2012 Jaguar XF Long-Term Road Test - Miscellaneous

2012 Jaguar XF Long-Term Road Test

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Dead Front Tires

June 7, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged

We made another discovery at last week's brake pad replacement: That the inside of the Jag's front Dunlops were worn to the cords.

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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: 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.

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: At the Ballet

May 8, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged

I went to the ballet this weekend at Segerstrom Hall. I haven't been to something artistic in a long time. It was Rodin by the Boris Eifman Ballet out of St. Petersburg. It was titled after the sculptor Rodin but was really about Camille Claudel. Look her up; she's a very interesting woman.

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2012 Jaguar XF: The XF-Wing

May 3, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF

One of the main complaints heard from X-wing pilots around the galaxy is the starfighter's lack of space and creature comforts. Fortunately, Jaguar has stepped in with a luxury edition called the XF-Wing.

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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 Supercharged: Vanity Plates

April 19, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged

This Jaguar XF was ahead of me on the 101 freeway. Not exactly the vanity plate I'd choose for our long-term XF test car, but to each, his own.

What specialized plate would you put on your black cat?

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Better Boot

April 11, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged

Don't tell Ian Callum, but I think our 2012 Jaguar XF's rear end is much more attractive than the new 2013 XJ's boot.

Tell me, which Jag do you think has the better behind?

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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 Supercharged: Kumbaya! XF 2.0 Spotted In The Wild

March 21, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged

We had a kumbaya moment over the weekend when we came across this red 2013 Jaguar XF 2.0 Turbo while driving our 2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged long-termer.

So of course we just had to park appropriately for a photo of the two cats together.

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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 Supercharged: Road Trip Worthy

February 28, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged

In our test fleet, there are cars that you can't wait to get out of, and cars you would drive every day if some other needy editor wasn't pushing you out of the way.

The Jaguar XF Supercharged definitely falls in the second category. Glancing at the odometer this morning, I noticed the XF was nearing 20,000 miles. That's a milestone in our business, and the minimum mileage we try to put on all our cars during a 12-month period.

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Valet Tales

February 26, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged

The valets at the Arizona Biltmore really, really liked our 2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged. During our stay there, the Jaguar routinely got a front-row parking space, so we never had to wait more than a minute or two for it. I don't think it was just luxury-brand snob appeal, either. The car is beautiful in its own right and fits in with the Biltmore's theme of low-key elegance.

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Subtle Design Statement

February 22, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged

One of the outings we made in Phoenix was to Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright's winter home, studio and school of architecture. You can just see it in this photo, since Wright wanted it to blend into the desert landscape and only be visible when you were virtually on top of it.

The Jaguar is its own case study in the art of balancing subtlety and statement. Particularly in black, it's not at all showy from afar. But hit the self-leveling xenon HID headlamps and it shines. You can't miss the grill, which is distinctive and contemporary without being a gaping metal maw. And then there is its soundtrack: a growly V8, 470-hp engine. That's about all the statement you need, really.

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: AZ Road Trip

February 15, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged

It's been cool and drippy here. It's sunny there. There's work here. There's a spa there. Time for a road trip to Arizona. I've paired the phone and mapped the route in the Jaguar XF. (Though the directions are largely, "Drive for 379 miles and then stop," so I'm not sure that was totally necessary.)

I'll report back on the Jag's manners as a traveling companion in a few days.

Carroll Lachnit, Features Editor @ 18,073 miles

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Always Ready for Action

February 13, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged

If you're not careful when you put your foot down on the accelerator in our long-term Jaguar XF you can take off like a jackrabbit. Its 5.0-liter supercharged V8 is always ready even when you're not.

It packs 470 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm and 424 pound-feet of torque at 2,500 rpm. There's also a lot of midrange muscle on standby for passing and merging onto highways. It's a pleasure to drive when you get a bit of open road. I think I'm obsessed. So much so that I've chosen it from our list of cars for more than a week now. I can't get enough of its smooth power delivery and luxuriously elegant interior.

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Locked Fuel Door

February 11, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged

The fuel door on the right side of the Jaguar XF is one of those push-it-to-pop-it-open types. But it won't open if the car is locked. It only pops open if you have pressed the unlock button on the keyfob.

I only notice these types of security issues because I grew up in a neighborhood where people fought over parking spots as if the sidewalk was their personal property. Some of the crazies would actually put sugar in your gas tank if you parked in front of their house.

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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: Drives Like a Dream

January 23, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF

This morning as I was leaving for work, I had to jump out of our 2012 Jaguar XF to lock up the driveway gate behind it. Across the street, a neighbor getting out of his work truck waved and said, "I like your car. How does it drive?" But before I could answer, he said, "I bet it drives like a dream, huh?" All I could do was nod while sizing him up. Funny, he didn't look old enough to have been alive during the '50s.

I dunno, something about that description "drives like a dream" struck me as antiquated. I think of big, floaty Caddies. But nowadays, what DO people say to describe how well a car drives? I remember in 1990's Pretty Woman, Julia Roberts described a Lotus Esprit as cornering "like it's on rails." They don't STILL say that either, do they?

I will say that the XF's power is so smooth that it's too easy to get into extra-legal speeds. Woo hoo!

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor

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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: Identifiable Styling

December 24, 2012

2012 Jaguar XF

One of the qualities I like about the Jaguar XF is that it's not easily confused with another Jaguar product. There's some design commonality between the XF and the larger XJ, of course, but you're never going to confuse the two when you spot a Jag on the road.

