The Jaguar XF may look just like a stretched version of the smaller XE, but it drives superbly and is the closest challenger yet to the German brands. semi circles each side instead of one and, from the side view, the XF has an extra window behind the rear doors. The baby XE does not.
Last but not least, the XF gets twin exhaust tips (one on each side of the car). But that’s cheating anyway, because there is an XF badge on the back. SO, what’s it like to drive? Surprisingly good.
The all-new aluminium body is about 100kg lighter than its steelbodied predecessor, and the structure is stiffer, which means the suspension can do its job better.
Imagine a car that had gone to pilates. If the core is strong, the limbs can work at their best.
As is the case with car electronics these days, there are any number of driving modes from “coma” to “manic” (my words, not Jaguar’s). I settled for “comfort”. If you want manic, simply push the pedal on the right.
HOWEVER, the Jaguar wears conventional rubber whereas some of its rivals have “run flat tyres”, with thicker sidewalls that are less absorbent over bumps.
The driver’s seat and front passenger’s seat have ample adjustment, and the XF’s back seat offers much more legroom than the cramped XE.
What’s not to like? The centre console and door pockets are too small and the heads-up display (which reflects the vehicle speed into the windscreen in the driver’s line of sight) looks as fuzzy as the calculator display I had when I was
BMW and Mercedes-Benz have mastered the art of mid-size luxury sedans over more than three decades, and Jaguar won’t be able to snatch sales from them easily.
Buyers of these types of cars tend to be careful with money. That’s how they can afford a car like this.
And, talking to those in the car business who make a living out of gambling on what buyers are prepared to pay for a trade-in, the resale value of the previous Jaguar XF sedan was nowhere near as strong as its German peers.
All of these vehicles drop dramatically in value in a couple of years, but the Jaguar was among the hardest hit because more usedcar buyers want a second-hand BMW or Benz than want a Jaguar.
At least the new model is a big step in the right direction. The second-generation Jaguar XF is much more of a rival to the German establishment than its predecessor ever was.
But to truly measure the success of this car, we need to ponder how many used-car buyers will want to buy this model Jaguar XF a few years from now.