Jaguar’s mid-size luxury sedan, the XF, made its market debut in 2009 as a replacement for the aging S-Type sedan. The XF updated Jaguar’s product catalog and brought with it a new degree of style, sophistication and performance.
In the luxury car segment, however, three years is about as long as a manufacturer wants to go between mid-cycle refreshes, and the 2012 Jaguar XF now benefits from a few key changes
. On the outside, the car’s front end has been restyled to look even more like the new XJ, with slimmer headlights, a lower hood line and a wider power bulge in the hood. Daytime running lights and taillights now incorporate LEDs, and the tail lights stretch into the trunk for a more dramatic rear style.
Inside, the biggest changes are a new steering wheel, revised seats and an updated navigation and infotainment screen. We think the redesign kept true to the Hippocratic oath of, “first do no harm,” since there wasn’t much that needed fixing in the XF sedan.
Engine choices, which were revised for the 2011 model year
, remain unchanged for 2012. Buyers opting for base model XF sedans get a 5.0-liter V-8 good for some 385 horsepower. If that’s not enough for your tastes, opting for the XF Supercharged will net you 470 horsepower from a forced-induction version of the base model’s V-8. If you want an even faster sport sedan, the XFR ups the output of the supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 to 510 horsepower. All engines options come mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, equipped with paddle shifters for spirited driving.
As you’d imagine, the XFR comes with a stiffer suspension, a quicker steering ratio, bigger brakes and sport seats. It’s capable of a sprint from 0-60 mph in just 4.7 seconds, yet it can return fuel economy of 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway. We enjoy driving this variant, but the ride may be on the harsh side for most Jaguar shoppers.
Even the base XF offers up a surprising level of performance, with the run from 0-60 taking just 5.5 seconds. Fuel economy is improved slightly, too, with the base XF getting an EPA estimated 16 mpg city and 23 mpg highway. For the majority of shoppers, the base XF will return just the right blend of performance, comfort and prestige.
We’ll admit to being impressed by the XF’s build quality, comfort and performance, but we’re not necessarily sold on rear-seat head room. While it’s adequate for those of average height, taller passengers will need to sit up front, and it’s probably best to look at the XF as a four door coupe instead of a traditional sedan. We’d also like to see Jaguar offer the 2.2-liter diesel engine
on these shores, as it offers fuel economy up to 42 mpg in European cycle testing.
Those gripes aside, the 2012 Jaguar XF offers silky-smooth power delivery, tenacious grip and a satisfying experience behind the wheel. If you’re in the market for a luxury sport sedan, we’d suggest you give the XF a test drive.
For a comprehensive review of the 2012 Jaguar XF, including details on pricing and features, see our full review on The Car Connection