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PG

New XF driven

Whilst my car was in for a service last Friday I had an XF loan car booked, so expected the usual 2.2 diesel business edition or some such. Blow me, instead it was a new shape XF 2.0 diesel in 163 bhp, 8 speed automatic, Prestige trim, with 1800 miles on the clock. That’s base power and base auto spec.

I’ll cover the interior later, but first the exterior. It didn’t look as underwheeled on 17’s as I expected, but 18’s would be my minimum. Body wise, although it is the same length as the old XF, it looks longer. It must be all about the changes to the proportions – longer wheelbase, more upright front, smaller front overhang, longer visual side profile. The result of all this is a more elongated look and more interior room. It managed to look like both a bigger XE (grille, lights, front 3/4) and yet a smaller XJ (bluffer front, length, rear elevation and perceived lower stance) at the same time. Whereas an XE and XJ don’t look the same to my eye at all. Spooky. But then I realised that this was all down to one little piece of glass. The rear quarterlight is now in the body, not the rear door. That adds visual length to the design. Here’s the four designs to see if you agree with me.

4 photos… XE, old XF, new XF, XJ









And the loan car -




The chrome strip between the rear lights has been carried over from the old XF and helps the rear end over an XE.




As that same morning I’d driven my car there and been for a test drive in the XFR, I did try and adjust my expectations engine wise to a suitably low level and the truth was both worse and better than this. The worse aspect was just how tractor like and grumbly this Ingenium diesel lump was on start up. But the better aspect was that once warmed up it was no worse than any other diesel and went surprisingly well for the base engine. Quite nimble in traffic and it cruised at 80 leptons with no trouble at all and very little noise or fuss. The trip was showing an average of 47 mpg over the past 500 miles. The 8 speed gearbox was smooth shifting and kept the engine spinning OK in the torque band.

The only time it still felt a bit rough was on a restart after the stop-start had kicked. This gave an audible start up and a momentary vibration. But that could be switched off.

There is Eco and Dynamic modes for the ECU and Drive and Sport on the gearbox. The paddles could be used to shift up / down in D or S, or with Dynamic and S full manual mode was available. But as it is a diesel, probably best left in D and use the paddles when you want to.  

I’ve read that the electric power steering has been very well tuned and on normal roads and driving, I could not really tell any difference to my hydraulic set up. The ride did feel a bit firmer than I expected, but then I’m comparing that to my XF (66k miles old) and not to its competition. I suspect they’ve gone a bit firmer and sporty on purpose.  

Now the interior. Let’s get the colour out of the way. It was awful. Whoever at Jag signed off this colour scheme has no right to call themselves a designer. Ivory leather is OK, but not with ivory or paedo grey everywhere else, including a grey steering wheel. Trying very hard to look past that, has the redesign improved the interior over the old XF or not? Well, all you can say is that it is different. It’ll be down to personal choice. This base model has the standard 8 inch touchscreen, with main menu buttons around the outside, F-type instruments and a colour centre section between the dials that gave a lot of data (including some nice touches like standard speed limit recognition). I’ve no issue with the new touch screen set up – it all worked fine and the graphics looked good. Quality wise, I’d say the plastics and leather did look a little more expensive than in the XE, which presumably is what they were after. What didn’t work quite so well was the XE and F-Type deeply recessed  instruments. They worked in the XE very well to add to the “sporting” feeling. Here, in the bigger car, they didn’t seem to have the same effect. Which made me think that the interior in black with the optional full TFT instrument pack and bigger 10 inch central screen, would be totally different and I’d be saying “wow”. Then I think it would be more mini-XJ and less big XE.

Look away now if you are easily offended - Ivory and grey...... why? Just why??


More grey with those deep dish instruments -


The centre stack -


Nice to see the sunglasses holder making a welcome return -

Colour centre panel works well -





As if to prove my point, back in the showroom they had a few other XF’s, including an XF-S with a black interior (no TFT though) and black headlining .  It felt like a totally different car. So, if you are getting an XF, choose your interior spec very carefully.

