My long-term Jaguar XFR has had a busy month or two, as the rather rapid mileage accumulation to 7 500 km shows – at the time of my first update three months ago, it had only completed 2 405 km. It has been used for two long-distance trips to Mossel Bay and back, and also performed its first wedding car duties in Stellenbosch.
Seeing as the XFR has spent much of its time since joining CAR stuck in Pinelands, I was particularly looking forward to the two long-distance trips. I’m happy to report that it did not disappoint one bit. Driver comfort is superb. It offers adjustable seat cushion length, something which really aids comfort over long distances as it adds welcome support under the thighs. Both drives took place in the extremely cold conditions that the Cape has faced the past two months. I used the heated seating (and steering wheel) to good effect. Of course, the Bowers&Wilkins sound system is not highly rated for nothing. I also appreciated the sound quality of the handsfree Bluetooth system, as I had a number of phone calls to conduct while driving.
I continue to rate the XFR’s ride quality highly, especially when you keep in mind that this is a very performance-oriented machine. The two passes on the N2 to Mossel Bay were particularly enjoyable. The XFR has fairly light steering (which some of the guys/gals here at CAR don’t like), but I find it very much in tune with the car’s “light on its feet” overall feel. The throttle/brakes also do not require much pressure, but everything responds with a precision and an immediacy that I enjoy – the control harmonization of this car is superb. I did make use of the “Sport” function on the transmission as I entered the mountain passes and boy, it really does sharpen things up considerably.
I’ve been a fan of touch screen systems for many years, but I think the love affair is waning, perhaps because the latest versions of BMW’s iDrive and Audi’s MMI have become far more intuitive and easier to use. By comparison the XFR’s touchscreen requires you to take your eyes off the road for too long, and if the road is bumpy, your pointed finger may end up hitting the wrong virtual “button”.
Another small irritation that came to light on the long trip was the absence of a more comprehensive trip computer – I really missed an “immediate consumption” readout, particularly because I was trying to figure out just how low I could get the overall figure, which in town has been sitting just under 17 L/100 km! The best I could do was a figure of just under 12 L/100 km for the 400 km trip – achieved by using the cruise control and driving at a leisurely pace. Interestingly, I picked up the pace considerably on the return journey, and it proved only marginally thirstier.
I arrived at my destination (without a rest stop), feeling refreshed. I have done this same trip regularly these past few years in a variety of different vehicles and can honestly say that the XFR, hardcore performance machine it may be, rates with the best for driver comfort.
In terms of build integrity, the XFR gets a clean bill of health thus far. There hasn’t been one rattle or squeak.
Since taking ownership of the Jaguar, I’ve seen quite a few facelifted XFs all over South Africa. The car has been a big seller for Jaguar worldwide and in South Africa, where it clocked up 73 registrations in June, more than the Lexus GS and Audi A6, making it South Africa’s third most popular executive saloon – quite an achievement, considering where Jaguar was a few years ago.
Mileage on arrival: 1 364 km
Mileage now: 7 483 km
Fuel consumption: 15,5 litres/100 km
We like: Looks, sound, comfort, ride/handling balance, character
We don’t like: narrow boot aperture, fuel thirst, lacks a more comprehensive trip computer