XF

  • Paul Dean and Marco R. della Cava

Saving Grace
The XF represents Jaguar’s road back from perdition. It may even be the brand’s salvation after Ford fumbled with the company for 18 years and left its once-?elegant stable of cars as a clutter of outdated saloons and rebadged Tauruses. Despite its homely, misshapen grille, the new sedan is a handsome, well-proportioned looker—from its abrupt, GT-style rear to its long, seemingly sniffing nose. All of the requisite technologies are in place: supercharging, adaptive suspension, and traction controls. The XF’s performance is exactly what you would expect from a car designed to be lightly luxurious, surprisingly comfortable, and positioned more for transporting families than for exorcising inner furies. And who could not love the blue mood lighting, the hockey puck–shaped device that you rotate to select gears, and the flashing red start button that recalls a beating heart? —Paul Dean

 

In Good Taste
Driving the Jaguar XF is a genuine revelation. It is like going to dinner with your in-laws for the first time and discovering that, contrary to your assumptions, they are really cool folks. Jaguar’s four-door offerings have run the gamut from elegant to forgettable over the last couple of decades—with more of the latter lately. But the company recently had a bit of Indian spice injected into its workings, following its handover from Ford to Tata Motors, and the results are tasty. The XF’s interior is both roomy and sophisticated, with acres of leather and compelling features such as concealed air vents that automatically open when you turn on the ventilation system. More impressive, however, is the effortless transfer of power to the wheels from the supercharged version of the 4.2-liter V-8. —Marco R. della Cava

SPECIFICATIONS:

Configuration Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive sedan
Engine 4.2-liter supercharged V-8
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Power 420 hp at 6,250 rpm
Torque 413 ft lbs at 4,000 rpm
Zero to 60 5.1 seconds
Top Speed 155 mph
Base Price $64,475
Price As Tested $66,675
Robb Report Rating 84.3
Jaguar, www.jaguarusa.com

Photo by Jim Fets
The successful trip puts Audi on track to release its first autonomous car in 2017…
Jaguar’s design director discloses that the F-Pace is the production version of the C-X17 concept…
This year’s show saw debuts from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, and other top carmakers…
The racecar set off a Ford winning streak at Le Mans that lasted four years…
Photo by Mercedes-Benz
Armored versions of the limousine-like vehicle will also be available…
Photo by Mark Bramley
The new sedan features numerous stylistic references to the world’s great metropolises…
Photo by Drew Phillips
The original car became famous in the 1968 Steve McQueen film Bullitt…
The new Turbo S completed a lap on the famous Nürburgring circuit in under 8 minutes…
Photo by Mercedes-Benz
The autonomous concept takes a look into the future of driving…
With just 24 examples available worldwide, only an elite few will ever experience the Vulcan’s...