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Jaguar XF purrs more smoothly

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The first generation XF was one of the first cars penned by Jaguar’s Scottish head of design Ian Callum.

Time hasn’t dimmed its perfect proportions and it remains a handsome beast. Underneath the skin some bits from the elderly X-Type remained, however.

This second generation model mildly updates the elegant lines but the big changes are under the skin where there’s a new chassis that’s largely aluminium and enough computing power to run Google.

It’s fitted with Jaguar’s excellent range of 2.0 litre Ingenium diesel engines or, further up the range, with creamy smooth 3.0 litre V6 petrol or diesel units. There’s also the option of four-wheel drive.

I spent a week with the 3.0 V6 diesel in rear-wheel drive, which cost a fiver under £50,000 (XF prices start at a little over £32,000).

The XF has shed 190kg – two large rugby players – and it shows both in a more dynamic drive and improved fuel efficiency.

Aping BMW, Jaguar has designed a car with near-perfect 50:50 weight distribution, giving it great balance and poise through corners

Jaguar’s eight-speed gearbox is standard across the range and is still operated by a rotating dial that emerges from the centre console when you start the car. It’s an outstanding piece of design that makes every other automatic gear lever look a bit backwards.

The interior has the usual Jaguar design flourishes such as vents that slide out of view when not in use and recessed blue ambient lighting after dark. It’s very well done, if not quite up to the exceptionally high quality bar Audi set with its A6.

The old XF was a touch cramped in the back so the good news is despite being 7mm shorter on the outside there’s 24mm more knee room and 155 more legroom for rear occupants.

The XF has been a tremendously important car for Jaguar. Everything that followed it, from the mass market XE to the iconic F-Type flowed from its design language.

While it was a bit heavy there was nothing badly wrong with the way the original drove. Times have moved on, however, and in particular BMW’s 5 Series has surged ahead when it comes to driver involvement.

Lightweight and technological, the new XF has what it takes to tangle with the best executive saloons out there.

 

Price:

£49,995

0-62mph:

6.2 seconds

Top speed:

155mph

Economy:

51.4mpg

CO2 emissions:

144g/km

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