In contrast, the Audi A6 and A8, due to their very similar look, can be hard to tell apart from just a quick glance. So can the BMW 5 Series and 7 Series.

I also like the styling updates Jaguar made for 2012. The front-end looks sleeker now, and the rear of the car, while more subtle, is tidier and incorporates LED taillights.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 15,810 miles

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2012 Jaguar XF: Reliability So Far

December 18, 2012

2012 Jaguar XF

I don't see a whole lot of Jaguar XFs on the road, especially in comparison to typical midsize luxury sedan picks like the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. And from a car shopping standpoint, there have been some pretty valid reasons for that in years past. But I'm glad we have this 2012 XF in the fleet as spending time with it makes me think more people would be wise to consider it.

The 2012 model received some worthwhile upgrades (refreshed styling, new seats and an updated touchscreen interface) while the 2013 Jaguar XF gets available all-wheel drive for the first time plus new, more fuel efficient engine options.

Even more important to me: while one car is by no means indicative of the whole line, it's worth noting that our long-termer has been very reliable these past six months and 15,000 miles. That's a welcome contrast to the rather poor reputation for reliability the XF earned in prior years. I had expectations for our car spending a lot of time at the Jaguar dealership, but so far that's not been the case at all.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 15,710 miles

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2012 Jaguar XF: European Crash Test Video

December 04, 2012


NHTSA has not crash tested the Jaguar XF. However, its European equavalent, the European New Car Assment Programme (EuroNCAP) has. Its standards and ratings aren't the same at the NHTSA, but they're similar enough that you can get a good feel for how the XF would perform in NHTSA testing.

Gnarly slo-mo destruction of the stunning sedan after the jump.

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2012 Jaguar XF: 15,000 Miles in Six Months

December 03, 2012

Thumbnail image for Milestone_5002.jpg JagXK15k.JPG

Our long-term 2012 Jaguar XF is a popular car around the Edmunds offices, and deservedly so. It is hard to pass up a combination of great looks, a powerful V8, and a lavish interior.

The Jag hit the 15,000-mile mark in just six months. Driving to Alaska and back definitely helped us reach this milestone faster than usual.

These 15,000 miles have arrived without any major issues, despite what you hear about Jaguar reliability. Still, we'll knock on wood just in case.

We anticipate this car will go way past the annual 20,000-mile goal we set for all the long-term cars.

Ron Montoya, Consumer Advice Editor @ 15,097 miles

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2012 Jaguar XF: XFR-S Launch Film

November 29, 2012


Yesterday Jaguar launched the XFR-S at the LA Auto Show. Along with its 550-hp supercharged V8 and 8-speed ZF transmission came a launch film that's worth watching.


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2012 Jaguar XF: More Button Holding With Video

November 29, 2012


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: Door Ding #1

November 20, 2012


It's a little hard to see in the photo, so I circled it (poorly) for your convenience. It's a nasty door ding in the driver's side passenger door of our long-term 2012 Jaguar XF, and it's the car's first real blemish.

As you can see it's high on the door, even above the door handle line, which only means one thing; the jerk that did it was climbing out of big, high-riding SUV or crossover.

Well, I believe in Karma. Somewhere, someplace, sometime the universe will make things right.

Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief @ 14,622 miles

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2012 Jaguar XF: What I'd Order

November 15, 2012

What Id Order 1.jpg

Every time I drive a car, it's hard not to think about what I would order. Or rather, what equipment would I get? What color would it be? What engine, etc. Sometimes the answer doesn't get beyond, "um, I wouldn't even buy that heap."

Inevitably, I'll probably end up on the car's Internet configurator. So please following along at the Jaguar XF Configurator as I figure out What I'd Order.

Well, let's see, I'm certainly intrigued by the new supercharged V6 for 2013 and I think it's great that Jag is offering a cheaper turbo-4 model. But let's face it, I'd want the Supercharged V8. I don't need the XFR.

OK. Exterior color is listed first, but let's see what Jag has in store for the interior. In order to have more color options as well as dash leather and higher-quality seat leather (the base stuff is actually kind of crappy), you have to opt for the Portfolio pack on the lower trims. But it's standard on the Supercharged. I LOVE the Navy dash, wheel and seat trim that's available with either Ivory or London Tan. Not sure if that'll go with the earth tones I'm thinking about for the exterior, though. So I'm going with London Tan seats and Ebony dash with Gloss Rich Oak.

I think the XJ looks sensational in the purple-y Caviar Metallic, but not so sure about the XF. Hard to go wrong with British Racing Green, right? Indeed. Make it so.

Onto options then. Adaptive headlights? Nope. Heated windshield? Live in Southern California. 20-inch all-season tires? Ditto. Sport Interior Pack? Nope, it would make everything black. Power rear sunshade. Nah. Split-fold rear seat. Yes, I'd like that please. Meridian surround sound audio system for $2,300. I'm not that impressed with our XF's base system, so I'll step up. Adaptive cruise control? Um, no.

Onto accessories. I've seen people get the Jaguar leaper for their hood. It looks stupid. Moving on.

So my final tally is $72,425 over a base price of $68,100.

What would you order?

James Riswick, Automotive Editor

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2012 Jaguar XF: Makes The Case For Knobs

November 15, 2012


Our longterm 2012 Jaguar XF's slow-responding, odd screen-flow-havin' touchscreen is a few generations behind the times and shows the confidence its designers/engineers had in the then-newish technology. The XF's interface would have benefited greatly from the addition of a knob or two.

