The Jaguar XF has been around for a while but constant revisions have kept pace with its German rivals. But what is it like to live with day to day?
Our car: Jaguar XF Portfolio 3.0 V6 Turbocharged Diesel 300ps RWD List price: from £47,600 Price as tested: £64,595 (includes £16,995 of extras) Official fuel economy: 51.4mpg (EU Combined)
June 5th, 2018
Fuel economy this week: 34.8mpg
This is my last week with the XF and it has conjured mixed feelings. It is an easy car to like; great chassis dynamics, smart styling, up-market interior and plenty of kit to keep you entertained.
On the other hand the anti whiplash head restraint does not entirely suit my back for longer journeys, although it would save it in the unlikely event of an accident. It is best to take your XF on a long test drive to ensure you are comfortable. It is worth noting that it’s not uncommon for the head restraints in many other cars to push your head forward as well, so the Jaguar is not alone.
It is a delight to drive both in adverse weather as much as it is in glorious sunshine, thanks to the latest Active Dynamics Pack and well engineered traction and stability control systems.
Picking out some of the extras worth going for that are fitted to the one I tested include Adaptive Cruise Control with Queue Assist for £1,460, illuminated metal treadplates with Jaguar script for £320 may seem expensive for what they are but you may regret it if you don’t get them.
Also, blind spot monitoring and reverse camera for £525 is suffice because the Advanced Parking Assist Pack with surround camera is only worth it if parking is not your strong point due to the price tag - £1,690.
In summary, if you would like a luxury saloon and would prefer something different to the usual Mercedes, BMW or Audi then the Jaguar XF makes a lot of sense. A careful selection of extras can keep the price tag to below £60,000 which is in line with its competition and there’s no denying that the XF is a luxurious and pleasant car to drive.
May 24th, 2018
Fuel economy this week: 34.9mpg
At 7,670 miles a warning light appeared on the dash, indicating low exhaust cleansing fluid. The alert looks like an ice cream cone but, if ignored, the car will not restart after a certain number of miles – a figure also indicated on the dash.
In common with many modern diesels, the XF’s exhaust system is fitted with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) in which a solution of urea converts oxides of nitrogen into harmless water vapour and nitrogen.
The filling point for the AdBlue urea solution is located on the left inside the boot interior and it’s a simple job to refill, especially as containers of AdBlue often come with ‘push in’ filler cones to minimise spills.
The chemical mixes with the diesel fuel to improve emissions, specifically lowering NOx emissions from the exhaust. After the refill, the car’s computer recalculated the level and I was able to continue driving.
May 9th, 2018
Fuel economy this week: 37.4mpg
If you like listening to music, the right sound system will be a crucial part of the decision-making process as to which car you'll buy.
This car is fitted with the optional 825 Watt Meridian 20 strong front, side and rear speakers working with a dual channel subwoofer. This combination of sound is blended with Trifield Technology. What this means in terms of sound experience is rather impressive.
Shockingly though, I almost condemned this system when listening to my music through Spotify, in favour of the ones fitted to BMWs and Audis - these seem to disguise the quality degrade (due to the music being compressed for streaming) more effectively than the Meridian system in the Jaguar.
But pop a CD in the player or listen to purchased (rather than streamed) digital music and you could well be blown away by the quality of the sound. Jaguar promises an immersive musical experience, and it’s right, that is exactly what you get; your Jaguar turns into a moving party on wheels with crisp depth of sound pumping from the speakers.
And if it does get rather loud, the volume level is easily accessed via the steering wheel controls or the dial on the centre console. So in conclusion, the Meridian sound system thus is best enjoyed with your favourite CD and on an open road.
May 1st, 2018
Fuel economy this week: 37.6mpg
When parking, they say practice makes perfect and that is certainly the case with manoeuvring a car into tight spaces.
Along with many other modern cars, Jaguar makes this a little bit easier with a plethora of technology. Front and rear parking sensors are useful and the reversing camera is an even greater help towards perfect parking.
