Honest Jaguar XFR review

Cars Jaguar

Jaguar XFR? 5 litres of raw power with a supercharger thrown in for good measure. The best thing however is all this comes with bags of luxury and comfort to match its performance.

The Jaguar is known by many to be an old man’s car, but what’s wrong with growing up? Its something that happens to us all. It’s how you grow up that counts.

The time eventually came to grow up for me and move from my Vectra VXR that I had owned for over 4 years. This was more than a car to me. This was MY car. A car that I had brought from stock to fire breathing 408bhp monster. It’s successor needed to be something truly special.

Jaguar XFR please step forward

The car to take its place was a 2011 preface Jaguar XFR boasting only 55k miles

This was a car I had always aspired to own since they very first was released. So it’s taken me 13 years to acquire one, however at the age of 22 when they were released, I somehow don’t think I was matured enough.

This is a car that needs a few extra years of your age on this earth. Not just due to image but to respect its deceptive performance.

Due to the comfort, weight, size and image, this car is one that you can easily forget how fast it actually is.

Comfort and Luxury

From the moment you press the start button, you’re reminded this is a luxury car with not only the v8 roar but also the rotating vents, motorised steering wheel and rising gear selector.

It’s hard to say if I was drawn to the comfort and luxury or the performance of the Jaguar XFR. There is no denying though that from the moment of getting in to the car, I realised it was a very special place to be.

This is a car that you don’t have to look far to see why it was a £70k car when new over 10 years ago.

Benefiting from only 55k miles, this particular XFR has very good, tight interior still. So whilst it’s no longer new, it’s still very fresh.

The cabin is such a nice place to be. With its leather dashboard, piano black centre console and its very supportive, substantial seats, this is by far on the upper end of cars I’ve sat in on that front.

The seats are fully adjustable in every way via the electric controls on the side and work well to support on long journeys and short blasts equally. With 2 memory settings available that also memories other settings such as the steering wheel. Just make sure your 5ft 3 wife hasn’t adjusted to her stature! I made that mistake and it did panic me as I squashed closer to the wheel!

The climate side of things are very good with heated front screen, which is a god send, and dual climate control. The heated AND cooled seat are also a real plus, except for mine not working! It’s a common fault that I need to investigate. Usually caused by blocked filters or cracked pipes.

The on the road comfort? To quote Jeremy Clarkson, the Jaguar XFR is like ‘Sitting on a fat dog”. Something instantly noticeable hopping between the XFR and the lowered VXR.

Infotainment

I had read a few comments leading up to the purchase, stating the infotainment wasn’t the best.

The Sat nav is dated, being a cd, however I must confess I haven’t even tried it! Google maps is my go to sat nav now a days even in my modern bmw. Whilst the Sat nav is a drawback, it’s hardly an issue to most folk for this same reason.

The sound system, being the Bowers and Wilkins upgrade, is several leagues ahead of the one in the VXR. So crisp and bassy when required. An area the VXR always lacked in. I’m also told there’s a subwoofer but I haven’t investigated.

The only 2 fairly substantial problems found so far are that the free view TV and DAB can’t seem to find signal. Realistically though, the TV on these only work when parked so not something I will ever miss anyway.

Styling

Some will love it, some will hate it, some simply won’t have much of an opinion.

As said, Jaguar as a brand are seen as an old man’s car, this just comes with the name. The XF being no exception. However look a little deeper and the differences on the XFR are actually substantial enough to tell the difference from the standard XF and suggest its performance purpose.

Sporting 20 inch alloys with very wide 285 rear tyre is just the first sign. The word ‘Supercharged’ embossed into the wheels but also into the obvious bonnet vents is another major hint that this XF is a little more R.

From behind the only real hint is the 4 exhaust tips and a subtle lip spoiler.

the front bumper and side skirts do a good job to separate it from the standard models, however the average joe might not instantly notice them unless they knew prior, but for me they make the styling.

I feel it has such a road presence. The styling for me was the reason I chose the XFR over say a e60 M5. I love the look and presense they have.

Performance

With a supercharged 5.0 V8 up front, the Jaguar XFR was never going to be a slow car.

Having had it on the dyno at JWS Developments, we can see it makes a beastly 509bhp and almost 470lbft of torque.

The torque holds as almost a flat line from 2.5k to 5.5k and only tapers off slightly at red line. This makes for instant power when in flappy paddles with sport mode and dynamic modes selected. It really is quite alarming how instant it is.

Due to the smoothness of delivery and the linear power curve, it doesn’t have the same punch up top as a turbo car. The VXR somehow actually felt faster due to this however I know it wasn’t.

The XFR just has a way to disguise the speed. Even when it kicks the back end out, which is frequently, it still feels smooth and linear. Maybe it could be due to it hefty size and weight.

Whilst I haven’t actually tested the 0-60mph, I have no reason to doubt the claim of 4.7s.

I have however tested the 50-70mph which came in at a blistering 2.00s uphill. The 60-100 in only 5.24s, again uphill. Both these figures being faster than the 408bhp Vectra VXR.

Really looking forward now to our trip to Santapod for The Fast Show to see what she can really do!

The beauty of it is up to 600bhp is relatively easy to unlock too with a simple pulley upgrade and remap! However I’m not in a huge rush to tap into that just yet.

The main gripe I have is that the exhaust subdues the v8 roar a little too much. I guess this is mainly due to the comfort and luxury aim, however a little more noise would be have been great and would have completed the package for me, so an exhaust upgrade is definitely on the cards.

Conclusion

It may not be everyone’s dream car, but for me it was always pretty high up there. Now I own it, it doesn’t disappoint other than a few little gripes.

Yes you can get faster super saloons now but for its generation, it was one of the fastest. Unless going double the money, you will be hard pushed to find a faster super saloon or even one around the same age from another manufactor. The Jaguar XFR is a true super saloon bargain in my eyes.

My “man maths suggested it would be the same expense as the VXR to run. Whilst some of it is, realistically it overall is a more expensive car to run. Primarily the fuel cost, considering I average around 16mpg in the xfr. With lows of single figures as as high as around 28 on a good motorway run.

The XFR is all the car most could ever want or be able to use. Effectively a supercar of the day in a practical body. The boot could be a little taller but maybe I have just been spoiled by the luggage space in the Vectra VXR hatch.

The VXR was the car I owned for by far the longest, however I am certainly begining to wonder if the Jaguar XFR can possibly beat that reign.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.