THE domination of the big three premium car manufacturers from Germany in the luxury large diesel car market has come to an end for there is a new competitor in this market sector and it is produced in Britain...the new Jaguar XF diesel, writes Bryan Longworth.
And the big cat has pounced on the rivals with a vengeance for it is deservedly making a big impression and is set to take on the likes of diesel powered versions of the BMW 5 Series and Audi A6 in particular.
The four door XF saloon has a magnificent body that has been refreshed for the 2112 model year so the addition of a very good turbo diesel engine is the boost that Jaguar has needed to be really competitive with the German rivals in particular.
Linked with a stop start system the 190bhp 2.2-litre four cylinder diesel driving the rear wheels is quite frugal for what is a large heavy car and the combined fuel consumptionm is listed as being 52.3mpg.
However my test car with its eight speed automatic transmission and steering wheel paddles for manual changing averaged around 40mpg which is still very good for such a car making it the most economical Jaguar ever but a friend who drove this same car back from the Frankfurt Motor Show averaged around 50mpg.
The diesel engine provides the car with a top speed of 140mph and the sprint from zero to 62mph takes 8.5 seconds which shows that this Jag is also a lively beast.
For 2012 the XF has had a number of changes including bi-xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lights and there are now LED tail lamps.
My test car was the XF 2.2L Diesel Premium Luxury model costing £37,950 which had a more luxurious leather clad interior than its German rivals.
On the road it had a fabulous feel to it with superb roadholding and handling and the smooth and refined diesel engine provides the car with plenty of poke.
With the front seats well back leg room in the rear was not too generous but the rear boot which has a space saver wheel beneath it is long and generous and will be able to accommodate plenty of luggage.
The bulk of sales for luxury saloons is for diesel power and now that the XF has a quality oil burner under the bonnet it can take on the finest from Germany or anywhere else in the world.
My Verdict: The XF can be a world beater.