2009 Jaguar XF Premium Luxury 3.0 "S" turbo diesel

Summary:

Don't buy a 5 Series until you've driven one

Faults:

No faults so far.

General Comments:

Bought to replace a 2006 535d M Sport, which I was really happy with.

The interior is in a different league to the BMW's. No more bland grey plastic, lovely materials, first class comfort, and lots of lovely toys to play with. Novelty items such as the rollback vents, heartbeat start button and pop up gear selector are the initial attractors, but the deeper qualities of the seats, driving position, equipment levels and sheer refinement go deeper. A lovely place to be. The Bowers and Wilkins sound system is breathtaking, too.

If BMW need to understand in a nutshell why they should ditch those ridiculous runflat tyres, they should sample the Jag's much more supple ride, and greater resistance to tramlining, particularly under heavy braking. The XF is no soggy limo, make no mistake. The ride is on the firm side, but it never thumps or crashes like the BMW used to, and there is much less road noise. I daresay on the outer limits of handling on a circuit, the BMW is probably a tad more agile, but on the road, there's nothing in it.

The twin turbo V6 diesel seems to lack the BMW engine's sheer muscle in terms of feel, but on paper is 6/10 of a second quicker to 60. I'm not sure I actually believe that given the power to weight ratio is actually inferior to the BMW's, but I can say it never feels underpowered. Jaguar have built a corker of an engine. It's all but silent when cruising, but has a lovely V6 growl when revved. The autobox is well matched, and changes are smooth and seamless. It gives me around 37 mpg in mixed driving, compared with the slightly more efficient 39 mpg from the BMW.

As you can probably gather, I am smitten with this car. It's been a long time coming, but at last a car which competes on equal terms with the best Germany can produce. The 5 is long in the tooth now, and its replacement is bound to be better, but comparing like for like, today, and purely on merit, I can't see anyone other than a die hard BMW fan walking away from the Jag.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th January, 2010

2nd Oct 2010, 13:17

Update: Now covered 22,000 miles. I was shocked to find the rear brake pads needed changing at the first service, but apparently this is because the stability / traction control system uses the rear brakes to control wheelspin. The bill came to a few pounds short of £450.

Not much else to report really. The engine seems to be loosening up and becoming stronger with miles, and after the oil change at 15k, seemed to perk up in its already impressive response. My car has suffered none of the wind noise and electrical problems reported by other owners, and is still a genuine delight to drive.

Still a BMW basher as far as I am concerned.