My overall opinion? The XE was launched to huge fanfare as it was new and new to Jag. The new XF just sort of slipped out, almost un-noticed. It is more of the same, tuned a bit and made a bit more mainstream. The old XF looked shyte with a barley and brown interior. This one looks shyte with an ivory and grey interior. But choose wisely spec wise and it feels a natural continuation of the XF line. And that's a good thing.
JohnC

I think I prefer the original XF. From head on the new XF looks very like an XJ but I think it has lost some of the subtleness of the original design.

Steering wheels and the dash should be black. I also prefer black carpets. The combination of colours used in that courtesy car are just atrocious. Manufacturers should incorporate a taste algorithm in their configurators with certain combinations unavailable - they prevent all sorts of other combinations of exterior colours and extras so the taste bit should be a doddle.
Chris M Wanted a V-10

I'd rather have that interior color scheme than all black; IMHO black headlings should be banned by law.

Very much like the way that the fuel and water temp gauges have been incorporated into the central display panel; on the first shot of such, is the red line an inclinometer ???
Martin

I think the new XF is 2-3 steps back and 1 step forwards.  The headlights are an improvement due to losing the fairy lights, but the rest isn't great, especially the rear end which is awful.  The Interior is more up to date tech wise, but only if you spend a fair amount on the bigger touch screen and even then it's still behind the competition imo.  

The old XF was on my shortlist, this wouldn't be, even though it does sound good to drive.

I had a quick look in Autoexpress yesterday as it had a comparison of in car technology and a twin test with the XF 3.0D and A6 BiTurbo.  The XF won the test, but I couldn't really tell why from a quick scan through, what I did notice though was the performance wasn't as good as you'd expect from 300hp.  

The new bigger sat nav didn't come out well in the tech test, it was one of the worst systems reviewed, mainly because it's so slow, it took a couple of seconds to register an increase in volume.

The less said about that interior combination the better!  Steering wheels, carpet and the top of dashboards should be black.
PG

JohnC wrote:
The combination of colours used in that courtesy car are just atrocious. Manufacturers should incorporate a taste algorithm in their configurators with certain combinations unavailable - they prevent all sorts of other combinations of exterior colours and extras so the taste bit should be a doddle.


It's even worse then that. I've looked at the configurator on line. If you go for the base spec, and want ivory seats, then that's the only available colour combination. Similarly if you want caramel seats, the dash and wheel are brown. So black with black is the only sensible option.

R sport, Prestige and S have a lot more sensible colour combinations. Clearly a plan by Jag to actually never sell a base spec.
Bob Sacamano

I just can't tell the difference between an XE and the new XF. A guy at work had one as courtesy car and claimed it as an XF - I spent ten minutes arguing that it was an XE like the one parked 40 feet away before I walked round the back and saw the badge.
Frank Bullitt

Agree with Martin, it's generally a retrograde step even on the nicer one in the library picture - the one you've got PG looks awful, outside and in.
Andy C

A new XF pulled up next to me earlier whilst having some lunch. It was grey and presumably an R-sport . It did look good.  It's not as well proportioned at the old one, or the XE for that matter, but if it's as good to drive as the reports suggest , then happy days

I think the XE in the pic above looks great too
JohnC

I also dislike the steering wheel which looks like a refugee from a 1970's BL product. The centre area of a steering wheel can look OK when it has more above the centre line but I have never seen a wheel I like when the centre is below the mid line of the wheel. Come on Jaguar we all want you to succeed - don't mess it up!
PG

JohnC wrote:
Come on Jaguar we all want you to succeed - don't mess it up!


That's what I find so frustrating. So much is so close. Yet the tiny attention to detail is not yet there compared to the competition. Those of us that love our Jags can forgive them that. But to covert people, that attention to detail is paramount.

Although on the other hand Merc  / BMW  / Audi probably have 50 x as many people on interiors as Jag can afford.
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Bob Sacamano wrote:
I just can't tell the difference between an XE and the new XF.

I wonder if some money has been saved on tooling by using the same upper doors (window frames) and door mirrors from the old XF on the new XE; they certainly look almost identical at first glance in the photos above
Chip Butty

Quote:
what I did notice though was the performance wasn't as good as you'd expect from 300hp.  


From an Italian magazine (Auto Expressarinio...or summat)

0 to 100 km/h = 6.4 seconds
0 to 160 km/h = 14.3 seconds

So - in English - 60 in 6.2 seconds, 100 in 14.3.

