VER­DICT

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - CLASSIFIEDS - Call Triv­ett Jaguar Par­ra­matta, Church St, Par­ra­matta on 9841 8877.

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.

REAL TYRES

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

at school.

CABIN CON­SCIOUS

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.

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