Text by Dr Kevin
It has been a difficult past 10 years for Jaguar as old, mediocre products and poor marketing has made the brand hide behind in the shadows. However, with the introduction of the XF in 2009, Jaguar is poised to make a comeback. And what a comeback it is! The XF already has more than 50 international awards to it’s name.
In the past, everyone would love to own a Jaguar but bought a BMW instead. However, in the last few years things has changed dramatically. All thanks to Ian Callum the genius behind the new Jaguar design. He also previously directed the design for Aston Martin, which explains why the XF rear looks so familiar.
Most people would agree that the XF saloon is stunning in appearance. The gorgeous lines, the original 1968 XJ inspired grill, the aggressive styling… it totally defies the traditional jaguar profile.
As you slide into the driver seat, flawless leather with twin-needle stitching greets you.
The red pulsating start/stop button makes the car feel alive, especially with the opening ceremony of the textured aluminum concealed air vents and the rising of the rotary shift knob from the centre console. The stylish user-friendly instrument panels with a 7-inch full color touch screen display complete the interior look. The overhead cabin lights are controlled by touch, which can be too sensitive sometimes. The boot is big enough for golf bags and baby prams to fit easily.
End of the day it is very much still a classy and comfortable cabin with quality materials and build, which is exactly what a luxury saloon should be like.
At the heart of the XFS is a 3 liters Twin Turbo charged V6 Engine with 600Nm of torque and weighting 2000kg, with acceleration from 0 - 100km/hr in 6.4 seconds.
Just by looking at these figures, make me wonder how many trips to the petrol station I need to make in a week.
However, it is a diesel engine! Therefore, despite its size, weight and performance, the diesel delivers an amazing 11.8 L/100 km in the city and 8.2 L/100 km on the highway. So the savings at the pump is significant compared to the petrol engine as price of diesel is lower than petrol.
With the gear knob at “D”, the car is well behaved and calm. The adaptive suspension soaks up all the bumps on the road pretty well, perfect for normal day driving. The standard 10-point surround speakers really make the drive very much enjoyable.
With the dynamic mode engaged (which is a small chequered flag logo, how cool is that!) and with the gear knob at “S”, the XFS becomes a totally different animal. You can hear the grunt of the V6 engine and the feel the full force of the 600Nm of torque; it is very addictive to drive indeed. The dynamic mode makes the transmission shift faster, increase the throttle sensitivity and traction control becomes less intrusive, which equals to more fun as the driver have more control over the rear wheels. The balance of the car thru the corners is fantastic so it really gives the driver confidence to push harder. It’s a joy to be at the driver seat.
For the adventurous, the XFS can be easily chipped up to a crazy 700Nm without the need for any physical modifications.
But the truth is you probably already have problems keeping within the speed limit.
The other problem is that you may get some clueless pump attendants whom will still try to pump petrol into your car. Which is a really bad idea basically, so there is a safety mechanism jaguar put in place called the misfuelling protection device. How it works is that it detects the diameter of the filler nozzle, as apparently petrol has a narrower nozzle head. But I am seriously not going to try my luck.
The good news (Singapore Budget 2012) for diesel is the Special Tax for Euro 5 compliant cars will be lowered from $1.25 per cc to $0.40 per cc from 2013, a reduction of 70%. This means for the XFS annual tax is now lower by about $2600 a significant difference. Looks like there is going to be a bright future ahead for diesel vehicles in Singapore.
So you got a handsome looking luxury saloon car that is fast enough to keep put some purpose build sports car to shame and still have the fuel consumption of a Toyota. What more can you ask for?