Jaguar XF thrills with smaller engine
By Larry Printz
Published: Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, 9:07 p.m.
Buying a luxury car comes with the understanding that not only does the vehicle cost more, but so will its care and feeding. But this understanding only goes so far.
Consider, as an example, the midsize Jaguar XF. Until 2013, it was only available with a 5.0-liter V8 engine. Powerful? No doubt. Reaching 60 mph takes less than five seconds. Passing a pump is another matter; the EPA rates its fuel economy at 15 mpg city, 23 mpg highway.
At one time, such numbers might have been acceptable. These days, they seem a bit indulgent. So for 2013, Jaguar offers a pair of smaller engines in the XF: a new supercharged 3.0-liter V6 and the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder first seen in the Range Rover Evoque.
Of course, which engine you choose greatly affects this kitty's personality.
With as much as 510 horsepower, the V8 makes the XF run like a scalded cat. By contrast, the 240-hp four-cylinder is notable more for its impressive EPA numbers (19 mpg city and 30 mpg highway) than its stellar 0-60 mph time, which hovers right around 7.5 seconds. Ideally, you'd want to opt for the 340-hp V6, which gives up 1 mpg in city and highway driving but reaches 60 mph in less than six seconds.
But that's not the car that Jaguar delivered. Instead, I was treated to the four-cylinder model, the XF 2.0T.
The sole transmission is a new eight-speed electronic automatic with steering wheel-mounted paddles for sequential shifting and a sport mode for more enthusiastic driving.
Rear-wheel drive is standard on all XFs, with all-wheel drive now offered on 3.0-liter models.
Most drivers will find the 2.0-liter's performance perfectly adequate given the fuel economy. As a matter of fact, the EPA's numbers underestimate this XF's fuel economy. Even in typical suburban driving, the XF never returned less than 24 mpg, and in one stretch of highway driving, the 2.0T returned as much as 34 mpg.But there's a price to pay: turbo lag.
Under most circumstances, though, power comes on strong, making for a lively ride. The eight-speed automatic shifted unobtrusively.
The cabin retains the quirkiness that has been part of the XF's appeal. Climb into the car with the smart key in your pocket and the starter button light pulses like a heartbeat. Once the car starts, the closed air vents rotate open, while the transmission shift knob rises like Icarus from the console.
There is something just right about the XF, from its size to its revised styling, which has been nicely updated to blend with the larger XJ sedan. What other cars do you know that have a heartbeat — or the ability to quicken yours?
Larry Printz writes for The Virginian-Pilot.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- PNC plans to do away with tellers
- Obama administration asking insurers to be flexible on health coverage
- ProStart primes student chefs for best kitchen jobs
- Washington County gas drilling spill cited in lawsuit not reported to state
- Health-insurance mandate poses potential hitch for volunteer fire companies
- Some bargains improve once tree comes down
- Economic recovery hinges on feds, experts say
- Early data reveal downward shift in holiday spending
- Merrill to pay $131.8M to settle SEC charges
- Boeing to shift research jobs to South, Midwest
- Consol acquires drilling rights from Dominion