We tested the Jaguar XF fitted with the 4.2 naturally aspirated V8 petrol engine mated to a six speed automatic gearbox (there is not a manual option on XF range). The engine is pretty much the same as you would find in the Jaguar XK albeit with some modifications for the XF. The 4196cc engine produces 298 bhp and delivers 303 lb/ft of torque at 4100 rpm, which enables it to propel the XF from 0-62 mph in 6.5 seconds and on to a limited top speed of 155 mph.
There is always the underling burble of the V8 to remind you that you are doing 19 miles to the gallon although it is rather addictive especially when accelerating hard – especially in ‘sports mode’.
We averaged 19 mpg on our mixed route of driving of course you could always opt for the diesel engine should this be hard to swallow.
The car is started via a starting button mounted in front of the ‘JaguarDrive Selector’ on starting the car the rotary gear selector glides up and out of the transmission tunnel.
The XF’s transmission is controlled by the ‘JaguarDrive Selector’ which according to Jaguar is an industry-first rotary shift interface that combines precise, intuitive control with space-saving packaging, to allow the maximisation of interior storage options.
With the JaguarDrive Selector, automatic transmission functions are selected simply by turning the control with the fingertips. As an example, Drive to Drive Sport selection is accomplished with a simple push and turn action. Returning from S to D, the rotary control operates with spring-assistance, which eliminates the need to pull the Selector.
Although there is no manual gearbox option the automatic transmission allows you to manually select gears with the paddle shifts on the steering wheel. Normally we are not fans of paddle shifts but it came into its own on empty country roads where you could explore every inch of the 298 bhp. Under normal conditions the ‘auto’ mode is pretty much seamless.
There is no doubt that the Jaguar XF 4.2 is a relatively quick car but it can feel a little remote, I think this is more an observation than a criticism as it is a refined place to be and there is plenty of mid-range punch making overtaking effortless.How It Drove - Ride and Handling
It was not until we took to the isolated roads of Exmoor that we discovered what all the fuss was about - there is very little body roll, with the Jaguar XF remaining balanced throughout the most demanding bends with sensible fluid feedback through the speed sensitive power steering. It would seem that the quicker you drive the better it gets.
The ride quality is exceptionally good at all but the lowest of speeds where it might be a little firm over poor road surfaces. Our test car was fitted optional 19” Auriga wheels with 245/45 profile tyres which might explain the low speed ride.
The only suspension variations on the XF are between the V6 petrol, V6 diesel and V8 naturally aspirated models, which all utilise a finely tuned passive suspension, and the SV8, which for all markets uses Jaguar’s Computer Adaptive Technology Suspension (CATSTM).
Overall the 4.2 Jaguar XF is a fast paced executive saloon equally at ease on country ‘B’ roads as it is on the motorway and this is an excellent excuse for taking the long way home.
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