2012 Jaguar XFR Review

By on April 13, 2012
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British thoroughbred at its finest.

Good: Insane power, intoxicating sound, sufficiently luxurious, adaptive cruise control and lane change assist, multiple audio inputs.
Bad: Doors have to be literally slammed shut to be properly closed, dial knob for gearbox somehow feels inadequate.
Price: AED 409,000 (base)
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

On the inside we have a cabin that lacks plush luxury, but has everything else to keep the driver happy. The thick charcoal leather seats have the “R” motif embossed on them, the door panels and dash is a mixture of stitched black leather and dark aluminum mesh finish. The roof is dark grey suede cloth as well. Basically everything is dark, with white stitches and chrome highlight trims.

Being a mid-sized sports sedan, the rear passengers understandably don’t have a lot of legroom; although, the headroom is enough for a roomier interior so people in the back don’t feel stuffy. The 1200W Bowers & Wilkins’ optional 12 speaker system obviously helps things a lot.

Sitting behind the steering wheel is exactly where you want to be inside the XFR. Going with the minimalistic approach for a luxurious interior, the trademark dial-knob gear and full blown entertainment system aside, the Jaguar XFR is a proper racer car at heart. You can feel it the first time you turn it on, as the supercharged V8 rumbles to life and then purrs at 900rpm waiting for you to hit it. Push the pedal all the way down and the engine only revs to the locked 4k rpm limit, but even at this limited rev range the engine growls loudly and the whole car quakes topping off with a huge backfire loud enough to scare off even a real life Jaguar.

The main center console has a 7-inch touchscreen which looks rather small because it’s inlaid by about an inch and a half into the dash. The Home menu shows you three vital things: The current media you’re playing, your current location, and the current climate control settings. You can access various other settings on the sidebar, as well as make extensive selection digging deeper into each of the three main menus.

What I absolutely love is the phosphorous blue edge LED given to the entire instrument panel and center console, along with the door panels. This blue glow has a kind of 70s sci-fi hue to it that I really like. Everything is properly lit with precise sharpness.

Our test car came with the optional front parking assist and rear camera, which quite intuitively turns to night vision mode during the dark. One other thing I really appreciated is for people like me who still prefer the old school method of reversing; the passenger side mirror angles down every time the gear is put in reverse.

There’s just one thing that I was really disappointed with: the gear knob. It’s cool every time I turned on the car and the dial elegantly rose up from the console, but when cruising down the highway I just wanted to feel the gearstick under my right hand. Instead all I did was awkwardly pat the dial knob when I realized there was nothing to grab.

You’ll notice that the interior isn’t so luxurious, for instance the flabby plastic handles, the fact that you have to slam the doors to be shut properly. For paying upwards of 400k Dirhams, people would expect the XFR to come with creature comforts to reassure them that their money was well spent; that they can see it. Such pretentious things are covered by the M5, if I may be so bold. Now the XFR isn’t an engineering marvel either; that claim also belongs to BMW with their M5. What we have here is pure British passion for racing. Put simply, the XFR was made to be a fun ride, rather than focusing on a stately street behavior. For such occasions Jaguar has the XJ series.

I’ll conclude this section by saying that highway noise is absolutely minimal, even when driving around 200kmph. What you do hear, though, is the beautiful sound of the engine as you’re pushing it hard and the kicks from the exhaust as the gears are shifting up. Break quickly from high speeds and you’ll hear the exhaust burp as the gearbox shifts down to 1st from 5th or 6th. If nothing else impresses you about the XFR (pretty much an impossible feat), the sound alone will bring a huge grin on your face.

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From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

  • Sanjuanita Asher

    All in all, the XFR doesn’t look as gentlemanly as the regular XF or indeed the British Prime Minister approved XJ.

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