It’s easy to see why Jaguar is riding the crest of a sales wave when you experience the mid-range XF Portfolio.
Sitting between the smaller XE and larger XJ, the XF blends elements of the smaller and bigger models to fine effect.
Redesigned using the latest and advanced computational fluid dynamics it is shorter than the first generation XF but has a longer wheelbase for considerable extra rear legroom and although a big car it does not feel like it, and certainly drives economically.
There is a comparatively small 17-model range with four trim levels plus an E-Performance series using a choice of 163 or 180ps 2.0 td engines and 240 2.0 or 340 and 380ps 3.0 petrol engines.
Extensive use of aluminium in the platform and body panels has given the XF a lightness which goes a long way to offsetting the weight of its luxury trim and equipment and gives it very good economy with reasonable performance.
Our 2.0 Portfolio had the eight-speed automatic transmission which is sublimely smooth and gives it a long-legged gate on the motorway and main roads, with creamy changes on secondary roads and in town.
It is not the liveliest or most responsive of engines, however, and at times it felt slow when leaving traffic lights and took a little time to gather pace but its mid-range performance was much better in contrast.
The XF Portfolio gobbled up the miles without effort and in a fairly quiet manner, only the worst surfaces producing bangs and rumbles from the suspension and big tyres, but it was always smooth riding and never too firm.
Roadholding was good over any surface and the handling was failsafe with a slight tendency to run wide on tighter turns.
Visibility was good thanks to the LED lights, big front wipers and low waistline. The on-board camera ensured reversing was easy.
Big and wide opening doors permitted easy access and the room, particularly in the back, was very good, and while the boot opening was not huge the capacity was thanks to its longer shape behind the low lip of the bumper.
Seats were full leather and deeply shaped, supporting and in the front had good adjustment range.
For the driver, the controls were excellently placed, worked well and the instruments were big and clear if not marked in great detail,
I liked the clarity and simple operation of the 8-inch infoscreen and it comes with the latest wired and wireless technology compatibility.
Heating and ventilation was simple and worked well with powered windows but the big panoramic roof was a hefty £950 extra.
Oddments provision was very good infront or back and the rear seat passengers also have their own climate control system and entertainment points.
The Jaguar XF Portfolio is not cheap, but it’s cheerful and a makes you think of summer. Surf’s up.
|Jaguar XF Portfolio saloon||Price: £50,780, with options as tested|
|Insurance Group: 32||Mechanical: 180ps 4cyl 1999cc turbo-diesel, 6sp auto, rear drive|
|Max Speed: 142mph||0-62mph: 8 seconds|
|Combined MPG: 47mpg||C02 emissions: 114gkm|
|Bik rating: 19%||Warranty: 3yrs/ unlimited|
For: Roomy with big boot, stylish, well finished, economical, refined
Against: Small boot opening, some road & engine noise, slow to pull away from rest.
|© Words and images Robin Roberts|