Pros: Truly distinctive luxury character; fine ride and handling balance; blistering performance of supercharged V8 models; 8-speed automatic transmission; available all-wheel drive on V6 models; surprising refinement of 4-cylinder engine
Cons: Touchscreen controls are overly complicated and not always responsive; interior space is tighter than in many premium-midsize competitors, fuel economy on supercharged V8 models
CG Says: The 2014 Jaguar XF gets a line-topping, 550-horsepower XFR-S model and an available Vision Pack that includes a blind-spot alert system, adaptive headlights with automatic high beams, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The XF is rare among high-end premium-midsize cars in that it offers a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. Many luxury shoppers won’t be able to accept the idea of a 4-cylinder XF, but those that do will be rewarded with a more affordable, more economical vehicle that doesn’t give up much in refinement to its V6 and V8 siblings. Still, the supercharged V6 models might best match the overall expectations of most buyers in this segment, and offer the bonus of available all-wheel drive. Meantime, the supercharged-V8 models are fast, luxurious, hugely desirable high-performance sedans that sell for considerably less than the comparable BMW M5 or Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG. Whichever model catches your fancy, the XF has much to recommend it–including the evergreen appeal of the Jaguar brand itself.