About 1 second off a 535d saloon to 100 mph - but a 535d gets to 60 about 1 second quicker - so the 60 to 100 mph times would appear to be broadly comparable.

This is understandable when you looking at the gearing - specifically the final drive ratio (as the internal ratios of the ZF 8 speed are identical to every supplied unit made to date).

X260 380 PS petrol = 3.23
X260 2.0 diesel = 2.73
F10 535 diesel = 2.65
X250 3.0 diesel  = 2.44
X260 3.0 diesel = 2.19

So - if you excuse my noddy terminology, it would appear that in order to get benchmark co2 and mpg figures (144g/km), the extra amount of torque vs the outgoing car is being used to pull much higher gearing (hence the relatively tardy acceleration from rest).
gonnabuildabuggy

Had a test sit in and XE and XJ over weekend.

The XE seemed very small, especially in the back.

It seems the FRV has spoilt us in space terms and I think I'd just go for a used XJ, the quality of the interior of which was fantastic.

That said I was disappointed to find it (XJ) sharing parts with a MK1 Focus.
Martin

That does make sense, but it's got another 50lbft torque iirc, which you'd expect to close the gap.

In the recent Autoexpress test, it was a whole second slower than the A7 30-70mph (4.5 vs 5.5) which is a decent measure of real world difference.  I'm not saying it's not quick enough, just that it's more 530d performance which make it a bit pricey.

Even more importantly, I'm not sure the Jaguar LED headlights are proper high performance units with Voodo.

"The XF’s give natural bright light, but the A6’s Matrix LEDs are something else. You can leave the main beams on and the lights seamlessly adapt to the road and other vehicles"



I'd give a new XJ R Sport serious consideration, it's a lot of car and equipment for £55k.
Chip Butty

To get the 30-70 time, they just subtract the 0-30 from the 0-70. This flatters the cars that get off the line well (especially 4wd), so I think from a statistical perspective, you need to see acceleration times at and between higher speeds to get a clearer representation of overall performance (60 to 100 mph is a more indicative benchmark).

However - there is no denying that the Audi and BMW are the quicker cars - BMWs almost always perform better than the figures suggest and that Audi is a monster off the line.

Also - even though a chunk of feature has been dropped versus the outgoing car - the XF S still comes with adaptive dynamics, 19 inch alloys, 380 watt Meridian Hi Fi as standard (and other stuff I cannot recall) which would involve some optioning on the German cars.

Quote:
That said I was disappointed to find it (XJ) sharing parts with a MK1 Focus.


Which parts ?
Martin

Chip Butty wrote:
Also - even though a chunk of feature has been dropped versus the outgoing car - the XF S still comes with adaptive dynamics, 19 inch alloys, 380 watt Meridian Hi Fi as standard (and other stuff I cannot recall) which would involve some optioning on the German cars


I still thinking you're paying quite a bit more for less, which is fine if Jaguar can get away with it, but as a potential buyer, I think it's too expensive.

If you're looking at list price, then there isn't much in it, but a 535d M Sport Saloon is nearly £9,000 cheaper, a 530d would be £12,000 less.  That gives you plenty of scope for options and BMW don't charge extra for metallic (a bugbear of mine with Audi and Jaguar!).   I appreciate the Jaguar is new and the 5 series nearing the end of its life, but it's still a fair comparison imo.  

If you want a Jaguar and like lots of FG, an XJ R Sport would be several thousand pounds cheaper than an XF S.  That's where my money would go.
Racing Teatray

I do think the new XF has lost the visual confidence and athleticism of the original. Moving the rear 3/4 light is a retrograde step. Makes me think of a Volvo S80. And not in a good way.
Alf McQueef

I find the one in the pics a real step backwards in many ways, I'd have to see some in the flesh and in a higher spec to make a full decision on it. But  it has seemingly lost the Aston Martin-esque rear styling for something much more generic (and much more Volvo, like the XE). Also the interior - while more modern - has lost something around the gear selector area, the selector looks cheaper and I actually miss the buttons and aluminium area around it. And the 156-like cowled dials I agree are more suited to something smaller.