Unfortunately, sometimes the ability to do something -- in this case, incorporate many cabin functions into a single touchscreen interface -- crowds out the decision of whether you should. I find myself saying this a lot about touchscreens in cars.

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor

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2012 Jaguar XF: Sleeper Cat

November 14, 2012

jag brakes.jpg

I got my first seat time in the XF last night. And I'm as smitten as most of us. This was a pleasant surprise because I've never rated Jaguar much. It's just a marque that has never resonated with me, despite decades of indisputable style and class.

Ironically, the XF doesn't seem that stylish. The curves and proportions are right, but nothing really stands out. The channeled hood is nice, but overall the XF lacks the visual drama of its classic predecessors. That's fine with me. Feels like it has a sleeper quality, not unlike the last GTO. I didn't see the XF causing many double-takes. Then again, I had my hands full watching the road. The XF feels like the right car for someone with dough, but still unaccustomed to flashing it. Maybe it's the right car for some of the newly-minted Facebook guys.

The cat has immense power, of course. While warming up at idle, the sound from the exhaust is remarkable, the most refined Mustang you've ever heard. And that power holds consequence, too. I discovered that a downshift followed too quickly by throttle makes the rear-end wiggle, as a rush of boost comes on at about the same time as weight transfer. But it's a fun wiggle, until it's not and you're 180 degrees into the guardrail.

Not sold on the motorized vents and rising shift dial. Cool tricks, but can't help but think they would get old quick. Brakes are sensitive, too. Annoyingly so. But they look great under equally nice wheels, and sensitive brakes are preferable to the alternative.

Dan Frio, Automotive Editor

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2012 Jaguar XF: We're Part of the Recall

November 14, 2012


Last week we reported on a fuel system recall for 2010-2012 Jaguar XFs. We called the Jaguar hotline and the operator informed us that our call was not part of the recall.

A few hours passed and our phone rang. It was Jaguar, "We researched further and found out your car is affected by the recall. Parts will be available beginning December 7th." Strange.

According to the recall notification, "Most of the affected vehicles were built between April 2009 and January 2010." We don't fall into that category. The notice added, "But a small number of 2010, 2011 and 2012 vehicles have had a fuel tank fuel outlet flange fitted as a service replacement part."

Perhaps the flange was replaced prior to our receipt of the car. Perhaps it is just a precaution on the part of Jaguar. After all, they do own the car. Regardless, we'll keep you updated.

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 14,080 miles

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2012 Jaguar XF: The Perfect Bond Weekend Car

November 13, 2012


Well, I suppose it wasn't THE perfect Bond weekend car. I could think of 10 better ones ... at the very least. But since we have a decided lack of Lotus Esprits in the long-term fleet (seriously, what the hell?), the only logical choice for this holiest of weekends for this James Bond nerd was our Jaguar XF.

It's British. It's beautiful. It's expensive. It's hilariously powerful. And oh, Skyfall is jam packed with JLR cars. There's a nifty Defender pickup in the pre-credits sequence, a Discovery police cruiser, an MI6 Range Rover and way too many Evoques parked in a government lot (that's where the product placement got a little much for yours truly). However, the most important vehicle was M's car -- a Jaguar XJL.

No prominant XF's -- at least none that I could remember -- but as I pulled out of the ArcLight Hollywood after watching Skyfall, the grand alpine horns of On Her Majesty's Secret Service triumphantly playing over top the Jag's equally grand supercharged V8, it seemed a very appropriate automotive pairing.

James Riswick, James Bond Aficionado @ 14,078 miles

(No, the above photo has nothing to do with the blog topic. But showcasing Kurt's awesome photos from Alaska seems better than a picture of the XF in the ArcLight's parking lot. By the way, make sure to read Magrath's captions, they're hilarious.)

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged Alaska Road Trip: The Whole Story and Mega Gallery

November 12, 2012


You've read about how our 2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged did on the way to -- and back from -- Alaska, now read the whole story about what the 7,000+ mile trip was like. Once you're done with that (and the 170 captioned photos that continue the tale) check out the 308 photo Mega Gallery from our trip to get an even better look at what Kurt and I experienced.

These are the stories you've been waiting for.

Mike Magrath, Features Editor

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2012 Jaguar XF: Fuel Tank Recall

November 08, 2012


Uh, oh. It's unlikely our XF fits this recall criteria, but we'll be double-checking, for sure.

2010-'12 Jaguar XF Recalled for Fire Risk

Kelly Toepke, News Editor

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2012 Jaguar XF: 10 Things I Like About You

November 06, 2012


The 2012 Jaguar XF is my current favorite car in the fleet. Why?

1. supercharged, 470-horsepower engine with 424 lb-ft of torque

2. swanky interior with high-quality leather and alcantara accents

3. immediately responsive to my right foot

4. it does special pop-up things at startup

5. good looks are always a plus

6. easy-to-use navigation that offers logical directions

7. steering wheel that feels good in my hands and doesn't have too many buttons

8. firmly bolstered but comfortable seats

9. cool-toned gauges that are easy on the eye

10. strong brakes

Anything you want to add?

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editrix

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2012 Jaguar XF: Feeding an Unhealthy Obsession

November 05, 2012


Somewhere over the last couple of months my passing interest in Jaguar E-Types has grown into a full-blown obsession. I don't know why. I won't question it. But I fear the consequences.

Having our long-term XF Supercharged hasn't helped. Yes, yes, yes, I know, these are not the same car. They're as far away as cars get, but it's still a Jag and even this modern luxury-focused example makes me feel special.

