Sunday, October 7, 2012

Jaguar Reinvented Itself

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the drastic changes Cadillac underwent with the introduction of its CTS line and particularly with the CTS-V.  Today I’d like to talk about another luxury car brand that has all but reinvented its cars from the bottom up… Jaguar.  Before I start, let me fully disclose that of all the cars out there I know the least about the British ones and particularly about Jaguar.  Prior to this last Jag I drove from eCarOne I had only one experience with Jaguar and it was a horrible one at best.  I needed a car to get me around for a few months and I purchased a 2002 Jaguar S-Type 4.0 from a local auction.  The car ran for two days prior to completely shutting down because it needed a new Engine Control Module (ECU).  For those of you unfamiliar with the term, let’s just say it’s the car’s brains and it’s expensive to say the least.  After nearly $4,000 of repairs, I sold it quickly for a hefty loss.  That was the last time I ever thought about owning a Jaguar.

On the other hand, I always admired them for the way they look and what they stand for, so when the guys at eCarOne told me they had a 2012 Jaguar XF with only 2,500 miles on the odometer I decided that I need to give Jag another shot and see what they’ve done in the last decade.  Although I don’t have the knowledge to tell you everything they’ve changed, I can tell you that this car felt one thousand times better than the S-Type I had.  Of course, it’s a new car but that’s not it.  Everything about it is better… fit & finish, brakes, power, ride, seats, controls, lights, ELECTRONICS, and everything in between.  Essentially there is no comparison so rather than comparing, let me just talk about today’s Jaguar and what I thought about it.

Since I’ve talking about a British car, I’ll use a British term to describe it…. Brilliant!  It truly is.   What makes this car Brilliant is how Jaguar was able to put together the perfect combination of luxury, comfort, sportiness, and all out driving enjoyment.  From the minute you get in the car, you know you’re driving something special.  It’s a Jaguar but it feels more like a BMW with more luxury or a Mercedes with more style or an Audi with more character. 

When I drive a BMW, I love the driving experience but I miss the luxury amenities and flare of the Mercedes and when I drive a Benz I miss the sportiness of the BMW and when I drive an Audi I get a truly nice cabin but I don’t get the name brand respect.  So no matter which of the big three I drive, I’m always missing something.  The Jaguar somehow is able to combine all three into one.  Although it does not have particularly stellar performance, it feels planted to the road while maintaining excellent composure and comfort.  The cabin surrounds you with tasteful chrome accents, polished trim and luxurious wood and of course as you would expect, top notch leather.

The exterior is even more impressive.  Unlike Josh Hamilton in the Ranger’s wildcard game (which sucked), Jaguar hit a homerun with the exterior styling of the XF.  It is a beautiful car that I found myself staring at every time I got out of it and before getting into it.  From the mean looking headlights to the beautifully sculptured body panels to the roofline and trunk line… it’s really stunning.  And although I’m not a big fan of chrome accents on the exterior of a car, this Jaguar pulls it off very well and the chrome is located in all the right places and it blends in perfectly with the body of this car.  In a nutshell, this car makes a statement.

I’m not sure what I disliked but then again I only had it for a week so I’m not sure about long term reliability.  I did notice that the sound system is controlled via a touch screen and that was a little annoying.  Also, it’s a V8 and very thirsty for fuel.  I also didn’t care for the alarm confirmation chirp… rather than using the horn, the chirp uses another horn that belongs on a Fiat 500; not a V8 Jag!

All aside, I truly enjoyed this car and I may even consider owning one some day especially that I can get this car today for around $46k.  That’s a steal.

Hope you found this a little informative and if you were on the same boat with me regarding Jaguar, I urge you to reconsider.  Thanks for reading and happy driving.

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