Reader's test: Jaguar XF-S
VROOM WITH A VIEW: Reader Sidney waited some time for his diesel Jag, but is convinced it was worth the wait.
Author: SIDNEY BILSKI, Cape Town
In May 2010 I went to test drive a Jaguar XF-S, fitted with a 2.7-litre diesel engine.
I was impressed but was advised by the dealer that a three-litre version would be replacing it and he suggested I wait.
Patience has never been my strong suit, having changed cars about 13 times in the past 20 years, but in August 2011 I collected my 2010 factory demo three-litre twin-turbo diesel XF-S and my patience was well rewarded.
SPORTS CAR PERFORMANCE
This is the first diesel I have owned and, although there is the typical diesel noise at start-up, you are well insulated from it in the cabin and it is barely noticable after a few minutes. With more than 200kW and 600Nm, the latter available from only 2000rpm, the performance is in Porsche Boxster territory.
I’ve not tested the claimed 0-100km/h of 5.9 seconds but that’s not important to me – the car pulls away effortlessly with no turbo lag noticeable and you soon find yourself going indecently fast. I haven’t tried a BMW 535d or an equivalent Merc, but I can hardly imagine requiring any more oomph than the Jaguar provides.
The ride is soft, handling great, and I had no problems pushing myself to the limit on Helshoogte Pass between Stellenbosch and Franschhoek in the Western Cape before the car reached its limit.
What can I say about the interior that others haven’t said before? I don’t sit in the back, so can’t comment on the supposed lack of headroom, but I’ve had no complaints and the car can easily accommodate three adults there with ample legroom.
Some people don’t appreciate the “gimmicky” start/stop button and gear selector knob that rises from the centre console, as well as the air vents that open and close. The latter can be configured to stay open permanently and the former just means more space on the centre console. I find the interior quite comparable in quality with, and in some cases better than, the Lexus I traded in for the Jaguar.
If I had to quibble over anything, it would be the relatively slow response time of the infotainment system (which can also configure almost every aspect of the car) and lack of USB adaptor (although I believe this has been improved in the 2012 model).
In summary, this is a car that looks fantastic both inside and out and drives like a dream. Having said that, a car’s looks – both inside and out – are quite subjective so I do expect others to disagree with me, but there aren’t that many of them on the road, so it is something that stands out from the crowd without being ostentatious.
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