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Quick take: 2009 Jaguar XF

Posted by Clifford Atiyeh  January 23, 2009 12:38 PM

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When named the Jaguar XF one of 2008's best new cars, we hadn't even driven it. But last week we got to sample the sexy Brit's quality, high performance and trick features when a $58,850 Premium Luxury model arrived - and no, the play of rotating vents and a rising gear selector didn't get old by the third act.

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16 comments so far...
  1. Given the stellar reputation of British electrical systems, I'd buy the extended warranty in addition to a Honda or Toyota to drive while it's in the shop having the vents fixed for the 18th time.

    Posted by J January 23, 09 01:12 PM
  1. So, when the gear selector stops rising, how are you supposed to drive it? Stupid idea. Of course, just as stupid to name a car noone's driven one of the best new Cars of the Year! Sheesh!

    Posted by DavidDavidDavid January 23, 09 03:11 PM
  1. I don't get the point of those features. Why do you care if your gear selector and vents disapear when the car is off? It seams like an entirely pointless use of technology.

    Posted by JeffT1 January 23, 09 03:47 PM
  1. "the stellar reputation of british electrical systems" isn't it about time you came into the 21st centuary. It's not 1982 any more. Jaguar's build quality now measures with the best and is currenly leaving the likes of mercedes behind.

    Posted by jagboy January 23, 09 04:06 PM
  1. This is a beautiful car! I've driven this car before and the ride is phenomenal. However I do think the "gadgets" are a little silly and I don't see any point in them. The more things that move on the car means the more things to fix down the road. I'm sure they'll be fine but nothing is 100%. It's a superb car and definitely deserving of being one of the "Cars of the Year." The Jag XF has been out for a while so it's had plenty of time to be tested.

    Posted by Paul January 23, 09 04:21 PM
  1. The folks at Jaguar or BMW or Mercedes don't just wake up one morning and decide to start throwing these kind of things into the cars. They obviously spend a lot of their R&D budgets as well as time and energy developing these items over a span of years. While features that will add to the safety and / or performance of the vehicles are certainly worth the investment, I question whether they shouldn't be spending the time and money on features that will actually improve the vehicle rather than unnecessary frills like this.

    Posted by Anonymous January 23, 09 05:51 PM
  1. Jaguar is now the most reliable brand on the road, unlike most American manufacturers. People like "J" should come into the 21st Century.

    Posted by BB January 24, 09 07:11 AM
  1. I would agree having owned a mid 90s Jagaur for 10 years that the build quality is on par with anything the Germans or Japanese have done. In fact a relatives 1994 Mercedes S class had far more trouble with electrical gadgets than my 1994 XJ.

    Anyone who still believes in the English Lucas prince of darkness legend really is living in 1985.

    In addition, plenty of people have driven this car including Car and Driver and Road and Track and it has been universally praised as one of the outstanding cars being produced today. Sadly for Jaguar, not a whole lot of people are in the market for a $65K gentleman's express these days. Truly great for everyone else is that in 3-4 years these things will be easily had with 20K miles on them for $25K and be one of the best bargains in pre owned luxury around, as Jagaurs always are.

    Posted by Daniel January 24, 09 03:07 PM
  1. Perhaps people like BB should support their claims. I can believe that Jaguar has improved in quality (actually, all automakers have, including the domestics), although I'd have a very hard time believing that they have surpassed Honda, Toyota or Subaru, the top three in quality the last time I checked.

    I just find these motorized features to overall be quite silly. Not only do they add complexity for complexity's sake, they also add WEIGHT, which is the enemy of handling and performance. Sure, you can put in a giant engine and brakes, but you still have to deal with the laws of physics in the corners and over the bumps.

    Posted by J January 24, 09 07:44 PM
  1. BB, the statement "Jaguar is now the most reliable brand on the road" just invites critique. Do you have any real data to back up your broad pontification?

    According to JD Power, Jaguar is pretty good - apparently way better than years ago - but Lexus, Toyota, Buick(!), Cadillac(!), Mercury, Honda and others are better:

    As for these features, what possible purpose does the flush knob and vents serve as they are hidden when you are not using the car?! It's actually kind of funny that they really had people developing these! At least the old flip-up headlights served some purpose - albeit limited - for their unnecessary complexity.

    Wait, now that I think about it, I change my mind. People are talking about the car. Mission accomplished.

    Posted by nmc January 25, 09 01:16 AM
  1. Yeah, its a typical "Rube Goldberg" device-complex and stupid -it reminds me of a 1975 Rolls-Royce-when you moved the shift lever, you did not directly actuate the transmission. You moved the lever, which drove a servo motr, which shifted the transmission. This accomplished nothing except to make the car more unreliable. Eventually, the servo would freeze up-and then you could not shift the transmission. Repair cost was about $650.00!

    Posted by Gerry January 25, 09 05:40 PM
  1. motorized parts tend to not work in extreme cold. if moisture gets in the components and freezes up, the vents and shifter will not come up after sitting outside in the new england winter. stupid idea.

    Posted by Anonymous January 25, 09 07:48 PM
  1. My Jag is as reliabele as Toyota, Honda, or BMW. Certainly that was not the case 20 years ago, but times have changed. Jaguar is one the best choices out there for a new.

    Posted by Brighton_Corgi January 26, 09 09:02 AM
  1. BB, Jaguar was owned by Ford for the last 19 years. And owned by Tata for the last year. So when you reference American Car Manufacturers, you are including Jaguar as well. Not to mention, half of the models shared frames with such exotic cars as the Ford Taurus, and the Lincoln LS. ugh.

    Jaguars were cool in like 1981.

    Spare us the gimmicks, give us a 10% increase in horsepower and a 10% increase in fuel efficiency. That would be a "gimmick" worth shelling out cash for.

    that would be good.

    Posted by Bob from work January 26, 09 12:47 PM
  1. XF supercharged is amazing and reliable. Alot of people are still "programmed " to beleive german cars are the best. Jaguar is going to prove everyone wrong. Wait and see. the 5.0 AJ3 engine can keep up with the big boys. About time Jaguar

    Posted by joey smith January 26, 09 05:04 PM
  1. Regarding the Drive knob... there are fail-safes buily-in where you can operate it if it fails to popup on its own.
    The biggest issue seems to be is it is all electronic. So if the battery goes, there are a lot of things that won't work/open, such as the glove box. (there maybe a failsafe there too but I haven't read about it).

    I'm hoping to "trade up" to one next year when I outgrow my Saab 9-3 Vector. Those supposedly have a lot of trouble as well, but I've had mine since 2003 and I still love driving the thing.

    Here's to a lousey residual value (makes my purchase easier ;-)


    Posted by Jim B May 19, 09 04:41 PM

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Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
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AAA's Car Doctor, John Paul John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England, a certified mechanic, and a Globe columnist. He hosts a weekly radio show on WROL.
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