The Jaguar XF is a sublime British executive saloon. It has a tremendous interior and even greater dynamics
What is it?
For some people, diesel will never hold enough appeal, whatever the price of fuel. They’re the target buyers of the punchy new 380bhp 5.0-litre V8 Jaguar XF, a car that will garner just a few hundred sales in the UK but thousands in the US, where V8s are still bread-and-butter engines in luxury saloons.
But you’ll have to have deep pockets in the UK to make this decision and ignore Jag’s excellent new V6 oil-burner. The Jaguar XF 5.0 returns a thirsty 25.4mpg, while the new twin-turbodiesel promises a much more credit crunch-friendly 42.0mpg.
There is a mild green twinge to the 5.0 V8, since it already complies with Euro5 tailpipe limits a year earlier than it needs to.
What’s it like?
Where the petrol motor in the Jaguar XF scores over the diesel is refinement and rev-happy power, which even the best oil-burners still can’t match.
As in the XK, the new XF 5.0 is a really excellent engine, mixing refinement and creamy performance, all played out against a burbling V8 backing track.
Overall, this translates into a character much more in the mould of a traditional Jaguar, with a compliant yet responsive chassis.
Significantly, the suspension is about 30 per cent less stiff than the XFR’s, so the 5.0 V8 is the better option for a driver who wants suppleness and strong performance, rather than out-and-out handling and thumping acceleration.
Portfolio spec includes all manner of cosseting kit, including luxuries such as a suede-effect headlining, contrast-stitched leather trim and power-everything ventilated seats. Plus there’s an attractive new optional ebony wood veneer trim and 19in wheels as standard.
Should I buy one?
Kitted out like this, and even with the fuel-hungry V8, it’s hard to think of a better way to cover miles, particularly since the XF’s styling has matured into the best in class.