2012 Jaguar XF Long Term Road Test - Audio & Technology

2012 Jaguar XF Long Term Road Test

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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 Supercharged: Noisy Volume

March 29, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged

I've found something very un-Jaguaresque in our XF's cabin.

Although the wheel-like rocker switches on the Jaguar XF's steering wheel feel good and are nicely weighted, they make a loud thunk noise when you use them to adjust the stereo volume or channel. Not just a light click, but a thunk.

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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: Navigation Hiccups

February 27, 2013

2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged

Overall, the navigation system in the Jaguar was a big help during a road trip to Phoenix. There were some glitches, however. Once, the system wouldn't let us set a restaurant as the destination. It didn't recognize the address as existing on that street, and I have no idea why. We bailed out and used Google Maps on a smartphone. (The "unnamed road" message shown here was no big deal, by the way. As with most systems, it's indicating a parking lot or the odd connector ramp.)

On two other occasions, the system's turn-by-turn voice commands (hereafter known as Miss Guided) went haywire. The first time it happened, I was alone and headed to my first visit to the Desert Botanical Garden. It was a perfect navigation test: a solo traveler headed someplace she'd never been.

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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: 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 Supercharged: Odds and Evens

December 07, 2012

Jag_odd numbers.jpg

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: Rainy Days

November 30, 2012


We're currently being treated to a rare Southern California event. Rain. If it weren't for our allotted couple days of precipitation, I wouldn't have discovered the following.

The windshield wiper stalk in the Jag operates a little differently than most other cars. In other cars, when you pull the stalk back towards you (like you would if you were using the "flash-to-pass" headlights on the other stalk), you'd activate the wiper fluid jets. In the Jag, you get a single pass of the wipers with no fluid.

I like this. Normally, when I'd request a single wiper pass by moving the stalk up or down, I'd mistakenly drop it into intermittent mode. In light rain, I use the single pass wiper function way more often than the washers. The washers on the XF are activated by the chrome button on the end, by the way.

I know, it's a relatively insignificant feature, but the Jaguar does it right, and I think it's worth calling out.

As far as driving the XF Supercharged in the rain, well, let's just say traction control was working overtime. There's a lot of torque at the driver's disposal, and this is one time that I'm glad I left it on. Had I had the opportunity to take it to my super-secret wet skidpad, I'm sure I'd be singing a different tune.

Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 14,960 miles

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2012 Jaguar XF: Hold The Button

November 27, 2012


I spent the holiday weekend holding this button down...

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2012 Jaguar XF: Switchless Dome Lights Video

November 23, 2012


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: 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 Supercharged: Buried Settings

November 08, 2012


I know our Jaguar XF is willing to play my ancient iPod because I listened to it the whole time I took this trip. It has never, however, let me play it by plugging into the iPod connection. I have to use the one labeled USB.

But somehow our Jaguar has been reset or has defaulted to only looking for Bluetooth devices. Mike Magrath told me he knows how to switch this back to normal but it takes about 100,000 steps (possibly a slight exaggeration on my part) but it is not intuitive.

He is going to show me how to do it and we will report back to you.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: No Means No

October 25, 2012


I'll admit it, I have no sense of direction. When I have to be somewhere I usually print out Google instructions and load the address into the navigation system. The nav system in the 2012 Jaguar XF is easy to use and has lots of display options. It presents you with a logical route and two optional routes or you can customize the way you want to go.

I used it yesterday for a two-hour round trip. In the morning it was very helpful. It was still dark out and I appreciated every time it spoke to me. On my way home it presented me with a screen asking if I wanted a different route because of impending traffic. I said no and it asked again. OK, I thought, I can at least look at the optional route it is offering me. I did and then said no. Traffic in L.A. is not unexpected and I knew what I was in for with my path. But it kept asking and asking and asking. It asked at least 20 times. No exaggeration.

I didn't go through all of the options before I left so someone must have previously chosen the "avoid traffic" selection, which is fine. But when I said no, I meant no. Stop covering up my map. I did eventually hit traffic as I got closer to home but it only delayed me by about 10 minutes.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2012 Jaguar XF: Bluetooth is a Bully

October 06, 2012

iPod versus BT-01.jpg

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?

Chief Road Test Editor, Chris Walton

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2012 Jaguar XF: Tepid Seat Coolers

October 01, 2012


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: Looking Back

August 20, 2012

jaguar xf a.jpg

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: Backup Camera

July 24, 2012

jaguarxf 001.jpg

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


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 Supercharged: Oooh, Buttons

June 29, 2012


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: It Has a Pulse

June 26, 2012


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: The $2300 Guaranteed Parking Ticket Option * UPDATED

June 25, 2012


Digging around in the trunk of our new XF, I came across the front license plate holder which was imprinted with this curious warning. With ACC being short for Adaptive Cruise Control, the warning would infer that you can't run a front plate if you purchase the $2300 option. To make sure, I held the plate holder over the front bumper and sure enough, it would block off a good portion of the lower grille - right where the adaptive cruise control's sensor thingy would reside. Oh, in case you didn't know, driving parking without a front license plate in California is illegal.

I've heard of paying for the privilege before, but really.

* Thanks to reader phennighausen, we're able to see the instructions that Jaguar has sent to dealership on the correct installation of the number plate and it's plinth (plate holder). If you do purchase an XF, make sure your plate holder has been installed correctly or the trick ACC system won't work correctly.

You should always check and double check your new car for every installed option - even for floor mats you've paid for (ask me how I know) before driving off the lot.

Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor @ 1,021 miles

click through for the instructions supplied by Jaguar

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2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged: Starting

June 22, 2012


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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