Jaguar XF long-term test review: tyre abuse leads to a new set of boots
This is what it looks like when you throw real life at a saloon
The XF was returned to me with a new set of Pirelli P Zeros, which told me all I needed to know about how hard it had been pushed by the testers during the comparison.
I was surprised by the amount of additional grip provided by the fresh tyres. The original set had been aging well when I handed the XF over to the testers, so without their intervention, there wouldn’t have been any need to consider replacements.
Now, though, there’s a noticeable improvement in grip. The warmer weather and drier roads have helped the summer-biased rubber, too. In the winter, it was fairly easy to provoke a touch of wheelspin under acceleration from a standstill.
The Jag also came back to me with a message on the instrument panel warning of a depleted level of AdBlue, the nitrogen oxide-reducing additive that’s becoming a common feature of large-capacity diesels.
If you take out an official manufacturer’s service plan when you buy your Jaguar, you can choose to get a free refill of AdBlue from a main dealer. However, you have to book your visit in advance, so I decided to do it myself.
I doubt a dealer would have emulated me by sprinkling AdBlue over the XF’s boot carpet like a woozy drunk taking aim at a urinal, so if you’re similarly clumsy you might be better off letting the experts do it.
The AdBlue tank can be replenished via a filler neck located in the boot. The tank’s capacity is 17 litres, which,Jaguar suggests, should be good for between 5000 and 8000 miles, so I was surprised that we had surpassed well over 10,000 miles before seeing the message warning us that a refill was required.
I suspect the relatively easy life I give the XF – a steady 43-mile trot on the M3 twice each working day is its main chore – might be helping to eke out the supply of AdBlue, as well as the rest of the XF’s consumables. If only I can keep the car away from those oversteer-addicted road testers for the foreseeable future…
JAGUAR XF 3.0 TDV6 S
Price £49,995 Price as tested £61,920 Economy 45.8mpg Faults None Expenses Four new tyres plus fitting £810, 10 litres of AdBlue £13.49 Mileage 12,955
I’ve paired our XF to Jaguar’s InControl app and the Remote smartphone app. The latter monitors the car’s vital signs from afar (useful for those “did I remember to lock it?” moments); the former enables access to third-party apps via the multimedia screen. I’ll report back on their usefulness once I’ve lived with them for a while.
It was a stray dog hair in the cabin that made me realise the XF had been put to good use.
As I wound down for a break, I’d handed the key to resident road tester Alan Taylor-Jones, who needed a comfortable car in which to transport his family – including Sprocket the dog – around the country.
As payback, Alan agreed to deliver some observations on the XF, and I’m pleased that he returned as impressed as I have been with the XF’s ability as a comfortable consumer of miles, bar a couple of minor quibbles.
Wet roads provide a reminder of the V6’s fruitiness. Alan notes that when you are driving in Normal mode and squeeze the accelerator to pull away from a standstill, there’s a slight lag before the power is delivered, a trait that’s not uncommon in automatics. When the power does arrive, boy does it arrive in a hurry, and Alan reports that “it is possible to overwhelm the rear tyres when the road surface is greasy”.
Over 6000 or so miles, I’ve learned to anticipate that slight lag, particularly when pulling out at busy junctions and roundabouts. Indeed, applying a large clog of accelerator from a standstill can be fun in the right circumstances, although perhaps not when elderly relatives are being ferried around.
Alan had to lower the folding rear seats during various trips. He reckons proper handles with which to fold the seats are “a nice idea” but feels pulling the handles should do more than merely release the seats from their lockings. “You still need to pull the seats down, which is annoying,” he says.
Overall, though, the Jaguar’s combination of comfort when you need it and decent performance if you want it really is a gift that keeps on giving.
Price £49,995 Price as tested £61,920 Economy 41.6mpg Faults None Expenses None Mileage 7649
I jumped at the offer of the Jaguar XF for a weekend, before realising what my Friday night had in store for me: yet another trip to Ikea.
Plenty of questions were fired at the XF’s guardian, Matt Burt, all asking about the car’s practicality. From memory, the Jaguar didn’t have the rear space and access of many cars out there, not least my current long-termer, the very different Seat Ateca, but the Jaguar’s spec sheet lists the boot as being 30 litres larger than the Seat’s, at 540 litres.
So, armed with a tape measure, I wandered over to our car park one lunchtime to scope the boot out for myself. I was quickly reminded how limiting the boot aperture is, and then there was the mystery of how to fold down the rear seats. Eventually, I gave in and read the manual, which directed me to two (almost hidden) yellow levers in the roof of the boot. Bear in mind, too, that while our XF has the 60/40-split rear seats as standard, that’s not the case on the car’s two lower trims; they cost £420 extra. That might not sit well with some buyers, but it’s a similar scenario with the BMW 5 Series.
How did we fare at Ikea? It was a sedate spending spree, but the XF handled the job in fine style, easily swallowing a sizeable mirror and various household fripperies. RB
JAGUAR XF 3.0 TDV6 S
Price £49,995 Price as tested £61,920 Economy 41.6mpg Faults None Expenses None
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Source: Autocar Online