By on January 14, 2013

I’d say that writing car reviews can be difficult at times but then it’s not really seemly to complain when nice folks drop off free cars to drive. Still, the gig does have its challenges. The last time that I reviewed the Jaguar XF Supercharged, a day after the fleet management company picked it up, their competitor, which works for Kia, dropped off a nicely equipped Sportage. At the time I joked with Ed Niedermeyer about reviewing both cars simultaneously. After all, with the democratization of luxury the cars were similarly equipped, sort of. Ed and I decided that silly or not a comparo wouldn’t be fair to either manufacturer. Still, it’s hard not to ruminate about comparisons when you’re working on a review.

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By on February 25, 2011

The first issue that any reviewer must face is perspective. Whether it’s a $70,000 Jaguar or a $15,000 Chevy you have to maintain an appropriate perspective. You have to be fair to the product you’re reviewing while putting it into proper context for your readers. When Jaguar told me that a 2011 XF Supercharged was available for me to test, my first thought was the same as yours would be, “Goody, goody. What’s not to like?” My second thought was to email the other writers and ask if Michael Karesh or Jack Baruth could do a better job on the review. Michael test drives a variety of luxury cars, and Jack’s pretty familiar with high-end sporting machinery, but I have absolutely no experience with 470 HP, loaded-to-the-gunnels luxury sports sedans. I can’t tell you if it’s better or worse than competing cars because I haven’t driven those competing cars. The time with the Jaguar was bookended by a Mazda3 and a Kia Sportage. Not exactly ideal perspectives from which to view a luxury performance car. Notwithstanding my personal reservations, Ed and the other editors told me to go for it, so…

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