2009 Jaguar XF Performance
This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.
Jaguar makes its performance intentions clear with this car. Though most competitors focus on V6 engines and offer an optional V8 upgrade, Jaguar has completely forgone the six -- buyers can choose from a big V8 and a big supercharged V8. Reviewers say it's a crisp handler as well, but the lack of an all-wheel-drive option is a serious oversight at this price. The EPA estimates that the normally-aspirated XF should get 16/25 mpg city/highway, while supercharged models get 15/22.
- "As pleasant as it is to behold, the XF's most compelling attribute is outstanding dynamics. Power, from either the standard 4.2-liter V-8 or a supercharged 4.2-liter V-8, ranges from sufficient to stimulating, and the Jag's responses to zigs and zags are gracefully feline." -- Car and Driver
- "Underway, the XF exhibits a smooth and hushed demeanor but there's a stronger connection with the mechanical soul of the car than expected." -- Edmunds
- "The XF's qualities should attract enthusiastic drivers who crave a luxurious sedan with a sporty personality." -- Popular Mechanics
- "Kick the throttle hard and the supercharged V-8 kicks back with plenty of thrust...Perhaps most important, the V-8 makes sounds that will have your own heart flickering like that fancy starter button." -- Motor Trend
Acceleration and Power
The 2009 Jaguar XF is available with either a 4.2-liter V8 making 300 horsepower, or an asphalt-eating supercharged version of the same engine making a pulse-pounding 420 horsepower and a roaring exhaust note that satisfies something primal. The normally aspirated engine makes the car quick. The supercharged version puts the car in a whole different class. Reviewers tend to advise buyers looking for performance to step up to the supercharged model. Amazingly, it's nearly as fuel-efficient as the less impressive engine. Both engines use the same six-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters for those who want to do their own shifting.
- "With either engine offered in the 2009 Jaguar XF, acceleration is swift and smooth, with perfectly timed up- and downshifts furnished by the six-speed auto. Use the paddles and the automatic blips the throttle on downshifts, just as an expert driver with a manual gearbox would." -- Edmunds
- "The non-supercharged V8 is satisfyingly quick at any speed. The Supercharged is faster still...The transmission provides smooth, fast shifts with either engine." - Consumer Guide
- "Standard mill offers strong, smooth acceleration that can produce 60 mph in a respectable 6.2 seconds. However, the blown engine is the born entertainer, and can do the task in 5.1 ticks." -- Popular Mechanics
- "Pushed, the V8 sounded like an Aston (it should: Jag and Aston use tweaked versions of the same engine), resulting in a rewarding drive that blended clubhouse luxury with performance in a way that only the English know how to do." -- Jalopnik
- "Only V-8s are available in the XF, but the base 4.2-liter produces just 300 horsepower, which is what the V-6s of many automakers make these days. Indeed, the 290-hp Hyundai Genesis V-6 outsprints the smaller but heavier Jag by a couple 10ths. The V-8 doesn't help fuel economy in the 4055-pound sedan, either." -- Car and Driver
- "The thing the XF Supercharged does best is to turn small holes in traffic into big holes with its thick band of thrust." -- Los Angeles Times
Handling and Braking
With its monstrous engine choices, shoppers might expect the XF to be a muscle car with little cornering polish. Surprisingly, it's an agile car in aggressive maneuvering, handling like a much smaller sport sedan. The absence of an all-wheel-drive option, however, hurts the car when stacked up against high-performance options from BMW and Infiniti.
- "Swooping along the freshly repaved mountain roads in manual mode, the XF felt like a Bentley: big, heavy, powerful and smooth. The steering, which was vague on the highway, firmed up on turn-in, resulting in surprising agility...through Brooklyn traffic, the well-weighted steering is suddenly ponderously slow instead." -- Jalopnik
- "There's barely any nose dive when the brakes are applied...and the level of communication between car and driver when cornering is impressive." -- Edmunds
- "Both Premium Luxury and Supercharged corner with good grip and little body lean. Supercharged is slightly sharper in fast cornering, but the tires' stiff sidewalls tend to follow every groove and crown in the road. Steering is well weighted and precise. Brakes are strong, but on one test car were touchy." -- Consumer Guide
- "The XF's handling felt controlled at low speeds and stable at high speeds during our testing in Arizona, though some high-speed transitions were slightly less sure-footed than, say, a BMW 5-series. Braking power is impressive in both models, with larger rotors in the Supercharged version offering increased stopping power." -- Popular Mechanics
- "The XF's variable-ratio power steering is magnificent, rich with feedback, arcing through its orbit smoothly, and transmitting a linear build-up of forces in corners. The ride impresses, too; the XF Supercharged gets Jaguar's CATS adaptive-damping system, which neatly balances body control with suspension plushness." -- Motor Trend