XF 2.7 V6 Diesel Premium Luxury
classy new XF sports
saloon is a significant milestone for
brand. David Miles
reports from behind the wheel of the
very well specified 2.7-litre V6 Diesel
Premium Luxury model...
IN EVERY RESPECT THE XF SIGNALS THE FUTURE of the Jaguar marque
and yet it remains true to the essence of what has always made great Jaguars
the cars they are. Under Ford's ownership, the XF cornerstone was laid
down; under Jaguar's new owners TATA the
XF will help build Jaguar's future.
The new XF is more than just a strikingly-beautiful, crafted and sculpted Jaguar
with the new face of Jaguar featuring a thrusting, elongated horizontal chrome
mesh grille. It appeals from a rational perspective to buyers of all ages who
expect value for money, even from a luxury brand, and it still retains its Britishness.
XF pricing is competitive throughout the range, in spite of the high level standard
feature specifications and extensive use of advanced technologies.
Prices start at £33,900 and continue upwards to £54,900. The mainstay models
2.7-litre V6 Diesel Luxury and Premium Luxury versions are priced
at £33,900 and £37,500 respectively.
Strong residual values will appeal to those using the XF as a 'business' car
and the V6 diesel in particular has competitive emissions levels, with the accompanying
tax advantages for company car users and fleet buyers. Industry predictions
are that XF diesel models will retain over 50 per cent of their value after
the usual three-years/36,000 mile period better than the competitor models
such as the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Audi A6.
The Jaguar XF four-door sport saloon is one of the most visually striking, technically
sophisticated and driver-oriented cars that the company has ever produced; and
hopefully it will define the Jaguar brand. Over a dozen International awards
have been won by the Jaguar XF since its show debut last year, and when UK sales
started in March of this year the order books were full long before the first
cars hit British roads.
Apart from its stunningly sleek, muscular and wide-track styling, Jaguar's trump
card for the XF is that most of the equipment you would expect in a luxury car
comes as standard unlike with Audi, BMW and Mercedes, who have endless
lists of extra cost options which in reality are needed. However, there is still
a huge range of extra cost options that will push even the cheapest XF diesel
up to the £40,000 mark.
Apart from is four-door coupe sports styling, Jaguar has adopted a sharp new
edge for the interior of the XF. Sophisticated instrumentation with touch-screen
controls a little small to use (but you get used to them0 and modern
materials as well as real wood finishes and leather upholstery. On entry to
the XF, the start button pulses red like a heartbeat. Start the engine and the
cylindrical JaguarDrive gear selector rises into the palm of the hand while
rotating vents turn from their flush, 'parked' position to their functional
The XF is currently available with a range of four engines all combined with
Jaguar's proven six-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted
'paddles' for manual gear selection.
The powerplant line-up offers the choice of the 2.7-litre V6 twin-turbocharged
diesel with 204bhp, 320lb ft of torque from 1,900rpm, 0-62mph in just 8.2 seconds
and a top speed of 143mph. Average combined fuel economy is 37.6mpg, with 199/g/km
of CO2 giving it a Vehicle Excise Duty Band F rating of £210 this year and £260
from next April. This will be the main selling engine in the UK.
Next comes the 3.0-litre V6 petrol unit with 235bhp, 216lb ft from 4,100rpm,
0-62mph in 8.3 seconds and a top speed of 148mph, average fuel consumption of
26.8mpg and 249g/km (a £400 road tax bill going up to £440).
Following on is the 4.2-litre normally aspirated V8 petrol engine with 300bhp,
303lb ft of torque, 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds and a top speed electronically limited
to 155mph. Fuel economy is 25.3 and CO2 emissions of 264g/km put this engine
in the top road tax band of £400 and more next year.
Even more power and performance and running costs comes in the
form of the 4.2-litre supercharged V8 petrol engine which produces 420bhp and
413lb ft. Performance figures are 0-62mph in 5.4 seconds and a top speed electronically
limited to 155mph. Fuel consumption is 22.4mpg with a budget-busting 299g/km
of CO2: £400 road tax now and £440 in 2009/10 unless The Government makes
yet another U-turn.
Key driving aids on the XF include Electronic Brake Assist, Electronic Brakeforce
Distribution, Anti-lock Braking System, Dynamic Stability Control, Cornering
Brake Control and Engine Drag Torque Control. And, for the first time in a Jaguar,
Understeer Control Logic which decelerates the car and helps to restore
grip to the front wheels when required.
The new XF has a wide range of driver assistance features and options including
a Blind Spot Monitor, Front and Rear Parking Aids, Rear Camera Parking Aid,
Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Speed Limiter and Tyre Pressure Monitoring
System. Bluetooth compatibility, iPod/MP3 player interfaces, JaguarVoice, Digital
radio and a single or six-disc CD player ensure owners can listen and talk as
As with previous Jaguar saloons, the XF is a weighty and substantial vehicle.
Its 2.3-tonne weight allows it to feel firmly planted on the road ensuring a
comfortable and controlled ride with really excellent handling characteristics.
For such a large and heavy car the XF still feels agile and nimble on winding
At 4,961mm long, 1,877mm wide and 1,460mm high it is a big executive four-door
saloon but inside, other than the large 540-litre boot, there isn't huge amounts
of space. True, it can be classed as a five-seater but in reality the rear seats
are better suited to two adult passengers. Due to its coupe styling, headroom
in the rear is also restricted and although the boot is large the access to
it is restrictive. However, the rear seats do fold to create more space.
Although the 2.7-litre V6 turbodiesel engine is quiet, refined and generally
gives adequate account of itself, the XF's weight does take the edge and sharpness
off performance. Neither does it help fuel economy: just 30.2mpg during my test
Few owners are likely to complain loudly about the tight rear headroom although
some may notice that, in the 2.7-litre V6, the car's heavy weight dulls the
sports performance. But there's a lot to appreciate, starting with the classy
styling both inside and out, the superb handling, the high level of standard
equipment, the refined engine and transmission and the expected strong residual
Image, quality and refinement are the XF's core features and as long as reliability
is not an issue in the long-term, then the latest Jaguar has a very positive
future indeed. David Miles
Jaguar XF 2.7 V6 Diesel Premium Luxury | £37,500
Maximum speed: 143mph | 0-62mph: 8.2 seconds
Overall test MPG: 30.2mpg | Power: 204bhp | Torque: 320lb ft
CO2 199g/km | VED Band F £210 | Insurance group 17