Below this is a deep, brushed metallic panel that runs the full width of the car, punctuated only by the multi-functional steering column and a 7-inch information screen. The tunnel between the driver and front passenger contains storage compartments topped off with real wood veneer, next to which is a flat control panel, on the driver’s side.
It is all very discrete and stylish, however, take a closer look and it is just a bit too tidy; the gear selector and parking brake are missing and so are the face-level air vents. But when the pulsating, red, ‘start’ button is pressed, the air vents magically rotate into view and a puck-like, aluminium dial rises out of the tunnel control panel, ahead of the electronic parking brake, presenting itself as the Jaguar Drive Selector. In the list of electronic systems a mention should also be given to JaguarSense; a touch or proximity-sensing control for the glovebox and overhead lights. Surprise and delight, indeed.
The dial is connected to the non-optional 6-speed automatic transmission. Rotating the selector is a strange mix of tactile pleasure and alien action but you soon get used to it and there are selector paddles behind the steering wheel, if preferred. There is also a Jaguar DriveControl with different settings for Dynamic and Winter driving, depending upon the model.
The Bluetooth telephony system (with hands-free and voice control), the audio controls (optional Bowers & Wilkins Surround Sound system in the test car), including attached iPods, are all controlled via the central, touch screen and USB or memory sticks are also accommodated within the XF. As well as the above functions and the Satellite Navigation system, the screen provides a display for the rear parking camera, where fitted.
The goodies are not confined to the top-notch SV8; the Luxury specification includes the Drive Selector, navigation via the touch-screen, Bluetooth, an integrated 6CD autochanger, rear parking sensors, electric/heated mirrors, 17-inch alloys, automatic climate control and cruise control with Automatic Speed Limiter.
The next step up adds lumbar support, 18-inch alloys, Jaguar’s 320W Premium sound system, driver’s seat memory and heated windscreen.
The SV8 has the heated/cooled seats, 20-inch alloys, Bi-xenon headlamps with powerwash and the excellent Computer Active Technology Suspension or CATS amongst other things. The test car also had a few of the optional extras - apart from the audio system there was a DAB radio, a multi-media TV system, a blind-spot monitor, electric, glass sunroof, heated steering wheel, electric rear sunblind and the rear camera parking aid. So there are plenty of ways to spend your money.
This is a 13-year+ news article, from our Jaguar archive, which dates back to the year 2000.
If in doubt check with your local Jaguar dealer as car prices and technical data will have changed since 2008.
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