Getting into the front of Jaguar XF is fairly easy but you do have to watch for the swooping roof line and high sill but once inside headroom is relatively good.
Ease of Use
Getting into the front of Jaguar XF is fairly easy but you do have to watch for the swooping roof line and high sill but once inside headroom is relatively good. You do feel a little too cosseted in front but not confined. Finding the optimum driving position is aided by the 16 way electrical adjustable driver’s seat and the powered steering column. Even the front passenger’s seat is electrical adjustable but only in 10 ways.
Front vision is good but over the shoulder vision is hampered by the rear pillars and boot plus the door mirrors are slightly on the small side. Although our test car was fitted with the blind spot monitoring system which uses a radar system to monitor vehicles entering into your ‘blind spots’ it then gives you audible and visual warnings which is rather good but it is prone to false alarms especially when there are breaks in hedges, etc.
There are front and rear parking sensors plus our test car was fitted with an optional reverse parking camera. The camera is mounted just above the number plate and gives you a live image on the colour telemetric screen of what is behind the car when you select reverse. We found the display a bit of distraction but it is great for checking what is behind the car, especially low down before reversing.
The rear doors open quite wide at near 90 degrees but there is not a lot of room in the rear the position of the transmission tunnel makes the XF more suited to four passengers, or perhaps five with a small child sitting in the middle rear seat.
The controls are logically laid out but you do have to use the touch sensitive telematics screen to access a lot of the cars functions - which can be a pain, especially when all you want to do – is switch on or off a function such as the heated steering wheel or change the radio frequency although there is voice activation short cuts for some functions.
The pop up gear change control is intuitive and so is the electronic parking brake which is automatically released as Drive is selected, the parking brake can also be engaged and disengaged manually should the need arise.
Comfort and Refinement
The Jaguar XF’s interior moves car interior design into another league. Although we weren’t 100% convinced by our Ivory/Oyster interior colour combination as it all felt a little bit Marks and Spencer Coffee Shop but then that is down to personal taste. What we did like was that it is innovative and well specified a far cry from the Jaguar old school of what a British saloon car should look like - although you can still specify wood trim.
There are the usual refinements that you would expect to see on a car on this class such as auto on lights, rain sensitive wipers, keyless entry and an engine starting button.
And then there are some that you would not expect such as the air-conditioned and heated front seats which are controlled through the telematics screen, which can be a little awkward to operate at first but you soon get used to it.
There are some nice design touches such as the rotating air vents that automatically revolve when the climate control is switched on and the proximity-sensing buttons that release the glove compartment and switch on the interior lights.
We particularly liked the phosphor blue mood lighting which emulates a contemporary bar or restaurant without being at all distracting. For instance the halo lighting effect is used to illuminate the switch panels and JaguarDrive Selector console, the start-stop button and Electric Parking Brake giving a soft glow to indicate their positions.
Mood lighting is also incorporated into the heater console, bathing the centre console in a cool blue light, while lights under the front door releases softly illuminate the door-mounted switches. It is all rather nice including the puddle lights under the door mirrors.
The rear seats fold down on a 60/40 split, the boot is pretty accommodating at 540 litres, if you fold down the seats this increases by another 420 litres.
From the steering wheel you can control the audio system and the adaptive cruise control preferences . Our Jaguar XF was fitted with the optional Adaptive Cruise Control that utilises microwave radar technology to monitor the road ahead and automatically reduces speed if traffic conditions make it necessary. It normally reduces speed simply by reducing power, but if necessary (for instance if another car pulls sharply into your path on a motorway) it will also use the brakes to slow down more quickly. The gap to the vehicle in front is based on time, so as your speed increases, so does the gap. It is possible to manually adjust the gap to three levels using the steering wheel control; ultimately we weren’t too happy with the length of the gap.
The Adaptive Cruise Control package includes Forward Alert which warns you of potential collisions. When approaching another vehicle or other obstacle it continuously estimates the braking effort required to avoid it. If the distance available falls below the safe threshold, Forward Alert sounds an audible warning prompting the driver to take appropriate action.
Our test car was also fitted with Bi-Xenon Active Front Lighting which automatically swivels the dipped beam lenses in the direction of travel. It works very well and vision around corners is improved but at first it can make you feel a little sick. At low speeds or when you indicate a separate beam comes on to light up the side of the car in the direction you are turning.
Jaguar XF Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Jaguar XF 4.2 Premium Luxury|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||6.5 Seconds|
|Top Speed||155 mph|
|Transmission||6-Speed Automatic Gearbox|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||37.2 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3 Years / Unlimited Mileage|
|Price (when tested on the 12/11/08)||£45,490|