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.