Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Smooth Big Cat Is the Purr-Fect Performer ; Jaguar's Latest XF Is Ideal Mix of Comfort and Power Amazing Detail, Even a Heated Steering Wheel!

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Smooth Big Cat Is the Purr-Fect Performer ; Jaguar's Latest XF Is Ideal Mix of Comfort and Power Amazing Detail, Even a Heated Steering Wheel!

Article excerpt

SMOOTH. If we were playing a word association game and you said 'Jaguar XF', that's how I would respond. Or would it be sophisticated? Or powerful? Stylish? In fact, I think it would be all of those... and maybe more.

I first encountered the XF in France, driving from the Cote d'Azur to Monaco on a deliciously bright, warm and clear winter's day. The route included testing, mountainous roads, the car's handling proving superb. But at a coffee stop we were told the road ahead was blocked by a landslip, so our way to Monaco was extended. No matter... it meant more time to savour this handsome, new big cat.

I've driven, and enjoyed, the car a couple of times since, and now was an opportunity for a week with the latest model/year XF, a three-litre diesel S Portfolio, one of a range that now offers five engines, including a new 2.2-litre diesel, and five trims.

The styling has moved closer to that of Jaguar's other saloon range, the XJ, creating a strong family look. As a result the latest XF features an all-new front end, with slimmer headlight units containing distinctive LED strips. these are mounted at either side of a larger, more upright grille, while the bonnet line is lower and has a wider, more pronounced power bulge. The lower front bumper section has three air intakes, the outer two,of which are intersected by twisted chrome fins.

Other style changes include a subtle new air vent set in the front wings which contains a chrome strip with recessed 'Jaguar' script, and new LED tail lamps.

The XF's cabin is one of the most attractive I've come across, a tactile treat of leather, aluminium and high gloss piano black (there are wood veneer finishes, too) and the latest car has a restyled steering wheel, some revised switchgear and a new seven- inch central colour screen with fresh navigation and entertainment software and redesigned seats.

The front seats and steering wheel have electrical adjustment making it easy to find my ideal driving position before pressing the power button (which subtly pulsates with light as you enter the car, as if welcoming you topress it). …

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