My Drive this week was the Jaguar XF luxury sedan. If you love Jags, well, this car is essentially the easiest way to get into the range, with XF sedans available from just under 70,000 dollars retail. This facelifted model has been on the market for three years now and we’re likely to see another update later on in the year, but the current model available right now is no slouch at all. It’s a beautiful car, with smooth lines flowing throughout the design from front to back. The headlight style was flattened out versus the previous model, with an assertive front face and rectangular grille rounding out the design up forward. The classy look continues down the back, with a long, thick line of chrome flanked by large red taillights. The shark fin antenna up top compliments the look.
Jumping inside reveals the full luxury roots of the XF. The materials used here are just what you’d expect, with soft-touch surfaces throughout in different forms depending on the variant. Inexpensive options will come with a combination of leather and suede-style cloth upholstery, while more premium ones get liberal doses of leather across the car. The seats are extremely supportive, soft and comfortable. Even after a long drive in the car, I just didn’t want to get out. There’s also a decent amount of rear leg room, and the seats are angled back nicely so you can relax and enjoy the drive.
The variant type will also decide what dashboard and other trims you’ll get, but they’re all a combination of an aluminium and wood look. The air conditioning vents rotate and fold away flush into the dashboard by themselves when you’re not using the climate control air conditioning, while the gearshift – or rotating gearknob should I say – is flush with the centre tunnel until you turn the car on, when it slowly rises out of the tunnel, ready to do your bidding.
There’s quite a few different powertrain options available with the XF, but my test drive was a car with the three litre V6 turbo diesel engine. It produces 202 kilowatts of power and a huge 600 Newton-metres of torque, mated to an eight speed automatic gearbox by transmission specialist ZF. Torque is sent to the rear wheels and boy is there a lot of it. It might not be at maximum level off the line, but it’s still reasonably responsive until you get to 2000 RPM, when the XF nails you in your seat and rumbles towards motorway speeds. The diesel rumble is very refined; perceptible in the background but flattened out and controlled very well. What makes you notice the rumble however is the idle stop/start functionality, which makes the Jag whisper quiet when it’s stopped. It comes back to life the moment you take your foot off the accelerator though, so it’s ready to go anytime.
The eight speed gearbox is a smooth shifter, and it also has a manual mode controlled by paddle shifters on the steering wheel. In practice though I was happy to leave it on auto, as the high number of gears and low shift point of diesel engines meant far more upshift clicks than I could be bothered to make. Call me lazy, I’m sorry.
I’d rather worry about handling the car, because the XF’s handling was simply beautiful. It’s poised, it’s focused, and it’s sharp. Despite the size and 1.7 tonne weight, the XF will go wherever you send it, going around corners with confidence and ease. It stops sharply too, thanks to large vented disk brakes on the front and back.
The XF is very well equipped, with standard features including bi-xenon HID headlamps, rain sensing wipers, heated power mirrors and dual-zone climate control air conditioning. There’s also electronic steering wheel adjustment, an electric parking brake, satellite navigation and a 250 watt sound system that sounded simply awesome. There’s quite a few options as well, including DAB digital radio, DVB digital TV, adaptive cruise control and heated front seats.
The Jaguar XF with three litre diesel engine can be had from a hair over $91,100 dollars plus on-road costs. A beautiful, refined and powerful car that doesn’t break the bank with a Jag badge on it. Not bad at all! That’s it for me this week.
August 22nd 2015