They're still the epitome of British pace, space and grace. Although Jaguar is now owned by the Indian company, Tata Motors, the change of ownership hasn’t affected the very Britishness of its vehicles. Back in the 50s and 60s Jaguar used the slogan “Grace, Space and Pace” and while there may be question marks around the rear seat space in the XF there’s no argument about the other two.
Jaguar XF 2.0 comes in two variants, Luxury and Premium Luxury. As well as the standard safety features (multiple airbags, enhanced ABS brakes package and electronic stability program) the XF Luxury comes with front and rear parking sensors, brake pad wear indicator, xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lights and rain-sensing windscreen wipers and semi-adjustable power front seats.
For an extra $6510 the Premium Luxury adds 18-inch alloy wheels (17-inch in the Luxury), reversing camera, folding side mirrors, full leather trim and fully-adjustable powered front seats. Both models come with an alloy space saver spare wheel.
Explore the 2012 Jaguar XF Range
- Jaguar XF 2012 review
- Jaguar XF 2.0 2012 review
And then there’s the pricing. When the first models in the XF range arrived here in 2008 every one had a six-figure price tag. At $68,900 the new XF 2.0 is not only around one-third cheaper than that, it’s also about $10,000 below the corresponding entry-level models from Audi (A6), BMW (5-Series) and Mercedes-Benz (E-Class).
Jaguar’s 2013 model year upgrade also included the option of a new 3.0-litre V6 supercharged engine meaning that all five Jaguar XF engines now have some type of forced induction. Completing the ticking of boxes the price of the XF 2.0 Luxury, at $68,900, is just over $20,000 below that of the equivalent 3.0.
Such have been the advances in engine technology in recent years that, despite having a capacity around one-third smaller, the new XF 2.0 produces both higher power (177 kW compared to 172 kW) and torque (340 Nm versus 284 Nm) outputs than the outgoing naturally-aspirated V6.
At the same time fuel consumption drops from 10.5 litres per 100 km to 8.9 L/100 km, and emissions from 249 to 207 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre.
Although it’s tuned differently, the engine is the same as that in the Ford Falcon EcoBoost that recently took out the Australia’s Best Car award for Large Cars Under $60,000. It’s also used in the Ford Mondeo, Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Freelander. In the Jaguar, it gets the added advantage of being mated to an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission, now standard across the XF range.
There’s certainly a gracefulness about the XF that sets it apart from its German competitors, both on the outside and inside. Its renowned designer, Ian Callum, has managed to combine a contemporary appearance without losing the traditional Jaguar looks demanded by potential buyers.
So there’s a large radiator grille, circular headlights that are faired into the bonnet, swooping lines and a cat-like rear end. We just love the elegant simplicity of the XF’s interior that includes air vents and a mouse-like gear selector that retract when the engine is turned off.
There’s plenty of space for front seat occupants, including a surprising amount of headroom. Things aren’t so good for those in the rear seats with minimal legroom when the front seats are at their limit. Headroom does decrease but wasn’t as restricted as we expected.
We were able to drive both the Luxury and Premium Luxury versions of the Jaguar XF 2.0 from Sydney to the Central Coast on a mix of motorway, urban and rural conditions. Such was the smoothness and refinement from the new engine that it was easy to forget that it only had four cylinders. There is just a touch of turbo lag but no more than in its competitors.
We love the firmer ride of the latest XF and the extra feel for the road that it provided once we hit the back roads, yet it’s had little or no affect on comfort and absorbed the occasional pothole without causing any wincing from the occupants. Even with the four-cylinder engine this very affordable Jaguar has all the hallmarks of an excellent long-distance cruiser.
While the route chosen for the test was fairly benign there were enough hills and bends to show that the big Jag to be nicely balanced with responsive steering.
The new Jaguar XF 2.0 ticks all the right boxes.