Jaguar XF 2.0 180 R Sport (2015)
Our Rating 4.5 / 5
Carzone Test Drives the new Jaguar XF 2.0 180 R Sport
"In some ways the Jaguar XF is the perfect example of just how much progress the company has made in the last few years. When the original was launched in 2007 it was the last great hope of a company staring over the financial precipice. However just a year later Tata took over and the rest is history.
In 2015 alone they have already launched 4 new models including this “the brand new XF ”. So what’s new this time around well the design is certainly more conservative evolution than blank canvas but director Ian Callum told us that is deliberate. He wanted to continue the foundations and the strong family look he has established over the last few years in other models in the range. So that means you get upright F-Type inspired grill. It is a little conservative but there are certainly lovely details once you get up close especially these full led headlights which are optional and this beautiful feature line that runs from here the grill the front all the way down the car to the tail lights at the back it's actually a little bit shorter than the car it replaces but crucially there's much more room between the wheels 51 millimetres in fact that means examine me a lot more space in the back those who want to get chauffeured around rather than just drive it themselves
That tweak to the packaging has definitely had an impact once you have sat here in the back as you can see that absolutely acres of legroom and that's really important in places like China and the USA. There is also much more headroom then used to get in the old car as well and it all feels very luxurious.
There are four trims to choose from: Prestige, RSport, Portfolio and S which is the top of the range. But all of those cars come with alloy wheels, reversing sensors and leather seats too. So it comes very nicely equipped
Underneath the skin the new XF shows a lot of its architecture, mostly aluminium with the new XE. It means it's a lot lighter than the car it replaces. In some cases by nearly 200 kilograms and that has a very beneficial effect on everything, from handling balance to CO2 and efficiency, which is all important on company cars like this.
It means that the lightest two litre 163 PS diesel emits just a hundred and four g/km which is the best for any diesel car in its class, and it will return around 70 mpg on the official cycle just seriously impressive stuff.
Now it doesn't necessarily feel that light on its toes on the road however it also shares the same double wishbones an integral link rear suspension as the XE too and what you can feel is a really really nice handling balance
This has a very good chassis and the steering gives you loads of confidence. The front end has got a lot of grip and we've been a little bit spoiled driving on some wonderful roads here in the Northern Navarre region of Spain and have to say it's really impressive the way this car handles.
There are four different engines that we will get; Two 2 litre diesel 163 PS I mentioned and a 180 PS version which I'm driving here now. They're available with a six-speed manual gearbox or an eight-speed automatic and is also two V6’s to choose from. They only come in S trim but there's either 300 PS diesel or a 380 PS supercharged petrol V-6 from the F-Type. Now the V6 petrol and diesel are a lot punchier than the 2 litre but all of these engines are really refined and overall the car feels quite grown up, just very very positive it really soaks up the road as you roll over it and again it just makes you drive in a lightly more grown-up manner than you might in its younger brother the XE.
Steering is that little bit slower too, so it doesn't feel quite so hyper active and alert but that means you get more stability and calmness on the motorway which is where most of these cars will be driven.
There isn’t a lot to complain about I have to say but if there's one thing it's at the XP gearbox is probably not calibrated quite as well as it is in this cars main rival the BMW 5 Series.
Changes aren't quite as crisp and occasionally you'll be left waiting.
Also right at the top end of the road range sometimes this two litre diesel does feel slightly like it runs out of puff. But these are pretty minor niggles in what is otherwise a seriously impressive dynamic package.
The other one criticism I probably do have is with this cabin. Feels very upmarket and stylish but in certain places some of the materials feel a little bit cheaper. Also this entertainment system while considerably better than the old car really has taken a big leap forward again just not quite as slick graphically or as easy to figure out some of the best systems around. Other than that though have to say the XF really seems like it's a challenge for class honours".
- Model: Jaguar XF 2.0 diesel 180 R-Sport ZF 8 auto
- Price: From €44,820 - €79,850
- Engine: 2.0-litre 4cyl diesel, eight-speed auto
- Power/Torque: 178bhp/318lb ft
- 0-62mph: 8.1 secs
- Top speed: 136mph
- Economy: 65.7mpg
- CO2/BIK tax liability: 114g/km/20%
- Boot space: 540 litres