The luscious cruiser
I’ve always attempted to deviate from the norm. It’s more fun that way. Why settle for what everyone else has? Why follow the crowd? Sure, it’s a lot safer, people won’t point fingers at you but I think you lose your sense of identity by being so-called ‘normal’ and quite frankly, that’s too boring for my taste.
So when a car lands up in your driveway that, in accordance with your life views, also wishes to deviate from the norm, a very happy week of driving is suddenly on the cards. And that’s exactly what happened when we tested the Jaguar XF.
At first glance I was somewhat disappointed… black wheels, white paint. How terribly, terribly normal; and on-spec for most South African’s favourite colour combination. And then I opened the door.
Oh the joy! A luscious interior in bold red and black greeted my astounded eyes. I fell in love instantly. It’s so refreshing to see a daring take on a vehicle’s cabin design and this XF did not disappoint at all. From the swooping aluminium inserts on the dash and doors, to the soft, aerated two tone leather seats and paneling along the doors.
Everything oozed style and comfort. All of this encapsulated in a Glacier-white metallic paint finish on the exterior which still managed to brag about the XF’s impressive design lines and styling without detracting too much from the sporty looks.
Sliding into the front seat was a supremely comforting experience and I eagerly anticipated some longer drives. Sadly, for all of the XF 25t amazing looks, the days of the Jaguar brand being synonymous with large V6 and V8 powered sedans are diminishing; a somewhat tinnier 4-cylinder 2.0l turbo-charged petrol engine powers this beautiful vehicle.
While some more eco-conscious among you may raise eyebrows and remark on how clever such a move is, I couldn’t help but bemoan the fact that this XF had all the looks and features of a very sporty car without the growl. But let’s ride with that for a bit. How did it drive?
Initial impressions weren’t favourable. Living in a hilly area, I found the car constantly seeking through its 8-speed automatic gearbox for a suitably ‘economic’ gear. Shoving the gearbox into manual selection mode solved this and the use of the flappy paddle shift gear selectors definitely helped things along a bit. So far, nothing special. Then I took it out on the open road.
Vintage Jaguar freedom at your fingertips! The XF can only be described as a cruiser. Part of me was wishing I had the excuse for another 1,500km trek north to Windhoek just to drive the open road for endless kilometers. The XF 25t is superb. It offers every aspect of executive comfort that you would wish from a Jaguar and the claimed 7.5L/100km fuel consumption came a lot closer to our reach (we still fell short of this claim and averaged closer to 9.0L/100km)
Some niggles that require pointing out; there’s a noticeable delay in reaction speed when you’re trying to overtake quickly. I adjusted my driving style as the week wore on, so that this no longer bothered me as much as in the beginning, but you would be forgiven for expecting a faster reaction time. Again, using manual gear selection helped a lot.
A further niggle was unexpected in that a few rattles and creaks were apparent in the trim. If you’re playing music, these will go unnoticed but it’s concerning to think that a brand like Jaguar would have slightly inferior interior build quality.
Why would you want one? This is always the important question. The Jaguar offers everything that you would want from an executive saloon. Impressive lines and sporty head-turning looks, a fabulously comfortable interior and supreme cruising ability. But it disappoints on outright punch (at least in this model) and some of the interior build quality may be questionable.
Furthermore, the 4-cylinder engine really isn’t as economical as claimed and the car would have been way more fun with either 3.0 V6 they have on offer. Which brings me back to my question, why would you want one?
You’ll buy this XF because you’re thumbing your nose at your colleagues in their German built sedans. Because you can’t give a fig about what people will think, because you’re slightly more individual than the average person and the hefty price tag that varies according to the Rand’s fickleness is of no concern to you. You’ll buy the XF 25t R-Sport because you can and because I’m very sure that despite everything I’ve told you above, you’ll really, really, really like it.
Available for N$875 300 with a 3 year/ 100 000km warranty and 5 year/ 100 000km maintenance plan.
0-10km/h: 0,59 seconds
0-20km/h: 1,13 seconds
0-30km/h: 1,61 seconds
0-40km/h: 2,09 seconds
0-50km/h: 2,70 seconds
0-60km/h: 3,35 seconds
0-70km/h: 4,03 seconds
0-80km/h: 4,97 seconds
0-90km/h: 5,95 seconds
0-100km/h: 6,97 seconds
0-110km/h: 8,07 seconds
0-120km/h: 9,43 seconds
0-130km/h: 10,85 seconds
0-140km/h: 12,47 seconds
0-150km/h: 14,43 seconds
0-160km/h: 16,64 seconds
0-100m: 6,58 seconds @ 94,24km/h
0-200m: 9,84 seconds @ 122,99km/h
0-300m: 12,56 seconds @ 140,62km/h
0-400m: 15,02 seconds @ 152,94km/h
0-10mph: 0,93 seconds
0-20mph: 1,71 seconds
0-30mph: 2,55 seconds
0-40mph: 3,63 seconds
0-50mph: 5,00 seconds
0-60mph: 6,61 seconds
0-70mph: 8,47 seconds
0-80mph: 10,66 seconds
0-90mph: 13,45 seconds
0-100mph: 16,84 seconds
1/4 mile: 15,07 seconds @ 95,20 mph
Maximum acceleration G-force: 0,64G
All data captured by Racelogic® Performance Box