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Jaguar XF— Big cat has claws

Snapshot: In the market for a luxury car but want something different from the Germans? Then this review is for you.

The Jaguar XF is Britain’s reply to the Germans about how a luxury car should be like. But just the fact that it has to take on the likes of the Audi A6, BMW 5-series and the Mercedes Benz means that this car has to be really good. We took the base diesel version of the car for a spin to find out if it is as good as it looks. Read on for a definitive review.

Jaguar XF Exteriors 
Just one look around the XF is sure to impress you with its good looks. It is easily one of the sharpest looking cars in this class. With those big cat-shaped headlamps and huge chrome grille upfront and plenty of chrome upfront this car shouts class. The side profile is completed with those pronounced wheel arches and the sweeping roof line also adds to the sense of visual appeal. The rear end isn’t as dramatic as the front but the car looks well balanced and proportioned when seen from the side view. It has a strong purposeful stance and lots of presence.

Jaguar XF Interiors
If you thought the dramatic looks ended on the outside you were wrong. The interiors are just as dramatic as the exterior. When you start the engine, the rotary knob for the gear lever pops out and the AC vents swivel open as well adding to the visual sense of appeal inside the cabin. The beige, dark brown and brushed aluminium works really well inside the car and quality levels are absolutely first rate. In fact, there isn’t a low quality component inside the cabin. The dials looks sporty and elegant at the same time adding to the overall appeal.

The seats are very comfortable and offer good bolstering as well. Despite the sloping roof at the back, rear occupants get good headroom and legroom at the rear is good as well. The tall transmission tunnel though makes this a strict two-seater at the back with very little legroom on offer for the middle passenger. The boot is deep and well-shaped too, making this one of the best cars for airport transfers.

Jaguar XF Engine, performance and gearbox
The car we tested came with a 2.2-litre diesel engine with 197bhp of power. This is all the engine you will ever need on this car. The engine is so good on refinement that passengers at the back will simply think it’s a petrol. Even the front occupants will have a hard time spotting that it’s a diesel. It’s also a rev happy motor, which means that even when you push it all the way upto it’s redline of 5,000rpm, it simply goes.  The 8-speed automatic gearbox also does a superb job of spreading this generous power, you are never found wanting in the wrong gear. The gear shifts are really effortless and very quick. The car also comes with paddle shifts at the back and that really helps offer a sense of driver engagement.

Jaguar XF Ride and handling
The steering offers good amounts of feedback, but it’s not as feelsome as its main rival the BMW 5-series but not so much that it will put you off the XF. The handling is pretty agile, especially for such a large car. The suspension also does a good job of soaking in the bumps at most speeds and the XF displays good stability even at fasted speeds.

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Jaguar XF Safety & Equipment
The XF comes with dual front airbags, two curtain airbags as well as two airbags around the seat edges. You also get the obligatory features like ABS(with EBD), Dynamic stability control, traction control among other things. Plus, you get all the goodies you normally associate with a luxury car.

Jaguar XF Competitors
The Audi A6, Mercedes E-class and BMW 5-series are the closest rivals. While all may offer similar levels of equipment and power, none can match the XF for its elegant and dramatic looks both inside and out.

Summary
What the XF really represents is a brilliant combination of a luxurious sedan and a sporty limo. It offers dramatic looks both on the inside and outside, a nice ride and a refined diesel engine. These are things that most luxury buyers are looking at, and that does make it a viable alternative to established German rivals.

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