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2016 Jaguar XF Review by Michael Bernstein +VIDEO

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MORE: Totally Jaguar


By Michael Bernstein
The Auto Channel
Michigan Bureau

It's a well known fact that most cats have nine lives, but in the case of Jaguar, the venerable British auto maker, it only needed only this one. After escaping the zoo that was Ford Motor Company’s P.A.G., Jaguar has found new life under its current owners, the Indian auto giant TATA which has infused much needed cash and left control in the hands of the engineers and designers that knew the brand best, which resulted in a totally redesigned line-up that includes the magnificent 2016 XF.

From its striking exterior design, to its plush bespoke interior this sedan oozes British luxury, class and sophistication. From the moment you get behind the heated, leather wrapped steering wheel you become a member of its royal court and it will have you feline-ing down the road in total comfort.

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Every amenity; dual zone climate control, GPS navigation, a 380 watt Meridian sound system and more-are at your finger tips and accessed through a color touch screen monitor or push button on the steering wheel’s hub. Starting is by a push button ignition that once depressed awakens the sleeping beast. The engine purrs as it comes to life, then the gear shift knob arises magically from the center console while side air vents are revealed on the dash and the color monitor turns on with the home screen displaying four sections; navigation, telephone, climate and audio.

The 14-way heated and cooled seats, part of the $2,300 “comfort and convenience” option, ensures your throne is positioned just the way you like it. Now you are ready for the special fun and thrill of driving that only a prototype sports car can give, while this cat is technically a full sized sedan it handles and performs like smaller car.

The thrilling motoring delivered by the 2016 XF S is due in part to it's 380 HP, 3.0L, V6 supercharged engine ,which is paired perfectly with an 8-speed automatic transmission, a pairing that would make any sommelier jealous. Both components work in purr-fect harmony to maximize power and fuel economy. Paddle shifters offer the driver even more control over this powerful beast.

While 20” wheels are standard, this baby had 20” Ladyrinth alloy wheels, a $1000 option and Pirelli tires that are the claws that keep this kitty hugging the road like a cat climbing a tree. They and the overall handling are enhanced further by Jaguardrive, adaptive dynamics and torque vectoring braking that all work in seamless harmony to create a ride that is unmatched. It also delivers impressive fuel economy as well earning a respectable 24 MPG combined rating based on its 20 MPG city and 30 MPG highway as reported by EPA/DOT testing.

This cat does have some hairballs and there are some features and aspects of this car that I didn’t like. Most notably on this list is the start/stop feature. I know the system is designed to save fuel but at what cost? Frankly, I found it was very intrusive and annoying, not to mention the jolt that shook the cabin when the system engaged. I also found the heads up display very distracting, especially at night, and despite its sedan dimensions, the back seats although appointed with many comfort and convenience features including individual climate controls, were a bit cramped for a big guy like me.

All that being said, the positives far outweigh the negatives, and if you are in the market for luxury sedan that leverages British tradition with contemporary styling and mixes in the latest automobile technologies than the 2016 Jaguar XF S is waiting for you.

The XF has an MSRP of $62,700 and the model I tested and evaluated had optional equipment that bumped the price to $74,655. See your local Jaguar dealer for a real test drive and for any additional information you may need to put this big cat in your garage.

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