One of the problems I have test driving cars in Phoenix is that it almost never rains, except for the mid-summer monsoon season. As luck would have it, I happened to have the XF in mid-July, just in time for a whopper of a storm.
Since there are few sewers in the city, an inch of rain is more than enough to flood the roads. In this case, the east valley got two inches of rain in less than an hour. I grabbed my keys.
Turns out, this cat doesn't mind getting its feet wet. The XF had no trouble maintaining traction on flooded streets and intersections: at least those that the local authorities hadn't bothered to barricade off.
Luxury for Four
Jaguar calls the XF a five-passenger sedan, but it's really meant for four. Up front, the driver and passenger enjoy power adjustable heated seats. The rotary gear shift and electronic parking brake clear up clutter in the center console, making room for three cupholders, one of which is large enough for water bottles.
Audio and temperature controls are located in the center stack under the information screen: both are easy to reach from either front seating position.
A bin in the center console under the driver's armrest contains iPod and MP3 plug-ins, as well as a USB port and 12-volt power point. The XF is also Bluetooth compatible.
Leg and hip room are plentiful in back, though headroom is limited by the sharply raked roof. A fold-down armrest in the center seating position has two cupholders that are big enough for bottles. Second-row passengers get a separate set of air vents and separate overhead reading lamps.
All four doors contain map pockets, with additional pockets in the front seatbacks.
A deep trunk with standard pass-through should hold most of what passengers need to carry, assuming that it doesn't involve anything larger than a golf bag. Because of the high liftover height, I wouldn't want to try putting a bicycle in the trunk.
Base price on the model tested is $55,200, not including a $775 delivery charge.
2009 Jaguar XF Premium Luxury
Likes: Beautiful exterior in the tradition of classic Jaguar design. The XF is a quiet, elegant car with enough power and performance to satisfy driving enthusiasts.
Dislikes: Average fuel economy of nineteen miles-per-gallon is not particularly good for a vehicle this size.