With a staggering 500Nm of torque from standstill in 500 milliseconds, Jaguar’s twin-turbocharged V6 XF highlights why high performance European sedans are so good.
Combine that performance - and diesel economy - with the sleek Cat’s glorious styling, sumptuous interior and armada of high-tech equipment…well it’s no surprise the XF has garnered so many awards in every corner of the globe.
What You Get
The XF 3.0L V6D is available in two models – the Luxury ($112,990) or Portfolio ($135,490) which gains heated and cooled front seats, extra leather and suede interior trim plus a choice of four timber veneers. Regardless of the model, this is one of the world’s finest high-performance sedans and, yes; without doubt the new Cat matches well-credentialed rivals from Germany.
It’s elegant and inspired, fast and fuel-frugal, immensely luxurious…in short a high performance European sedan that’s right for today’s environment.
Under The Hood
Jaguar is justifiably proud of its twin-turbo V6 diesel. With 202kW of power and 600Nm of torque, it eclipses the Mercedes-Benz E350 CDI (170kW/540Nm) while returning combined cycle fuel economy of 6.8l/100kms (6.9l/100kms for the ‘Benz).
Jaguar calls the engine AJ V6D Gen III – it’s EU5 compliant with exhaust emissions measured at 179g/km and uses parallel sequential twin-turbochargers and high-pressure common rail direct fuel injection. Using twin variable geometry turbochargers alleviates turbo lag - with that 500Nm of torque available within 500 milliseconds from idle, the XF has certainly nailed that one.
The second turbo seamlessly cuts in within 300 milliseconds once engine speed hits 2,800rpm. This means – unlike some other twin-turbo engines – the larger turbocharger is used more of the time, which Jaguar says reduces pumping losses for improved fuel consumption, and reduced C02 emissions.
Jaguar has been diligent in keeping the new 3.0-litre turbo diesel impressively quiet – for example the oil sump pan is made from sound deadening steel and features a polymer layer sandwiched between two layers of steel. For the 2010 model year, XF also gained an acoustic windscreen.
Drive is to the rear wheels via a ZF six-speed automatic transmission with a fully-adaptive shift system (adapts for economy and sporty driving dynamics) and the XF diesel accelerates from zero to 100km/h in just 6.4 seconds – 1.8 seconds quicker than the previous 2.7-litre diesel.
Inside the XF delivers the hallmark Jaguar luxury and craftsmanship with a host of high-tech 21st century goodies. There’s the sumptuous leather and suede, beautiful light timber veneers and chrome trim.
On the center console is the cast alloy gear selector, which rises automatically, allowing a small turn of the dial to select gears. Just ahead is the engine start button, which pulsates until activated – also, signaling the air vents to open.
The dashboard itself, and the door panels are trimmed in beautiful twin-stitched leather.
Instrumentation is conventional twin gauges with secondary information displayed between them. The nicely finished leather steering wheel (with buttons for remote audio and cruise control operation) adjusts for rake and reach and combines with the electronic seat adjustment to deliver a first-class driving position.
The center console houses the touch-screen cruise control, climate control air-conditioning and audio system – a 14-speaker Bowers & Wilkins system with iPod and MP3 connectivity.
At night, subtle ‘phosphor blue’ interior illumination delivers a real luxury feel.
Technically a mid-size, the XF delivers handy rear seat legroom and rear seat passengers enjoy nicely sculptured and supportive seats. As part of the XFs exterior styling, the rear doors are works of art with deeply sloping windows that extend rearwards.
Boot capacity is 500 litres.
Exterior & Styling
The dynamic looks of the XF were the game-changer for Jaguar – announcing to the world the Big Cat was back to its best. Bold and elegant, the XF looks like a sports coupe but is in fact a four-door sedan.
At the front, the glorious mesh grille proudly wears a large Jaguar logo and the elegantly styled headlights are smoothly raked into the front fenders in the modern way. The sculptured bonnet lines looks powerful.
From the side, the XFs high waist accentuates the steeply sloping roofline and rear three quarter curves. Extractor vents on the front guards and handsome 19-inch alloy wheels add a sporty touch – in an elegant way.
At the rear, Jaguar’s design team - under the direction of talented Brit Ian Callum – has delivered a stylish and compact look in keeping with the XFs sporty dynamic…without the need for garish add-ons.
On The Road
Much of our week in the XF was spent in wet conditions and the ample torque of the 3.0-litre diesel had the traction control in action. Naturally the sleek cat runs the full range of high-tech driver aids.
Despite the soggy going, chassis balance, roll control and grip levels were superb when we tackled our high-speed mountain roads loops. Performance of the 3.0-litre diesel was quite remarkable (any dinosaurs who think ‘diesel’ and ‘high performance sports sedan’ are incompatible really should drive this car!)
Back in the city, the XF diesel was a delight with superb refinement and isolation from the surrounding noise and bustle. Suspension calibration was excellent – even over Melbourne’s tram and train track crossings.
Parking was a breeze (aided by the reversing camera) – although the 11.5-metre turning circle was surprisingly large for a mid-size sedan.
Some have commented the XFs coupe-like styling does limit rear seat headroom – probably true for basketball players but the Car Showroom team had no complaints.
Global sales success for the XF tells the story. Jaguar is back in town with one of the world’s best mid-size premium sedans and the XF has delivered a real threat for the big-name Germans.
E-Class, A6 and 5-Series are the logical rivals and the XF tackles them head-on with its powerful 3.0-litre twin-turbo engine, glorious looks and luxurious interior. If you thought Jaguars were just for the golf club set, think again – the XF matches the Germans in every department.
Stunning looks; brilliant interior; wonderful twin-turbo diesel
The larger 20-inch wheels from the XFR should be standard