2012 Jaguar XF Long-Term Road Test

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: It's Like a Corvette

May 14, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged

Our long-term 2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged has way more personality that most of today's midsize luxury sedans. It's a more interesting car to drive than either our 2011 BMW 528i or 2013 Lexus GS 350.

Of course, the Jag's 470-horsepower, supercharged 5.0-liter V8 has a lot to do with this. The way this engine pulls the car along in traffic is always exciting and feels borderline illegal. You don't ease into the throttle in the XF. You grab great big gobs of it.

Granted, there are plenty of torque-rich turbocharged six- and eight-cylinder engines in this class right now, but many of them lack character. In contrast, this blown V8 makes the Jaguar XF feel and sound fast. Every V8 should do that, at least in this class.

So I always have a good time in our Jaguar XF Supercharged, just like I did in our old Corvette Z06. The problem is that our XF is already full of rattles with 22,000 miles on the odometer, you know, also kind of like an old Corvette.

The midsize luxury sedan class is a play-it-safe part of the market right now. I wouldn't even bring up the XF if a Lexus GS owner asked me what's good in this class. And over the weekend, when the owner of a high-mileage E60 BMW M5 asked me about it, I said, "You'd really enjoy the engine, but now that you've owned a BMW, I think your expectations for quality might be too high."

The thing is, I'm possibly engaging in needless hand-wringing. Nothing major has broken on our XF, and there's no reason to think it will anytime soon. But the rattles coursing through the cabin wouldn't make me feel great if I'd paid close to $70,000 for this car.

Erin Riches, Deputy Editor @ 22,424 miles


  • yellowmiata yellowmiata Posts:

    Two things: 1) Odd how few comments are here relative to the old InsideLine. I hope you guys go back to that domain and format soon (or sell the URL so someone else can pick up where you left off) 2) Many in the motorcycle community talk about a bike's character and focus on the engine. Oddly, the weirder the engine config (3-cyl, V4, or L2 for example), the more character. Funny enough the most Mai tenancy free and smooth running engines (Honda sometimes gets this honor) are labeled as soulless as he quirky nature is honed out. What is left is an engine that needs less maintenance and nearly bulletproof: character-less? I don't know if I agree, but something to consider. Kevin

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    @yellowmiata: heh, that's an easy assessment to make when you're a fairweather warrior. Up until the Panigale most Ducatis never rode as well as their specs and high-end components seem to suggest (their less 'soulful' cousin, Aprilia, makes way more tech

  • panamera4 panamera4 Posts:

    I've always gotten that vibe when comparing Jaguar's to their German competitors. As a long time proponent of German automobiles its hard for me to jump on board with the British facade of decadent luxury when the substance and engineering ingenuity in the product seems to be missing juxtaposed to its teutonic competitors. On a side note, as significant as the Watts Towers are to the history of the community and LA as a whole, I would hesitate driving or leaving a car of that value in that area.

  • anyone thought of asking the dealer if they could fix some of the rattles?

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The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2012 Jaguar XF in VA is:

$166 per month*
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