Jaguar XF Supercharged – exclusive British sports sedan for the average consumer

The XF Supercharged is a top cat is a sea of felines. It reminds me of one of those movie cats that slink along silently and stealthfully and then, suddenly, it pounces and its power is released. That’s how this mid-sized, luxury, sports sedan behaves. The XF was introduced last year, and in true British tradition, there is not much outward change. Also, there is not much outward indication of the power. The standard XF is really good. This Supercharged model has four tailpipes instead of two. It has larger wheels. And yes, it has a small “supercharged” badge on the trunk.

Recently, I had a very busy week. First, the new Ford Explorer was unveiled and that was special. A couple of days later, I was in San Francisco and northern California for the new 2011 Volkswagen Jetta. And during it all, Judy and I were driving a new 2010 Jaguar XF Supercharged for our weekly test drive.

The engines are everything when you talk about sports sedans and that is what sets the XF Supercharged apart in this class. I suppose it might be like knowing you have a Concealed Permit to carry and a small loaded Gloch in your pocket or purse. It is a feeling of knowing you can do something if you want to do it. You feel special. Like a silky black cat slowing moving forward, then swiftly striking, they’ll never see you coming when the engine roars to life. The XF Supercharged is powered by a 5.0 liter V8 that roars to life at 470 horsepower. This direct-injected engine has to be one of the best engines available on the market. The torque is terrific. The zero to 60 measurement is 4.9 seconds, although I never achieved that figure.

When you slide into the driver’s seat, the leather and wood are present, but subtle. Even the roof liner is suede, but I had to run my hands over it twice to make sure. Push the small start button on the center console between the seats and everything comes to life. The air conditioner vents – all four of them – rotate open. An aluminum gear selected rises upwards out of the flat panel and wondrously is positioned where you hand has been hovering in reflex manner. The indicator lights are visible and the sound of the engine pleases the ears. The first time I tried it out, I had to turn it off, watch everything disappear, and then try it all over again. It was fun to show-off this feature to others during the week.

The seats are full leather, of course, and multi-adjustable. I wish the seats had had additional side bolstering. On occasion, I wanted to feel hugged into a snug-fitting seat on fast turns. The color scene was pleasant in appearance, artfully mixed in with the leather, chrome, and wood. The listed colors were “Ivory” and “Truffle”. The truffle color was as close to a chocolate Hershey bar as could be obtained without a grandchild smearing a melted bar all over the car’s interior.

There are paddle shifters mounted to the steering wheel and with a simple click, you find yourself in manual mode. Even the data readout changes from the P-R-D designations to a 1-2-3-4-5. If you do not continue to use the paddle shifters and a few seconds elapse, the transmission reverts back to regular automatic. The transmission is quiet and smooth. An additional letter on the gear selection knob shows an S, which indicates Sport mode. This holds a gear much longer before shifting, and also the S mode allows the paddle shifters to convert to full manual mode. The gear will hold until the paddles are shifted either up or down.

Almost all the radio controls, climate controls, Bluetooth phone functions, and navigation controls are worked through the one touch screen in the center of the dashboard. It is fairly logical in arrangement, although some of the buttons were fairly small and some switching between screens took a little bit more time than I thought necessary.

The overall appearance is definitely sporty. My test model was called “Spectrum Blue”, which was not a subdued color like a silver or black. The rear seating area was fairly large, but taller passengers might have a problem. The cargo area in the trunk is quite large for such a small car.

The Jaguar XF Supercharged has a MSRP of $67,150. There were no optional add-on’s. With an $850 destination charge, my test drive model had a bottom sticker price of $68,000. The EPA mileage figures are 15 city and 21 on the highway.

The 2010 Jaguar XF has everything you anticipate in a luxury sports sedan. The styling is beautiful, the technology is up-to-date and advanced, the features are convenient and useful, and the interior is stylish. It is everything you expect it to be for driving – responsive, smooth, and quiet. Check it out yourself at a Jaguar dealership.

By Alan Gell - MyCarData