But the icing on the cake has to be the 360-degree surround camera, which gives you an all-round view via the car's central touchscreen.
I like to get as close to the kerb as possible and finish with the road wheels and steering wheel straight. The car seems so much safer if it’s parked in this way, thus protecting its attractive contours and it tells other road users “I am definitely parked”: a very clear message.
For multi-storey car parks and perpendicular spaces at supermarkets, it allows a complete view of the space you are reversing, or driving forward, into. The combination of kit therefore helps almost anyone park perfectly.
April 16th, 2018
Fuel economy this week: 37.1mpg
This week I would like to focus on the safety kit fitted to the XF. There are features such as blind spot monitoring, traffic sign recognition, Head Up Display (which, for those unfamiliar with such fighter plane-style technology, projects relevant information on to the screen so you don't have to look down), the adaptive cruise control (which I have already discussed) and Dual Screen.
With the latter, the 10-inch touchscreen is able to display different content for the driver and front-seat passenger. So, if you fall out with your co-pilot or just need a break from their gibbering, they can watch their favourite box set while you concentrate on driving.
Standard for a car of this class is, of course, a plethora of airbags, automatic emergency braking and optional lane-keeping assist.
The XF scored the full five stars when crash-tested by Euro NCAP - and the technology extends to having a bonnet that's raised in the event of an impact with a person to mitigate possible injury.
Hopefully, the amount of safety aids significantly reduces the chances of this ever happening, however!
April 3rd, 2018
Fuel economy this week: 34.2mpg
The XF promised Jaguar’s latest technology from the off, so I have been keen to explore this week after week. The latest piece of kit to woo me is the “Jaguar InControl Remote” app which is also available for Land Rovers, being a fellow JLR product.
It is very clever because not only does it team up as the car’s GPS tracker, you can also switch on the car, set the climate control and lock/unlock the vehicle (setting and deactivating the alarm at the same time).
And for those moments where the car park is so huge, such as at an airport, the “Beep and flash” function helps you look less silly and more technology-savvy.
It goes some way in helping prepare for your journey as well, because I can see from my app as I write that the car's windscreen wash is low but there is enough fuel in the tank for 327 miles, so I can factor in a screenwash top-up into my next journey but not a diesel fill-up.
The journey tracker is perfect for keeping an accurate record of duration, average speed, distance, economy and route taken. It also tells me where I have parked, while a link to the map on my phone enables directions “to your vehicle”, which is really handy when you've parked on the street in an unfamiliar town.
In the unpleasant and unlikely event of car theft, it is possible to call the Tracking Call Centre from the app, along with Jaguar Assistance in case of a breakdown.
On the home screen, it displays weather, fuel tank range, total miles on odometer, vehicle locked status, beep and flash facility and location of the car. Overall this app works extremely well and is very useful - expect to see more convenience features such as these.
March 20th, 2018
Fuel economy this week: 39.5mpg
This week I would like to share my experience of the Adaptive Cruise Control with queue assist. Put simply, it is a cruise control system that will keep a constant, safe, pre-defined distance between you and the car in front by varying the speed according to the traffic ahead - up to the chosen speed you have set it at.
It even works when you come to a complete standstill and then tracks the car in front again after the throttle pedal has been pressed. It is a really handy feature in stop-start and slow-moving traffic.
For motorway driving I prefer to have it switched off, but that’s just personal preference and nothing against the system. In average speed checks and heavy traffic, it’s marvellous.
Jaguar says this technology is part of the steps toward autonomy. For now though, driver input is still required for steering and moving away from stationary.
March 15th, 2018
Fuel economy this week: 38.2mpg
The XF has a cavernous boot. Although it’s no bigger than its closest competitors, the BMW 5-series and Mercedes E-class, it is both deep and usable. The seats fold down by pulling on a handle inside the boot - much easier than flipping buttons on the seats themselves - and its aperture is wide enough for the more bulky items.
