Not everyone can step up to the luxury sport sedan segment but those who can enter an exclusive world of sumptuous, sensory delights. Still, even at a sticker price or more than $50,000, not all models meet, much less go beyond what’s expected of vehicles at this price range. Jaguar is one exception and driving its 2010 XF Premium sport sedan reinforced what the luxury car experience should be like.
Made in the UK, the XF interior reflects elegant British tailoring, from the leather stitched and wood trimmed dash, to the concealable dash air vents. But that’s not all. The illuminated stop/start button pulsates like a heartbeat until pressed and the traditional PRNDL is actually a knob in the center console. The JaguarDrive Selector, as it’s called, rises when the vehicle ignition is engaged and lowers automatically when the engine is stopped. Now that’s entertainment!
All Jaguar XF models employ an electronically controlled, fully adaptive six-speed automatic transmission with the Jaguar Sequential Shift function operated by steering-wheel paddles. The transmission is designed to be maintenance-free with “filled-for-life” fluid.
Interior plushness is matched under the hood by the 5.0-liter AJ-V8 Gen III direct-injection engine that produces 385 horsepower and 380 lbs.–ft. of torque. There’s something so opulent about the feel of a big, heavy, powerful, engine that accelerates from zero to 60 miles per hour in 5.5 seconds. Standard on the Premium, the 5.0-liter is now standard on all XFs for 2011.
In this segment, fuel economy would seem irrelevant but the V8, matched to the six-speed automatic transmission, can achieve a decent city/highway fuel economy of 16/23 miles per gallon.
Not all luxury cars carry, or even offer, state-of-the-art safety features. The XF Premium’s got-em, from the expected traction and stability control systems, to essential- but-usually-extra features like a Blind Spot Warning System, front parking aid, and a rear back-up camera.
All Jaguar models come standard with Jaguar Platinum Coverage, which includes five years or 50,000 miles (whichever comes first), complimentary scheduled maintenance, no-cost replacement of basic wear and tear items, a five-year/50,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty, and 24/7 roadside assistance.
As I said, the XF Premium leaves no doubt that you’re sitting in a luxury vehicle. Standard creature comforts include keyless entry, active ventilated heated and cooled soft leather front seats, contrast stitching on leather trim, and a navigation system with voice guidance.
Added features on the test model included the Bowers and Wilkins sound system ($1,878) and a rear window sunblind ($450).
The sunblind shouldn’t cost extra but other than that, the Jaguar XF Premium qualifies as a luxury vehicle that’s easily worth the sticker price, from its hood to the tips of its tailpipes.
Pricing for the 2010 XF Premium starts at $57,000. The as-tested price came to $59,925.
Engine: 5.0-liter V8
Torque: 380 lbs.–ft.
Transmission: six-speed automatic
Drivetrain: rear wheel drive
Fuel Economy: 16/23 mpg