Part of that reaction is due to the fact that the car in the pics is a tax special, a breed of car that has become massively more popular since the original XF came out, so most of the ones we see will be a much lower spec, adjusted for time, than with the original. A little bit of me dies every time I see a 5 series/XF/A6 or equivalent with a 4 pot engine.

I would never have a "cooking" model anyway, the XE S looks good, lets see what the sporty XF's looks like.
PG

Martin wrote:
If you want a Jaguar and like lots of FG, an XJ R Sport would be several thousand pounds cheaper than an XF S.  That's where my money would go.


I'm not sure that is actually right. The XF-S (with 3.0 S/C petrol or 3.0S diesel) lists at £50k so with options (TFT dash and LED lights) and post discount (£5k off on the broker sites), it is still probably a £50k car.  

The XJ-R Sport has pretty much everything as standard that an optioned XF-S would have, but list at over £70k. There are some big discounts available though, and Drive the Deal are saying £59k on the road.

But where I'm with you is that if I wanted a 3.0 diesel, I'd be tempted to go to an XJ now rather than an XF if I had the choice to afford either.
Martin

No, I am right....  

Broadspeed have the XF S for £46,000, specced to my minimum it's £56,000 (interesting as it was £8500 to get the 535d to my spec) but if you throw more (but not everything) at it to try and get close to the XJ, so climate seats, suedecloth headlining etc, it comes out at £60,000.  

The XJ R Sport is just under £56,000, add the 20" Venom wheels and parking park and it's £57,000.
Dr. Hfuhruhurr

Interesting comment in Car to the effect that Jaguar have a new inline-six in development, presumably due in time for the XF's mid-life facelift. My inclination would be to wait for that.
PG

Dr. Hfuhruhurr wrote:
Interesting comment in Car to the effect that Jaguar have a new inline-six in development, presumably due in time for the XF's mid-life facelift. My inclination would be to wait for that.


Interesting. But makes sense for the new engine range to be scalable in either direction - 1.5 3 or 3.0 6 cylinders.  Isn't that pretty much what BMW's engine line up now uses - core 500cc cylinders in 3 to 6 cylinder guise?
Dr. Hfuhruhurr

Yes, and that's exactly Jaguar's idea - the new six will be an Ingenium with two more pots. Shame neither of them wants to make a 2.5 five-cylinder, though.
Alf McQueef

14.3 to 100 sounds exceptionally fast to me for a heavy diesel saloon with only 300bhp. I never found figures for my exact variant of 272bhp 330i but the GTA was mid 15's to 100 and at the time faster than any diesel, the 330 felt the same, though with a much better take-off I'm guessing low 15's.

A straight 6 XE would be very interesting. I wonder if the pressure on CO2 and MPG figures will result in a turbo version to replace the supercharged V6, I expect so eventually. BMW still have a big economy and emissions advantage over the competition with their 6's - consider that my 2007 330i was 179g/38MPG for a 3 litre NA 6. I'd take that now. I know its all about new markets and customers, but I bet Jaguar's traditional base, and their strong US following, would continue to value 6 cylinder petrol units for some time yet.
PG

Alf McQueef wrote:
A straight 6 XE would be very interesting. I wonder if the pressure on CO2 and MPG figures will result in a turbo version to replace the supercharged V6, I expect so eventually.


Agreed. I can't see the supercharged route being a long term proposition as economy and CO2 pressures keep growing. Except on the turbo, nutter bastard R-S type models.
Alf McQueef

I certainly prefer the supercharger to the turbocharger in my experience. I can rarely every hear the supercharger, and the engine note is less muffled than with a turbo so the engine sounds better. And the feel is like some form of magic, absolutely instant shove of the "turbo on full boost" kind but with proper throttle response and adjustability. I'd happily give up a few MPG to have a supercharger so I hope they stick with it for the R and S models, though you have to assume at some stage turbocharging will become so good that supercharging will die out. For now, if I was Jaguar, I would want to keep it as a USP and blather on to journalists about the benefits at every opportunity.

Plus it sounds cool, and looks cool written on my bonnet intakes and wheels  
PG

Alf McQueef wrote:
Plus it sounds cool, and looks cool written on by bonnet intakes and wheels  


+1  

I know it is childish but those bonnet intakes are so cool.  
Roadsterstu

Superchargers are way cooler than turbos. Literally.

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