Starter clas­sic: Peu­geot 404 (1961 to ’88)

XF (2008 TO 2011)

Car (South Africa) - - CONTENTS - BY: Peter Palm

Old coun­try com­bined with a slice of moder­nity

OUR first road test of the just­launched Jaguar XF had the CAR testers con­sult­ing their dic­tionar­ies for ap­pro­pri­ately pos­i­tive ad­jec­tives to de­scribe the ex­ec­u­tive sedan. De­spite the Coven­try-based brand’s un­cer­tain fu­ture at the time (the sale to Tata had not yet taken place), it man­aged to de­velop a world-class prod­uct that even­tu­ally led to a resur­gence in sales and profit mar­gins.

That first test car was the 4,2-litre S (for su­per­charged) V8 with 306 kw. We then as­sessed the up­graded 5,0 V8 R with 375 kw (the stan­dard V8 pro­duced 219 kw).

The first diesel was of 2,7-litre ca­pac­ity and de­vel­oped 152 kw, but in 2009 two 3,0-litre V6 diesels were added that of­fered 177 kw and 202 kw. A sim­i­larly sized petrol V6 boasted 175 kw. ZF gear­boxes were used and tweaked to suit each en­gine’s char­ac­ter­is­tics.

Lug­gage space is de­cent at 304 dm3, ac­com­pa­nied by a util­ity fig­ure of 1 000 dm3. Rear legroom, how­ever, is poor.


Run­ning diesels only on stop-start trips might cause clog­ging of the EGR valve. Do some longer runs to avoid this is­sue. Few en­gine prob­lems were men­tioned, so we as­sume the units are ro­bust.


The fancy pop-up shift knob gave some trou­ble due to the com­plex­ity of the mech­a­nism. It oc­ca­sion­ally got stuck in park or drive. Some­times, a shut down and restart would cure the ills, but re­set­ting the gear­box ECU was some­times also re­quired.

Jaguar man­aged to de­velop a world-class prod­uct that led to a resur­gence in sales and profit mar­gins


The most com­mon prob­lems were in­de­ci­sive auto-light sen­sors, bat­tery drain due to leaks to earth, as well as Blue­tooth and sat-nav glitches. Var­i­ous other elec­tri­cal prob­lems were mainly due to poor con­nec­tions, but they oc­ca­sion­ally took time to trace. Our ad­vice is to use Jaguar ex­perts – ei­ther dealer work­shops or in­de­pen­dent auto elec­tri­cians. V8s have an in-tank petrol pump and a few fail­ures were noted.


Rear brake pads can wear out rather quickly, so keep a look out and lis­ten for me­tal-on-me­tal noises to avoid pre­ma­ture rear disc wear.


Some win­dow glass and win­der mech­a­nism faults were men­tioned, which ap­pears to be a com­mon is­sue across the spec­trum of man­u­fac­tur­ers. In­te­rior rat­tles an­noyed a few own­ers, while the smart ro­tat­ing vents and fuel-filler flap some­times got stuck.


Most prob­lems are elec­tri­cal in na­ture, which for­tu­nately are not ex­pen­sive to fix, but labour costs to trace and iden­tify the faults may add up. The worst de­pre­ci­a­tion takes place in the ini­tial years, so these Cats rep­re­sent good value if you like to turn heads. We also no­ticed that used prices from deal­ers var­ied greatly, so shop around.


Lexus GS CLOCK­WISE FROM TOP: a leap­ing Jaguar adorns the bootlid; the cabin is re­fresh­ingly dif­fer­ent to those of the Ger­mans; wheels are large and wrapped in ex­pen­sive tyres; pop-up gear se­lec­tor can get stuck.

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