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 July 29, 2015
If you've never heard of floating and sensory deprivation tanks, let us answer this question for you: it's not a form of torture. Rather, some consider it the ultimate form of relaxation, injury recovery and meditation, and it's coming to Milwaukee very soon.
Published July 28, 2015
When you've visited the same place well over 20 times, sometimes you have to look at it a different way. Whether that means taking a bird's eye view from the treetops, or a fisheye perspective from just a atop the water, Wisconsin's crowing jewel that is Door County still looks spectacular from any angle. Even if it's one you have bend a little to see just right.
Published July 15, 2015
Though Liz Lincoln, who writes under the nom de plume of Eliza Madison, just published her first erotic novella, the Milwaukee writer isn't new to penning books about romance. "I've been writing romance forever, really," says Lincoln, who debuted "Fast, Fresh & Hot" this summer on Amazon. " I wrote romance stories when I was in middle school."
Published July 12, 2015
A decade ago, I took a spin around the Milwaukee Mile in a special two-seat IndyCar. I did it again this morning, and it was even better.
Published July 8, 2015
While I only passively care about what happens on the court, I nonetheless passionately, urgently and desperately request Milwaukee and Wisconsin to get its act together and build the Bucks a new arena before it's too late. Just like I preached in the mid '90s when the Brewers were semi-genuinely eying Charlotte as their new home, I'll say it again: Build it now.
Published July 3, 2015
It's a long-standing tradition at Summerfest - and at plenty of other festivals - to use radio station DJs to introduce a headlining band. It may seem like a five-minute formality, but as usual, there's a back story to most of what the public sees while standing on the Summerfest bleachers.
Published June 29, 2015
It hasn't been a good month for the Stars and Bars. Only 150 years after it should've disappeared for good, national online and brick and mortar retailers have yanked the Confederate battle flag from their shelves and their sites. In other words, you will no longer find Confederate beach towels, belt buckles or even the General Lee (I'm bummed about that, actually) at Wal-Mart, Amazon, Etsy, eBay or many other stores around America. Fortunately, you won't find them at Summerfest, either, in the state that lost 12,216 men to the Civil War.
Published June 25, 2015
To me, the Kings Of Leon were supposed to save rock music. When I saw them for a second time at Summerfest in 2006, this time at the Miller Lite Oasis, something felt wrong. KOL seemed slow. Plaintive. Quiet? Turns out that was the direction this band would head in, and it's what made them extremely popular. But I came into tonight's show with an open mind and was rewarded with old Kings, and even lulled a little with new Leon.
Published June 22, 2015
"Summertime" is a great song - so great that it's been covered 25,000 times since George Gershwin wrote it in 1934. One of the more enchanting - and special - versions of the jazz standard has just dropped from Nineteen Thirteen, an enigma of a Milwaukee band. Featuring Victor DeLorenzo on percussion and Janet Schiff on cello as its two permanent members, you almost have to see this group to believe it.
Published June 18, 2015
Even though Summerfest gets passed over by lots of national media - at some point, let's put the onus on getting the word out better, OK? - there's no doubt that this gigantic musical festival is Milwaukee's crowning annual achievement. Here are the annual picks from OnMilwaukee.com Publisher Andy Tarnoff.