The 2013 Jaguar XF comes with some game-changing upgrades, proving it has what it takes to compete with fellow mid-size luxury sedans vying for top spot among consumers this year. Two new engine options, improved fuel economy, and Jaguar's signature blend of power, luxury, and pure adrenaline are granting the XF plenty of attention, and rightly so.
Previously only available with a V8 drivetrain, this year's XF went bold, offering both 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engine options. The base level i4 T turbo-charged engine puts out a very respectable 240hp, and its upgraded brother the Supercharged V6 harnesses 340 horses under the hood. Both the V4 and V6 supply plenty of kick and make for a very enjoyable ride. Plus, smaller engines mean lower starting prices - another selling point for consumers hoping to acquire some sports-car luxury without completely breaking the bank.
Power-hungry drivers need not fret, however. Jaguar's traditional Supercharged V8 is also an option, and the ultimate bad boy, the XFR V8, delivers up to 510hp and an unforgettable driving experience simultaneously.
Each XF trim comes equipped with an 8-speed automatic transmission, and the V6 also comes with an option for AWD. There are plenty of features available for all models to add to the joy of the ride. Standard are leather upholstery, genuine wood trim, heated front seats, a 10-speaker sound system with CD player, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a 7 inch touch screen display. Additionally, Jaguar has partnered with a British company named Meridian, most well known for premium home audio systems, to give drivers powerful, clear sound at each trim level. Safety features include antilock brakes, front and side airbags, side curtain airbags, traction and stability control, Jaguar's 'Valet Mode,' which keeps the XF at a consistently low speed. Optional are blind-spot and forward-collision warning systems and a rearview camera.
A number of package upgrades round out the complete XF experience. The Convenience Package adds features like blind-spot monitoring, keyless entry/ignition, and rear sunshade, and the Premium Package includes front parking sensors, 12-speaker sound system, and satellite radio. The Cold Weather Package throws in a heated steering wheel and windshield. The Supercharged V8 and XFR V8 comp equipped with the XF's optional upgrade packages, and throw in some added perks, such as 20" wheels and summer tires for the V8, and glossy black upper and lower grille inserts for the XFR.
The XF offers the complete sport and power combo, making it a solid choice for drivers interested in a mighty yet smooth ride and all the amenities a sports car would offer - so long as they don't mind a higher price and a few draw backs. The Jaguar, while steadily improving, still has the reputation for being less dependable than competing models. This makes its long-term resale value lower, too. The interior electronics center is not as intuitive as it might be, and although the trunk space is ample, rear visibility and overhead space are smaller than many people would prefer. Competition in the mid-size luxury sedan segment is fierce, and top rivals include the BMW 5-series with an optional manual transmission; the Lexus GS with lots of fun features and excellent styling; the Mercedes-Benz E Class with a little more space and luxurious interior, and the Audi A6 with a supercharged V6 option and lower price. Still, it's hard to find a car quite so unique as the Jaguar XF in this year's lineup, and consumers continue to be impressed with its engine makeover and eye-catching physique.