First Australian drive: Jaguar XF

With a unique flavour, distinctive styling and impressive dynamics the Jaguar XF is the most enticing Jaguar in decades.
The minute you sit in the new Jaguar XF you know Jaguar has at least partly succeeded with its aim of revitalising the brand and standing out from the predominantly German competition.
Before you even start the engine the Jaguar XF wants you to know it’s ready for business. A red light in the Start/Stop button gently pulsates, simulating a heartbeat.
Then the gear selector knob gently rises to its driving position.
Okay, so some may accuse it of being gimmicky, but that’s a criticism that can be levelled at all manner of automotive design cues, from fake air intakes to large exhaust tips. And as Jaguar Australia general manager Dorian Lapthorne points out: “it’s great to show your neighbours”.
The point with the Jaguar XF’s many unique touches is that they’re different, something that at least injects some personality into a luxury car competing with the best in the world.
We were impressed with the new Jaguar XF overseas and our first taste test on Australian bitumen has confirmed those early impressions.
Our 250 kilometre sojourn with the entry level diesel version of the Jaguar XF took place on mostly wet roads in Melbourne and the Yarra Valley. It took in a selection of heavily trafficked city roads, flat freeways and undulating winding roads.
Driving the rear wheels, the sizeable sedan makes for a comfortable cruising companion easily lapping up the country miles. It’s impressively quiet in the cabin, with only a mild roar from the tyres evident once Australia’s coarser bitumen surfaces come into play.
The ride, too, is befitting of the XF’s luxury status – and its luxury $105,500-plus price tag. It’s not a cheap car, nor does it look or feel like one.
Mid-corner bumps do little to upset the poise of the Jaguar XF, which doesn’t falter during more aggressive driving. The XF is also confident and surefooted, living up to the sporting aspirations of the brand.
To be fair, we haven’t tried the Jaguar XF on bumpy, second grade roads, so we’ll reserve final judgement of its dynamic abilities till then.
The 2.7-litre twin turbo V6 diesel engine musters a modest 152kW of power. But it’s the more muscular 435Nm of torque available from just 1900rpm that gives the diesel its character and easy going driveability.

First Australian drive: Jaguar XF

First Australian drive: Jaguar XF