2012 Jaguar XF: 10 Reasons I'll Miss It
May 20, 2013
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...
10) The power. Oh heavens, the power. So effortless, so smooth, so impossible to not exploit.
9) The sound. Oh heavens, the sound of that power. A lesser XF will have many of the same attributes below, but not that sound.
8) The responsibility. Unlike so many cars now fitted with an eco nanny that retards throttle response, the XF puts all that power at your hands and says, "Have at it, old chap! If you want to burn fuel, go right ahead."
7) The show. As I wrote years ago in my first Jaguar XF Road Test, "The console-mounted start button pulsates like there's a real feline heart beating inside. Pressing it fires the supercharged V8 to life and then, like the curtain rising on La Traviata, lifts the circular gear selector into the driver's palm and rotates the four air vents into place. This is automotive theater that makes Audis, BMWs and Mercedes feel like modernist furniture galleries."
6) The size. It may compete with the A6, 5 Series and E-Class, but it feels like a smaller car. Actually, it is a smaller car on the inside and some will find its back seat to be comparatively cramped. I don't care. That smaller size pays dividends when you're driving it.
5) The left-foot braking. I like to left-foot brake whenever possible. I find it's usually more comfortable for my long legs and it's helpful when driving aggressively. The Jag's pedals are perfectly placed for left-foot braking.
4) The steering. Light in effort, yet responsive and communicative. The wheel is comfortable too.
3) The style. The cabin design is still so special and so classy despite several years on the market. Our two-tone color scheme makes it that much more distinctive with even more interesting schemes available. I'm a particular sucker for the blue dash top. I'm sick of cars only getting black, tan and gray choices. The Jag gives you pages of combos.
2) The reliability. In contrast to the nightmare most people would've expected, nothing significant has broken, fallen off, gone on the fritz or left us stranded 500 miles away from the nearest service station somewhere in Alaska.
1) The tongue-in-cheek bragging. Getting to say, "I drive a Jaaaaaaaag."
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 22,456 miles