Car Review (launch report): Jaguar XF

Not business as usual

“Not business as usual.” This is the phrase behind the new Jaguar XF, a business sedan that was first launched in South Africa back in 2008. But is this new model worth getting excited about?

I loved the previous XF and so perhaps I am being way too critical of this new model. It’s not that I don’t love this one, it just doesn’t feel like a far cry from the older one. Which is maybe not a bad thing.

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It doesn’t look too different even with it being built on the smaller XE’s platform. It is also 190 kg lighter.

When you think of Jaguar, luxury comes to mind.  I can only say good things about the interior and point to things such as the comfortable seats, the upmarket feel, the rotating air vents which are always a cool party trick, and the easy to use infotainment system. However, the plastics used have created a bit of confusion, some feel like the luxurious quality you would expect while others feel as if they are better suited to an entry level car.

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But if it is space you are after, Jaguar has ensured you have plenty of it in the XF. Including the boot space. And as I mentioned, it is very comfy! Where I was sorely disappointed was when it came to the technology on hand. The XF’s tech just feels far too outdated. We were shown a demonstration of the park assist system which is something we were introduced to way back when in the Volkswagen Tiguan. Having just come from the BMW 7 Series launch, which will see the car being parked via remote control, this just felt too old fashioned. The same goes for a lot of the other tech on offer. Jaguar will need to step up its game if it wants to remain competitive in the auto tech world.

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The XF is offered in four trim levels; Prestige, R-Sport, Portfolio and S. The power range consists of a 132 kW 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel; 177kW 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol; 250kW and 280kW 3.0-litre V6 supercharged petrol. All models are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

First seen on the F-TYPE, the all-new XF gets Torque Vectoring by Braking as standard across the range. On corner entry, lightly braking the inner wheels individually can mitigate understeer and help the driver to take the ideal line. Intervention is subtle and virtually transparent to the driver, but the increased agility is felt immediately. We were able to experience this first hand through a carefully laid out course and it was confidence inspiring.

I know this review is all rather negative, but like I say, I loved the previous XF and actually, despite this review, I love this new model as well.  I only mention the negatives because everything else doesn’t need to be mentioned as it is what you can expect from Jaguar. It’s luxurious, comfortable, sleek, spacious and well, it’s a Jag! And something Jag nails is allowing the customer to configure their own unique vehicle. With 1,5 million configuration options, every customer should be able to build their perfect car.

Pricing for the new Jaguar XF starts at R714 800 for the 2,0-litre 132 kW diesel automatic and goes up to R1 178 800 for the 3,0 V6 280 kW petrol Auto.