2012 Jaguar XF Long-Term Road Test

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Visibility Matters

June 11, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged

Here's a typical weather scene in Southern California. See? Nothing's happening. It's perfectly pleasant and, look, somebody has a 2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged to drive.

So it's easy to ignore warning messages like this.

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2012 Jaguar XF: A Few Creaks

May 29, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF

As our time with our long-term 2012 Jaguar XF draws to a close, I decided to give the big cat another whirl. I'd not driven this car very much as I just never really warmed up to it. Okay, I definitely warmed up to its barnstorming power delivery, which, save for a minor delay in tip-in throttle response, is terrific. I think my indifference to it stems primarily from its tepid steering and touchy brake pedal response, areas that make the XF seem a bit incohesive or unresolved to me.

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Comfortable Anywhere

May 23, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged

I'm sure you've caught on by now that I am smitten with our long-term 2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged. It works for me on so many levels.

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2012 Jaguar XF: 10 Reasons I'll Miss It

May 20, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF

Some long-term cars leave our garage and I won't even notice. I'm pretty sure it was a month and a half before I realized the Honda Crosstour was gone. There are others, however, where I'll wistfully stand at the driveway and wave as it departs for the last time, a wash of fond memories floating through my mind to the dulcet tones of Barbra Streisand and "The Way We Were."

The 2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged fits into the latter category, and as its time with us is coming to a close, I thought I'd share those fond recollections in that age-old, time-tested Top 10 format...though sans Babs.

In no particular order...

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Great Steering Wheel

May 17, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged

I really like the steering wheel in our long-term 2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged, because it's not what you're expecting.

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Favorite Trip Computer Display

May 16, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged

I don't find the instrument panel in our long-term 2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged unattractive. It looks nice enough. But the digits and markings are small. So whenever I get into the XF, the first change* I make is to the trip computer: I scroll past the default odometer /Trip A display and select the digital speedometer display.

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: A Certain Je Ne Sais Quois

April 26, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged

When our long-term Jaguar XF sits in the sun for a while, like in my driveway at home, it develops a certain je ne sais quois, that intangible quality the French use to describe that which we cannot describe. That's my polite way of saying this car gets a little stinky.

There's a lot of leather in this car but leather has a pleasant aroma. I blame the alcantara, which is a polite way of saying fake suede. It gets a little ripe if you know what I mean. It's amazing how earthy an artificial substance can smell.

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2012 Jaguar XF: Extravagant

April 9, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF

Cars with Alcantara-wrapped A-pillars and headliners don't come through the fleet that often, so I always tend to slightly fixate on the Jag's roof supports after I've slipped behind the wheel. This faux-suede has a rich look and feel, such that its use on the pillars seems silly, extravagant and perfect.

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Cupholders Done Right

March 25, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged

Sometimes I get shocked at the pathetic excuses for cupholders manufacturers put in their cars. Case in point, the 2013 Ford Focus ST, which I complained about in an update recently. Take any turn, at any speed, and your water bottle is going for a ride across the car.

Then you get into the 2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged. And you realize, this is how cupholders are done right. It all comes down to anti-tip technology, also known as those flexible but very grippy rubber protrusions.

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2012 Jaguar XF: Durable Interior

March 19, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF

Light-colored leather tends to age faster than a party girl with a tanning addiction. However, though our Jag's been with us for roughly 10 months now (its year ends this June), the pale-brown hide that sheaths its handsomely sculpted seats are none the worse for wear. In fact, it's no exaggeration to say that they look pretty much as good as new.

The same can be said for the rest of the car's interior, which has held up admirably under the challenges of accommodating our editorial team. The best kind of luxury is luxury that lasts.

Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Daylight Savings Time

March 12, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged

In my last report, I told you how easy it was to update the time in our 2012 Jaguar XF. Our clock was off by a few minutes.

Over the weekend, we lost an hour due to Daylight Savings Time but our Jaguar didn't. So, I manually took it back by using the same method as before.

Just press the time and adjust the hour.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @ 19,563 miles

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Time Check

March 11, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged

Our Jaguar XF is running a few minutes behind real time. I can't have the clock telling me I have three more minutes than I actually have. Time is important.

So, I looked in the manual to see if there was some super special premium Jaguar way to adjust the clock. But the only mention of the clock was how to clean the screen.

So, I touched the time with my finger and voila. The clock settings came right up.

