Jaguar XF 2008 review
Jags are all about heritage, style and performance and the XF doesn't disappointment, particularly in the looks department.
Park it next to a Benz or BMW at the golf club and it's the Jag that is going to attract all the attention, with the possible exception of the swoopy CLS coupe.
The XF is the new age replacement for the retro-looking S Type sedan first introduced in 1999.
From the pen of design maestro Ian Callum, it manages to look modern yet unmistakably like a Jaguar at the same time.
The purists may not care for the look, but it is one that is going to draw in more buyers than it turns away.
That's just what the doctor ordered, with the company's ageing demographic.
Priced from $105,000, our test vehicle was the top of the line $166,700 SV8 with all the bells and whistles, including a supercharged 4.2-litre V8.
The V8 kicks out an impressive 306kW of power and is hooked up to a six-speed sequential auto with steering wheel-mounted shift paddles.
In perhaps the car's most controversial departure from tradition, there is no gear stick or shift lever as we know it, just a round, pop-up drive selector that you use to dial-in drive or reverse.
It's a practical, space-saving solution and we wonder why someone hasn't thought of it before?
The SV8 is capable of sprinting from 0-100km/h in a rapid-fire 5.4 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h.
But for all its power, it is in fact a real pussycat around town, unless you put the boot in.
The power is there when you need it, but the delivery is refined rather than brutal.
Despite its 1842kg the XF feels light and nimble around town, with power steering that is perhaps over-assisted.
The seating position is low and enclosed and it is difficult to see the extremities of the car, making parking and negotiating carparks difficult.
At 4961mm the XF is slightly longer than a Commodore, but the styling is more GT than sedan, in the vein of the current crop of four-door coupes.
Riding low, with 20 inch wheels, side `gills' and twin tailpipes, the focal point is undoubtedly the sporty wire mesh radiator grille.
SV8 gets CATS computer controlled suspension, with electronically controlled, two-stage, adaptive dampers.
In this model you can switch off electronic stability control, with Normal, Winter and Dynamic modes available - the last of these to allow a more purposeful driving style.
The inside is bright and inviting thanks to a mix of colours and finishes, with a combination of metal and dark chocolate wood trims.
The car seats five with individualised seating for the outer rear passengers and a generous amount of rear legroom.
The good-sized boot houses a space saver spare.
Fuel consumption is rated at 12.6 litres/100km and that is pretty much what we were getting in mixed driving, using premium grade unleaded.
Wish they were all as easy to use as the touch screen computer in this car, which interfaces with a high-end Bowers and Wilkins sound system.
We thought the wheels looked a bit plain and were disappointed to find the instrument cluster does not offer a digital speed readout.
Range and Specs
|2.7D Luxury||2.7L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO||$13,489 – 19,999||2008 Jaguar XF 2008 2.7D Luxury Pricing and Specs|
|3.0 V6 Luxury||3.0L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO||$16,830 – 21,560||2008 Jaguar XF 2008 3.0 V6 Luxury Pricing and Specs|
|4.2 SV8 Supercharged||4.2L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO||$34,950 – 38,990||2008 Jaguar XF 2008 4.2 SV8 Supercharged Pricing and Specs|
|4.2 V8 Luxury||4.2L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO||$21,230 – 26,840||2008 Jaguar XF 2008 4.2 V8 Luxury Pricing and Specs|
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