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2012 Jaguar XF

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2012 Jaguar XF Review

By Zach Vlasuk

KBB Expert Rating: 7.3

When Jaguar unveiled the all-new XF in 2009, it signaled the beginning of the brand’s ambitious attempt to attract younger buyers and transform public perception. While it wasn’t a resounding success at first, the refreshed 2012 Jaguar XF aims to expand its appeal among midsize luxury-car buyers with a series of styling enhancements, new multimedia equipment and simpler interior controls. By virtue of these crucial refinements, we believe the Jaguar XF finally possesses the right tools to challenge such formidable competitors as the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E Class, Audi A6, Lexus GS and the Infiniti M.

You'll Like This Car If...

Whether you’re a trend setter, trailblazer or simply an admirer of Britannic automotive design, the XF is a unique alternative to common midsize luxury sedans.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you consider yourself a crafty consumer and seek a high level of value in your next luxury-vehicle purchase, the XF’s comparatively high starting price, mediocre fuel economy and historically low residual values may prove disconcerting to value-conscious buyers.

What's New for 2012

The Jaguar XF receives several significant upgrades for the 2012 model year. Highlights include a remodeled front end with a striking new headlight design, revised LED taillights, a trio of updated audio systems and a series of prominent interior upgrades.

Driving the XF
Driving Impressions

Contrary to popular belief, the 2012 Jaguar XF is not a bloated luxury barge. Instead, we found the XF’s acceleration, stability, steering and braking feedback on par with the segment’s...

... heavy hitters. Unlike the BMW M5 and Audi S6, however, the ultra-sporty Jaguar XFR sacrifices a considerable amount of ride quality for a marginal performance increase. If the standard 385-horsepower V8 fails to satisfy for your high-octane lifestyle, we recommend the athletic, yet comfortable 470-horsepower XF Supercharged model. The XF’s 6-speed automatic gearbox features a sport mode that, in conjunction with the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, makes for a rather engaging driving experience. Jaguar has also decreased the level of driver distraction in the XF through a series of intuitive functionality changes to the touch-screen interface and miscellaneous interior controls.

JAGUARDRIVE SELECTOR
From the pages of science fiction to 21st-century roadways, the JaguarDrive Selector is one of the most innovative interpretations of a universal automotive feature. A beautify-crafted, metallic wheel automatically rises into the driver’s hand once the Start/Stop button is pressed for effortless control of various transmission modes.

BOWERS & WILKINS AUDIO SYSTEM
Audiophiles will find it tremendously challenging to nitpick the impeccable sound quality produced by the available 1200-watt, 17-speaker Bowers & Wilkin audio system.

2012 Jaguar XF Details
Interior

The Jaguar XF provides an airy upscale cabin, where rich leather covers all five seats and high-quality materials are arranged with remarkable precision. The ergonomically-designed front seats deliver ample support for occupants of all sizes, though 6-footers will find rear-seat headroom slightly restricted from the aggressive curvature of the roof. Instrumentation is sharp and legible, but operating the touch-screen climate-control functions can quickly become a vexing task – although you might find the controls easier to operate than some of the complex systems found in German-built luxury sedans.

Exterior
2012 Jaguar XF photo

The XF’s aggressive stance is emphasized in a sleek, aerodynamic body style and sweeping coupe-like roofline. The 2012 XF offers over a half-dozen wheel choices ranging from the standard 18-inch 10-spokes to a set of massive 20-inch dark gray Draco alloys. The range-topping Jaguar XFR features unique body cladding, gloss black upper and lower grille inserts and a distinctive front end design. Fortunately, XFR detractors can affix their own assortment of sporty exterior adornments to the less-expensive Portfolio trim, thanks to the Exterior Sport Pack, which includes the XFR’s blackout grille inserts, 19-inch wheels, a unique front bumper and a rear spoiler.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Although the 2012 Jaguar XF carries a higher starting price than the majority of its competitors, it does feature a standard hard-drive-based navigation system with a 7-inch touch-screen and a DVD player. JaguarVoice allows for voice control of the audio, navigation, phone and climate-control functions, while the ventilation system’s humidity sensor and odor control ensure a pleasant interior environment. Safety features include a full complement of airbags and the typical accompaniment of electronic driving aides.

Optional Equipment

The 2012 Jaguar XF is offered in four trim levels: Base, Portfolio, Supercharged and XFR. The Portfolio model adds soft-grain leather seating surfaces and soft-touch door panels, a rear backup camera and a smart-key system that provides vehicle access and push-button ignition without the need to remove the key fob from your pocket or bag. The XF Supercharged and XFR models share a supercharged 5.0-liter engine and Jaguar’s Adaptive Dynamics suspension system that monitors wheel movements up to 500 times per second for enhanced traction and stability.

Under the Hood

All 2012 Jaguar XF Sedans are powered by a gasoline direct-injection 5.0-liter V8. The XF Supercharged and XFR, however, add a supercharger to the mix, bumping output to a whopping 470 and 510 horsepower, respectively. As a result, the XFR sprints to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds with an electronically-limited top speed of 155 miles per hour. Snowbelt drivers will find seasonal performance quite limiting since the Jaguar XF lacks an all-wheel-drive option.
XF Base, Portfolio
5.0-liter V8
385 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
380 lb-ft of torque @ 3,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23 mpg

XF Supercharged
5.0-liter supercharged V8
470 horsepower @ 6,000-6,500 rpm
424 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500-5,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21 mpg

XFR
5.0-liter supercharged V8
510 horsepower @ 6,000-6,500 rpm
461 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500-5,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21 mpg

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