My only criticism would be that the saloon-style boot lid means you don’t get the same height of opening as a hatchback tailgate such as on a BMW 4- or 6-series Gran Coupe, both beating the XF on boot size with the seats down, although the XF wins by a considerable margin when the seats are up.
So if the combination of a good boot size while simultaneously using the rear seats for passengers is the priority, as it was in my case when I took my parents on a road trip last weekend, then the XF does the job superbly well and in style.
March 9th, 2018
Fuel economy this week: 35.4mpg
It is well known that rear-wheel-drive cars can be quite challenging to drive in the snow. Every time we have significant snowfall, there are Jaguars, BMWs and Mercedes abandoned halfway up snow-covered hills all over the country.
The latest XF is not completely immune to snow but this is an opportunity to praise its “snow and ice” mode on the traction and stability control system.
Of course, most of these traction issues could be fixed with winter tyres, which have a softer compound, different construction and tread pattern providing dramatically improved grip in temperatures below 7 degrees - including on snow.
However, without winter tyres I was completely reliant on the car’s systems to help me up the big hill near my home. There was a point where I almost came to a complete standstill - a stationary rear-wheel-drive car is even more challenging to get to the top of a snow-covered hill than one which has some forward momentum.
I pressed the “snow and ice mode” while in motion and suddenly the XF managed to find what little grip there was available and it modulated the throttle accordingly. That means that the driver just has to plant his foot to the floor and the car decides how much power to send to each of the rear wheels, keeping the revs low and constantly adjusting the transfer of power to maximise whatever grip is available.
It is a very clever system, no doubt aided by Jaguar's sister company Land Rover's expertise in this area, and one you could almost take for granted. Just how driver assistance electronics should be.
February 28th, 2018
Fuel economy this week: 33.5mpg
Jaguar shook off the “pipe and slippers” look years ago, but if there was any doubt about that, think again. The first thing I noticed when starting to extend this premium saloon car is that it communicates well with an enthusiastic driver – as a racing driver, that definitely includes me, although anyone who enjoys a bit of spirited driving will definitely be won over by this car’s capabilities.
What’s particularly noticeable about the XF is that it is refined and relaxing to drive most of the time, yet when a country roads open up it feels sharp and dynamic through bends, seeming to enjoy “stretching its legs” as much as I do.
This revised version provides plenty of grip, the steering is precise and it changes direction far better than the outgoing model could even hope to do. Yet the finely tuned traction and stability control allow just enough slip, or break in traction.
The stability systems don’t intrude too much. In other words, the car keeps you safe while you genuinely enjoy a little bit of what it’s capable of. Hats off to the Jaguar Land Rover engineers who honed the system.
The fuel consumption this week may seem a little low, however when you factor in the car’s 0-60mph time of 5.8 seconds, it performs just as well as similarly swift rivals in terms of economy.
February 23rd, 2018
Fuel economy this week: 40.2mpg
After one week of driving the XF, I have noticed a pattern emerging for the cold early-morning starts - it’s almost become muscle memory.
Once I’m settled in the plush interior, the procedure is: heated seat on, check climate control is set to 24 degrees Celsius; switch on the heated steering wheel.
There is some far more advanced and complicated equipment fitted to this car, which I will explore in later weeks. Being comfortable, though, is arguably just as important and the XF firmly ticks that box.
February 13th, 2018
Fuel economy this week: n/a mpg
A delightfully British Jaguar XF finished in Corris Grey with light-coloured Oyster trim inside the cabin has arrived and will be my long term test car for the next three months. The automatic gearbox is teamed with a 3.0 litre V6 twin-turbocharged engine pushing out 300 metric horsepower (that's 296bhp) to the rear wheels.
It’s fully loaded with Jaguar’s latest technologies so I am looking forward to exploring those as well as sharing what it’s like to drive and live with every day.
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