I had never driven in New York City.
But that changed a few weeks ago after I received a lucky invitation to spend 72 hours driving the new 2015 Jaguar XF 3.0 Sport for a weekend. This...this was going to be fun, I imagined. It was, and I'll explain why. But instead of blabbering on about it myself, I've enlisted insights from eight friends who I deemed Jag-worthy enough to drive around for a few hours throughout the weekend. From the NYC streets to Upstate, New York, they shared their thoughts on the car and how it felt sitting shotgun and in both back seats.
These are their stories.
More Like This
Danny R., 27 (Trip: Upper East Side to Cobble Hill in Brooklyn)
"The car looks best at night. I didn't notice the sunroof until the bridge lights were cast against the sky. I don't even care how fast you're going, but it's so lit up, the dials are clear from back here. 22 mph average, cool.
I can actually read my book without any light from the car. No, seriously, I'm trying to read my book. Turn the radio down."
Liza M., 24 (Trip: Upstate New York)
"It looks like a huge car but it didn't feel that way at all while riding in it. I keep forgetting Kelly's in back. I hate when cars' radios and stuff are so complicated too. The touch-screen isn't too fancy and is simple to use. Even I can use it. I keep noticing how quiet it is, too. This [dead-stopped] traffic is terrible, but at least we can't hear anything."
Dan G., 26 (Trip: East Village to Lower East Side)
"The Jag certainly offered the most luxurious and thrilling commute from the East Village to the Lower East Side that I've ever had. And I've taken many cab rides between those two spots and none have ever compared. The seats, too. The seats were the most comfortable seats in a car I have ever sat in."
Allie N., 25 (Same trip)
"To be honest, I wouldn't have hung out with you if it wasn't for the Jaguar. But the car was so luxurious it made your presence worth it. Your ability to park near that Ramen place makes it clear the car's turning radius is pretty awesome, too."
Madeline C., 24 (Upper West Side to Cobble Hill, Brooklyn)
"I typically don't like being in cars in the city, especially when a non-professional is driving, but never once did I feel unsafe. It seems this car is what many city dwellers would want for trips to Whole Foods in TriBeCa while on their way to a birthday party in Connecticut."
Stef P., 22 (Trip: Soho to Upper East Side)
"It appeared as a sports car from the outside [Ed's note: it is a sports car] but the backseat was really comfortable and roomy. The car was very responsive to the stop-and-go traffic we were stuck in—it wasn't jerky. And we didn't die when Meredith tried to "change the radio" and instead shifted the gear shifter."
Meredith A., 25 (Same trip)
"I knew it was my duty to DJ the ride. Unfortunately this great journey did not begin with a tour of the inner workings of the car, leading me to believe the round gear shifter was a volume control. The silence quickly turned to shrieks, but not because I found the volume—because I shifted the car into neutral, reverse and then back into drive as we sat at a red light. Crisis averted. Ryan pointed out the volume knob to me and I found the perfect satellite radio station to set the tone for the ride. Taylor Swift it was."
Kelly T., 31 (Trip: Upstate New York)
"Why's the car cool? A) I can still control the music from the backseat; and B) You know how you can never hear anything in the backseat of cars? I can hear both of you fine. The acoustics in here are good for that.
My only negative critique is there's no cup hold—oh, nope, wait, here it is. Okay this is great."
[Editor's Note: the cup holder is stylishly unobtrusive, but perfectly capable of holding cups.]
My thoughts? Kind of you to ask. I'll offer this: I spent three days in it, driving nearly 200 miles, and never was I sick of it, despite the fury of Manhattan. There's a calmness when you're inside that makes that very fury of the city seem less intense and less important. I could get used to that.