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Digital Speedometer

March 7, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged

As you can see in the photo above, our Jaguar has a digital speedometer in the center of the instrument panel as well as the traditional dial on the left.

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: In Six Seconds

March 1, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged

Just playing with Vine. Do you think it's possible to review a car in six seconds?

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2012 Jaguar XF: Uneven Interior Lighting

February 8, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF

Probably just like you, I prefer an even spread of dashboard lighting at night. I also prefer to dim the nav screens so they don't distract me from the road. Unfortunately, I was unable to find any sort of lighting adjustment for the Jaguar's infotainment screen.

I searched multiple times through all the on-screen menus to no avail. All I could get was the typical Day/Night/Auto setting. I adjusted the main dashboard lighting dial, and that managed to dim the screen to acceptable levels, but then the rest of the controls were too dark to read. This seems like an odd oversight for a car that seems to have everything else.

Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 17,550 miles

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2012 Jaguar XF: Open Air

February 7, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF

Nifty as the Jag's rotating vent doors look on ignition, to me they just represent expensive repair bill for the second or third owner when those hidden servos give up. Fortunately, you can turn off the function and lock the doors open. The look isn't as modern cool or austere as when they're closed, but I'll take a busier dash-look than an austere wallet most times.

Dan Frio, Automotive Editor @ 17,000 miles

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Folding Rear Seat, An Option Unchecked

February 5, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged

My husband and I were at the hardware store over the weekend, and on the spur of the moment, we decided to drop $20 on an 8-foot roll of Astroturf for the family dog's outdoor play area. No problem, I thought, our long-term 2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged has a folding rear seat.

Wrong.

As on nearly all midsize luxury sedans, a folding rear seat is an option on the XF (and, predictably, it's bundled with a bag for skis). Since our long-termer doesn't have that $600 add-on, it doesn't have so much as a center pass-through. Those green Xs denote where the release levers would be if it did have this option.

As a result, this happened.

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2012 Jaguar XF: Autolamp Delay

January 24, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF

Jumping into and out of so many different cars, it's hard to get used to the quirks of certain cars. And one thing that always throws me off is the autolamp feature. Sometimes they stay on so long after I lock up the car that I'm not sure if I left the lights on or if it just happens to have a long delay. And I stand there waiting until the lights go out. I don't want to be THAT person who let the battery die after all.

Well, imagine my glee when I saw the autolamp delay option on our 2012 Jaguar XF. The headlight stalk can be turned to set the delay to 30 seconds, a minute or even TWO minutes. Naturally I just turned it to "Off." This might not be a big deal to many people but I thought it was a thoughtful detail. By the way, who would set the delay to two minutes anyway?

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor

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2012 Jaguar XF: Dog Report

January 22, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF

Yesterday I had to take my dog Mya to the vet again. I figured I'd take her there in style at least. The backseat of our 2012 Jaguar XF has those protruding seatbelt fasteners that I like since they make it easier to buckle in a squirming dog quickly.

The morning was so cold that poor Mya was shivering while she was waiting to get in the car so I made sure to aim the rear-seat vents her way as I blasted on the heater. Not sure if she liked the warm air, though, as she kept fidgeting. The backseat also has a couple of storage options for doggy paraphernalia like the seatback pockets and a door cubby.

Not sure if she enjoyed the Jag's luxuriousness but I like to think that it tricked her into thinking she was actually going somewhere cooler than the vet's office.

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor

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2012 Jaguar XF: No Gangsta Lean

January 11, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF

Here's a poorly lit photo — a poor photo period, actually — that offers some perspective on how far the Jag's seat does not actually recline. A subsequent photo from another angle shows it a little better. The point, however, is that you will not do the layback in the Jag. Not much anyway. No long arm reaching from beyond the B-pillar, just your Yankees cap showing over the beltline. That's not at all British and you won't be doing it in this Cat.

Meanwhile, check out the butt dimples forming in the driver's seat. Granted, I'd only removed my dumpy ass from the seat minutes before, but that leather's definitely wearing a little loose. That's some indication of how much and how fast we like this car. We've put nearly 10,000 miles on it since June, in addition to the 7,000 miles that Mike and Kurt racked up on the Alaskan round-trip.

Dan Frio, Automotive Editor @ 16,800 miles

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Creaky Sunroof

January 9, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged

When backing our long-term 2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged at an angle into my driveway this weekend, I heard a sound that's familiar to convertible owners: That twisting, creaking sound where the top meets the header of the windshield. But our Jag is a sedan and the noise comes from the sunroof.

