It's Like a Corvette - 2012 Jaguar XF Long-Term Road Test
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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

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