So here I am, sitting in front of my monitor, browsing the classic car classifieds. The prices for a Series I E-Type fluctuate wildly, but it seems like one in the condition I'm seeking is in the $70-grand range. It just so happens that our XF Supercharged is around the same price, too.

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2012 Jaguar XF: Least They Remember the Car

October 31, 2012


While I was out running some errands at lunch, I accidentally left my debit card at the drive-thru of a fast-food restaurant. Of course I didn't realize it until after I drove away and was in line at Target to buy more candy for tonight's Trick-or-Treaters. (My daughter is convinced we're going to run out).

Anyway, a couple hours later I circled back to the restaurant to ask if they had my card. Sure enough, as soon as I walked in the lobby a girl at the register yelled toward the back, "It's the woman from the Jag!"

They remembered the XF, but now they can't remember where they put my card while they were waiting for me to return...

Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 16,303 miles

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Leaping Lizards

October 29, 2012


I have a friend who owns a Jaguar XJ that is a few years old. When she was checking out our long-term 2012 Jaguar XF she said she really liked it except for one thing.

No Leaping Cat hood ornament.

She loves her Jag and keeps it in meticulous condition. And when the time comes for a new car, she would consider a new Jaguar but she would really miss the hood ornament.

Where have all the interesting hood ornaments gone? I miss them, don't you?

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2012 Jaguar XF: The Right Amount of Control

October 15, 2012


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: The Hell of It

October 02, 2012

reined in 1.jpg

There's something perverse about being in a car this powerful and not being able to go. The only fun I really had was on an untrafficked stretch of Olympic Boulevard this morning for about 30 seconds. Other than that, I sat in the stop-and-go of the 405 or noodled along on suburban streets where the speed limit is 35.

If there's a circle of hell for long-term fleet drivers, it must be this: You get a great car. It's yours for all eternity. But it's mired in an infinite traffic jam.

What's your idea of car damnation?

Carroll Lachnit, Features Editor @12,257 miles

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged Alaska Road Trip: 7,492 Miles Later...

October 02, 2012


(Sorry for the delay on this one, I got wrapped up in going to Paris.)

Not that you really missed anything, the trip back was one of the more boring drives I've taken in quite a while. Anyone who's spent any time driving in the Pacific Northwest can confirm that people drive quite slowly and there are cops EVERYWHERE.

The Valentine One was having a fit the entire way. We were tired. The line at VooDoo Donuts was way, way too long. We just wanted to be home. Also, by this point we'd developed an annoying wheel wobble (felt like front left) that showed itself during braking. We weren't doing a lot of braking mind you, but when we did, it was annoying.

We did, however, make one stop: We pulled off with a couple hundred miles left to get some beauty shots of the car in full road-trip mode.

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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 Supercharged Alaska Road Trip: The Road Less Traveled

September 24, 2012


To get to Alaska, Kurt and I took the fast route. It looped us up through Idaho and Montana, Edmonton and a bunch of other Canadian cities en route to Dawson Creek, Mile 0 of the Alaska Highway.

To get home, we took the Western Access route. It's slower, twistier, connects directly to I5 -- the same I5 that turns into a parking lot here in LA -- and avoids Dawson Creek entirely. The road splits from our original route just before Watson Lake and connects to Highway 16 all the way to Prince George where we'll hop onto 97 which, eventually, turns into the 5.

This route is far, far less busy than the normal access route and this is where we expected to have problems.

Starting with the fact that about half of the route is this sealed one-lane job occupied mostly by logging trucks.

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged Alaska Road Trip: Winter Temps, Summer Tires

September 21, 2012


We'd read the weather reports and the archives of normal temperatures and figured, at worst, we'd see high 30s at night en route to Alaska.

High 30s, high 20s. What's the difference? To summer tires, a lot.

It was somewhere a south of Beaver Creek, YT where the tires first started to give up. The temperature had dropped to something like 39 and, during a normal braking procedure for a turn, the ABS activated.

"This is going to be fun!" I said to Kurt. As the temperature dropped, the rubber's compound played less and less well with the pavement. Once again, something cool was happening and I was behind the wheel instead of Kurt. He's a faster driver, I've spent more time in winter/wet driving situations.

Things were going well enough until the sun fully set.

You already know from a previous blog that when the sun fully set, we were already going slower than we'd really like due to lack of visibility. Had we not already been doing 5 under, we may have been caught by the car's behavior when the mercury settled in below 35...and then below 30.

From that first whiff of ABS flutter at about 40-degrees until we pulled in for the night, the car got more and more playful as the temp dropped. At 35 degrees the Jag would understeer on fairly sharp corners. At 30 degrees, it was doing sweet four-wheel slides with just a slight poke at the accelerator. Thankfully the roads were dry.

Once again, though, we found ourselves going slower than the speed limit to continue driving safely. Getting all wild in the corners is great fun, having increased braking distances-- especially considering the lack of visibility we had -- is not. It wasn't as bad as driving on ice or on wet leaves, think more of a damp road with crappy tires.

So, we drove slower and pulled off sooner. Far worse things have happened on a road trip. On this trip we'd seen temperatures range from 118 in Death Valley to 29 in the Yukon Territory. This could be the first time I'd ever wanted all-season tires instead of dedicated summer and winter rubber.

Again we had to change our timing. Temps never fell below 45 in the daytime which is still in the normal operating zone for summer tires. We'd have to do all of our driving in the daylight.