Once noticed, I began hearing it on every driveway taken at an angle. I searched the internet and while there isn't a related recall or even technical service bulletin, I did find that this is a familiar trait to the XF and owner forums are filled with this same observation. Is the chassis really so flexible, or does the sunroof gasket simply need a little silicone? The consensus seems to fall to the latter.

Chris Walton, Chief Road Test Editor @ 16,534 miles

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2012 Jaguar XF: Sport Mode Done Right

January 4, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF

There are many forms of the so-called "sport" button. Some are buried so as not to encourage enthusiastic driving. Others are right there on the steering wheel, but with odd markings that don't necessarily hint at what they do. On our XF, you get this button.

No words, no esoteric symbols, just a waving checkered flag that pretty much sums up its mission. Surprisingly, the XF's "Dynamic" mode isn't as comprehensive as some others in this class as it mostly adjusts the parameters of the XF's traction and stability control systems along the shift points. But it makes a difference and it's easy. Just punch the button and you're done. It even stays on after you turn off the car briefly. Such simplicity seems so obvious and yet so many others get it wrong, or simply make it too complicated. This is not one of them.

Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor @ 15,950 miles

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Odds and Evens

December 07, 2012

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I can't be the only one to have noticed this, maybe just the first to blog on it. Are the odd-numbered MPH intervals a Jaguar thing? I wouldn't know because I've never bothered to care about Jaguars. But the XF makes me care. It makes me want to read books about Jaguars, both the brand history and the animal.

I want to help fund some start-up company just so it can develop better cell phone speakers so I can record and accurately reproduce in a ringtone the way the XF rumbles on start-up. I want to create a designer drug that reproduces the sensation of the XF's smooth, linear, unphased power delivery, unwound as naturally as asking Usain Bolt to run down to the store for a six-pack. This car is like that friend that always charmed your parents, but also made them worry. Definitely one of my favorites in the fleet.

Dan Frio, Automotive Editor

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2012 Jaguar XF: More Button Holding With Video

November 29, 2012

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Maybe they're button-holding enthusiasts over there at Jaguar, I don't know. But given that I had to hold the stability control button all weekend before I could do a burnout, this shouldn't surprise anyone.

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Glare

November 23, 2012

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That right there is my face (and a bit of my leg). I stumbled across this handsome devil while, for the 9,000th time, scrolling through the photos of Kurt and I's trip to Alaska in our Long Term 2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged.

Good thing, too, because I forgot about this annoying feature of our Jag. Look closely at my face. No, not the bags under my eyes or my poor beard-growing ability, look at the light shining almost directly into my eyes.

Fun, right?

Unfortunately that's not from Kurt's equipment, any of our bling or some mirrored sports car being driven by a pop star. No, that's coming off of the gear-selector knob in the Jag. I already don't like the parlor-trick pop-up feature, this just makes it worse. We ended up having to drape a shirt or hat over it at least once a day.

Not cool, Jag, not cool. Follow the jump to see what it looks like when not trying to blind the driver.

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2012 Jaguar XF: Switchless Dome Lights Video

November 23, 2012

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The XF's dome lights are awesome. They can be turned on and off by passing your finger near their surface. No hunting for switches in the dark. You don't even have to touch them.

Video after the jump.

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2012 Jaguar XF: Holy Hot Hands

November 22, 2012

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It's possible I'm a wimp, but I don't think so.

It was about 50 degrees outside two nights ago (photo shot later) when I decided to activate the XF's digit-melting device steering wheel heater.

I turned it off about five minutes later when the heat it was producing became aproximately equivalent to that of a red giant star.

Won't do that again.

Josh Jacquot, Senior editor

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2012 Jaguar XF: Knurly Knobs

November 21, 2012

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I like knurls. And they're abundant inside the XF. These two roller swithes on the steering wheel have them.

So does the...

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2012 Jaguar XF: Will the Soup Fit?

November 13, 2012

Will the Soup Fit in the Jag.jpg

Yep! Along with the Tom Fords, a garage door opener and an iPhone. Just thought you'd like to know.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor

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2012 Jaguar XF: Recirculation x 3

November 01, 2012

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When the UPS truck pulled in front of me, I immediately reached over and hit the recirculation button on the Jaguar XF's center stack. I'd never seen a Brown truck spew so much filt before, but this one had really sizable clouds of exhaust billowing from its rear.

