You'll Like The 2011 Jaguar XF If...
If you've grown tired of seeing the same luxury brands lining the valet parking lot, take a spin in the 2011 Jaguar XF. Its clever styling, powerful engine and luxuriously-appointed interior may just win you over.
You May Not Like The 2011 Jaguar XF If...
If part of what draws you to a brand such as Lexus is its stellar reputation for reliability and longevity, the XF's somewhat shaky repair record and poor resale values may be a deal breaker.
For 2011, Jaguar drops the entry-level 4.2-liter V8, equipping all XFs with a 5.0-liter V8 engine, although horsepower does vary by trim. Jaguar's Platinum Coverage, which includes 5-years/50,000 miles of scheduled maintenance, is now standard equipment for the XF.
A luxury car should excite and delight its owner every time he or she gets behind the wheel, and that's exactly what the 2011 Jaguar XF does. Upon entering the vehicle, a pulsating red ignition button beckons to be pushed. Once engaged, the XF's engine roars to life, the dash vents rotate open and a hockey-puck shaped gear selector rises from atop the center console. Soft blue lighting illuminates switches and knobs, as well as the steering-wheel-mounted controls. Soft-touch vinyl and leather resides wherever a hand can be laid or an arm rested, and luxurious appointments such as the Bowers and Wilkins 440-watt sound system wait to delight the senses. As for interior space, the Jaguar XF is quite accommodating, even in the rear seat where head room is surprisingly generous.
For generations, Jaguar cars were easily spotted regardless of their date of origin. This car, however, is not so easy to pick out. There is no "leaper" hood ornament, for one (it's migrated to the trunk lid's lower lip), and no traditional curving lines or rounded headlamps to denote the car's heritage. The 2011 Jaguar XF's styling is eye-catching, to be sure, but it looks much more Aston Martin-like than vintage Jaguar. The XF's sloping rear window and long beltline create a coupe-like profile, with the top-of-the-line XFR adding a black mesh grille, chrome outboard air intakes, a louvered hood and 20-inch alloy wheels to round out its performance image.
The 2011 Jaguar XF is not a bloated luxury barge; it's a bona-fide touring sedan with blisteringly-quick acceleration, excellent stability in curves, good steering and braking feedback and a whisper-quiet cabin. The larger wheels and stiffer suspension on the Supercharged and XFR make for a rather firm ride, easily jolted by road imperfections and uneven pavement. Those seeking a more luxurious ride should stick with the Premium or Portfolio models. The XF's six-speed sequential shift transmission features a Sport mode that, in conjunction with the steering-wheel paddle shifters, makes for a rather spirited and enjoyable driving performance. If we have one concern regarding the XF, it rests with the car's overly-automated controls which, in the event of a dead battery, make operating even the simplest features (such as shifting into neutral should the car need to be towed or pushed) maddeningly complex.
The 2011 Jaguar XF has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting around $53,000, which is higher than the base price of both the BMW 5 Series and Audi A6 and about the same price as the Mercedes E-Class. The XF Premium starts around $57,000, while the Supercharged XF starts closer to $68,500. A fully-loaded XFR tops out around $80,000. To get the best deal, be sure to take a look at the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what consumers in your area are currently paying for the XF. As far as residual values go, the XF doesn't hold up well, with decidedly lower values than the BMW 5 Series, Audi A6 and Lexus GS. The XF's values, however, are about even with Lincoln's MKS and better than Cadillac's STS and DTS Sedans.
The 2011 Jaguar XF includes a 5.0-liter V8 engine paired to a six-speed automatic transmission with the JaguarDrive Rotary Gear Selector, 18–inch wheels, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), 320-watt sound system with portable audio interface including iPod connectivity, voice-activated navigation, an auxiliary input and a USB port. The touch-screen LCD displays the audio functions and controls the iPod to allow full access to playlists and artists while the Bluetooth technology is able to pair up to five phones for hands-free use. JaguarVoice allows voice control of the audio, CD, navigation, phone and climate-control functions.
The 2011 Jaguar XF Premium adds active ventilated heated and cooling front seats, Jaguar Smart Key, soft-grain leather seating surfaces, Blind Spot Monitor, Front Parking Aid, rear backup camera and soft-grain stitched instrument panel and doors. Other options include the Bowers and Wilkins 440-watt sound system, adaptive cruise control, heated steering wheel, heated windshield and a power rear sunshade. XF Supercharged and XFR models share a supercharged 5.0-liter engine, Adaptive Dynamic suspension and Active Differential Control.
The unorthodox gear selector stands out as an innovative way to put the car into Drive. With a simple turn of the knob, going from Drive to Drive Sport is effortless, with no button or lever to maneuver.
Bowers & Wilkins Sound System
A favorite among audiophiles, the Bowers & Wilkins sound system has precise and crisp sound output at any volume level.
Under the Hood
All 2011 Jaguar XF Sedans are powered by a gasoline direct-injection 5.0-liter V8 that, in the base cars, pumps out a respectable 385 horsepower. In the XF Supercharged and XFR, Jaguar bolts a supercharger to the 5.0-liter V8, bumping output to a whopping 470 and 510 horsepower, respectively. With this engine under the hood, the XFR posts a zero-to-60 mph run of just 4.7 seconds and an electronically-limited top speed of 155 miles per hour.
385 horsepower @ 6500 rpm
380 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23
5.0-liter V8, Supercharged (XF Supercharged)
470 horsepower @ 6000-6500 rpm
424 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2500-5500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21
5.0-liter V8, Supercharged (XFR)
510 horsepower @ 6000-6500 rpm
461 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2500-5500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21
When it was introduced three years ago, the XF Sedan represented a radical departure from traditional Jaguar styling. The bold move has paid off brilliantly for Jaguar, and the XF's sleek coupe-like styling and wide-mouth grille have now migrated onto other Jaguar products, namely the new XJ. Intended to compete with long-established models, such as the BWM 5 Series, Audi A6 and Lexus GS, the 2011 Jaguar XF provides all the performance benefits of its Japanese and European rivals, but also offers a hefty dose of traditional British luxury, something not easily imitated and that still holds value among those with a taste for life's finer pleasures.