What is it?
Jaguar’s answer to the BMW 530d. The recently revised Jaguar XF range has now arrived on UK roads, and it’s the mid-range diesel we’re testing here.
The 3.0D V6 model used to be the entry-level XF model, but the addition of the 2.2D has pushed it higher up the range. The biggest change from the pre-facelift car is the addition of a ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox, which promises smoother, faster and more seamless shifts over the six-speeder from before.
The handsome styling changes include slimmed down headlights, a lower bonnet line and two striking sets of LED strips sitting either side of the larger front grille.
Asides from the gearbox, dynamic changes are small yet significant, and include dynamic engine mounts, an increased use of sound deadening materials and redesigned wing mirrors, all designed bolster refinement and suppress road noise.
What’s it like?
A remarkably accomplished machine. What strikes you first is just how silky smooth the powertrain is, the 237bhp, 369lb ft V6 turbodiesel oozing refinement and being capable of eating up motorway miles without any fuss. Drive this XF back-to-back with the new 2.2-litre four-cylinder model and you’ll really appreciate how much greater the refinement is – and how much quieter it operates – at lower speeds.
The gearbox is also a fine addition to the package. Having eight forward speeds raises fears over hesitancy and the potential for blunting progress, but it responds well to differing driving styles: really put your foot down and it’ll hold the gear for more rapid acceleration; drive with more consideration and it’ll seamlessly shift in the background.
Off the motorway, it lacks the impressive urgency of the more driver-focused S model, but it’s still remarkably composed and quick enough in almost any given situation.
The steering is accurate and the ride quality is also particularly pleasing, although we’d stick with the standard 18-inch wheels of this Premium Luxury model over the optional 19- or 20-inchers as the latter options tend to detract from ride comfort over more abrasive surfaces around town.