By Mxolisi Mhlongo
We recently went on a luxury drive experience with Jaguar South Africa to Mpumalanga. Jaguar put us on a challenge to test their claims that the XF’s Ingenium 2.0-litre diesel engine can travel up to 1400 KM on a single tank of fuel.
We drove to Summerfields Rose Retreat, which is 432 KM from Johannesburg. Travelling 1400 KM in a single tank is not as easy as it sounds because you are limited to driving at a certain speed. This means driving at 120 KPH for four hours 46 minutes on roads that beg you to test the car’s abilities. Needless to say, we drove to Mpumalanga and by the time we got there, the Jaguar XF was on a half tank of fuel.
We used the N4 toll route which undoubtedly boasts one of South Africa’s most expensive toll gates, if not the most expensive. However, the roads are beautiful and sort of well maintained. This means we could test the car’s handling and engine performance without having the fear of damaging the wheels.
The XF is an executive saloon designed to compete with the likes of Mercedes E-class, BMW 5-series and Audi A6. This is a very crucial car for Jaguar. The original version, which was launched in 2007, was responsible for injecting that much-needed appeal into the brand and it has proven to work for them over the years, especially in markets where the German machines have dominated over the years.
This latest generation boasts much sharper looks and the edges are refined with better rear seat access and more space. Quality is generally improved, although it still somehow falls behind the best in the class for overall fit-and-finish as compared to its German counterparts. The Germans offer slicker and cleverer in-car technology. A typical example for this is the Mercedes’s E Class (E220D) jaw-dropping interior, lower CO2 emissions and lashings of standard kit. Our favorite feature on the XF has to be the built-in Wi-Fi which you can connect your mobile device.
The XF drives remarkably well, it glides over uneven surfaces and has handling so sharp it should run rings around its German rivals on a winding road. Thanks to its aluminium underpinnings, the XF is relatively light compared to its rivals, which helps the way it rides and handles. The suspension keeps the body tied down nicely during cornering, so there’s plenty of composure but there’s also lots of comfort on offer, as the XF boasts that typically plush ride quality big Jags have always possessed.
The XF comes with a three-year/unlimited mileage warranty, which is standard for the sector. There’s also three years’ roadside assistance, so if the car should break down inside the standard warranty period, you’ll be covered by Jaguar’s breakdown policy.