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2010 Jaguar XFR Review
When Jaguar replaced the kind of dopey looking S type, they really replaced it. The XF, especially in R trim like our car, is a serious Jaguar; not something you take to a tea and cherry party. Let's check the tech.
Our XFR arrived in porcelain white over 2 tone London tan and charcoal, far too Palm Beach for my taste, but this is one of the most successful of the various 4-door Coupe styling exercises I've seen yet. And the cabin is Alfred Dunhill meets Apple. Now the personal technical worldly gig you notice in this XFR is this bizarre little thing it does when you start the car, keyless of course. Hit the start button here and let the show begin.
The shifter pops up and the vents roll open. Now if you're going to do that, when you go all the way and have a little door over the screen like some other cars already have, and make that open kind of half-assed approach. I think it's cute. It's not at all useful. We've seen this head unit before. This came out about two years ago on Jaguar, and at the time they were trumpeting how it was the first automotive interface powered by Flash. And yes, it does have lots of motion and movement in it, but again kind of like these powered vents that wake up, it's a little bit for no good reason.
Now once you get in here you've got a variety of audio sources that include AM/FM and HD radio. As you can see we've got an HD station recognized right now. This is one of the relatively few cars that have HD radio in there. This is all standard stuff by the way. Our CD is a 6-disc single slot in dash right here. CD, MP3, WMA, no DVD playback. Portable audio is interesting, a nice array of choices here in the console. Here's a USB jack. Here is a dedicated iPod connector, not taking up the USB's. You can have both connected at once, and switch between them.
And there's our standard AUX right next to that. If I want to see a really good display of what I'm playing, it never really takes over the screen and gives me a big audio layout. I've always got all this noise around here. It's very constrained. Climate controls are largely handled on screen, but you also have real buttons down here, which is a good thing. I don't ever want to see an all screen interface for anything that's that critical.
Now here's our navigation screen. Jaguar's a many state car, so once you're rolling you can't do just about anything I'm about to show you, like destination entry. That means your passenger can't enter a destination either and I found the voice recognition pretty close to dreadful. Map quality is good. It's quite readable at just about every zoom level. You can hook up a phone here, but there's no A2DP Bluetooth stereo streaming.
Now whenever you choose to listen to goes out through a really great Bowers and Wilkins audio system. It's in that category with the THX system in the respect that it keeps you from doing anything stupid. I was able to run this thing as loud as it would go, screw with the tone controls, and I didn't get things rattling or buzzing or muddying.
Between the engine and the rear wheels it drives are almost too many profiles to alter the car's throttle response, steering feel, suspension response, shift points, rear wheel torque distribution. Even BMW's M cars barely offer this busy an array of settings. Now this being an R style Jag, the engine's a big part of the story. This is the 5-liter version of their widely love AJ series V8.
Somewhere underneath all that massive techy plastic is a great engine, 510 horsepower, 461 foot pounds of torque. Of course part of the story is supercharging, dual intercoolers. 0 to 60 is about a 4.6 second affair depending whose report you read and the mileage isn't bad, 15/21 mpg. Although I doubt that's when you're really stepping on.
Now underway this biggish Jag feels nicely planted, more compact than it looks on the outside. It's no street fighter, I'll tell you that but it does have good edges to it. There are all kinds of comparisons to the M5. Those are silly. The M5 has a much more steely character to it but this car is not one that will spook you when you're pushing it really hard even though it is basically a luxury car. I haven't been able to get it to do anything that made me not like it. And I absolutely love the way power comes on from these Jag supercharged motors.
They're just real linear, and there are usually gobs more where that came from when you need it. There are cars that have numbers as good or better of course, but this is just really available power. I've got to give that to Jag. I'm also a big fan of the ride. Every car, especially one that has performance pretensions like this one has to make a difficult compromise between the performance and the quality of ride for everyday motoring. I think they got it exactly right on this car.
At no point was I saying boy, that was an annoying pothole that I just felt but I didn't need to. At the same time, I don't feel wallow or push or slide in this car when I want it to perform well. Look at that! That's what these are going to look like after you've had this car for a little while. Luckily you'll have plenty of money left to buy new ones because this car does not have an egregiously high sticker price, $80,000.00. This is not a cheap date to be sure, but everything's in there. The only option tech wise is that supposedly $1000.00 rear seat entertainment system. But the real entertainment is through the windshield going that way.