Jaguar XF Saloon reviewed

PUBLISHED: 11:41 11 February 2014 | UPDATED: 11:42 11 February 2014

Jaguar XF Saloon

Jaguar XF Saloon


The big cat’s mainstay model has made the difference as the British executive brand leaps back up the sales charts

Jaguar has emerged from the doldrums by showing the innovation that first made the British performance marque great.

For so long fettered by what 
I call ‘trad Jag’ thinking – following styles and regimes from the glory days, which failed to sell in modern times – the big cat has leapt back with a range far removed from what went immediately before.

Most credit goes to its mainstay XF saloon and market pragmatism in the form of diesel power, something that Jaguar traditionalists can squabble about but cannot deny.

Firstly we had the creamy 275bhp 3.0-litre V6 diesel – an engine that would have pleased Jag founder Sir William Lyons – and then the latest four-cylinder 2.2-litre.

“Four-cylinder!” you can hear the old Jag duffers explode over their G’n’Ts, but brands like BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz have ‘dieselled’ their way into Jaguar’s 
old market and sales by churning out executive motors with four-pot diesels.

Smooth, straight and V6 petrol engines and even V8s may power the German brands’ halo cars – the ones that grab space in fancy motor mags and on TV - but sales of big mileage, high-economy diesel fours tot up volume and profits.

And Jaguar has done that too with four-cylinder 2.2 diesel versions of the XF, targeting the Audi A6, BMW 5-Series and Merc E-Class. First there was a 200PS (198bhp) variant – the one tested here – 
but Jaguar followed with a 163PS (161bhp) ‘cooking’ version to offer company car user choosers more choice and a sub-30 grand entry price for the XF range.

Admittedly, our test car is a big cat’s leap up from there at £42,195 – it’s the 200PS model in flagship Portfolio trim. But one 
of the obvious things on an XF is how all models maintain an air of luxury. Get this wrong and the cheap models don’t live up to brand image, while no amount of toys 
on top-end models can make them 
seem worth the cash if the accompanying standard trim is downmarket.

The XF avoids that trap by being generously specc’d from the off and looking and feeling good inside; hit the start button and the closed alloy air vents sigh open while the chunky auto gearbox selector knob rises from the centre console – pure class. Needless to say, everything also feels well-made and screwed together.

The Ford/Peugeot-derived engine could never seem as smooth as the already familiar V6 diesel, but it’s a nice piece of work and the eight-speed auto ‘box allows seamless shifting whether in fully auto or using the highly effective manual-change paddles on the steering wheel. Ride and handling is up to the usual high standard, even when the car is driven aggressively.

Selecting Sport mode will give you faster auto changes and weight up the steering slightly. Driven sensibly, however, it should average over 50mpg, but I wanted to test 
it across the board, leading to the car’s computer recording average consumption in the mid-40s – still not bad.

For me, however, it’s the Jag’s overall sense of wellbeing that wins on top of 
the relative eco-friendliness.

Jaguar really is back. n

More from Motoring

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Kenway Miller Solicitors saw a marked increase in the number of people accused of speeding and those arrested on suspicion of more serious driving offences such as dangerous driving and drug driving.

Read more
Monday, June 15, 2020

Powered by a 2.9-litre twin turbo V6, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio offers a unique blend of style and performance

Read more
Friday, May 29, 2020

The Morgan Plus Six is a glorious salute to the past, but it’s also the most technologically advanced car in the company’s 110-year history

Read more
Wednesday, March 18, 2020

It turns out there’s a lot you can do in van business. We talk to those who have pushed the boundaries when it comes to working on the road.

Read more
Monday, March 16, 2020

Jet Wheel Tyre offers some invaluable advice on tyres and ensuring your car remains road worthy

Read more
Friday, March 6, 2020

Ray Chapman Motors officially unveiled their new York dealership, at York Business Park, Poppleton.

Read more
Friday, February 28, 2020

One of the best ways to experience the raw beauty of Surrey is by car: roof down, picnic hamper on the back seat, taking a leisurely drive through the undulating countryside. Here, drivers from The Supercar Event give us a run-down of the very best Surrey has to offer

Read more

A Ribble Valley company’s leather booster seats are ensuring young passengers can travel in luxurious style

Read more
Wednesday, February 5, 2020

It can be hard to imagine your little one growing up, but it won’t be long until they’re asking to borrow your car keys. Sue Waterfield from Young Driver, the UK’s largest driving school for 10–17-year-olds, explains how early driving tuition can set the foundations for a safer, more confident next generation.

Read more
Friday, January 24, 2020

In built-up places like Brighton, there is very little advantage to purchasing a brand new car. With so few uncongested roads in the south of England – and many other parts of the British Isles, for that matter – a brand new car won’t get you where you are going any faster. Nor will it be any easier to find a car parking space on the road you live on. However, second-hand cars are better in a number of ways. If you are considering buying a car in the near future, why would you opt for a used one rather than a model that has just rolled off the production line?

Read more
Kent Life Food & Drink awards. Open for entries.

Latest Competitions & Offers

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Most Read

Latest from the Kent Life