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Jaguar XF 3.0 V6 Diesel 600 S Premium Luxury

Click to view picture gallery“Jaguars award-winning XF
  is highly rated by the motoring
  media and, more importantly,
  by consumers. Changes just
  made to this exciting four door
  executive saloon, with its hint
  of coupe styling, just make
  this classy cat even better
...

THE MOST SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IS THE REPLACEMENT of the old 204bhp 2.7-litre V6 turbodiesel by a new Euro V 3.0-litre turbodiesel that can be ordered either in 237bhp tune or in 271bhp 'S' specification. All models use a six-speed electronic automatic transmission with sequential shift, Winter and Dynamic modes.

In this premium sector most of Jaguar's rivals — BMW and Audi, for instance — have already adopted the 3.0-litre diesel engine format because the latest technology allows for more power with better fuel economy and lower emissions whilst at the same time still delivering more out-and-out performance. But technology costs, so prices are increased — some substantially. The new 2010 XF range is priced from 32,900 to 59,900, but with the main selling new 3.0-litre V6 diesel models weighing in at 33,900 and rising to 44,200 depending on specification.

The XF 3.0D 600 S Premium Luxury reviewed here costs 40,500 — around 3,000 more than the previous equivalent 2.7D model.

Before commenting on the substantial increase in performance with lower running costs, it is the right time to say that in all respects the latest XF shows significant improvements over the outgoing version which itself was very good and highly praised.

The XF has always been an appealing car but it has to sell against the high-profile premium brand BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Audi A6. Where I think the XF scores in the real world over these competitor models is in the areas of ride quality and comfort — the Jaguar is outstanding in these areas and simply glides over the worst our UK roads can offer. Fortunately comfort and composure haven't been achieved at the expense of roadholding and handling qualities: the handling is precise, body movement is well controlled and the steering communicates well with the driver.

In addition to the exceptional comfort, the XF offers a very hushed drive for the five occupants — only the lack of rear seat headroom for tall passengers (blame the coupe side profile styling) and perhaps legroom as well for rear passengers, can be criticised. The boot is adequate with 540 litres of space but for some less fit users the low access into it can be daunting.

Jaguar uses the word 'crafted' to describe the XF and that is pretty accurate. From the distinctive chrome mesh grille to the rear parking aids, from the standard fit items such as automatic climate control to the blue halo instrument lighting, to leather facings for the dashboard and door panels through to the seats, to the thick pile carpeting, the XF is a quality product — and most of all there are hints of that classic Jaguar design and quality which originally made the brand famous.

Fast, classy cat with
the heart of a lion
...”
But the latest XF is not just about style — the main selling diesel-engined XF is a fast cat with the heart of a lion. The new 3.0-litre V6 unit (as used in a different state of tune by the new Land and Range Rovers) gives performance without spoiling the pure driving refinement and comfort of the existing car.

Upping the capacity from 2.7 to 3.0-litres and using parallel sequential twin-turbochargers has significantly increased power to deliver much more get up and go. The more powerful 271bhp in the Diesel S gives the XF impressive levels of performance: 0-60mph takes just 5.9 seconds — that's an impressive 1.8 seconds quicker than the 2.7-litre model it replaces. Maximum speed is electronically limited to 155mph. And these great performance leaps are achieved with combined average fuel consumption in both models of 42mpg — an improvement on the 2.7-litre engine of over 10 percent — and a CO2 emissions rating of only 179g/km.

In real-life driving conditions my test car returned 33.5mpg on average for day-to-day driving which included the normal commuter trips as well as a couple of longer motorway journeys. I can see 40mpg or thereabouts being feasible.

Although the maximum speed is not greatly higher than the previous 2.7-litre unit, it is the much better engine response at low- to mid-range speeds that impress most. Very smooth, fast when needed but docile and unworried in slow stop-start conditions. The bonus to all this is this better fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions, and it is impressively quiet at all speeds.

Overall, this XF is very hard to fault — only the lack of rear seat headroom and limited rear seat legroom for some. And that some models are now quite expensive; but then quality and performance always costs.

What you do get for your money is stylish good looks, executive car equipment levels and build quality, brilliant handling combined with a comfortable and controlled ride, great new twin-turbo engine with loads of torque and very strong residual values. The XF 3.0 V6 Diesel 600 is indeed a fast cat with the heart of a lion. — David Miles

Jaguar XF 3.0 V6 Diesel 600 S Premium Luxury
| 40,500
Maximum speed: 155mph | 0-60mph: 5.9 seconds | Overall test MPG: 33.5mpg
Power: 271bhp | Torque: 442lb ft | CO2 179g/km | Insurance group 18E