One can be forgiven for mistaking the facelifted Jaguar XF for the XJ. It shares more than a hint of the bigger Jag. The family look, so to say, has reached the XF too, and that means it gets the XJ’s beautiful ‘raised eyebrow’ bi-Xenon headlights, replete with the distinctive J-shaped LED day-light running lights. The front grille is a bit bigger and the bumper gets subtle tweaks too. Style changes on the rear are limited to the LED tail-lights that are now extended further towards the numberplate. The good thing, however, is that the aggressive XF still looks like a sportscar in a saloon’s body.
Open the doors and there’s nothing inside that screams this is the newer car; it’s all in the details, really. The revised instruments get an all-black layout, the formerly shiny buttons on the centre console now come finished in a more sober black and the steering wheel is slightly different too. The new function buttons on the dashboard also make it easier to navigate through the XF’s 7-inch touchscreen; pity the graphics weren’t upgraded too. Also, opening the glovebox is no longer a game of hide-and-seek, with a new chrome button replacing the older car’s far too discreet feather-touch release.
There is new stitching on the seats too, but it is the tasteful combination of wood, leather and soft plastics that really makes the XF cabin a special place to be in. The ceremonial welcome, where the gearshift knob rises out of the central tunnel and the AC vents flip open on engine startup, continues to add a sense of occasion to every drive.
And what a drive the XF is. Its twin-turbo, 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine is incredibly smooth and flexible, enough to instantly go from purring cat to roaring lion as you weigh down on the throttle pedal. What’s more, the six-speed gearbox is almost telepathic in the way it shifts ratios in both ‘D’ and the sportier ‘S’ mode.
As before, Indian XFs get the raised suspension package. As a result, the Jag rolls a fair bit when pushed hard through corners. Under hard acceleration, the Jag squats down on its haunches and the traction control keeps cutting in as the rear wheels threaten to spin.
On the flipside, ride quality is brilliant as the XF simply steamrolls most undulations. If at all, it would be the slight lack of rear-seat thigh support that could be a minus point for chauffeur-driven owners.
Jaguar XF 3.0 Diesel S
Price: Rs 52.95 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai)
Kerb weight: 1820kg
Engine: 6 cyls in-Vee, 2993cc, turbo-diesel
Installation: Front, longitudinal
Power: 271bhp at 4000rpm
Torque: 61.18kgm at 2000rpm
Gearbox: 6-speed auto
Tyre size: 245/45-R18
Brakes: Ventilated discs