With a packed schedule for the weekend ahead of us, we asked Jaguar The Netherlands to lend us a car that could cater for our needs. We required space for four people and luggage including all the journalism equipment such as laptops, cameras and much more. Jaguar offered us a Jaguar XF 3.0d Luxury, the diesel version punching out a modest 240 hp. Until then, we had drove almost every XF that is available on the market; the 2.2d, the Sportbrake and of course the performance models. These cars were reviewed as we would any other car whether they be a crazy Citroen or a McLaren P1. This test, however, would not be the same! There were two events we needed to visit including hours of travelling on the Autobahn and some gorgeous B roads around the legendary Nurburgring.
Saturday was all about the Spring Event at Weeze Airport. Packing the car was no problem at all. The 540-litres of trunk space was enough for four weekend suitcases, four camera bags, tripods and a crate for foods and drinks. It was the same story inside. The back seats provided a lot of leg room guaranteeing a comfortable journey. Pushing the start button is a wonderful experience. The air vents open while the gearbox ‘wheel’ rises out of the centre console. A little drama that makes the XF feel a little more special than its German rivals.
The event started with a get together of supercars near Utrecht. From there it was a highway drive to Weeze Airport where the main activities took place. Our task was to cover the event from head to toe meaning we needed pictures from the drive to the locations. We started up front so we didn’t need to catch up with the supercars, something this event the XF may have struggled to do! The comfort of the Jaguar XF worked in our favour. The photographers were able to take some great car-to-car photos without any vibrations or bumps travelling through the suspension and ruining the photos!
Having arrived in Weeze it was time to give the Jaguar some rest After all, drifting and drag racing is not what such a car was designed to do. By the end of the afternoon it was time to leave Weeze to hit the Autobahn towards Nürburg. The Autobahn is the playground of Jaguars closest competitors Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. The 3.0D V6 with 240 hp and 500 Nm has no problem with the Autobahn. Accelerating in the packed saloon was effortless and the difference with an empty car is hardly noticeable with the relatively juicy torque figure being the main reason. The ZF eight-speed gearbox does most of the work on its own, selecting the most efficient gear and sparing the engine from any stress. When pushing, the cars still behaves more like a kitty than a ‘Jaguar’, but when looking at the speedometer, speeds over 200 km/h were reached with ease. The acceleration is continual and the handling steady and easy. Shifting manually with the shift paddles behind the steering wheel seemed unnecessary as changes are not much faster than the sport auto mode.
We were invited to the Streetgasm2000 pre-party at the Nurburgring. The party consisted of a meeting of the participants with their supercars, a preview of the Streetgasm Challenge and a party. All this took place at Eifeldorf Grüne Hölle next to the Nürburgring Grand Prix track. The Jaguar was a classy attendee. First because you don’t see these car very often, certainly not in Germany, but also because all the supercars were wrapped in shiny colours including dozens of sponsor stickers. The dark sapphire blue metallic of our car and the neat 18-inch wheels gave the car a luxury business feel and definitely isn’t overdone look like many of the other cars.
After a well deserved night in the Lindner Hotel it was time to search for a location to photograph the car. We picked the Capricorn building; the offices of the company in the process of purchasing the Nurburgring and Nordschleife. The glass clad structure is very modern and is a stones-throw away from the Jaguar test centre. The location suits the design of the Jaguar XF perfectly. After the photoshoot it was time to hit the roads around the famous Nordschleife. Again this Jaguar is not built for such testing roads. We definitely would have preferred to have driven one of Jaguars performance models here, but without such astonishing fuel consumption and comfort we wouldn’t made it this far so easily. This gave us the opportunity to give dynamic ride a try. This button in the centre console is marked with a chequered flag. The dynamic settings offer a slightly stiffer ride. As a result, comfort is marginally sacrificed. The shift paddles are more useful in this situation than on the Autobahn. Selecting the right gear before a corner and then accelerating out of the corner in second or third is easy and is is very enjoyable until you have to shift soon after as you notice you’re in a diesel as it doesn’t rev very high. On the way home we set the cruise control on 130 km/h to relax and enjoy the sunset to end a great weekend.
After a weekend driving this British saloon in German playground we got to know this car very well. With an eye on the just revealed Jaguar XE it is nice to gauge how these models compare to their German competitors. First the exterior. Jaguar has an advantage here as you do not see them as often as the German saloons giving the Jag exclusivity. The age where Jaguars were for the elderly is behind us, especially after the recent facelift. The front looks aggressive and the headlights with a LED strip give the car a striking appearance. The new XE has even more of a presence!
Although the colours of the interior would not be our choice, it suited the exterior and the ‘luxury’ style of our car. Just like the exterior, the interior has its own design which is modern and classic at the same time. The interior of the XE carries over more design ideas from the F-Type making it look sportier.
The driving experience has come a lot closer to that of the XF’s German competitors and we expect that the Jaguar XE to be closer still. We eagerly anticipate the opportunity to drive it! Are you interested in reading more depth details of the Jaguar XF? Then we highly recommend you read our past reviews of the Jaguar XF 2.2D, Jaguar Sportbrake, Jaguar XFR and Jaguar XFRS.