Mike Magrath, Features Editor

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged Alaska Road Trip: Lame Headlights

September 21, 2012


Our 2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged has the $850 "Adaptive Front Lights and Intelligent High Beam" option.

They're woefully insufficient on seriously dark roads. (And no, it wasn't because the cover was dirty. We cleaned them constantly and headlamp washers are standard.)

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged Alaska Road Trip: The Alaska Highway

September 21, 2012


It's about a 2,300 mile drive from Santa Monica to Fort Nelson, BC. 2,300 miles of long, straight, relatively boring roads. And until about Dawson Creek, BC (281 miles from Fort Nelson), things are pretty much normal. There are name brand gas stations, places to eat on the side of road, real hotels and civilization in general.

Then things change. The landscape changes. The trees change, Farmland is replaced by mountains while the low shrubbery has been replaced by birch and evergreen trees. This change happens almost exactly at Mile 0 of the Alaska highway.

And once you hit Fort Nelson, things get fun.

The Alaska highway from Fort Nelson, BC to the Alaska border is possibly the best road I've ever driven. If we section out only the section between Whitehorse and Beaver Creek, a 270ish mile drive, there's no doubt.

Leaving Fort Nelson, the road climbs into the Northern Rockies and, as you'd expect from a mountain road, gets nice and twisty. Thanks to the massive scale of Canada and the relative lack of steepness on this grade, though, there are very few switchbacks. Instead, the road features mile-after-mile of relatively new, grippy pavement laid out like a loose ribbon. It's all long sweepers, MASSIVE lakes, off-camber turns and elevation changes.

And, because this was the height of construction season, random three-foot long, road-wide patches of gravel where the pavement had been removed. Whee!

Canada is nice enough to give you appropriate warning before the gravel patches which almost all occur directly at the apex of the turn. It wasn't quite a rally stage, but it was close. The Jag likes gravel-induced oversteer. Whee!

Our policy during this drive was to swap drivers every time we got gas. Period. After my few hundred miles of gravel, moose, lake-views, and empty pavement, Kurt took the wheel around Watson Lake...just as the road got wide, boring and completely full of (mostly logging) trucks, bison, moose that wouldn't get off the road, and bears.

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged Alaska Road Trip: Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump

September 21, 2012


For some reason, Kurt was reluctant to get out of the car when we were in line at the U.S./Canada border and aim his huge professional camera at the guy checking passports and get a shot of the Jag waiting to enter Canada for the first time in its life. (We'll run into Kurt not wanting to get out of the car once more later on.) Surprisingly enough, getting into Canada with a car owned by Jaguar and bursting with electronics was a breeze.

This leg of the trip, from Idaho (or did we stay over in Montana?) to as far north as we could manage, was incredibly boring. This part of Alberta is huge, mostly flat, and devoid of anything resembling a turn. So, at the expense of making time, we made some detours.

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged Alaska Road Trip: Idaho

September 20, 2012


We drove through Idaho. It looked like ....

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

September 20, 2012


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 Supercharged Alaska Road Trip: Highway Miles

September 19, 2012


The first real leg of our trip to Alaska just so happens to be one of the more boring portions of the drive. After Death Valley you just hop right back onto the 15 at Baker and drive North until Canada.

This is not an exciting drive. You go through Vegas, a chunk of Arizona, Salt Lake City and skirt Zion National Park. While there are some nice rock formations and vistas, really, this is a drive we've done before and on this trip those spots were simply dots that flew by on the nav. (I will take this opportunity to tell everyone to go to Zion National Park if you haven't done so. Spectacular.)

Two things made those dots fly by quicker...

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged Alaska Road Trip: Tricky Tank

September 19, 2012

jaaaaag fuel.jpg

One of the main concerns we had with taking our 2012 Jag XF Supercharged on a 7,000+ mile road trip, was the range. The EPA says that our Jag has a max range of 282 and the furthest we'd ever managed on a tank was 265.2. During that 265.2 mile tank, the driver said that he'd driven it as gently as possible had filled up when the needle read nearly zero. Still, he only managed to put 12.575 gallons of fuel in for an overall fuel economy rating of 21.1 mpg.

12.575 gallons in an 18.4 gallon tank? And it read empty? What gives?

Well, for starters, the Jag is a bit of a wuss.

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged Alaska Road Trip: Hottest Place on Earth

September 18, 2012


Quick: What do you think of when you think of Alaska?

Bears? Russia? Seaplanes? Snow? Mountains?

All good options. If you thought "Death Valley!" then, well, sorry to break the news to you, but you may just fit in with us. Death Valley, and Badwater in particular, is the polar opposite of Alaska. Alaska is lush and verdant with abundant springs and glacial lakes. Alaska is the home of Mount McKinley (or Denali if you're into that kind of naming convention) which is the highest mountain the the U.S. Prospect Creek, Alaska is also the home of the lowest-ever temperature in the U.S at -79.8 F.

Death Valley, on the other hand, is home to the highest temperature ever recorded on the planet (take that, Libya!), 134 degrees. Badwater Basin is also, at 282 feet below sea level, the lowest point in the U.S.

This was also our last chance to have some fun with the Jag as the roads getting into/out of Death Valley are a BLAST.

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged Alaska Road Trip: Getting Started

September 18, 2012


Starting this road trip from our office would've made more sense. For one, Kurt and I were already meeting there. Second, the gas station that officially marked the beginning of the trip is just feet away. But, just about 2 miles away was this: The Santa Monica Pier. We didn't want to waste any time, but we also didn't think 4 miles would matter at all on top of a 120+ hour road trip.

