My love affair with Jaguar cars goes way back to when I was knee-high to a grasshopper… I have vivid memories in 1971 of playing in my uncle’s 1950’s era Mark 2 Jag – thrilled at the time to even be in the presence of it! I can still remember the smell of the leather and the details of that car today.
A few years later I got the opportunity to sit in the infamous Jaguar E-Type at a car dealership while my parents were shopping for a new car. I can still remember the pale-yellow convertible that The Daily Telegraph newspaper includes in a list of the world’s “100 most beautiful cars” of all time. Only 8,626 of those beauties were ever made and I got to sit in one – what a thrill!
A number of years ago my wife and I got a surprise invitation from BMW to test their new 5-series against several competitive cars – the Jaguar S-Type was among the choices and I immediately grabbed the keys to that. Although much-maligned I liked the S-Type even though my nod went to the fantastic BMW 528.
So after all these years I finally get the opportunity to spend some quality time with the car that I’ve loved for almost 50 years. How will it stack up after a week? Will it live forever be on the pedestal that I placed it on all those years ago? Sure, it’s a completely different car and the company’s run by a different owner now.. but it’s a JAG!
The XF comes in two versions, a 3.0L supercharged V6 that comes standard with all-wheel drive or the 5.0L V8 supercharged XFR with 510 horsepower 461lb-ft torque.
What Is It?
- Premium, mid-size luxury sports sedan
- Provides the ultimate in luxury but stays true to Jaguar’s sporty roots
How Does It Look?
- Compared to Jaguars of old – it’s lost the round headlights and become ‘more modern’ looking
- I really like the styling, but too many people mentioned that it just looks like “every other car out there – it’s not a real Jag” – ouch!!
- As beautiful as the XF is, it won’t get your heart fluttering the way older Jags do
- In silver – it really blends in with the background and only a Jaguar fan or gearhead would notice it
- In white it’s quite dramatic and that would be my choice of colour
What’s It Like Inside?
- From the press of the push-button start the vehicle comes to life with the vents opening, shifter rising from the console – it’s all very space-aged, but classy
- Transmission is operated via the JaguarDrive Selector – an aluminum dial that I think we’ll be seeing in many vehicles in the future, just as the push-button start has now become the de rigueur thing to have in your vehicle
- Seats are extremely comfortable, and the driver’s position perfect. The sport seats adjust in 18 different ways to provide comfort to any driver
- Soft grain leather heated and cooled seats with contrast stitching and suede cloth premium headliner are part of the Portfolio Pack for $4,000 extra
- Everything is close to hand and easy to reach
- Loved the heated steering wheel, but after about 10 minutes it was too hot to leave on. I suspect it’s intended only for use during the initial warm-up of the vehicle
- Comes with the optional interactive voice system, or “JagVoice” where you press the “voice” button on the steering wheel and you speak to control the audio, climate and navigation systems, as well as touch-screen and blue tooth connections
- Absolute silence at all speeds with exceptional Jaguar refinement
- Space is comparable with other vehicles of its class and size
- Storage space inside the cabin is meager, with the usually cramped glove-box. Trunk size is generous despite sharing space with the car battery
So How Quick Is It & How Does It Handle?
- 3.0L V6 Supercharged engine with all-wheel drive and ZF 8-Speed Automatic Transmission
- Horsepower: 340 / Torque: 332 lb-ft
- 0-100 km/h: 6.4 Seconds
- Despite its size the XF handles like a much smaller sports car. My wife described it perfectly “it feels like a real cat – a Jaguar when you see them about to take chase – sprinting and pulling – it feels like the back tires have claws, digging in and launching you forward”.
- The beauty of the all-wheel drive is that it just goes! There’s no squirming about.
- Adaptive front lighting. According to Jaguar it enhances nighttime driving. Sensors react to the car’s speed and steering input to deflect the headlamp beams casting light deeper and wider to help give added confidence during nighttime driving. (Part of the Premium Pack – extra at $4,300)
What Does It Cost?
As tested: $61,500
+ Metallic Paint: $500
+ Premium Pack: $4,300 – Meridian Audio hard-drive-based navigation with TMC, music storage and DVD player; Meridian 380-watt, 10-speaker plus sub-woofer, Rear camera parking aid; Front parking aid; Adaptive headlights
+ Convenience Pack: $2,500 – Keyless entry; Jaguar voice; Blind Spot Monitor; Electro-chromic exterior mirrors; Intelligent high-beam and Electric rear sunblind
+ Portfolio Pack: $4,000 – Soft grain leather with contrast stitching; 16×12 heated and cooled seats; suede cloth premium headliner and Premium carpet mat
+ Split fold rear seat with Ski hatch and ski bag: $600
+ Cold Weather Pack: $600 [Heated steering wheel + front windshield]
+ Destination/Delivery: $1,350
Total: $75,850 (plus government taxes and add-ons)
- Fuel economy was quite good considering the power and fun-to-drive factor. We averaged 9.7 L/100 km during which 100% highway and 10.9 around the city/town
- Fuel economy is rated at: 10.7 L/100 km (combined cycle- EPA)
BMW 5-series, Mercedes-Benz E-class, Infiniti Q50, Lincoln MKZ
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
- Despite what some people say about it being somewhat bland looking, I love the look of the XF. I think it’s better looking and better proportioned than the larger, more expensive XJ.
- The standard all-wheel-drive really adds a lot of value to this vehicle when compared to the competition and other vehicles in the same price point.
- The bad … I can’t afford one!
What’s The Verdict?
Many people thought when TATA took over Jaguar that it would be its demise, but it’s quite the contrary, I don’t think it would be this good if Ford still owned it.
It’s hard not to love the XF. If you’re in the market for a vehicle of this caliber – you have to drive it!
As much as I love the BMW 5 series, I’d take the XF over it any day.
Copyright © 2014 by Iain Shankland. All rights reserved.
Text: Iain Shankland / Images: Iain Shankland & Jaguar
Also Published at: Flagworld.com