You definitely need to get over to JLR Classic Works next month... and bring plenty of tissuesWell I certainly didn't want to upset people who are happy with other models that I am not, but I perhaps got carried away sharing my views of this article.
Apologies if I offended; not my intention... (well maybe a little Chris).
Not offended/ upset here. I love me my X351s!Well I certainly didn't want to upset people who are happy with other models that I am not, but I perhaps got carried away sharing my views of this article.
Apologies if I offended; not my intention... (well maybe a little Chris).
Late reply, but some things struck me.As a hopeless car addict, and historical Jaguar fan, I follow the motoring news, and I read about this chap Thierry Bollore some time ago. I was more than a little vexed when I read that the long awaited Jaguar XJ had been cancelled, so my first impressions were not good. I thought this was just another step in Jaguar's transition into becoming the new slightly more interesting, but sadly also less reliable version of Volkswagen. I was expecting that in 20 years time Jaguar might just be making tins for Heinz to put their baked beans into.
To a long term Jaguar fan/owner like me, being denied the new XJ felt like a disrespectful kick in the plums by a cruel playground bully. We had all been teased to frustration for such a long time; in reality I like to think Thierry must have had good reason to bin it, and I wonder if there were reliability issues?
But anyway... I read this (slightly old) article with great interest, and my hope for the Jaguar brand has started to return:
JLR CEO tells us about his radical plan to transform Jaguar into a luxury electric brandwww.autocar.co.uk
Thierry's plans and opinions make a lot of sense. I did not realise that Jaguar have been trying to copy BMW; and frankly that does not make sense. It explains why a lot of the "specialness" has been disappearing from the brand over the past 10 to 15 years.
The thing he said that really struck a chord with me was:
"Our models are designed to match BMW, but we are not BMW. Why would you buy the Jaguar which isn't the Jaguar you dreamed about?"
That hits my feelings bang on. Needing a new car recently, I was trying to convince myself to buy a Jaguar X351. But I just could not do it when the Jaguar was more expensive (in a similar trim/age/milleage) than equivalent Mercedes/Audi/BMW offerings, and yet offered nothing more than them in terms of styling and quality. I also could not live with the shame of driving something that looked like a cowering Armadillo. The only saving grace of the X351 is it's stylish interior, but even that is a little European looking for my pedigree British tastes.
It's ironic I ended up buying a BMW really... and despite my 7 series being smooth and luxurious, I have to confess it is every bit as painfully bland as I expected. Had one existed, I would have loved to have bought a real proper Jaguar instead. It was the same story when looking for a car for Lindsey in March this year (when we ended up buying her a Lexus), I loved the idea of the F-pace, but on the used market, it seemed to offer less than it's rivals for slightly more money.
Upon reflection, I think we can also explain the reason the original XF did so well; it was BETTER than a BMW 5 series, Audi A6, or Mercedes E-class, and could be bought for similar money. Lindsey was adamant that she wanted an Audi A6 back in 2015, but after I made her test drive all the different brands, she ended up wanting an XF instead. I will never forget visiting Stebbings car supermarket in Kings Lynn. We got out of an Audi A6 we had just test driven, and Lindsey reluctantly slumped into a Jaguar XF. But I can only describe the feeling as a bit like walking out of a noisy supermarket, then into a luxury spa hotel. Lindsey's face was a real picture of surprise, and I can still remember the unexpected excitement as she drove the XF for the first time. She was truly gobsmacked at how nice it was. The Audi was full of black plastic, grainy leather, and industrial aluminium, where as the Jaguar was full of soft grain leather, gleaming walnut, chrome, and it felt altogether more welcoming. Open the door and the start button pulses with a red light, start the engine and the gear selector rises, and the vents open gracefully... all of that drama makes the driver feel special, and the Audi had none of it.
My guess is the newer Jaguar models have not been able to better those models offered by BMW, Audi, and Mercedes, and let's face it that is rather a difficult thing to do consistently. Certainly we looked at the newer Jaguars in the showroom and thought the interiors were a bit plasticky and bland looking. In contrast, Audi and Mercedes really seemed to have upped their game.
Also, while I have to confess the I-pace design was relatively original (despite being the Quasimodo of Jaguar in styling terms), I think the XE, XF, E-pace, F-pace, and F-type of our current Jaguar range all fit into this description of nice, but slightly tame products trying to copy what else is on the market. It reminds me of my time on the Mercedes forum, and seeing people excited at the purchase of some incredibly bland and uninspiring cars; the new owners were purely excited based on that 3 pointed star in the radiator grille, and their pride in being able to afford Mercedes ownership. Old Jaguars were not like that, and they had an elegance, a sophistication, a pedigree that was matched no-where else in the market place. Until I read the article above I had not really thought about how much had been lost.
So I really hope Thierry's master plan works, and we return to breath-taking modern designs that can have their place in history alongside Jaguar's finest. When I was a teenager I didn't want a BMW, Audi, or Mercedes, and I didn't even want a Bentley or a Rolls Royce. I wanted a Jaguar. I loved all those other cars, but only a Jaguar suited my personality, and tastes. In contrast, right now there is absolutely nothing for me in the Jaguar range at all, it's as thought they don't want people like me as a future customer.
I'm typing this and smiling, because I now have a renewed sense of excitement that one day I might be back at the wheel of a Jaguar that does not belong to Aston!
It's all about personal choice Junglejames, but I'm with you. I had two Mk 1 XFs. From the moment I first saw it, and the interior, it was Wow! - I had to have it. When I went to replace the second one in 2015, I was totally underwhelmed with the interior of the Mk 2. The clever salesman led me across the showroom and sat me in an XJ, and yes it was the dog's b*ll*cks. I had to have it. In 2020 I made the mistake (to me) of replacing it with an F-Pace which, at the time, had all the inferior interior drawbacks of the early Mk 2 XF. I hope they have sorted it out now, but it was too late for me - I went back to the canine testicular XJ.The first thing that attracted me to Jags, was a picture of the last XFs interior. The swivelling air vents and rising drive selector. It was all so different and modern, but planted nicely in the middle of British charm. The wooden effect centre console. The up and over drinks holder cover (come on, a sliding black plastic cover is not the same). Then to realise the starter button pulsed like a Jaguars heartbeat. The icing on the cake.
Whilst I like the pre refresh XF mk2, it also went downhill too much. If it takes time for the car to grow on me, there is a problem. I should be wanting it from the very first second. In reality, more of the mk1 should have been kept in the mk2.
Now the refresh, whilst righting some of the cheap parts, has also lost the sense of occasion about it. The only thing that attracts me to the refresh, is the pulsing starter button.
However, you seem to not like the XJ? But to me this is spot on. It has the sense of occasion. It has the British charm. It's the dogs Bs!!!!!
The only difference with me, is I never owned the Mk1 XF.It's all about personal choice Junglejames, but I'm with you. I had two Mk 1 XFs. From the moment I first saw it, and the interior, it was Wow! - I had to have it. When I went to replace the second one in 2015, I was totally underwhelmed with the interior of the Mk 2. The clever salesman led me across the showroom and sat me in an XJ, and yes it was the dog's b*ll*cks. I had to have it. In 2020 I made the mistake (to me) of replacing it with an F-Pace which, at the time, had all the inferior interior drawbacks of the early Mk 2 XF. I hope they have sorted it out now, but it was too late for me - I went back to the canine testicular XJ.