Nuts & Bolts

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Complaint: It's a "Jaguarness" thing. A seemingly small error in such a pricey automobile -- inconsistency in the use of contrast stitching in the interior -- is a big deal to some of its more finicky buyers.

Ride, acceleration and handling: The XF Premium gets high marks in all three categories.

Head-turning quotient: It's simply beautiful. It's motorized art.

Body style/layout: The XF Premium is a mid-size, front-engine, rear-wheel-drive luxury sedan with a unitized, mostly aluminum body.

Engine, transmission: The XF Premium comes with a 5-liter, 32-valve, direct-injection V-8 engine that develops 385 horsepower at 6,500 revolutions per minute and 380 foot-pounds of torque at 3,500 rpm. The engine is mated to a six-speed transmission that can be shifted automatically or manually.

Capacities: There are seats for five people. Luggage space is 17.7 cubic feet. The fuel tank holds 18.4 gallons of required premium unleaded gasoline.

Mileage: Keep this one out of traffic jams, where it barely gets 16 miles per gallon. Highway cruising delivers better mileage at 25 mpg.

Safety: Standard equipment includes four-wheel ventilated disc brakes with antilock control; electronic stability and traction control; front and rear seat belts that automatically tighten and hold buckled occupants close to seats in a crash; high-intensity discharge headlamps. Optional safety equipment includes side mirrors with blind-spot warning technology, highly recommended by this columnist.

Price: The base price on the 2010 Jaguar XF Premium is $56,150. Dealer's invoice price on that model is $51,097. Price as tested: $62,875, including $5,875 in options (heated and cooled ventilated front seats, 20-inch diameter wheels, contrast stitching, electric rear-window sunblind, Bowers & Wilkins premium sound system) and an $850 transportation charge. Dealer's price as tested is $56,941. Prices are sourced from Jaguar, Edmunds.com and Cars.com, an affiliate of The Washington Post.

Purse-strings Note: Like Tina, the Jaguar XF Premium is one of a kind. You either love it, or you don't.


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