Introduced in 2008 and face lifted in 2011 the Jaguar XF has got better with each incarnation so just how good is the all new model asks Geraldine Herbert
What is it? The XF sits between the large XJ and the mid-sized saloon XE in the Jaguar range.
Who is it aimed at? This is an executive car and rival to the likes of BMW’s 5 series and Audi’s A6 but families will also love the roomy and versatile interior and Jaguar reckon the new XF has more leg room than many of its rivals.
Styling? It may look the same as the previous version but this XF is 83% new and the svelte athletic body conceals a sophisticated and luxurious tech laden interior. The wheelbase is longer by just over 5 cms while outside it now has a familiar Jaguar-style grille with a very distinctive coupe like profile making it look far more like the smaller XE.
Under the Bonnet? The new XF has been to the gym and now weighs 190kg less than before so that means not only better fuel economy but also improved handling. Much of this weight loss is due to the use of aluminium. Engine options include the 163bhp (from 104g/km and 70mpg) and 180bhp versions of the 2-litre Ingenium diesel engine but if you need more oomph off the line there are also a; 240PS 2.0-litre petrol automatic; 300PS 3.0-litre diesel automatic; 340PS and 380PS 3.0-litre petrol automatic to choose from.
What about inside? The XF features one of the nicest interiors around and it is all very well thought out and intuitive. Inside you are cocooned in soft-touch materials and the design is clean and uncluttered. We particularly loved the rotary gear selector. Backseat passengers will appreciate the roominess and a very spacious legroom.
On the Road? The XF is a much more responsive car to drive and it sweeps through corners with a reassuring confidence. You can select one of four modes; Normal, Winter, ECO and Dynamic while All-wheel drive models are able to differentiate between road surfaces through the Adaptive Surface Response system that automatically adjusts to whatever the conditions. The 8-speed ZF semi-automatic gearbox is both fuel efficient and seamless in its gear shifts.
And Safety? The XF achieved the maximum five star rating in Euro NCAP’s 2015 safety tests. Safety-related options include Dynamic Stability Control, Traction Control, Emergency Brake Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Monitoring, Closing Vehicle Sensing, Reverse Traffic Detection, Traffic Sign Recognition and Adaptive Cruise Control
What are my Options? Jaguar offers all sorts of optional extras, some more useful than others. Extras on our test model included Metallic Paint, Power Fold/Heated Electric Mirrors, Auto Dimming Rear View Mirror, , 17″ Aerodynamic 10 Spoke Silver Alloy Wheels Alloy Space Saver Spare Wheel, Power Adjustable Steering Column, 4-Way Lumbar Support, Driver Seat Memory, Split Fold Rear Seat 40:20:40, Business Pack, Power Convenience Pack, Parking Pack and Active Safety Pack which all added over €12,000 euros to the base price.
Will it break the bank? The aluminium chassis not only promises improved handling but also better efficiency and the XF does not disappoint, our test car promises to return 109g/km emissions figure and over 70mpg or 4.1 litres per 100 kms, on the combined cycle. There are four trims to choose from XF Business Edition, XF Prestige, XF R-Sport and XF Portfolio and with a starting price of €43,205 for the Business Edition the XF compares well to rivals.
Verdict? The Jaguar XF may well be one of the best cars we have tested this year, it’s sufficiently comfortable for those who like a cosseted drive, fast enough for those who yearn for a more sporty option and when compared to rivals, affordable. But this is a very competitive market and the new Mercedes E Class has just been launched and summer sees the arrival of Volvo’s opulent S90. But for now the XF is our choice whether at the sidelines of a rugby game, cruising down the motorway or at the valet stand of a boutique hotel.
Why you’ll buy one? Fun to drive, Stylish, Spacious
Why you won’t? Pricey
Mercedes E Class
BMW 5 Series
Jaguar XF 2.0 Prestige 163PS Automatic
Engine: 1,999cc, 163bhp (120 kW) @ 4,000rpm, 380Nm @ 1,750-2,500rpm
Emissions (Motor Tax) : 109 g/km (€190)
Model price range: €43,205 – (Test Car –€61,665)
No of Doors: 5 doors
Euro NCAP : 5 stars
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 4.0 l/100km (70.6mpg)
Boot Capacity Seats up(down): 540 (885) litres
Car Seats: 2 Isofix fittings in the rear
Wheelbase: 2690 mm
12th April, 2016