We’re putting Jaguar’s executive saloon through a year-long test to see how it fares
After taking delivery of the £60,000 Jaguar XF we’re going to be running for the next year, we had one trip planned as soon as possible. Take it back to the Birmingham factory that built it. And so, with just a few hundred miles on the clock, we pulled into Jaguar’s Castle Bromwich factory to stage the production line photo you see here.
We timed our visit well. On the news as we drove up was confirmation the factory was about to receive £100 million in investment to produce the XF’s little sister, the XE. The 300-strong workforce was thus in buoyant mood.
As were we. Because we were already growing to love our XF. It was proving as impressive on UK roads as it was during the launch event last year, where it saw off its German rivals: the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Audi A6 were all given a bloody nose by the new Brit.
With a new BMW 5 Series on the way in 2017, we felt it time to live with the XF day-to-day, ahead of the face-off that’s coming soon. And living with it daily means running a 43-mile each-way commute across the M3. Oh, the joy.
That’s why we chose the range-topping XF S, complete with 296bhp 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel and eight-speed automatic. Already, it’s making the motorway schlep a pleasure. The engine is barely audible at speed and it undertakes long journeys with the minimum of fuss.
The XF turns heads as well, in the beautiful Italian Racing Red paint that we matched with black-painted 19-inch five-spoke alloys. We could have gone for 20-inchers but felt that would have spoiled the ride. As it stands, it’s another one of our XF’s strong suits.
We’re enjoying some of the options we’ve chosen. The £1655 360-degree surround-view parking camera is expensive, but handy in tight bays, and adaptive cruise control is easing the pain of the M3’s 50mph roadworks. What’s not yet clear is how close we’ll get to the claimed 51.4mpg combined economy figure. At the moment, we’re about 10mpg off.
All in all, the honeymoon period has been blissful. But will it continue over the next 12 months?
JAGUAR XF 3.0 TDV6 S AUTOMATIC
Price as tested £61,920
Options: InControl Touch Pro Navigation pack with 825W Meridian stereo £2095, Advanced Parking Assist pack and surround camera £1655, adaptive cruise £1430, Head-up Display pack £1245, sliding panoramic roof £970, Italian Racing Red paint £690, 19in five-spoke alloy wheels £820, Active Safety pack £840, Black pack £665, Rear Comfort pack £525, privacy glass £385, illuminated side door tread plate £310, 18in alloy spacesaver spare wheel £185, air quality sensing £55, cooled glovebox £55, Jet/Light Oyster stitch no cost option