I lust after just two modern cars: the Aston Martin D89 and the Jaguar XK Coupe. However, I accept that both vehicles are well outside my budget, and even if I could afford them, I'm not sure I'd spend my money to own either one.
This week, I spent some time with a third car that tugged at my heart strings, the new Jaguar XF. What's really paining me is that owning (or leasing, anyway) this car is not a completely unrealistic goal.
Our friends at Fields Jaguar saw me drooling over the XF when I visited the dealership to do a blog on the new Range Rover a few weeks ago, so they knew they didn't have to do much persuading to see if I'd like to borrow one to evaluate for a little while. And they were smart about it, because not only did they lend me one Jaguar, they sent me two: first, the "base" XF, then, a few days later, the supercharged, 340 horsepower V6 version.
If the four-cylinder Jag is a beautiful, spritely drive, the supercharged one is a masterpiece. Plain and simple, the fastest car I've ever driven. Its acceleration and handling left me downright shaky. Zero to 60 in 5.7 seconds is fast. Insanely fast.
Which is to take nothing away from the base model. Frankly, I was more impressed with the lines and aggressive styling of this car than its ergonomics and performance, which felt only slightly better than my previous all-time favorite car I've owned, a 2008 BMW 328xi coupe. I mean, this was certainly a nicer car through and through, but with an MSRP of a $46,975, I wouldn't call its rear-wheel drive 240 horsepower, 2.0 liter i4 engine a tremendous bargain.
It certainly turned heads, though, and from the outside, it looked as beautiful as my new dream car, the Jaguar XF 3.0.
It's a little hard to describe this car, but I actually, literally, felt like James Bond while driving the British Racing Green four-door coupe. When you fire up the ignition – a red pulsating button that beats like a heart – the air vents automatically retract and a round shifter rises from the console. Unfortunately, this Jag only comes as an automatic, albeit, with paddle shifters. But when you step on the gas, you immediately cease caring what kind of transmission you're commanding.
The acceleration on this beast is nothing short of jaw-dropping. It throws you back into the seat, its firm European suspension allowing you to somehow feel the road while also dampening the bumps. The inside feels like like a supple baseball glove, with a luxuriously carpeted roof and warm wood throughout. The level of luxury in this model could not be higher.
Keep in mind that Jaguar is no longer owned by Ford; like Range Rover, it's owned by India's Tata Motors. But this car remains all British, and its new stewards have improved build quality; this car feels so solidly constructed with quality throughout.
I'm a stickler for ergonomics, and I didn't adore the XF's instrumentation layout, but that's really my only minor gripe. I feel like the dash is a little minimized, while the touch screen is a bit cluttered.
And, I guess, the car is extremely long. Even though it doesn't feel gigantic while driving it, it barely fits in my garage.
But these are the smallest of nitpicks. To think that this $50,000 car also comes in an AWD version (for $53,000), gets 28 mpg on the highway, and is a visual masterpiece – well, it's no wonder I'm swooning for the Jaguar XF. I cannot even imagine what the 470 and 510 horsepower variants drive like; it's probably for the best that I don't.
Of course, my wife points out that owning a Jaguar is rather pretentious and ostentatious, and she's probably right. It depends on whether you take the "life's too short not to drive a beautiful car" philosophy ... or the "point A to point B" one.
You can tell by now where I stand on this.
Let's just say I was sad to return the XF today. So was my 4-year-old daughter, who mostly likes the angry cat emblem on the humungous grill.
Time will tell whether I've got the guts – and the checking account – to pull the trigger on my new dream car. Not so secretly, I'm hoping I will.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Andy Tarnoff
Published Dec. 5, 2013
2013 has been a good year to OnMilwaukee.com publisher and co-founder Andy Tarnoff. His family is healthy, his friends are (mostly) awesome, and business is great. And he did a lot of consuming. Here's what he enjoyed the most.
Published Dec. 2, 2013
I've never made a big secret about the fact that I'm not crazy about Christmas. As a Jewish person, I don't celebrate it, and growing up, it mostly served to remind me that I was different than my friends. Believe it or not, though, there are a few things I like about Christmas. As Hanukkah - the earliest one in a long, long time - wraps up, here are eight of my favorite:
Published Nov. 30, 2013
Spacehog was in a very different place last time it played in Milwaukee. It was July 1, 2001, at the Summerfest rock stage, and Spacehog was promoting its new album "The Hogyssey." That turned out to be the last major tour for the band from Leeds, although Spacehog began reuniting a few years ago and finally launched its fourth album, a crowd-sourced disc "As It Is On Earth," this spring. Now, they're back on the road, playing small clubs. Older, wiser but still prone to bouts of rock, we talked to drummer Jonny Cragg in advance of Spacehog's Dec. 13 show at Sturtevant's Route 20.
Published Nov. 27, 2013
National men's blog Gear Patrol listed Milwaukee's Sanford as one of its top 25 restaurants in the country this week. The award-winning restaurant is Wisconsin's only inclusion in its list.
Published Nov. 26, 2013
People ask me all the time what is the most important thing I've learned in 15 years of self-employment. That's an easy one: be agile. Trust your gut. Keep meetings short. Act on good ideas, don't try the bad ideas. Make good decisions even if they upset people occasionally.
Published Nov. 25, 2013
I've been playing Grand Theft Auto 5 on my aging PS3 this fall, and I love it. It's easily the best video game I've ever played. And it's probably my last. I grew up surrounded by video games, and at certain points in my life, I played a lot of them. But now I just have one game, GTA5. I don't anticipate playing another one ever again.
Published Nov. 22, 2013
Chicago native Mike Lowe got into TV news because someone told him he had a voice for broadcasting when he read the sports scores over his high school PA. He found himself as a political reporter because he just happened to be the one covering the political turmoil in Madison in 2011. Now, Lowe has his own branded segment on Fox 6, and he's being recognized for his work - the 34-year-old reporter just won six Emmys. But he's also modest and down to earth.
Published Nov. 14, 2013
If you have lazy people in your life, consider these gifts this holiday season. They'll thank you, assuming they get around to it.
Published Nov. 11, 2013
Until last week, I'd visited Orlando twice. Once, when I was about 5, and once on my way back from spring break when I was 21. Neither really prepared me for the Florida family vacation we took with my wife and 5-year-old daughter, but it turned out to be as perfect - maybe more so - than I could imagine.
Published Nov. 5, 2013
Since it's only been five months, you may not have noticed that Tami Hughes is no longer an anchor and reporter on your local airwaves. That's OK, she gets that all the time. In fact, the former FOX6 personality has not only left television, she's taken a completely new career path. The Ohio native is now working for Will Allen's Growing Power, the urban farm on 55th and Silver Spring. It's the kind of job that Hughes didn't expect to have but at the same time, knew was totally right for her.