Before that, though, we had some packing to do.

As I've mentioned before, the Jag's equipped with silly staggered-width Dunlop SP SPort MAXX summer tires sized 255/35ZR20 up front and 285/30ZR20 out back. Can't you just feel the compliance? Beyond that, however, we were very concerned about serious/multiple blowouts. We knew the roads would be paved, but we didn't know the quality of the roads. Were they nice, or were they, like Wilshire here in LA, bombed-out tire-killers? With gas stations up to 100 miles apart, we figured we would be, at any time, 1,500 miles from a Dunlop Sp Sport MAXX.

So we cheated a little bit and called Jaguar. They provided us with the car, after all, and figured they wouldn't mind providing us with a mounted backup tire to supplement the temporary that comes with the car. The rim doesn't match, but in a pinch, it would work.

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged Alaska Road Trip: The Plan

September 17, 2012


It all started innocently enough over coffee. There may have been bagels, too. My boss takes a swig, gets the same look as when he bought our Long Term Buick Grand National and says, "Porsche is having an event in Anchorage, Alaska. I think we should drive there. Do you have a few minutes today to look into this?"

"Awesome" isn't always the right response to your boss' query, but right then, it was all I had. It was better than "PICKMEPICKMEPICKME!"

But what was there to look into? Drive West and then North until people stop drinking milk out of bags and I can see Russia, right? Not quite.

The first stumbling block was one that, as Californias, we often take for granted: Pavement. "Is it even paved yet?" someone asked. They'd done the drive a couple of decades back and the Alaska Highway was mostly gravel. An unpaved road would severely limit our choice of vehicles.

This is when I discovered The Milepost. The Milepost is a one-stop resource for driving the Alaska Highway and the first question of their FAQ is "Is the Alaska Highway Paved." As it turns out, yes, they finished paving the Alaska Highway in 1992(!) and the worst you'll have to worry about are "gravel breaks" during road repair -- more on those beauties later.

So our 49th state is, in fact, connected to the rest of the U.S. by a paved road. Good news, there. But what of the actual route?

Until that day, my default map program was Google Maps. Unfortunately, if you try and connect Anchorage and Santa Monica, the Googles want you to take an annoyingly long (and unfortunately expensive) ferry up the coast. Ferries defeat the purpose of a road trip. This lead me to two startling realizations: 1) I had unintentionally become reliant on the internet for directions and 2) I was exclusively using Google. In turn, this brought about a stunning find: Mapquest still exists and is very, very good!

Thanks to Mapquest, I found two routes that would do the trick: One longer but quicker (61 hours, 30 minutes over 3,714 miles) route that would take us through Nevada, Utah, Montana, a bit of Idaho, Alberta, British Columbia and the Yukon. The other route, shorter but slower (64 hours, 30 minutes over 3,488 miles), is more inland and makes use of Interstate 5 and a non-divided two-lane through most of British Columbia.

The solution was, of course, to do both in one epic 7,202 mile loop. If you have to drive both ways, why take the same route?

Finally, there was the issue of services. According to Mapquest and the Milepost, there were services, usually, every 100 miles (or so) unless the station was closed, out of fuel or shut down for the season. With careful planning and a couple of gallons of gas in a jug, getting stranded shouldn't be a problem. We'd figure out food and lodging en route.

We have a number of cars in our fleet that would be good for this trip. Our A8L is a luxury missile with AWD, all-season rubber with fat sidewalls and an estimated cruising range of of 666.4 miles. Our nav-equipped Camry offers luxury trappings, a 595 mile range, 35 mpg highway rating and Toyota reliability. We've also got an Explorer XLT EcoBoost, an Infiniti JX and a BMW X3 in our fleet. Those would all make very good, very safe options.
But we chose our 2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged.

With a big, supercharged V8. With a 21-mpg EPA estimate that we've never come close to. With staggered-width 20-inch summer performance tires with no sidewall and a temporary spare. With very little ground clearance and sport suspension. With a relatively small interior and 17.7 cubic-feet of trunk space. With the perception of Jaguar reliability and, at our furthest, being 2,000 miles from a Jaguar dealer.

Why? Because if our Jag can make it, so can pretty much anything else.

To follow this road trip, either obsessively monitor the Long Term Road Test Blog home page, or check this handy link to the 2012 Jaguar XF.

Mike Magrath, Features Editor

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2012 Jaguar XF: The Leaper and the Growler

September 16, 2012

Jaguar Mark II 3.4-liter sedan.jpg

The Leaper and the Growler are the two symbols of Jaguar, and their use as ornament on the company's products is the subject of the usual British fascination with automotive iconography.

In fact, the use of the Leaper as a badge on the trunk of the Jaguar XF has been the subject of much controversy among Jaguar guys.

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Our Favorite Caption

September 04, 2012


I've missed the caption contest, haven't you?

Thanks to ergsum for our favorite caption.

