The Jaguar XF is the more recent effort in this comparo, it represents a bold departure from the traditional styling mold of Jaguar. The cabin is luxurious and comfortable, and exuded that old fashioned British charm and aroma, in a contempory body. The switchgear was done with high quality materials, and appeared durable. I would not have felt cheated in this cabin as a daily driver.
Performance of the 4.2 normally aspirated V8 was adequate though at 300 Hp, could have used more power (the XF felt quite heavy). I did later discover that Jaguar has plans to replace the 4.2 with a 5.0 special duty engine as a running change shortly. The engine as tested was velvety smooth, and was supremely hushed; any luxury buyer would not find it objectionable.
While I liked the styling, I don’t know if it’s just because it is new and fresh or how the styling will weather over time? Perhaps here is where the previous S Type may provide some advantage, it still looks dignified.
Comparisons: First off is the Price, at about 38000, the CTS is impossible to beat, and definitely is the better buy over the $57,000 XF. The XF does offer more luxury and amenities, but for almost a $20000 premium. That stratospheric statistic removes the XF from favorably comparing with the CTS. I felt the XF is better comparable to the STS, Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, and Volvo S80. I rated the XF also 3 stars. One point was deducted for the lofty cost this is what kept the XF from winning a decisive victory over the CTS.
Oh Paul Paul Paul....
I spent the afternoon at the Jaguar Dealership in San Francisco. And after a good 40 minute test drive among the twists and turns and a really blind Buick Park Avenue driver darting out of her garage (XF has a loud horn).... I can say the XF is more than a match for CTS. And I must re-iterate... CTS just isn't in this class of vehicle!!!
Yes, the V8 is supremely hushed, and there's just enough growl to let you know the cat can run when needed. I started in Sport Mode when it was my turn to drive. I simply wasn't ready for the amount of power that was at my command. The numbers might say 300HP... but it feels like 380HP. That's the truth.
The brakes will haul the car down 60-0 in short order. You can feel it when you touch it.
Oh.. and another thing... the Bowers-Wilkins audio system. I've never experienced an audio system with an audio stage quite like this in a car!!! I hold a great deal of respect for the Lexus Mark-Levinson system. I feel the STS Bose system is a tad better than the M-L system. And the B&O system in the Audi is quite impressive as well. But these systems don't hold a candle to the B-W system in the XF!!!!!!!!!
Is the XF worth $20,000 over a fully loaded CTS?? ABSO-FRIGGIN-LUTELY!!!!
Then again, the CTS isn't squarely competitive in this market segment as of this date!! And it is sorely lacking some basics that are a necessity in this segment. Cadillac has a lot of work to do.
There is no doubt in my mind that CTS needs the full luxury of the STS without STS's missteps in order to be competitive here.
Plus the service and attention I got at British Motors of SF was heads and shoulders and simply light years better than anything I've gotten from these Chevy-Cadillac combo dealerships.
I will post a more detailed review later.
As much as it pains me to leave GM, after a long history with them, I have found my next car purchase. And it isn't the Cadillac I've always dreamed of owning.
Jaguar has got a BIG winner here.