Jaguar XF – There is A Heaven on Earth!
Difficult to know where to start with this, so I am going to begin with our conclusion, and then tell you why we feel this way.
Conclusion:- The new Jaguar XF is the most impressive, able and desirable new car we have driven for years.
Big comments, but lets give you some of the reasons for this.
We loved almost everything about this fabulous Jaguar and the longer we used it and the more we got to know it, the more we fell in love with it. For a while, we nominated this big cat to be our overall “Car of The Year” (it’s really that good), but unfortunately it’s also pretty expensive, so it should be good. The Jaguar XF has now been deposed as Car of The Year by another car that we loved equally, but in different ways, but importantly, it costs half as much as the Jaguar cost to buy. This does not mean we like the Jaguar any less, no not at all, we still love it, but we have to make value for money a major part of our decision.
We tested the 2.7 V6 Twin Turbo Premium Luxury version, which at a touch under £38,000 is pretty near the top of the range.
The XF looks classy and understated if it were a woman it would be Halle Berry or Angelina Jolie rather than Pamela Anderson and you get the feeling that if Aston Martin were going to make a big 4 door saloon, well this is just how it would look.
Compared to other cars around, the XF looks more modern, more graceful and dare I say it, different. The XF is a fabulously designed contemporary coupe and although it’s all new, from almost every angle its curvaceous body takes you back in time to Jaguars of the past.
So many goodies await as you open the door and slide into the XF’s fantastic interior. Someone has spent ages planning the interior as it has a real feel of luxury and “craftsmanship” about it. The materials are well matched and everything oozes quality. Yes there is the obligatory Jaguar timber and alloy, but it’s changed, its different, its 21st century wood and alloy, its more Doctor Who than Doctor Finlay.
The 10 way electrically adjustable seats offer 2 memory stores and are as you would expect, hugely comfortable and trimmed in soft leather, and they are heated of course for the cold winter mornings, but also chilled by air-conditioning for the days you want to keep your butt cheeks fresh and frozen, and just in case you’ve forgotten your gloves, the Jaguar even gives you the option of heating the steering wheel, which of course is also electrically adjustable.
Sitting in the car, one of the first thing you notice is the stop / start button that pulses pretty much in time with a heart beat as the red glows fades in and fades out. The Jag is telling you its alive and its ready for the off. Push and hold the button and as the car fires into life, the vents in the fascia all open automatically and the so simple yet so wonderful gear selector rises from the cars centre console.
The cars dash houses the superb “Touch Screen” in car satellite navigation and communications centre, which not only offers full 7 digit postcode searches, but also has not just a built in TV, but not just analogue TV, it’s got digital freeview as well. The radio offers both analogue and digital also, giving you the best of both worlds.
The rear facing camera which gives you a colour picture of what’s going on behind you when you select reverse, makes parking a breeze and its helped on its way by the very sensitive parking distance sensors.
The communications centre offers Bluetooth connection to your phone and indeed allows several different phones to be stored in its memory, allowing voice dialling and even download of your own phonebook.
Although we never tried it, the system also includes a “Valet” setting which is PIN pass number protected
The whole system is fantastically intuitive to use and oh, it’s got a CD that’s played through the Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system as well……and just in case you fancy listening to your own music library, you can do that by just plugging your I-Pod straight into the Jaguars centre console.
There really are lots of innovative ideas on the XF, in fact too many to cover in the review, but things such as the little orange light in each door mirror that customises your eyes to the dark making it easier to see what’s going on in your dust. The electric rear blind that’s really nice on a journey at night, taking most of the bright lights away. Even things like the little rings on the dash that you brush your fingers across to open the glove box or turning the interior lights on not by pushing a switch, but by just running your finger over the light.
At night the cars interior is bathed in a beautiful blue glow, which seems to come from everywhere and it really is a very nice place to be.
The XF styling wasn’t a surprise, but we have to say the cars handling was. We drive and test so many cars here and frankly, before we drove the XF, we expected the new Jag to be a big comfortable cruiser which kind of looked sporty. How wrong could we be, as this big cat is as nimble and as agile as many sports cars which are half its size.
There were two things that stood out and the first one was the way that the cars handling just gave you so much confidence. Behind the wheel, you really felt you could do anything with the car and take on even the most unexpected situation.
Turning in is so positive with the steering just so precise and you just know that even when you push the XF hard and do something stupid, that the XF isn’t going to do anything other than just wag its finger at you and you know for a certainty that the XF isn’t going to punish you by throwing you off the road.
The other major revelation is the cars gearbox. Now we don’t usually like auto’s with paddle shift, however which is the best we have ever used in a mainstream car, in fact the only car I have used that could outdo the Jag’s sequential box in the F1 version Ferrari F355, which as you would expect is stunning, however, the XF runs it a close second. There’s no point me going into a whole load of technical stuff to explain it, so I will keep it simple and just tell you what it means to you as a driver.
The box is a sequential shift, which means, yes you can drive it like any auto box, but its got paddles behind the steering wheel that let you make downshifts and upshifts manually, when you choose to make them (just like a manual gearbox). Don’t go cold here, as we’ve driven tons of cars with “so-called” paddle shifts and pretty much, we have hated everyone
We think you should buy this car for the way it looks alone, but if you want a few more reasons, just look at the fabulous interior, the stacks and stacks of really cool hi-tech toys, the way the car handles, the 8 second 0-60 time, the 30+ mpg no matter how you drive it.
It’s June 2008, and the Jaguar XF is the car I have enjoyed the most all year. For sure, its still half term, but at the time of writing, we give the new Jaguar XF our car of the year 2008 award. OK, that might change, but as yet, we haven’t seen anything that offers this blend of style, quality, equipment & useable performance for the price but if there is something waiting out there to take the Jaguars crown away, well we just can’t wait to test it.
For a quotation on the new Jaguar XF or on any other Jaguar, please call us or e-mail us.