Jaguar XF Sportbrake 250 Petrol - First Impressions
Before I start, I’ll make it clear I work in the Automotive sector and all the views are my own. I got a deal on the car, and would 100% not be able to afford it without this deal. However, even before I thought about working for them, I really liked the cars. I was brought up on a diet of old Jags as a kid, and even owned one. Very briefly! See Here - https://www.carthrottle.com/post/do2ry2l/
So what have I bought exactly? Jaguar XF Sportbrake Portfolio 250 Petrol Automatic.
Why did I buy it? Old car was shagged. See here - https://www.carthrottle.com/post/vrv2gqb/
I was quite lucky. Some good deals came up at the right time. They also saved me from buying a 500 Abarth so I should probably thank them for that too.
There were a few different deals available but the Sportbrake really stood out to me. I’d driven a couple through work and always thought they were top notch. And for the price, it was the best value. Could have gotten an XE, but that would have had a slower engine and less kit. It really was a no brainer.
I’d owned an old Rover since I was 19. This car was a big change. This was my introduction into brand new car ownership. I ordered it when I was up home in Scotland and they seemed keen to do me a good deal, so I purchased it from up there. There were a few highlights of the buying process.
First joke came when they assumed it was my Mum buying the car, not her 23 year old son. Once that was dealt with they became even more shocked when I signed for the car within 45 minutes! I’d done all the legwork, knew what was a good price so when they offered a lower one it would be rude not to. The final wee laugh came when the finance woman checked my date of birth a few times.
The car was delivered in due course, and apart from the dealer almost forgetting to take my deposit (Bugger), it was smooth sailing. He didn’t try to talk me through the whole car, gladly, as he knew I’d probably spent quite a bit of time in them at work. They also fitted some winters for free I’d ordered and filled it with a “Full” tank. This seems to be ¾ full when you convert it to non-dealer spec. Just to show off we’d turned up to the dealer in the old XJ8. What’s better than picking up a Jag in a Jag? Also much fun was had on the way home finding out the 2.0 Turbo could quite easily hold off a 3.2 V8. How times have changed!
Interestingly, the whole experience did not feel as special as I had hoped it would. This is in no way down to the dealer, but absolutely down to me being around these cars at work, so it did not really seem new to me. I didn’t expect this if I’m honest. Although after the first few mornings, walking out and seeing it sitting outside the house, the excitement hit. I’d bought a new car. A bloody nice one too.
Before I left home I obviously had to give some of the family a go, and one thing became apparent. Old people still really dig Jags. Especially people in their 50’s. My mother thought she was positively regal when I picked her up from a wedding in it. That’s not to say any younger people I took out in it did not like it. Quite the opposite. My sister thought it was a really nice car, and had no complaints about the styling or the interior. It’s just people of our age, can’t afford these cars.
Before long it came time to drive it back down to England. A journey of 400 miles. The car was perfect. It’s uber comfy on the cruise and has the 380w Meridian stereo, so the sound quality of my questionable music choice was sublime. Although this will not be a shock to you, nor was it to me, the car has cruise control. Oh how late to the party I am but it is marvellous. The best bit was when I parked it in my space and it did not fit. I do like a bit of opulence.
I’m up to around 2000 miles on the car already, after only 5 weeks, I’ve enjoyed every single one of them. Worryingly I only have 10k for the year, we’ll have to see how I get on. Not only is it a comfy cruiser. It handles spot on. The biggest surprise to me was how flat it can stay as you fling it round corners. It is probably exaggerated by how much my old squidgy 75 did roll, but impressive nonetheless.
The turn in is sharp, you can adjust the car through the corner with the throttle nicely and it has bags of grip. If you manage to end up in a hedge in this thing it’s your own fault. Interestingly the calmness in its capability is what might do you over. You drive the car around a corner not realising how fast you have just gone round it. You only realise when you look down at the speedo, something that is not advisable unless you really do want to end up in a hedge.
One thing it really does need is a limited slip diff. It suffers from the same problem that the old XJ8 had. It has 250hp and RWD. It is the second RWD car I have and only confirms my opinion that you need to have a diff at this power level. Even with good winter tyres fitted (Michelin Cross Climate +) it spins up the inside rear far too easily.
It’s a bloody big car too. The boot is cavernous. It swallowed the summer tyres the car came on with ease, and a whole kart on the way back down south. It does not feel that big when having a hoon though. this is the good part. It feels nimble. The only time it feels slightly too big is when it does not fit in your designated parking slot. I’ll be honest though. I love a bit of opulence. Got to let the neighbours know I’m doing well even if I can’t really afford the car. Living the PCP dream.
There are a few little niggles of course. Rear wiper for instance. Why isn’t it automatic like the front? The car has an upright rear glass so if it’s raining, the back glass needs clearing. Just make it come on with the front wipers.
I also find the different driving modes a bit annoying. Yes it’s nice having a normal and dynamic mode. I’m sure a snow mode also comes in useful too, but eco mode? Why isn’t the car in this all the time. Personally I think it drivers better in this mode. The car keeps the revs lower, changes up sooner and uses the torque of the engine more. Makes for a smoother more relaxing drive. If I want a fun drive. Whack it into dynamic, with the gearbox in sport and away I go.
I have my own personal issue of forgetting what features the car has. I got surprised one day when the phone started ringing through the car. Again, not a new feature, but new to me. The main feature I forget about is remote start. Where I can start the car from my phone so it is nice and warm on these cold wintery mornings. It’s great. Start it up 5 minutes before you head out. Completely defrosted car!
The final issue is the engine sound. It’s in no way offensive. It’s incredibly quiet when cruising, which is what it should be, and gives a subtle growl throughout the rev range. But Christ, do I want to slap a great big dirty cone filter on it? Absolutely. I miss my old N/A V6 which revved to over 7000rpm. No matter what you do to a 2.0 turbo. You just cannot match it. I was spoiled with that old engine.
Am I happy with the purchase? Absolutely. Not only that. It’s a fantastic car. Rides and drives incredibly well for a car of this size and weight. Completely stress free to drive over long distances. Looking forward to driving it for another 18,000 miles. Should maybe wash it though.