Saturday, November 13, 2010

JAGUAR XF (2009)

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Considering the XF was only launched in the first half of 2008, it seems a bit premature for Jaguar to embark on costly revisions to its BMW 5-Series-rival. Nonetheless, less than 12 months on, the XF has been upgraded.

Not that you'd notice from the outside: only a pair of new door mirrors gives the game away.

Under the skin it's a different story. Both the old, normally aspirated and supercharged 4.2 V8 and 2.7-litre V6 diesels have been replaced by supercharged and naturally aspirated 5.0-litre petrol engines petrols and a new 3.0-litre V6 diesel.

Available with either 237bhp or a more muscular 271bhp, the new 3.0 engines are a development on the outgoing 2.7. Crucially, not only are the new engines more powerful (up from 204bhp), they're significantly more fuel-efficient, averaging a fine 42mpg and emitting a low 179g/km of CO2.

In the past, opting for a diesel XF meant sacrificing pace, but since the more powerful 3.0D S sprints to 62mph in just 6.4 seconds and onto 155mph it's no longer the case. This engine is our pick of the range.

It's easy to be impressed by the XF. The inside feels a very special place to be thanks to the double-stitched leather, aluminium, wood and high-quality plastics that adorn the cabin.

As a result Jaguar owners are a satisfied bunch, ranking the brand fifth ahead of Mercedes (6th), Audi (7th) and BMW (10th) in the most recent JD Power survey. This is a huge testament to the brand's hard work in improving after-sales service.

Reliability is another much-improved area, although some owners have reported glitches with the power steering and electric windows, which could affect the brand's performance in next year's survey.