Jaguar XF 3.0 V6 Diesel S Portfolio30 | 12 | 2011Scotcars rating

    Jaguar updates the award-winning XF for 2012, but is it more than a pain in the derrier?


    Parental and grandparental duties meant I had to plan a round-Britain safari from Glasgow to take in offspring in Essex and the latest arrival to join the clan in Yorkshire, and couple it with some theatrical culture in London’s West End. So with a touch of top-class timing, I’d arranged with Jaguar to borrow the latest version of their XF. It was just the job, especially as it was the very efficient 3.0-litre diesel and in Portfolio spec which meant it came with all the toys.

    However, after only a few miles down the A74, I began to worry about the upcoming thousand more when I became increasingly uncomfortable in the otherwise plush soft grain leather seats. By the time I was halfway to Carlisle I was in the initial stages of “numb bum” … something which I rarely experience behind the wheel and is more commonly associated with a rock hard upright wooden seat at a computer geek’s seminar on the inner workings of my laptop.

    ‘This is not right’, I thought as I struggled to regain the feeling in my nether regions. A quick coffee break near the Border gave me time to fiddle with the electric seat settings for length, rake and thigh support but it wasn’t until I’d done further tweaking over the next few hundred miles that I finally began to feel comfortable.

    I was surprised. I’m not that unusual a shape or proportion and the rest of the car looked and felt very comfortable. I can only assume that with so many possible settings it can take some time for an owner to find the perfect position, and then lock it into the seat’s memory. Once I got there, the car proved to be superbly comfortable and the rest of the five day trip was a delight, especially coming north again up the east coast and over the Cheviots on the A68 in the Borders.   

    On the Road

    With the seats sorted, I was able to enjoy the car which, with the latest tweaks for the 2012 model year, had some nice new touches over the previous model on top of the reduced CO2, improved economy and increased power. As the flagship of the Jaguar fleet, it certainly does the job and has been well received, which explains the host of awards it has picked up in its relatively short life.

    The latest engine is a delight, happily cruising along when there are no demands, or springing into life when there are. The eight-speed electronic auto box is silky smooth and for once I actually enjoyed using the steering wheel paddles to get the most from the performance, particularly in the twisting and challenging roads of the Borders.

    The cruise control was very handy, not least to maintain a steady pace through the endless road works on the A1 and their average speed camera-enforced 40 mph limit. The distance setting was essential to avoid the usual braking, cancelling and resetting of the less sophisticated cruise controls, but I did find it was sometimes slow to cancel when the road in front cleared.  

    Comfort and Safety

    The test car looked great in dark stratus grey with piano black interior. It came with all the toys including 7in touchscreen and Bluetooth, 1200W Bowers and Wilkins sound system, mood lighting and keyless entry along with every conceivable safety feature. But then at a starting price of just under £50k, I guess that’s what you’d expect.    

    Would I buy one?

    It was nice, but it’s a lot of cash. 

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    Alan Douglas

    Quick Stats
    Price OTR/As Tested £49,950 / £54,510
    Engine / Power: 3.0- litre V6 turbodiesel / 271bhp
    How fast?: Max 155 mph/ 0-60mph 5.9secs
    How big/heavy?: L4961mm W1920mm H1460mm/ Weight 1810kg
    How thirsty/CO2?: Combined 44.8mpg / CO2 169g/km
    InsGP/Road tax: n/a / n/a
    Alternatives: Merecdes E-class, BMW 5 Series, Audi A6

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