Full 2010 Jaguar XF Review
What's New for 2010
Only a year after being introduced, the Jaguar XF receives some noteworthy changes for 2010. The base model remains the same, but it's now joined by the XF Premium and its new 5.0-liter V8, an XF Supercharged with a blown version of the 5.0-liter engine, and the ultra-high-performance XFR, which adds 40 more horsepower to that supercharged V8. Standard equipment, options packages and pricing have been changed to reflect the new trim levels. All XFs are also quieter this year, thanks to additional noise-reduction materials.
Now in its second year of production, the 2010 Jaguar XF continues to be a game-changer for the struggling British luxury marque. Recent Jags were seemingly designed to cater to what people think a Jag should be, namely, a quaint motorcar that looks just like the quaint motorcar that came before it. They were built for the people who think of England as a nation filled with yarn-twiddling grannies sipping Earl Grey and telling tales about the War. The XF leaves those people in its dust, establishing a bold new stylistic direction for Jaguar. Traditional virtues like powerful engines and a sumptuous cabin remain, but the XF's contemporary shape sets it apart as a Jag for the 21st century.
Despite having received a warm welcome in its first production year, when an XF Supercharged defeated segment stalwarts from Audi, BMW and Mercedes in an Edmunds comparison test, the XF lineup receives some notable changes for 2010. The base model's 4.2-liter V8 stays the same, but the 420-hp supercharged 4.2-liter V8 -- which powered the victorious car in the above-mentioned shootout -- is no more. Instead, there are three new engines along with two new trim levels. The new XF Premium comes with a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 that pumps out 385 hp, while the familiar XF Supercharged gets, yes, a supercharged version of that engine good for a whopping 470 hp. The new supercharged XFR tops the line with an even more powerful version of the XF Supercharged's motor -- 510 hp and 461 pound-feet of torque are its towering ratings. Along with the gutsier engine, the XFR also boasts quicker steering, bigger brakes, 20-inch wheels, unique exterior and interior styling and trim and automatically adjustable suspension damper settings for optimized ride and handling.
The new engines and models are an extraordinary second act for a car that's already established itself as a class standout. The XF Premium will hold strong appeal for the typical luxury car buyer, while the XF Supercharged and particularly the XFR are meant to give cars like the BMW M5 and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG a run for their money. Any 2010 Jaguar XF deserves a place on your "to drive" list if you're considering a sedan in this price segment. It's not without its quirks and detractors, but nothing can match the XF's blend of sophisticated road manners, high-tech features and signature British interior ambience.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2010 Jaguar XF is a midsize luxury sedan available in four trim levels: base XF, XF Premium, XF Supercharged and XFR. Standard equipment for the base XF includes 18-inch wheels, rear parking sensors, a sunroof, automatic headlights, automatic dual-zone climate control, keyless ignition, leather upholstery and heated 10-way power front seats with driver memory functions. Also standard are Bluetooth, a navigation system, voice-activated controls and a nine-speaker stereo with a six-CD changer, an auxiliary audio jack, an iPod interface and satellite radio. The Vision package adds front parking sensors, a rearview camera and a blind-spot warning system.
The XF Premium includes Vision package items and adds a more powerful V8 engine, 19-inch wheels, bigger brakes, bi-xenon auto-leveling headlamps, heated and cooled front seats, leather-trimmed dash and door trim, wood trim choices and keyless ignition and entry. The Portfolio package adds 20-inch wheels, 16-way driver and 12-way passenger power seats, contrasting stitching, ebony wood trim, a heated steering wheel and a power rear window shade. The latter two items are stand-alone options on the base XF.
Optional on the XF and XF Premium is a Bowers & Wilkins surround-sound system with 14 speakers and HD radio. The XF Premium can also be outfitted with adaptive cruise control.
The XF Supercharged comes standard with all of the above except adaptive cruise control (available as an option) plus a supercharged V8, 20-inch wheels and quad tailpipes. The only option on Supercharged models is adaptive cruise control. The Jaguar XFR adds even more supercharged power, unique 20-inch wheels, an adaptive suspension, bigger brakes, a specialized limited-slip rear differential, additional seating adjustments and unique interior trim.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2010 Jaguar XF features four engines, each with a corresponding trim level. The base XF features a 4.2-liter V8 that produces 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. The XF Premium has a 5.0-liter V8 making 385 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. The XF Supercharged has a supercharged version of the 5.0-liter V8 rated at 470 hp and 424 lb-ft. The XFR has a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 with even more power, cranking out 510 hp and 461 lb-ft of torque. All send their grunt to the rear wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission that features a Sport mode and shift paddles. Fuel economy estimates for the 4.2-liter V8 are 16 mpg city/25 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined. The naturally aspirated 5.0-liter engine drops just slightly to 16/23/19. Estimates for the supercharged engines were not available as of this writing.
Standard safety features include antilock disc brakes with brake assist, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. A rearview camera and a blind-spot warning system are optional on the base XF and standard on the XF Premium and XFR.
Interior Design and Special Features
The Jaguar XF's interior is a bold step forward for both the traditionally frumpy British brand and the entire luxury sedan segment. The console-mounted start button pulsates red like there's a real feline heart beating deep inside. Pressing it fires the engine to life, and then the circular gear selector rises into the driver's palm as the four air vents rotate into place. Some might find this production a bit gimmicky, but the XF backs it up with soft leather, tastefully applied wood and a pleasing design. Overall, it's a standout in a segment typically known for conservative cabins.
There are a couple ergonomic missteps, though. Most of the audio, climate, navigation and Bluetooth phone functions are controlled via a central touchscreen, and while the menus are logically arranged, some of the virtual buttons are too small. Also, the unnecessarily swoopy graphics make processing times too long. The center stack's few physical buttons are welcome for adjusting the climate system, but those devoted to audio controls are redundant, and generally this real estate could be better utilized. Rear outward visibility is also worse than average.
In terms of space, those in front will find an ample amount, but taller folks seated in the back may find their heads grazing the roof -- the XF is not as commodious as the 5 Series or E-Class. The trunk, however, is quite roomy at 17 cubic feet.
The 2010 Jaguar XF's smooth and hushed demeanor allows for comfortable long-distance journeys, yet there's also an unexpected level of performance for a Jaguar sedan. Around corners, the XF has considerable grip and surprisingly high limits. The steering is a little light and numb, but the XF is still more fun to drive than many competitors.
Acceleration from the base V8 is swift and smooth; from the new naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8, even more so. But the lusciously smooth supercharged V8 in the XF and Supercharged is a whole new ball game, serving up a seemingly endless wave of eye-popping power. For those who desire a Jaguar with even sharper claws, the 510-hp XFR adds even more thrust, along with the most capable and entertaining handling in the lineup.