Motormouth:-2016 Jaguar XF 2.0d R-Sport
Grace, Pace and (more) Space: 2016 Jaguar XF 2.0d R-Sport
The more things stay the same, the more they change. Anyway that’s how it seems with Jaguar’s latest XFs. Despite looking much as they did last year almost everything, apart from a couple of the engines, has changed.
Fronts, rears and interiors are noticeably different; the car is seven millimetres shorter (you won’t notice) but its wheelbase is 51 mm longer. You will feel that. Rear legroom is 15 mm greater, there’s 24 mm more knee room and a 27 mm increase in headspace. They’re also about 190 kilograms lighter than the previous range. The boot stays much the same at 505 litres. All models use eight-speed ZF automatic transmissions.
The line was trimmed from nine variants to seven and the 2.2 diesel made way for a 2.0-litre. It makes a little less power and torque, but is much cleaner (114 gm/km vs. 158) and more economical (4.3 l/100 vs. 5.4 l/100 km claimed averages). The new car is slightly quicker to 100 km/h and top speed is a touch higher. Thank reduced weight for that.
Staying with engines, the V8s have gone; the 2.0 and 3.0 petrol motors put out as they did before although a new, hotter version of the three-litre supercharged mill (XFS only) adds 30 Nm while cutting one-tenth of a second off the sprint time. It’ll cost you – about 1.27 million – although added pretty things and Adaptive Dynamics help to ease the pain.
But back to our 2.0 diesel, R-Sport, test car. The same engine is fitted to the Prestige version costing R72 700 less, but here’s what you get for the added outlay: 18” alloy wheels rather than 17”; R-Sport body kit with sports front bumper, side sills, power vents and badges and a boot-mounted spoiler; sports leather seats; sports suspension (special springs and dampers) and some appearance items.
Being a Jaguar, it’s fitted with more safety and luxury kit than we have space for here, but it includes six airbags, emergency brake assist, torque vectoring, DSC, trailer stability and traction control, cruise with speed limiter, hill holder, Jaguar Drive Control (eco, dynamic and normal), rain sensing wipers, tyre pressure monitoring, front and rear parking aids, keyless starting and dual zone air conditioning. The basic 80-Watt music system offers Bluetooth connectivity and streaming. There’s a choice of two upgrades; to 380- or 825W.
Had you asked a few years ago which XF we liked best, we would have named the 3.0 diesel. We may yet rethink that but, before we commit, there are still others to test, aren’t there? This car goes and handles brilliantly, has a huge boot, there’s enough people-room in the back (at last) and it boasts more than enough power for any but the truly jaded. We rather fancied it.
Living with it: The boot opens at 65 centimetres above ground level and its sill is 10 cm deep, making it easy to load or unload. There are four tie-down rings, a light, two bag hooks and a spacesaver spare under the floor board. It’s painted blush scarlet; to shame you into getting punctures fixed promptly. Buttons on a pair of cables, like old-time choke knobs, release the 2/3:1/3-split seatbacks to lie almost flat.
Back seat accommodations are better than we are used to in XFs, still a little shy of excellent, but that added 27 mm makes the difference between “hair against ceiling” and “at last, enough space.” The fold-down armrest includes a pair of cup holders, there are magazine pockets on the front seatbacks and repeater vents for air conditioning. Its door bins are usefully sized.
From the pilot’s seat, the smaller of two available touch screens and 23 buttons provide a comfortable balance between functionality and flash. You can, for example, turn on and adjust the air conditioner or work the radio without having to ask permission from menus hidden deeply within arcane electronics. The only items we disliked (we’re hopelessly outvoted, apparently) were its shiny black wheels although two other finishes, charcoal or silver, can be had as options.
Summing up, it’s still the XF we really like – just different – and better. (Test car from JLRSA press fleet)
Basic price: R838 600
Engine: 1999 cc, DOHC, 16-valve, four-cylinder turbodiesel
Power: 132 kW at 4000 rpm
Torque: 430 Nm between 1750 and 2500 rpm
Zero to 100 km/h: 8.1 seconds
Maximum speed: 229 km/h
Real life fuel consumption: About 6.4 l/100 km
Tank: 66 litres
Luggage: 505 litres
Warranty and maintenance: 5 years / 100 000 km