Motoring: Get an upgrade with the 2018 Jaguar XF S 35t AWD
Credit: NAUMAN FAROOQ
The 2018 Jaguar XF S 35t AWD is a well improve vehicle, compared to previous models, though it may still not be the car for everyone.
After all, Jaguar has been well established in the luxury sedan market for over five decades and currently has three sizes of Sedans to offer customers, from the entry-level XE, to the flagship XJ.
In the middle, there is the XF and it has to compete with the likes of the BMW 5 series, the Mercedes-Benz E-class, and the Audi A6 — that is certainly very tough competition.
So, how does it stack up? In the past, the XF did OK, but not great. Things are different now and Jaguar has stepped up its game in areas where it was the weakest and that is in-car tech.
Jaguar's old infotainment system was a relic from its old partnership with Ford and as a result, the system offered a small screen, with a slow response time to your commands and the resolution was weak.
Their new, InControl Touch Pro system, offers a larger screen, that is clearer to see and is very quick to respond to your touch.
Furthermore, this new infotainment device offers far more features than before and can really work wonders for you if you're planning your trip. So, a step in the right direction for sure.
The improvements continue with the instrument binnacle, which is now a fully customizable TFT screen. Its best feature has to be the navigation screen, which shows you a virtual reality map of your surroundings, while still displaying your speed and fuel levels — albeit in a smaller space. This is very similar to Audi's Virtual Cockpit feature and I love it — it gives you area information in great detail and it looks cool.
But wait, there's more. My XF tester also featured a heads-up display — and while Jaguar's interpretation is hardly the best in the business, at least, it is there.
As you'd expect from a luxury vehicle, the rest of the cabin is quite impressive, too. Not only does the cabin provide plenty of space for all occupants, they get to sit on what have to be among the best seats in the car world, currently. You can spend an entire day driving this car, and still feel fresh. So, if you're the type who does a lot of driving, you'll adore the XF.
However, from a driving point of view, the XF used to be more desirable.
In previous years, the XF was offered with monstrous supercharged V8 engines that developed up to 550 horsepower Nowadays, the XF line-up is dominated by 2.0 litres engines, in both gasoline and diesel configurations, while the top motor currently offered is a 3.0 litres supercharged V6 that produces 380 horsepower and 332 pounds per foot of torque. Power is fed to allwheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission, which helps this 1,760 kilogramssedan sprint from 0 to 100 kilometres per hour in 5.3 seconds, and on to an electronically limited top speed of 195 kilometres per hour — fast, but not a road shredding super sedan that it once was.
If you're more bothered about comfort than speed, then you'll be very content with the new XF, because the vehicle rides very well, and thanks to its excellent sound proofing, you can just relax — its adaptive cruise control further helps in this regard.
Its fuel economy could have been better though, I averaged 11.4 litres per 100 kilometres during my test week, which is on the high side for a six-cylinder sedan.
All in all, the new XF has improved in terms of technology, but is not as thrilling to drive as it once was. The 2018 Jaguar XF range starts from $58,900 — for that you get a 2.0 litres four-cylinder gas engine that produces 247 horsepower. A 380 horsepower XF S (like my tester), has a base price of $74,500 — which is competitively priced compared to its German rivals, although it is higher than its Japanese rivals.
I hope, that in the coming years, Jaguar reintroduces the XF R-S model, with a supercharged V8; then the XF will be able to once again take the fight to the big boys like the M5, RS7, or E63S.