Here are the others that didn't leave us flat:

Leave the cardboard and take the donuts (ed124c)
Kurt was feeling a little board on this road trip (noburgers)
DIY Law Enforcement (jmk261)
Did you see that? They went right through our roadblock! (ne_blackshirts)
COPS = Cut Out Paper Sedan or Catches Only Pinhead Speeders (exnevadan)
I told you he was profiling. (mnorm1)
The Really Thin Blue Line (ergsum)
The cops pursued us flat out! (ergsum)
100% Recycled vs. 100% Bada$$ (altimadude05)
Hosers On Patrol (rotaryboff)
Of course it has "run-flat" tires. (ergsum)
Jag lasts longer in burnout contest (noburgers)
Gentleman, Wood your throttles (noburgers)
A real cop out. (vt8919)
Meow, I'm gonna have to give you a ticket on this one. No buts meow. It's the law. (kimosi)
Smokey and the Bandsaw (noburgers)
Plywood Poseur Snags CA Hoser (noburgers)
I thought it was the boarder patrol. (explorerx4)
Even running "flat out" the Crown Vic didn't stand a chance. (rustyshacklfrd)
Can't wait until the officer 'draws' his gun (snipenet)
Wood trim is optional. (vt8919)
Police de Parchment? (snipenet)
What a cop out! (jmk261)
Will the cop fit? (jmk261)

What was your favorite?

Thanks for participating.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: You Write the Caption

August 31, 2012


While Mike Magrath and Kurt Niebuhr were driving our Jaguar XF through the wilds of Canada and Alaska, they encountered this odd vehicle. No budget for real police?

To celebrate the ability to comment on our site (woohoo!) you get to caption this picture all weekend long. We'll post our favorite on Tuesday afternoon.

Have a happy and safe Labor Day weekend.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

P.S. If you still have trouble commenting, you may have to clear your cookies then try again.

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: TO ALASKA!

August 24, 2012


Sometime in the next day or so, I'm going to wrangle up a Kurt Niebuhr, chuck him into our long term 2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged and drive from our home base of Santa Monica to the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska.

That's right, for a 7,000+ mile round-trip drive we picked a Jaaaaaaag. A Supercharged one that's averaging 17.5 mpg and fewer than 200 miles per tank. That has asymmetrical, 20-inch, staggered-width summer tires. At our furthest distance we'll be some 2,000 miles from the nearest Jaguar dealer and likely further from a set of Dunlop SP Sport MAXX tires.

Disregard the Jag's confused computer. This drive won't take 99 hours; it takes 63 hours. The way back, however, will take 66, as we're using a slightly different route that will take us down through Oregon, Washington and California.

This should be...fun.

Mike Magrath, Features Editor

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2012 Jaguar XF: AWD, New Engines Untap Potential

August 21, 2012

Jaguar XF R34 Neighborhood.jpg

Jaguar recently announced that the 2013 XF will be available with all-wheel drive along with a 340-horsepower supercharged V6 and a 240-hp turbocharged inline-4. Eight-speed automatics and an auto-stop/start system will be applied to all models.

I can't really underscore enough how important this development is for Jaguar. Two weeks ago on the 2013 Lexus LS launch, a Lexus product development rep said that nearly 100 percent of LS models sold in the midwest and northeast come equipped with all-wheel drive. In total, 40 percent of all LS' sold send their power to all four wheels. At the same time, there's a reason BMW has xDrive, Mercedes 4Matic and Audi banks on Quattro -- people in the snow belt don't want rear-wheel drive. The addition of all-wheel drive for both the XF and XJ immediately open it up to a huge number of luxury buyers who previously would've considered Jag a non starter.

As for the new engines, the XF is now in a far better position to compete with the 5 Series, E-Class and A6. As much as we adore our 470-horsepower V8, that's not exactly what I'd consider the powerplant of a volume seller. A new turbo-4 base engine and the supercharged V6 that'll replace the previous 5.0-liter V8 quite simply makes a boat-load of sense and is way overdue. Plus, the XF already feels so lithe and light weight that I suspect less power won't be a problem at all. If the 5 Series can roll with a four-banger, you'd better believe the XF can.

Obviously, you couldn't talk me out of our XF Supercharged and its 470 hp sent to the rear wheels. Yes, even with that fuel economy and range, it's just too lustworthy to pass up. However, Jag is finally now in the position to better compete for those who would prioritize fuel economy and who would worry about fish-tailing into a snow bank. A lower price is bound to help too. I'll be very interested to look at Jaguar sales in one year to see the difference.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 3,803 miles

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2012 Jaguar XF: 2013 XF Pricing Announced

August 16, 2012


Jaguar announced pricing recently for the new XF 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder turbo and XF 3.0-liter supercharged V6. Both are new engine choices for next year. The 238-horsepower XF 2.0 starts at $47,850 while the XF 3.0 starts at $50,875.

What do you think?

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 3,605 miles

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Jaguar Has APEAL

August 15, 2012


It's that thing where you never notice a certain kind of car until you drive one, and then you see it everywhere.

The same thing is happening to me with the Jaguar XF. Maybe it's just me. Maybe it's where I live. Maybe there's some big commercial push by a dealer in my area. Maybe XFs are parachuting out of the sky.

Come to find out that there is a little something going on with Jaguar. The guys at J.D. Power and Associates love to measure every little thing, and they measure the response of new car buyers in the first 90 days of ownership with something called APEAL - Automotive Performance, Execution, and Layout.

Here's the way J.D. Power describes the study:

"The APEAL Study examines how gratifying a new vehicle is to own and drive, based on owner evaluations of more than 80 vehicle attributes. The 2012 APEAL Study is based on responses gathered between February and May 2012 from more than 74,000 purchasers and lessees of new 2012 model-year cars and light trucks who were surveyed after the first 90 days of ownership. The APEAL Study complements the Initial Quality Study (IQS), which focuses on problems experienced by owners during the first 90 days of ownership."

You can look closer at the results if you like, both the overall results and the rankings by segment.

Jaguar doesn't get a first place in any particular segment, so it's easy to overlook the brand until you look at the overall score. There Jaguar is tied for second overall, plus it's the most improved brand in the survey.

