Thursday, April 7, 2016

Begging for speed, this Jaguar fills the bill

Mark Glover’s AutoGlo reviews of the latest motor vehicle models also can be seen on The Sacramento Bee’s website at

This review first appeared in the March 2016 edition of the Northern & Central California Cruisin’ News published out of Folsom, California – mg

Sacramento, California OK, I admit it.  I begged for a one-day test drive in the redesigned-for-2016, deliciously sporty Jaguar XF sedan.

It had been forever since I was in a luxo-loaded, performance-laden Jaguar, and this XF caught my eye when its new lines were touted at last year’s New York International Auto Show.

Granted a local audience with the freshly upgraded model, I put it through its paces … and learned a lot.

For starters, this is NOT your daddy’s Jag.

Jaguar engineers spent serious time shaving weight off the XF through the clever, calculated application of aluminum.  Although the XF looks big to the eye, it drives like an incredibly nimble midsize.  My tester was the 2016 Jaguar XF Premium rear driver starting at a shade less than $52,000, actually a bargain price among the available trim levels.

The XF looks air-slicing sleek in profile, and aggressively styled 18-inch wheels add to the sporty look. Although the XF looks pinched in the back, the trunk has a relatively generous 19.1 cubic feet of open space.

This Jaguar is loaded with high-tech driving-enhancement and safety features, and the list of standard, luxurious comfort and convenience perks is lengthy.  You’d do well to study the owner’s manual carefully as there is a lot to master.  Once mastered, the vehicle is a rolling luxury cabin.

Who am I kidding?  The ride was the best part.  The power plant on the tester was the 3-liter, supercharged V-6 maxing at 340 horsepower.  Performance off the line was profound and immediate.

I was stirred, but not shaken.  The run-up through the eight-speed automatic gearbox was firm but silky smooth.  You’re pressed into your seat GENTLY, but the sensation of serious speed is felt throughout.

The Jaguar instantly responded in my hands.  The steering was remarkably light, but when I made an aggressive lane change, the wheel felt firm and secure in my palms.  Very nice.

An exquisitely tuned suspension certainly added to the velvet glove feel, and comparatively little engine noise reached the cabin.  All in all, it’s a most enjoyable power package.

And yet, fuel mileage is pretty decent at 20 miles per gallon in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.

I had forgotten how much fun it was to drive a nicely engineered Jaguar.  And for those of you who still hang on to the old, old-school idea that Jaguar electronics fail too often, you might want to take a closer look at recent driver feedback and customer-satisfaction studies.  You might be surprised.

Alas, Jaguar competes in a class that includes heavyweight hardware from the likes of Acura, Cadillac, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti.  That’s a tough crowd, to be sure.

But if you haven’t been in a Jaguar in a few years, I suggest you give it a go.  As for me, I enjoyed my time in the new-generation XF sedan.


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