What is it like on the inside?
Seventies sitcom man had a strip of wood and an FM radio/cassette to telegraph his superiority. His progeny demands rather more, and inside is where hearts, minds and wallets are now won. JLR’s new ‘electronic vehicle architecture’ – EVA 2.0 – arrives in the XF supporting the company’s Pivi Pro dual sim infotainment system and software-over-the-air tech, future-proofing the car. We’ve seen this system already on the Land Rover Defender, and there’s no question it’s a major step forward. Two key attributes: it’s fast, and it’s extremely easy to use. And clever, too. Its smart settings use AI to learn a driver’s habits for media, phone and comfort settings, and a remote App tracks the car by smartphone and can heat or cool the cabin remotely. Pretty soon we’ll need an extra phone just for the Apps.
It also looks good. Although smaller than the huge unit so beloved of the Teslerati, the XF’s 11.4in curved glass touchscreen is chemically strengthened and has a dual coating for anti-glare and to make fingerprints easier to wipe away. Jaguar says that 90 per cent of the most commonly used functions are located within two taps of the home screen, and the system has its own dedicated power source so it’s ready to go as soon as you are. The dual sims and two LTE modems allow it to carry out multiple functions simultaneously, Jaguar says, allowing it to stream and implement SOTA updates without it having a meltdown.
There’s also cloud connectivity, online routing and live traffic updates, all the stuff a car like this needs to be class competitive. This is all great news, but its nav system is one of the very few, in my experience, which allows you to flip through views, turn off the volume and even enter or cancel a destination without making you want to punch yourself repeatedly in the face. In other words, someone has realised that complex tech is only worth the bother if it’s immensely easy to use, especially in the automotive context, given the increasing legislative heat around driver distraction. Speaking of heat, the screen itself gets pretty toasty.
Elsewhere inside, the XF gains extra clarity and customisation in the main TFT instrument display. There’s active road noise cancellation, and cabin air ionisation uses a PM (particulate matter) 2.5 filter to remove particles and allergens (no word on mutating pathogens). Climate control is still done by rotary controllers; you pull it towards you to adjust the fan speed. The driver selector is new, and has what Jaguar refers to as a ‘cricket ball’ finish. It looks and feels fabulous, part of a subtle undercurrent of Britishness pervading the interior, that also adds an embossed leaper on the head-rests and ‘est. 1935 Jaguar Coventry’ motifs about the place. It probably works better if you’ve never actually been to Coventry (just kidding, many fine bands have come from the place).
All told, this is a vast improvement on the previous car, although even with aluminium and open pore wood trim options, it’s still possible to spec an XF in a way that plunges it back into the 20th century and onto Terry and June’s driveway. Goodness knows what they would have made of the ClearSight camera rear view mirror, though. Doesn’t work for me, at all.