Driving Impression: Jaguar XF

“For a car that will take you seamlessly from school gates to boardroom, look no further.”

The Jaguar XF was introduced in 2007 and everyone was impressed. Including one of the top motoring sites for women at the time, evecars.com, which voted the XF ‘Best Executive Car’ in its 2008 honours list.

I am not sure whether this honour would still stand in 2015, but there is no denying that the XF remains a luxurious vehicle. It is after all, as my partner put it, “A Jaguar, oh my gosh!”

In 2013 Jaguar announced the introduction of a new four-cylinder 2,0-litre turbocharged petrol engine to replace the naturally aspirated 3,0-litre V6 petrol engine in the XF. This unit produces 177 kW of power and 340 N.m of torque. So you have a fair amount of power underneath that bonnet. However, it can take some time getting off the line. Standing at a robot waiting for it to turn green and putting your foot down can mean you are still there a few moments before you zoom off. But it will get you to 100 km/h in just 7,9 seconds. Put it in to Sport mode and you will find things a little more exciting.

The XF handles well for a rather large car, the steering returns impressive feedback and is well-weighted. The eight-speed automatic gearbox responds better in Sports mode and paddle shifts allow you to take a bit more control over the gear changes. Road, engine and wind noise are kept to a minimum enhancing the luxurious drive.

Another exciting element, one that saw us all ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ back in 2007 were the rotating air vents when you start the car. The gear knob also popped up out of the centre console. This still creates that same warm fuzzy feeling. My partner, who had never been in a Jag before, made me turn the engine on and off as many times as I would allow before giving him a death stare. When visiting his brother over the weekend, it became the party trick. So, eight years on and it still impresses as it did in 2007.

It is an exceptionally comfortable car and the ride is smooth and as mentioned earlier, luxurious. It might not look as impressive as its German competitors, but as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I feel the car is a bit dated, especially the interior, but it’s not to say people won’t still opt for this sporty contender. The other gripe I had with the interior is with the very shiny chrome that can not only cause blindness when driving but can turn the gear knob in to a hot burning coal. Thank goodness you only need to touch it once to turn in to Drive, but when you are parked in a teeny tiny parking space and car has been left there for the most part of a 30 degree day, having to switch between reverse and drive a few times can cause third degree burns. My wet towel from the beach came in pretty handy.

If you don’t like the BMW 5-Series or the Lexus GS, or in fact the Mercedes-Benz E-Class then this would be a good choice. Not to say it lags behind these vehicles. It really just comes down to personal choice. As the then editor for evecars, Alex Jenner-Fust, said, “For a car that will take you seamlessly from school gates to boardroom, look no further. The Jaguar XF combines cutting-edge technology with a classic British feel. Driving it is a real pleasure, whether you’re on the school run or cruising to the South of France. The stereo system is easy to use, while the seats are so comfortable you won’t want to get out.”

The Jaguar XF 1,2 Premium Luxury model is priced at R666 100.