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Road Test: 2009 Jaguar XF Supercharged

As-Tested Price: $66,675
Engine: Supercharged V8 [408-horsepower, 408 lb-ft]
Transmission: 6-speed automatic with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters
Wheels/Tires: 20 in – 255/35R20 97Y X/L Front , 285/30R20 99Y X/L Rear
0-60: 5.1 seconds
Fuel Economy: 15-city, 17-combined, 23-highway

The sexiest Jaguar to date. An almost perfect melding of luxury, performance, and style that draws attention everywhere and brings modern prestige back to the Jaguar brand-name.


  • Refined and powerful supercharged V8
  • Rich and luxurious interior
  • An exotic experience for you and three of your closest friends


  • Owners manual poorly documents vehicle features
  • Super low-profile tires are prone to being easily damaged
  • Jaguar navigation system is slow, clunky, and difficult to use while driving

2009 Jaguar XF Supercharged Road Test

Vehicle Dynamics & Performance
Aside from the XK and XK-R, Jaguar has not been known for performance. Looking at the four-door XF for the first time we would not blame you if you surmised that it was a luxury cruiser lacking any real guts. However, start up the supercharged V8, plant the peddle to the floor, and in 5.1 seconds that perception takes a drastic reversal. A harmony of sound pleasantly drifts throughout the cabin.  A thrust of power and torque feels stronger than the official 408-horsepower rating suggests.

The 6-speed automatic has been tuned to deliver soft yet lightning fast up-shifts.  Down-shifts are complemented by perfectly executed throttle blips to match engine revs to vehicle speed.  A sport mode quickens the pace of the transmission and gives more throttle control blasting up on-ramps or down back roads.  Not content with letting the car dictate what gear you’re in? Paddle shifters are conveniently located on the steering wheel and allow for an even more enthusiastic driving experience.  Our only complaint is the small lag between tapping the paddle and actually receiving the gear change.

Driving the XF is an outright pleasure. The best of both worlds, sports car and luxury sedan, all in one.  A butter smooth ride equates to effortless highway cruising while razor sharp steering and suspension make storming down the nearest country back road an addicting experience.

Design Execution, Appearance, Fit & Finish
We’ve sang the praises of the XK for its Aston-Martin like styling and the new XF goes even further into exotic beauty territory.  While slightly narrow in figure, the swept back canopy hides the XF’s four doors well. The aggressive front end looks great but we would have preferred a more literal adaptation of the XF concept that previews the production version.

Once inside the XF you’ll see that, as with many cars in this price range, small touches go a long way.   The console is covered in soft leather complemented by wood and aluminum trim that come off as classy, not garish.  A clean center stack is modern, simple, and elegant.  Push the start button and the drive selector rises up, ready for use. In a testament to clean design, front air vents remain hidden until the vehicle is started or when the HVAC system is in use.

Audio, Electronics, & Technology
The XF isn’t just a good-looking hot rod.  A virtual slathering of technology is avaliable. Key less entry and start, radar assisted cruise-control, heated/cooled seats, heated steering-wheel, and an amazing Bowes & Wilkins sound system is among the best we’ve ever listened to. A 6-disk CD changer can play MP3 files and is complemented by an iPod and USB drive interface.

Jaguar’s navigation system is integrated into the large touch-screen display.  The system as a whole is slightly blocky and slow but gets the job done.  Our XF was also equipped with hands-free bluetooth for use with a cell phone, however we could not get a cell phone to pair with the system.

Comfort & Ergonomics
Jaguar has taken particular care to make the XF extremely comfortable. We particularly enjoyed the positive and solid feel of the switchgear.  Heated and cooled seats combined with a heated steering wheel are so comfortable on a cold morning, you’ll never want to leave.

We particularly liked the amount of interior space.  From the outside you get the impression things are going to be cramped but that could not be further from the truth.  An extremely large trunk gives the XF the type of versatility you’d need for a daily driver or long vacation.

Closing Words
We only had a few days to enjoy the XF before flying out to this year’s SEMA show.  Thus, we’re limiting this review to a general overview but should note how much of an impression it left on us.  Jaguar has come a long way even in the past few years and the XF is a perfect example of how performance and luxury can be combined to produce one amazing car.  While higher than anyone would like, the $66k price tag is a relative bargain for the product you get.

2009 Jaguar XF Supercharged Road TestCheck out more photos from our exclusive review