As I pressed the recirc button, the display screen said, "Timed Recirc On." That surprised me, but after a quick review of the owner's manual I learned there are really three settings, "Timed," "Latched," and "Auto."

I did not know.

Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 13,666 miles

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2012 Jaguar XF: The Right Amount of Control

October 15, 2012

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This is a steering wheel done well. It's not only a good size in terms of diameter, it feels good in your hands thanks to its thick rim and grippy leather.

I also like the satellite controls. They're easy to use without looking and not overly complex. As Jay has noted before, there's no reason for an on/off switch for the cruise control. Why shouldn't it be "on" all the time?

The fact that there's only one "phone" button is smart too. Having to look down to see which button answers and call and which one hangs up sort of defeats the purpose, no? I've found that the single button here usually figures out what you want, plus the voice commands are fairly straight forward so you can use them for more complicated commands. All in all, it's a useful setup for a layout that's not overly clogged with buttons.

Ed Hellwig, Editor, Edmunds.com

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2012 Jaguar XF: Thigh Extenders, Yay

October 08, 2012

Thigh Extender.jpg

I sat down in our 2012 Jaguar XF and it felt as if the seat bottom was too short front-to-back. I put my hand on the seat adjusters, found all typical fore-aft, up-down, recline, and even seatback width, PLUS one more: Thigh Extender! Ahhh, that's better. It's interesting how rare this adjustment is, even as a manual slider on the front of the seat. It really makes all the difference, don't you think?

Chief Road Test Editor, Chris Walton

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2012 Jaguar XF: Bluetooth is a Bully

October 06, 2012

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I love playing music from my iPhone. I also love hands-free telephony. The problem is that our Jaguar XF seems to prefer using Bluetooth for both. Am I doing it wrong?

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2012 Jaguar XF: Electro Leaper

October 04, 2012

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There's an option buried in the info screen menu that lets you change the screen to this.

No info, no maps, no buttons, just the "leaper" stretching across the screen.

Now, my immediate reaction was: Who would bother doing this? You can't change anything when the screen is just an icon. But then I left it that way and realized you can still do pretty much all the same stuff with the steering wheel controls and the hard buttons that still exist. And in the meantime, I didn't spend any time starting at the screen in the middle of the dash.

Maybe it's not such a bad idea after all.

Ed Hellwig, Editor, Edmunds.com

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged Alaska Road Trip: 10,000 Milestone

October 01, 2012

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Somewhere on the way towards in the U.S. border, not-quite-deep in the wilds of British Columbia, our 2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged tripped the 10,000 mile mark.

That's right, we crossed two milestones in one road trip. Not bad for a car we introduced on June 18.

Oh, and for those of you wondering, yes, it's in second gear and stopped. And we're driving in winter mode. The Jag's throttle is really touchy and that is not what you want when you're trying to get decent fuel economy and get good range. Snow mode reduces that and starts you off in second. It's far more liveable and far easier to live with. I'm going to keep it like that all the time.

Mike Magrath, Features Editor @ 10,000 miles

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2012 Jaguar XF: Tepid Seat Coolers

October 01, 2012

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Remember how I went on and on about how much I loved the seat coolers in our Lexus GS 350? Well after I spent this weekend driving around our 2012 Jaguar XF, I have to say its seat coolers left me feeling, well, lukewarm. With L.A. suffering from 100+-degree temps lately, having a car with seat coolers is a welcome luxury. But for some reason our XF's seat coolers just didn't provide the same cool and instantaneous relief that our GS 350's did.

After I turned them on, through the touchscreen, I put my hand on the seat bottom to make sure it was on. I could lightly feel some air but it wasn't especially cold. Considering that the Jag has a $9K premium over the Lexus, that's kinda disappointing.

But at least the seats weren't bun-scorchingly hot even after the car had been sitting in the hot sun for hours. Perhaps thanks to its light colored leather.

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor @ 12,182 miles

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged Alaska Road Trip: Electronic Oil Meters are Dumb

September 24, 2012

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I like the idea of electronic oil monitors. I like that they can warn you if things are going poorly on the fly. I like that they offer the convenience of checking your oil without getting dirty. I like that it should, ideally, make monitoring your oil level easier and thus help more people to do it more frequently.

If only...

With a normal dipstick it takes all of, including washing your hands after, 60 seconds to check your oil. It's ideal to let the engine cool for a bit first, but if you're on a massive road trip you can sort of fudge this and check it hot. It'll read a little high. That's okay. You can even, :::gasp::: check it on a non-level surface. It won't be exact, but you'll get a reading.