It's hard to say exactly what's going on here, of course. The buyer of a new car tends to have blind faith in his choice, especially if he's spent $50,000 or more on it. Maybe people are tired of German brands anyway. Maybe a Jaguar is cheap and new people are finding it. There's no explaining it, really. I've been explicating surveys like this for decades and I've found it useful to never make too much of them, either on the positive side or the negative side.

But at least you can say that something is going on at Jaguar, even if we don't know exactly what it is. And that's kind of interesting all by itself.

Michael Jordan, Executive Editor, Edmunds.com

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2012 Jaguar XF: Beautiful Ugly Engine

August 07, 2012


I think Jaguar's supercharged 5.0-liter V8 is one of the best high-performance engines in the world. The all-aluminum DOHC mill comes in three flavors; 470 hp as in our XF sedan, 510 hp as in an XFR, XJ or Land Rover Range Rover Supercharged and 550 hp as in an XKR-S coupe or convertible, and I find each quite savory.

In the great V8 tradition, the blown Jag delivers big-block Chevy-like torque and a true high-performance roar up around its 6,500 rpm redline. Power delivery is dyno-chart perfection with a Nebraska flat curve and its throttle response is just how I like it, quick. Gotta love that direct injection.

I like almost everything about this engine, with the possible exception of its thirst, but there are no free lunches in this world.

The only real issue is the way it looks.

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2012 Jaguar XF: Feel the Difference

August 02, 2012

The Jags Nice Trim Rises.jpg

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: Going Strong

August 01, 2012


Jaguar sales for July 2012 were up 3 percent over 2011. The XF sport sedan is Jag's leading model selling 485 units last month, up 20 percent for 2012 over last year.

For the 2013 model year, Jaguar is adding two new engines to the XF and XJ sedans, a fuel-efficient turbocharged four cylinder and a supercharged V6.

If you had the moolah, would you buy a Jaguar XF?

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Evening Under the Stars

July 30, 2012


This weekend I drove our long-term Jaguar XF to a posh charity event on the beautiful Honda campus in Torrance. Evening Under the Stars featured food and wine from a large number of local restaurants. Proceeds from the event benefited a local hospital.

I wasn't there as a guest of Honda or I would have brought our 1991 Acura NSX. I was there to support one of the restaurants, Aimee's Bistro, a five-star French restaurant in Redondo Beach. So, I went in comfort and luxury in our Jaguar XF.

The special guest was Kenny G who performed and donated a saxophone to the silent auction and signed bazillions of CDs.

I didn't know much about Kenny G before that night. He was really nice and added an air of sophistication to the evening. He strolled through the crowd playing and posing for pictures before taking the stage.

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Kinda Stinky

July 27, 2012


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 Supercharged: Donkeywork

July 24, 2012

jag at cleaners.JPG

Whenever I get the keys to any of our deluxe cars, my impulse is to either go high (brunch at Barney's) or go low (the drive-through at In-N-Out Burger). Yesterday, though, I had mundane chores to do, including grocery-shopping and a drop-off at the local dry cleaner.

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2012 Jaguar XF: Just the Right Size

July 19, 2012

Jaguar XF in neighborhood.jpg

Do not listen to anyone who says the Jaguar XF's backseat is not spacious enough. Do not care if a con in a review states the XF's cabin is "smaller than those of its competitors."

I say this because they're just the sort of complaints that lead the BMW 5 Series to grow into a bloated limousine. The XF's back seat is just fine as it is and the car as a whole is big enough. Having said that, one of the things I so dearly love about this Jag is that it feels small even if it really isn't. The low, more enveloping greenhouse is a reason for this, but so too is the crisp response of the car's controls and the general feeling of being light on its feet. I'm loathe to make a cheeseball, punny comparison between Jaguar the car and jaguar the cat, but there's some truth to it. Every time I drive the XF it feels like it's just the right size.

If you think your back seat needs to be big enough for Dikembe Mutumbo, that's swell, please buy something else. But kindly shut up when a survey comes around asking "How can we improve the Jaguar XF?"

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 2,474 miles

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Grumpy Face

July 16, 2012


Come on, we all know the Jaguar emblem was inspired by crossing the Mayan god Quetzalcoatl with the Autobot logo.

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

July 11, 2012


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: Truth or Consequences

July 09, 2012


Really, why take the short way home? That's what I told myself as the Jaguar headed down the road from Templeton into the rolling country of ranches and vineyards outside of Paso Robles. Why not give the XF its head on these back roads between the coastal oaks?

Apparently I was not the first to go this way with similar intent, as this informal warning sign made from a classic Jaguar XJ6 suggests. It's right in the middle of a Y intersection, and probably the nursery behind the white fence has grown tired of drivers running out of talent on its doorstep.

This particular XF is way too much car for back roads, really. If you want to keep from sticking it in a dirt bank like the XJ6, you definitely need a plan before you put your right foot to the floor.

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2012 Jaguar XF: A Look Underneath

July 05, 2012


Our 2-post Rotary Lift is working overtime this week. We've only had our long-term 2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged for about a month, but we're anxious to show you the underbelly of this cat.

More pictures after the jump.

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Wiper Action

June 25, 2012


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: First 1,000 Miles

June 22, 2012


Our long-term Jaguar XF has just passed the 1,000-mile mark. Now that we've had time to familiarize ourselves with its many features, question is, what would you like to know?

Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 1,004 miles

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

June 20, 2012


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


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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