The Jaguar XF has been a brilliant car from the get-go combining top-notch performance, luxury and comfort with the well-associated charismatic and reserved Britishness. However, several years after its debut, the XF has also fallen victim to the equally well-associated British build quality issues by developing the reputation of being rather electronically problematic – of course, not to the extent of the famously hopeless combination of British Leyland and the Prince of Darkness, Sir Lucas Electronics.
The crew at Car and Driver have noticed, aside from the new base V8, one or two very minor changes to the new XF, which will hopefully minimize the Jaguar’s Achilles heels… just.
Addressing one of the most common issues, Jaguar replaced the problematic JaguarSense® touch-sensitive glovebox compartment release—problematic because it left you for dead if the battery was to die with your owner’s manual stuck inside and was as lethargic in its response as the people who often drive Jaaaaaaaags. In place of the JaguarSense® release – touch-surface, thing, whatever you want to call it, is a new tactile chrome button. But interestingly enough, the glovebox release still remains electronically actuated by a solenoid and although it addresses the issue of poor response, it doesn’t remedy the question of what to do if your owner’s manual was stuck in the glovebox with no power – good ‘ole fashioned British thinking.
In terms of engines, gone is the Ford Duratec-sourced 3.0L V6 for the base XF and the 4.2L naturally aspirated AJV8. Replacing both is a new 5.0L naturally aspirated evolution of the Jaguar AJV8 for all models below the Supercharged and R, which was showcased in the all new 2011 XJ and was only previously available in Premium spec for the XF. In addition to the new powerplant are larger front brakes, compensating for the heftier V8. And lastly, the XF-R receives a new blacked-out grill, ridding of any ‘bling’ factor.
So the XF remains more or less the same. And really, it does not need much in terms of improvement. But the electronic Achilles heels may still remain because just like the body part, once a problem, it will always be a problem.
– By: Chris Chin