The Jag doesn't give you a reading in any of these circumstances. You have to park it on a level surface and wait. For 20+ minutes. Until that time, you get a warning that says "Not Available See Handbook." Waiting 20 minutes does not play into the way I do road trips so instead of checking the oil at service stations, I was checking it 10-20 minutes after I checked into the hotel at night. This is far, far more annoying than simply washing my hands.

The second strike against these things is the accuracy. Thanks to an early oil change, we went on this road trip with relatively fresh (@1,000 mile) oil. On Day 1, the electronic thingamabob said we were A-OK on that front and we started off. Day 3, the oil read good, too. Same for day 5.

On day 7 we were, all of a sudden, 2 quarts down. 2 quarts!! This wouldn't have happened with a dipstick.

As you can imagine, the Yukon Territory doesn't see many Jags and the woman running the local/only store was as surprised as I was. "That pretty new car's burning oil? What a shame. Take a bumper sticker." The sticker says, "I drove the Alaska highways BOTH WAYS, Damnit!"

Mike Magrath, Features Editor, Edmunds.com

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged Alaska Road Trip: 5,000 Milestone

September 20, 2012

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Somewhere on Utah's fantastic 80-mph highways, this happened. We missed it by 11 miles which, at this speed, is something like 8.5 minutes. We tried. Sorry.

In our 5,000 miles with the Jag we've had absolutely no problems (we did an early oil change as is our protocol) and, with at least 5,000 more miles left to go on this road trip alone, we were hoping that trend continued.

(Note: The passenger took the photo from a safe distance and then cropped way in.)

Mike Magrath, Features Editor @ 5,011 miles

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2012 Jaguar XF: Patriotic Color Scheme

August 21, 2012

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Jaguar went with a crisp red, white and blue color scheme for the XF's gauges.

What do you think? Worth saluting, or too garish for a luxury car?

Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor

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2012 Jaguar XF: Looking Back

August 20, 2012

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Our XF has one of those rearview cameras with the lines that turn with the steering wheel to show you which direction you're headed in. This tech is pretty common for cars in this price range.

In any event, it was appreciated the other night when I had to parallel park the Jag, and I found it remarkably easy to use.

As I see it, tech like this is especially helpful in luxury cars, where even the smallest ding can put a serious dent in your wallet.

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2012 Jaguar XF: Driving with Idiots

August 20, 2012

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Let's say you're driving a friend home. Let's also say he's had a few beers. Let's also say this is the same friend, who in high school, thought it was funny to randomly turn on your hazards to get a rise out of the kid who took driving really seriously.

Now, let's also say you've just climbed into a Jaguar XF and point out the neat bit of automotive theatre that commences when you climb in: The pulsing starter button, the rotating air vents and the rising shift knob. Let's say he wasn't all that impressed, but did think the shifter was cool.

As you drove along, he starts to run his fingers on it as people are apt to do since it's so nicely detailed. He then starts making laser-firing noises for some reason, more because he's a nerd than because of the beers. He then shifts you into neutral ...

In the middle of an intersection while driving around a left-turning car on a two-lane road. The engine revs, you yell "That's the shifter you idiot!" and twist the car back into drive.

"I thought it did something with the radio," he says, obviously confusing the shifter for iDrive and finding his mistake just as funny as turning on the hazards.

This is entirely hypothetical, of course, and in no way did this happen beat by beat Saturday night. And I don't think it speaks to a problem with the rotary shifter at all. Sure, if I was a California elected official or Ray LaHood, I'd probably demand that a huge yellow sticker be placed next to it in order to fend off idiots, then translate it into Spanish to defend against Spanish-speaking idiots as well. But I'm not, so idiots will just need to sit in the back seat or know that their hands are bound to be right smacked.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor

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2012 Jaguar XF: A Closer Look at Interior Materials

August 16, 2012

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Check out the interior of our 2012 Jaguar XF. What do you think? Does it look like the interior of a $72K car?

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2012 Jaguar XF: Refined Door Bin

August 16, 2012

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While scooping my belongings from the XF's door bin, I was pleased to discover that the bin is lined with felt. It's a nice touch. Beats coarse plastic, that's for sure.

With luxury cars, details make all the difference, and our Jaguar has some appealing ones.

Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor

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2012 Jaguar XF: Button Up

August 14, 2012

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If you want to grab a personal item from the glove box of our Jaguar XF, you don't need to waste time and energy groping and grappling some clunky latch. That's because access to the glove compartment is governed by an easily visible, easy-to-use button.

Best of all, the button is pretty attractive to look at, and makes a handsome addition to the sleek, passenger-side dash.

Aesthetically speaking, sometimes boldly exposing functional parts like this is a lot more effective than trying to hide them away.

Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Thigh Support

August 14, 2012

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Earlier, we discussed my love for our BMW X3's dedicated, extendable thigh support. (One of you called it hamstring support which might be more accurate.) Our Jag, unsurprisingly, has this feature, but does it in a worse way than the BMW.

Instead of having an extendable portion at the front of the seat, the Jag slides the ENTIRE seat bottom forward. Sure, it gives you a longer seat bottom, but it's also less comfortable, moving you along with the seat, and causes a funny gap between the seatback and the seat cushion.

Functional? Yes. Absolutely. As good as the X3? Nope.

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Gear Indicator

August 02, 2012

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Now that, friends, is what's called a properly-sized gear indicator. Move the console shift knob to Sport and engage manual mode with one of the paddles and it gives you this huge display within the instrument panel. Yes. Invigorating throttle blips on downshifts, too.

It always bothers me when manufacturers put tiny little gear displays on their cars, particularly performance machines with which you (hopefully) will use the manual mode at some point.

The one aspect I don't like is that it doesn't automatically downshift to first gear at stoplights. And I sometimes forget (yes, despite that huge indicator staring me in the face). For instance, you could be in third gear or higher as you approach a stop and it will automatically downshift to second. But for some reason no further (fuel mileage?). Kinda bothers me when I find myself inadvertently starting from a stoplight in second gear. Luckily this car has the guts to power through it.

Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 3,137 miles.

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2012 Jaguar XF: Feel the Difference

August 02, 2012

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Takahashi and I were driving in a new Audi Allroad yesterday. I thought that its textured metal trim looked quite nice, but when I ran my fingers over it I realized it wasn't textured at all. It was an optical illusion created by a cleverly designed print. Clever, yes, but still fake.

Smash cut to several hours later when I'm driving home in our Jaguar XF. That metal-look trim looks textured and when you run your fingers across it -- voila! -- it is textured. It feels nice and special, and I especially like the contrast between the coarse texture of the trim and the buttery soft leather above. This mixing of materials in terms of both appearance and texture is very well executed and just one of the many little details that make such a difference in this car. Somebody knows what they're doing at JLR.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Lovin' The Seats

August 01, 2012

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The front seats in our Jag XF strike a near-perfect compromise between comfort and lateral support. On the first, yes, they're comfortable to the point you don't even think about them--always a good sign.

To the lateral support, it's excellent. The seat really holds you in place. And, it's not just the seatback that has the good bolstering, as on most cars, but the seat cushion as well provides good grip for your legs.

Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 3,128 miles.

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2012 Jaguar XF: DSC Off

August 01, 2012

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Apparently, some folks over at Jaguar read our long-term blogs and informed us that, yes indeed, the electronic stability- and traction-control system can be defeated. After the first test with DSC in Dynamic mode (thus limiting the car's true potential), we decided we should retest our new XF sans Nanny McPhee. We did just that and we'll post the results shortly, but here's a tease from the test driver's note pad...

Acceleration: After learning to press/hold the ESC disable button for about a half-hour (Ten-Mississippi actually), I got a brief message on the IP. Sure enough, the XF then lit the rears "with extreme prejudice." I found a predictable, sweet spot on the launch at around 1,500 rpm where I could get the rear tires to sing a little without hazing them before I used WOT. It worked well, but I don't think the shifts were especially sporty. I tried to use the chequered-flag Dynamic mode, but then it turned traction control back on. So then I shut off ESC and it seems to engage Dynamic (I saw a flag on the IP) but without the zippy-shift protocol. I'm not sure the car was any quicker/faster with the ESC/Trac off due to the electronic trade offs.

Skid pad: With ESC off, the XF finds a delicate, neutral place with mild understeer on the limit. I could have easily wiggled my big toe and made it oversteer.

