I’ve been a big fan of the Jaguar XF since the first day I drove one. But this is only the second time I’ve taken our 2.2 for a proper trip. Jag has conjured up an impressive amount of power and smoothness from the engine and new eight-speed automatic gearbox. Add to that a host of other qualities - sleek looks, good driving position, comfortable ride - and it’s a very desirable package.
It’s uncanny going along at motorway speeds with less than 2000rpm showing on the rev counter, particularly when you know there’s a four-cylinder engine under the bonnet. You could criticise the engine for being a bit vocal - it makes a fair old clatter when it’s spinning fast - but the much improved fuel economy more than compensates.
My one criticism, and it’s a relatively minor one, is that the car doesn’t feel as nimble as its bigger sister, the V6. That’s not what I’d expected, bearing in mind there’s less weight in the nose, but it could be down to the winter tyres, which can give a shimmery, greasy feel to the steering when it’s not cold.
Week ending February 17 Mileage 12,200 Driven this week 1000 miles
A few weeks ago I bemoaned the fact that the Jag was taking an age to fill up with diesel. I’ve been putting the pump nozzle fully into the Jag’s filler neck, to avoid the possibility of any fuel spitting back on to the forecourt and my shoes, and the car wouldn’t take fuel at any more than a trickle. This, patently, was not what to do.
Chief road tester Pete Tullin, who ran a Jaguar XJ last year, gave me a piece of advice. He told me to put the nozzle in only halfway down the neck and all would be fine. I’d tried something similar, but clearly had still put in the nozzle too far. Wiggling it around had also proved ineffective.
I can confirm that Pete does indeed know his Jags, because the XF now takes fuel far more quickly than before. That’s got to be good news when I face another chilly late-night filling session.
Week ending February 10 Mileage 11,200 Driven this week: 550
As part of the tech employed to lower the Jag’s CO2 emissions, there’s an engine stop-start system fitted.
This is great when I’m sitting in (yet another) traffic jam on the motorway or shuffling between the lights in town. However, I can’t help thinking it operates a mite too quickly at times.
For example, I always reverse into car park spaces, but when I stop just beyond a space to engage reverse, the system switches off the engine instantly. Then it restarts so quickly that sometimes the starter motor engages even before the engine has stopped spinning completely, which doesn’t sound great.
Perhaps the system should be reprogrammed to include a pause of a second or two just to get around this issue.
Week ending February 3 Mileage 10,650 Driven this week 625
I’m experiencing a feeling with the Jag that I haven’t felt with any other long-term test car. Yup, it fills me with regret every single day.
That’s because I genuinely look forward to driving it, and love every mile I do in it. It’s great on the motorway, and it’s properly entertaining everywhere else. It even soothes away my daily traffic jam woes.
The regret comes near the end of every journey, because I know I’ll be getting out of it soon and it’ll be a few hours at least before I get to drive it again.