For a while I felt that Jaguar had lost its way, and was nearly convinced that it would never find its way back. Cars like the S Type did nothing to help Jaguar's cause in the modern era, while the X Type only managed to erode the company's high quality image, that used to be synonymous with the brand. Put plainly, a few years ago I was all but convinced that Jaguar had been well and truly slain by ever impressive German, and even Japanese competition. Thankfully I was wrong, very wrong in fact. Because right now, in 2009, Jaguar has got just about everything right.
If you read my preview of the new Jaguar XJ, you'll know that it looks like the most desirable executive luxury saloon of the moment, while the latest iteration of the XK line is equally appealing - in fact I'll be looking at an XKR in the near future. But today it's the Jaguar XF that I'll be casting my eye over, and it couldn't be more different to the S Type that it replaced.
The Jaguar XF looks superb, and most importantly, infinitely more modern than the S Type. However, the really impressive achievement is that somehow the XF hasn't lost any of the traditional Jaguar style - put simply, the designers haven't simply looked at what Audi and BMW have been doing and tried to copy it, instead they created something fresh, and dare I say, brave. OK, so the design of the XF isn't as great a shock to the system as the new XJ, but when it launched it still caused something of a splash.
The inside of the XF is just as well designed as the exterior - the centre console, dash and inlays are all beautifully finished. And as is always the case with Jaguar, it's all customisable in terms of both colour and material. When the sun goes down, things just get better, with the XF bathed in blue light emanating from the dash and centre console.
The XF comes with many engine options, including a 500bhp supercharged monster in the XFR, but the twin turbo 3.0L diesel lump in this test car will most likely be the most popular option. Pumping out an impressive 275bhp, this engine hurls the XF from zero to 60mph in 5.9-seconds, which puts it in Ford Focus RS performance territory. But it's the 443lb/ft of torque that makes the XF incredibly quick for such a big saloon car. I'm used to driving fast cars, but the XF never ceased to surprise me when I put my foot down.
As always though, it's the technology inside a car that's most important here at TrustedReviews, and I'm glad to say that Jaguar has endowed this XF with some truly impressive tech…