Slalom: With ESC off, the XF feels free, frisky and playful. Of course, the temptation is for lurid slides (and it will do that), but the quick way between the cones was to use delicate and precise throttle input to coax a little rotation at each cone and save the uppercut for the exit. I was a little surprised and pleased with how quick, friction-free, and precise the steering remained with this added (or subtracted?) measure of ESC off. There's no need for heavy steering -- even in a car with sporting intentions. Even when going slide-ways through the last gate, I always felt in complete control. Nice predictable behavior which is more than I can say for current BMW sedans when pushed outside their 8/10ths comfort zones with ESC disabled.

Chief Road Test Editor, Chris Walton @ 3,038 miles

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Kinda Stinky

July 27, 2012

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After our beautiful Jaguar XF sits in the sun for a while, the interior gets a little ripe. At first I thought the alcantara was to blame but a close-up sniff tells me otherwise.

The culprit is the huge leather-topped dash. It doesn't exactly smell like feet wrapped in leathery burnt bacon, but it smells a lot like hot leather.

Just something to consider when opting for this much hide in a vehicle.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2012 Jaguar XF: Backup Camera

July 24, 2012

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The above shot is of our long-term 2012 Jaguar XF's backup camera. Simple and straightforward, couple of guidelines and that's it. Compare that to our long-term 2011 BMW 528i's backup camera (shown after the jump).

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2012 Jaguar XF: Simple Cruise

July 23, 2012

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Our longterm Jaguar XF has a simple and effective cruise interface. It can be operated easily by feel alone, there's no silly adaptive nonsense, and best of all, there's no redundant, unnecessary, pointless "on/off" switch. That's correct, in this Jag you don't have to turn the cruise on before you turn it on -- if you want to set your speed, you rock the scrolly wheel thing upwards to "+" and your speed is set. Done. No power switch needed.

Other automakers, especially those that require the cruise be "powered on" every bloody time the key is cycled, take note.

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor

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2012 Jaguar XF: Sleek Center Console

July 17, 2012

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It's hard to get over the gimmicky nature of the XF's rising transmission dial. Then again, whenever I look at the overall design of the center console in our Jaguar I can't help but notice that its actually a sleek, simple design that works.

It puts everything you need right at your fingertips -- the start button, the shifter, the "sport" button (that would be the checkered flag one) and the brake release. Why they bothered to waste space on the "speed warning button" is a mystery, but everything else is in a good spot.

Heck, it even looks all nice and symetrical. Can't say the same for most of the setups out there these days.

Ed Hellwig, Editor, Edmunds.com

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: No Rockfords Allowed

July 13, 2012

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You'll be heart broken to know we won't be doing any Rockford turns in the XF. We certainly love us some Rockfords, but it appears that Jaguar has made the XF rather Rockford proof.

I have my doubts that its shifter (Dare I even call it that?) is going to function well for the quick Reverse-Neutral-Drive transition required as the car rotates from traveling backward to traveling forward. As you can see in the above-linked video, this needs to happen rather quickly and a traditional column, console or stick shifter gets the job done pretty well.

In case you've never seen a Rockford turn, here's Jim Rockford, the man himself, demonstrating the move. Stay tuned until 1:10.

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Can I just Get a Dipstick?

July 11, 2012

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We were out at the track yesterday and part of the pre-test inspection includes checking all fluid levels. Now, I'm no technophobe, but I think car makers should at least give us the option of checking oil levels the old-fashioned way.

So there I was, in front of the Jag with the hood open. Brake fluid, check. Coolant level, check. Oil? In the absence of a telltale yellow dipstick indicator, I went right to the XF's touchscreen. After flipping through all of the menus a few times, I found nothing. Sigh.
Alright, fine. RTFM.

In order to check the oil, you have to toggle through a few screens on the gauge cluster with the power on but engine off. No big deal, BMWs do this too. But you also have to wait 10 minutes for the engine to cool down. Ugh.

I moved on to other tasks while the Jaguar slowly assumed the ambient temperature, tightening lugs, weighing cars, etc. Fifteen minutes later, I still got the "Not Available" message, but a few seconds later I finally got a reading.

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Oooh, Buttons

June 29, 2012

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So what does all this stuff do?

Top left button with the snowflake: Winter Mode
Press this button when driving in slippery low-grip conditions. Winter mode selects 2nd gear when driving away on level ground. According to Jaguar, the car performs "in a more gentle and controlled manner to avoid skidding." Sounds elegant, doesn't it? This mode does not shut off when you switch off the car. You have to turn winter mode off manually.

