From £29,375
XF V6 S makes a very strong case indeed for itself against the BMW 5-series and Mercedes E-Class

Our Verdict

Jaguar XF 2008-2015
The Jaguar XF is a sublime British executive saloon. It has a tremendous interior and even greater dynamics

The Jaguar XF is a sublime British executive saloon. It has a tremendous interior and even greater dynamics

What is it?

This is the most powerful diesel in the newly-revamped XF range. It uses the company’s familiar, but first-rate, V6 diesel engine in a higher-power form, gaining 47bhp and a handsome 71lbft of torque over the basic V6 diesel.

Co2 emissions are cut by 10g/km to 169g/km and the official combined economy figure of 44.8mpg improves on the 42mpg of the outgoing car.

The entry-level (‘Luxury’) Diesel V6 model costs £36,950, the ‘Luxury’ spec Diesel S costs £42,950. For that six grand, as well as the performance hike, you get the same adaptive damping and ‘R’-spec sports interior as the XKR, as well dramatic exterior styling package.

The model we tried on the mountainous roads south of Munich was the range-topping Portfolio spec, which adds, among other things, 18-way adjustable electric seats and a 1200w Bowers & Wilkins stereo system.

What’s it like?

It’s an extremely impressive machine. The engine seems, to my ears, to be more refined than it is in Autocar’s long-term test XJ. Even though it was swallowing super-heated Baverian air, it had serious overtaking punch and the motor was seamless in its torque delivery.

It’s hooked up to an eight-speed auto, which adds to the turbine sensation because the motor is virtually never caught in a gear that doesn’t make the best use of the torque curve. Unlike the 2.2 diesel XF, the box also ‘locks up’ very quickly after pulling away, delivering the sensation of ‘direct-drive’ usually associated with a manual transmission. (In pursuit of economy, the ‘box in the 2.2 XF shifts rapidly up through the ratios, which delivers the rather odd CVT-like ‘churning’ sensation, before locking up once the car is doing something over 20mph).

There’s not much to criticise about this car as a driving machine. On the sweeping open roads south of Munich, the V6D S was both serene and settled in all circumstances, even on long, rapid, curves that both changed in elevation and radius. At 100mph on the autobahn, the XF is unerringly stable and unfazed.

At normal velocities, the steering is accurate and nicely-weighted, the seats superb and the brakes are wonderfully easy to manipulate up the point where it feels as if the wheels would lock.

However, this car’s main downside - if that’s not too strong a word - was the ride, which while really admirable for a car with such large (20in) wheels did thump and jar over ridges somewhat. It was just a background irritation, but I mention it mainly because I drove this car back-to-back with the V8 supercharged XFR which had a truly sublime ride, beautifully absorbing the few lumps and bumps on the local roads.

Ultimately, there’s something extremely satisfying about a car which allows the driver to demolish distances with such ease. The looks, turbine-like diesel, fine seats, serenely crisp chassis and driver-centric cockpit seal the deal.

Should I buy one?

If you have the budget for it, the XF V6 S makes a very strong case indeed for itself against the BMW 5-series and Mercedes E-Class. Although the XF doesn’t have the same interior space, the XF is clearly a more enjoyable - and inherently enthusiastic - driver’s car than the rather stolid 5-series. It is also more driver-centred than the limo-lite E-Class. Be in no doubt, Jaguar may be an automotive minnow, but this car stands head-to-head with best Germany can offer.

Jaguar XF 3.0 V6 Diesel S Portfolio

Price as tested: £49,950; Top speed: 155mph; 0-62mph: 6.4sec; Economy: 44.8mpg (combined); Co2: 169g/km; Kerbweight:1810kg; Engine type; V6 twin-turbo diesel, 2993cc; Power: 271bhp at 4000rpm; Torque: 443lb ft  at 2000rpm; Gearbox: 8-speed auto

Join the debate

Comments
27

29 June 2011

Really like the looks of this version.

29 June 2011

It's got an exhaust pipe missing. Unless the photos are actually of the 2.2D?

29 June 2011

[quote Ruined]It's got an exhaust pipe missing. Unless the photos are actually of the 2.2D?[/quote] I thought the same.

29 June 2011

Sounds like a superb car but didnt the original 2.7d cost about £30k so it seems to be getting expensive for what it is now .

30 June 2011

I still have my doubts over the interior quality of these if not the design itself but the facelift car really looks brilliant to my eyes. Good to see it with a competitive diesel motor too. I've driven nothing quite as good as a 530/535d to date, hopefully this will be - Shame it's about £20k out of my own budget mind you!

30 June 2011

The restyle with the revised headlights improves the XF's looks no end. A tacit admission by Jag that the "eye under a magnifying glass" headlights of the pre-facelift model really didn't look good.

As for the how the 3.0D S performs/drives, it's interesting to note that how the testers, even the good ones like Holloway, underplay the car's poor ride for an executive car. Car magazine tested the new 2.0D version and it also "quietly" pointed out the shortcomings of the car's ride. If it were a 530, bizarrely dismissed as "stolid" by Holloway (or maybe not so bizarre, since Autocar testers never miss an opportunity to slagg off the 5) riding as poorly as this, you'd never hear the end of it.

Still, it's good to see Jag doing well and expanding the range with the new 2.0D, which is vital to its competitiveness.

jer

30 June 2011

Looks a great car. I'd love one of these, worth the premium over the 2.2?

As for the ride the adaptive dampers are now an option on the S?

30 June 2011

[quote jer]As for the ride the adaptive dampers are now an option on the S?[/quote] unless I misread the article - it said they were standard on the S I think.

30 June 2011

[quote Overdrive]As for the how the 3.0D S performs/drives, it's interesting to note that how the testers, even the good ones like Holloway, underplay the car's poor ride for an executive car.[/quote]

This test had the car riding on optional 20" rims, when the standard fitment is 19" on this car.

Whilst he did alude to the issues with ride but I would imagine going for the standard option (which very few people do I appreciate) would sort at least some of the issue.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

30 June 2011

535D anyday

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