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Jaguar XF R-Sport – Classy Cat!
Andy Harris, Motoring and Property Editor
An invitation to drive the much anticipated Jaguar I-PACE popped into my Inbox. Eager to go, there were a few logistical issues to overcome. The Cotswold-based event coincided with a week’s holiday in Northumberland.

Train or plane travel was considered, but neither was convenient or quick.
The best solution would be to drive and a gleaming XF was kindly dispatched from the Jaguar Press Garage. Lots of miles to cover and I was in no doubt that the Jag would do the job rather well.

The current XF was launched in 2015 and in my custody was an R-Sport model, powered by Jaguar’s latest 240PS 2.0-litre diesel engine and weighing in at £41,900 before a raft of options were added.

Thanks to aluminium underpinnings, the XF is a lightweight compared to its main rivals and this pays dividends in terms of both handling and ride comfort. I expect big Jags to ride well and the XF is suitably cosseting. There’s a touch of firmness at low speeds (blame the optional 20” alloy wheels perhaps), but the rest of the time it is hard to fault.

Also by Andy Harris...
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Although much of my time was spent on the motorway, where I might add the XF excels (hushed cabin, excellent stability) I was able to subject the Jag to some country lane capers. Firming up the dampers and engaging ‘Sport’ mode on the gearbox turned the slinky saloon into a very fine cross country tool. A lack of body roll and accurate steering allow the Jag to be hustled along with ease and it was good fun too!

Also fitted to the test car was Jaguar’s accomplished all-wheel drive system. A dry week didn’t tax the system in the slightest, but from past experience I know that it is a major boon in wet and snowy conditions. I would tick that box...

The turbocharged diesel engine is both refined and powerful. The benchmark sprint to 60mph from rest can be accomplished in just over six seconds and whilst the motor isn’t especially tuneful, it only makes it presence felt if you fully extend it through the gears.

Of more interest perhaps is the huge amount of torque available for blistering overtaking manoeuvres. Always aiding progress is Jaguar’s super smooth eight-speed automatic gearbox, with steering wheel paddles for extra control.

Over the course of my week with the car I covered around 1000 miles, two thirds of which were on the motorway. Jaguar quote 51.4mpg figure for the combined economy cycle and I was able to average a little over 41mpg overall – a fair result.

Jaguar designers have clearly put a lot of effort into the interior of the XF. High quality materials abound. Up front, the seats are suitably cosseting and adjustable and they remained comfortable even after long hours spent behind the wheel.

Rear passengers have plenty of space to stretch out and will doubtless enjoy the ride too.

Boot space is an impressive 540 litres, plenty big enough for most needs.
The eight-inch infotainment system dominates the dash and it is much improved. The easy to use satellite navigation proved a boon, the live traffic updates doing their best to divert me away from motorway traffic jams.

Equipment levels are high on all models, with even entry-level Prestige variants boasting heated electric leather seats, dual-zone climate control and Jaguar’s Smart Key entry system. However, my test car was rather weighed down with many desirable options.

I would certainly have the Adaptive Cruise Control (£1,460) and the electric sunroof (£990), but I could probably live without the rest and save a few thousand into the bargain! Let’s just say there is plenty of scope to personalise your XF.

I’m often sad to see press cars depart and that was certainly the case with Jaguar’s mid-range contender.

The XF is a luxurious and stylish car that takes on the established German opposition and takes class honours in my opinion. Much of that is due to the very fine ride and handling combination which allows it to play the role of comfortable cruiser one minute and scintillating sports saloon the next.

And if you are quick, Jaguar has some great finance offers available at the moment. With a customer deposit of £4,649, a new XF can be on your driveway (£349 per month, 0% finance, 37 month agreement, 10,000 miles per annum).


Fast Facts (as tested)

Jaguar XF R-Sport AWD
Base price - £41,900
Price with options - £51,265
240PS 2.0-litre Turbocharged Diesel
0-60mph in 6.2 seconds
Top speed 153mph
Fuel economy – 51.4mpg combined cycle
Emissions – 144g/km CO2

Key Options

Firenze metallic paint - £705
Privacy glass - £395
20” Labyrinth alloy wheels - £2,095
Adaptive Cruise Control - £1,460
Sunroof - £990
Powered Gesture Boot Lid - £665
LED Headlights with DTR Lights - £1,275

Jaguar XF R-Sport – Classy Cat!, 3rd September 2018, 14:52 PM