Test Drive: 2011 Jaguar XFR Review

It is always fun for me to have a Jag, especially a Supercharged version.  I own one personally, so as you can imagine, I am quite a fan.  The exhilaration of 510-horses sitting under the hood of a true luxury car is a pretty amazing combination.

The 2011 Jaguar XFR is a visibly beautiful car.  Sleek comes to mind, yet doesn’t do the car justice.  Even the much less expensive XF with the 4.2-liter is a good-looking car.  The XFR however has some distinctive exterior features that set it apart, like the chrome air intakes on the side, some awesome hood vents that say Supercharged on them, and 20” Nevis wheels.

The real story is under the hood.  The 510-horses come from a direct-injected 5.0-liter V8.  Even though this is a large car, you still get a 0-to-60 time of 4.7 seconds and seemingly endless torque.  This rear-wheel drive beast comes with a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Just coming out of a new Porsche 911 Carrera last week, handling was fresh on my mind.  The Porsche is a completely different car of course, but this Jag has many of the same driving characteristics, especially when headed into a tight turn.  The Jaguar Adaptive Dynamics system that checks 100 times per second to adjust the car’s shocks to the conditions you are driving in.  When you are driving normally, the XFR gives you a luxury car ride, but when pushing the car, you can feel it tighten up and get really responsive.  Best of all, the car does it all by itself.

Inside the car, it is classic Jaguar.  The leather seats are super comfortable and will adjust 16 different ways to make sure you are comfortable in the ultra-soft seats that are unique to the XFR.  The carpet, which I don’t normally remark on, is visibly thick and plush.  The dash is easy to read and there is nothing at all complicated about any of the controls, a rare attribute these days.

The navigation system is effective and easy to operate via a 7-inch touch-screen that operates everything from the radio to the air conditioned seats.  We could debate a touch-screen controlled setup versus a joy stick-like system, but for me the touch-screen works well and is less distracting.  The downside to it is constant fingerprints on the screen that makes me a little crazy, but everything in life is a tradeoff, right?

Unlike any other car I have ever had other than previous Jags, the gearshift is a round dial roughly 4” across that rises out of the center console when you hit the push button start.  Also unique, when you turn off the XFR, matching woodgrain covers drop down over all dash air conditioning vents to make the appearance of the interior complete.  I can see no functional use for this whatsoever, but it’s a great conversation piece that nobody can resist being wowed by.

To complete the package, you get Bluetooth connectivity, Xenon headlamps, blind spot warning system, a 440-watt sounds system, a power moonroof, and the most beautiful suede headliner I have ever seen.  As is typical of a Jaguar, there isn’t a lot of backseat room, but it is wildly comfortable for the two front seat occupants.  Trunk space is actually quite good.

The Jaguar XFR is unlike any car I have ever driven and is a real marvel in every way.  After driving all sorts of upper line cars, this one price-wise, although expensive, is well worth the money.

What I liked most:  Performance and overall driving dynamics.

What I would change if I could: A little more back seat room.

MSRP as tested: $80,850.

Fuel Economy: 15 city/21 highway, but I never got close to either number.

2011 Jaguar XFR in a few words:  The fastest, best driving luxury sedan made.


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