One year and six months ago, I lost the love of my life when my faithful 1996 Saturn passed on. Instead of jumping into another ?relationship,? I opted to spend a year off-road and, for once, take my time choosing a nice, new vehicle. In the months ahead, I?ll be reviewing the cars that are vying to fill the shoes my Saturn left behind. Today, the Jaguar XF 3.0 AWD …
Remember a few months ago when I described myself as a simple girl? One neither accustomed to nor comfortable with luxury? To my chagrin, that turns out to be pretty hilarious.
After my brush with a certain big black cat, I have learned that people who don’t think they love luxury have probably never experienced luxury. Because when the Jaguar XF that I was to take for a week-long test drive showed up outside my door, I took one look at it and felt my knees turn to butter. Seriously. I was bewitched by it before I even turned the ignition. ?TEN OUT OF TEN!!!? my heart shrieked the second I opened the door and smelled leather.
I’d like to think I’m no pushover, but the truth is the seduction was laughable in its ease; if the Jaguar XF were a man, he’d be telling his buddies about me over a cold one right now. ?Yeah, I’m serious! She basically wanted me to move in with her, and she didn’t even know my name yet!?
So now that I’ve already given away the ending ? I love this car; I love this car so much I want to marry it ? let me walk you through the why of it all. It’s not as mad as it sounds, nor was I the only one to fall under its spell. I’m telling you, that cat has devil powers.
Within minutes of its arrival in my driveway, grown men started appearing out of nowhere. Neighbours, some of them; complete strangers, others.
?Man, this car is siiiiiick!? one young man gushed as he snapped a shot with his cellphone.
(Yeah, careful there, bud, or the Jag’s gonna be talking about you to his buddies, too.)
The Jaguar XF is the most effortlessly splendid creature I have ever encountered, and the more you get to know it, the more it impresses you. This, I would say, is its most wondrous quality. (Well that and it?s voodoo powers.)
From its sensuous exterior and dazzling grille to its immaculately thought-out interior, this car is well-nigh flawless in its design. The dash is sleek and seamless as a shark, with just the right amount of luxury and practicality and not one thing more ? no wrong notes, no gauche excesses: the hallmark of true elegance.
First and foremost, the sound system: it’s a beast. If rich, pure, club-quality sound is important to you, the Jag’s Meridian system is the one to beat. The heated steering wheel and front windshield are a pleasure. The touch-screen system is beautifully simple and intuitive. The vents and centre console knobs rise up out of the streamlined surface when you start the car, then disappear back into it when you shut it off.
All of which is charming, but so far it’s just frills. If a car doesn’t have the goods on the road, it is meaningless.
The 3.0L V6 supercharged Jaguar has the goods. Big-time.
Trust me, I tested them; I’m one of those people who sees an open road and thinks ?gas pedal.? Unless I’m driving a Jaguar. Then I think, ?This is your captain speaking,? because good flipping lord, is this car fast. With the merest touch, it leaps forward like it was just waiting for you to ask.
The blind spot monitors are precisely in your line of vision and so reliable I can’t imagine going back to the pioneer days of having to look over my shoulder. (Other impressive safety features include anti-whiplash head restraints and seatbelt pretensioners, which automatically tighten to place you in optimal seating position during, God forbid, a collision.)
The handling is amazing, a marvel of AWD awesomeness that wraps itself around even the most steeply pitched curves like a hug. It absorbs bumpy roads without batting an eyelash; there is never a time or a road surface when you do not feel you are cocooned in comfort and safety. At every turn, the Jag whispers, ?It’s okay, I got this.?
So, after my mind-blowing week with the big cat, here is what I’ve decided: I’ve decided I was born for luxury. And also that I can?t afford what I was born for. Because although the Jaguar has cast a potent itch-spell on me, although it is hands-down the best of all the cars I?ve tested so far, at $75,850, it?s an itch I can’t afford to scratch. At least, not yet. (Crosses street, enters convenience store. ?Lottery tickets, please. Yes. All of them.?)
Heart score: 9.6 out of 10
Price: $61,500 MSRP, $75,850 as tested
Follow Wheels.ca editor Marie Sutherland?s reviews online at Wheels.ca
Email: [email protected]?? Twitter: @WheelsMarie