Top right button: Dynamic Stability Control Off
Jaguar allows the driver to switch between DSC and TracDSC, which is an alternate setting of DSC that allows for more traction but less stability. It is intended only for use by experienced drivers on dry tarmac. You can also turn off all stability controls. If you do that, or if the DSC needs maintenance, this light will switch on.

Lower left button with checkered flag: Dynamic Mode
This should be called "fun mode." It sets the car's control systems for high-performance driving. Jaguar says that Dynamic Mode enhances key systems "so that the vehicle's full potential can be exploited." This mode allows the most driver control. When you select Sport mode and Dynamic Mode, you have full shifting control. The transmission will not upshift even when the rev limit is reached. This mode remains active six hours after you switch off the car. So, if you're just making a quick stop, you don't have to reset it. But when you leave the car off longer, you have to start over.

Lower right button: Automatic Speed Limiter
ASL allows you to set a speed limit using the cruise controls. This button allows you to go back and forth between ASL and cruise control. It's mainly used for controlling speeds on downhill runs when engine braking is not enough.

Now, time to "exploit" our Supercharged Jaguar XF? Jag's word, not mine.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Leaping In

June 27, 2012

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This car is special and it makes me feel special, too. With the influx of new cars into our long-term fleet, it's a great time to have access to the lot.

I took the XF to a fancy-schmancy lunch in Malibu in the afternoon, then out to a fancy-schmancy dinner in my neighborhood last night. The Jaguar is exquisite from the inside, with rich leather and an intoxicating blend of stately design and high-tech styling. Honestly, the only thing I'm not a fan of is the steering wheel shape.

From the outside, the muscular shape and jet-black paint manage to turn plenty of heads; way more than I had anticipated.

Then there's the engine. Oh. My. Gawd.

It feels like it's got more than 424 lb-ft of twist. When you stomp the throttle, it responds with a flood of power that presses you into the seat. It doesn't shove you violently, no, it's a smooth and graceful wallop that doesn't jostle your innards. Fan-freaking-tastic.

Out of curiosity, I engaged the sport modes. On downshifts, there's a glorious snarl and a series of exhaust crackles. Those turned even more heads in Beverly Hills.

Here's the kicker: the Jaaaaag is almost $30,000 less than our long-term Audi A8. THIRTY-GRAND! I like our Audi, but I love our Jag. *Gasp* this isn't even a fair fight.

Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 1,200 miles

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: It Has a Pulse

June 26, 2012

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goaterguy asked if the start button lights up in a heart beating pattern before starting.

Yes, it does. Here is a short video (this time with the windows closed):

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Wiper Action

June 25, 2012

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Here is a short video to show you how the windshield wipers work in the 2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged. The water comes out of the blade arms. I pushed the button twice to wash and then let go so you can see how it functions:

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Starting

June 22, 2012

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Our supercharged Jaguar XF has some interesting moves. When you press the start button, the shifter knob elevates and the vents flip open.

Watch this video...

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2012 Jaguar XF: Jag Earns 2nd Place in JD Power IQS Awards

June 20, 2012

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Jaguar is celebrating today's 2012 JD Power Initial Quality Survey results, having earned 2nd place, in a tie with Porsche, for the least amount of problems per 100 vehicles during a 90-day period. Jaguar was also the most-improved brand in the survey.

Lexus was the highest-ranking nameplate in the latest survey, averaging 73 problems per 100 vehicles. Jaguar and Porsche had 75 problems each, followed by Cadillac (80) and Honda (83).

Power's IQS study identifies problems experienced by owners in two categories: design-related problems and engineering- and manufacturing-related defects and malfunctions. The market-research firm says its survey of initial quality has been an early indicator of long-term vehicle durability.

I'll do my part in helping Jag celebrate, by taking the long-way home in our long-term XF.

Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 946 miles

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2012 Jaguar XF: The Cleanest of Gauges

June 19, 2012

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Before I get to how this 470 horsepower sedan drives, I feel the need to address the instrument cluster. Specifically it's lack of needless complexity. This is how it used to be done before designers and engineers tried to cram every last piece of vehicle information into a limited amount of space in the driver's field of view.

Granted, that small screen in the middle lights up with all sorts of user adjustable information, but it's pretty minimal as modern instrument panels go.

As for how it drives, this XF is what some in the business call "well integrated." In other words, everything works together well. The throttle calibration, the steering effort, the suspension tuning, the brake feel -- they're all on the same page. The result is a car that feels responsive, predictable and just plain easy to drive. And yes, it's fast, real fast.

Ed Hellwig, Editor, Edmunds.com

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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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