Starter classic: Peugeot 404 (1961 to ’88)
XF (2008 TO 2011)
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.
SUSPENSION, STEERING AND BRAKES
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.
BODYWORK AND INTERIOR
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.
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.
BMW 5 Series