6 Sept 2013

Jaguar XF S - first impressions and gallery

I am currently running a Jaguar XF saloon.  It's the S model with the petrol powered 3 litre V6, which is boosted with a supercharger.  I love superchargers.  They give the power of a turbo without that pesky lag.
Jaguar XF S in Carnelian Red

Align a turbocharged engine with an automatic gearbox and pulling away from junctions becomes a game of cat and mouse.  Anticipation is key.  Get it wrong and you'll look silly.  Besides, the word supercharged sounds better than turbocharged - doesn't it?

I asked for the petrol V6 specifically because it is the underdog in the range.  The F-Type S V6 is lauded for its better balance over the V8 but with the XF the XFR and XFR-S are the journo fanboy faves.  I've driven the XFR and it is insane.  I'll be driving the XFR-S shortly and expect that to be insanererer.

With the XF range the diesels rule the roost.  At the moment the Sportbrake is only available with a diesel engine.  My colleague (and brother) Colin reckons the V6 works best in the XJ.  I want to find out if this is true of the XF.

And, you know what?  By God its fast.  The 'measly' 3 litre pumps out a ginormous 340 bhp.  It feels fast, it is fast.  It does 0-60mph in 5.7 seconds.  I recorded a 0-60 run, and did it in 5.6

It is big (longer than my B6 S4) but not too lardy, at 1770kg.  The 8-speed ZF gearbox is damn fine, if a little eager to hang onto revs on half throttle.

The interior is sumptuously, achingly, fantastic.  The leather is quality, and the pillars and roof are bedecked in Alcantara (the same areas are a horrible nylon material in the £70 Merc E 63 AMG).
Jaguar XF S in Carnelian Red

Jaguar have sorted their touchscreen.  The satnav works well, it has DAB radio, it finds my iPhone as soon as I turn it on and the controls are easy to use.

I spent an evening barrelling around Lambourn in the XF recently and it has a wonderful ride.  You can tune the suspension somewhat but generally it's best left alone and enjoy the ride.

It is more a ride than a thrill though.  After a week with a Subaru BRZ the XF feels much more of a cruiser.

The XF's piece de resistance is its steering.  Modern Jaguars have a unique, oily smooth steering feel, that they've somehow managed to carry over from the original E-Type.  Marvellous.

The only fly in the ointment so far is my wife.  She reckons it is an old man's car.  Oh dear.  No matter that I point out its power, its looks, its interior, she resists my protestations.  In fact she's moved up a level.  She called it a grandad's car yesterday.  She loves the XKR though.

Take a look at the photos.  Do you think the XF is an old man's car?

p.s. You'll notice I haven't included any interior photos.  That's because I haven't taken any yet, aside from in the dark
Jaguar XF S in Carnelian Red

Jaguar XF

Jaguar XF

Jaguar XF

Jaguar XF

Jaguar XF rear lights

Jaguar XF front lights

Article by Matt Hubbard