BMW 535d and Jaguar XF 3.0 V6 Diesel S in the test

Rossen Gargolov
BMW 535d and Jaguar XF 3.0 V6 Diesel S in the test
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A at first glance The comparison at hand may seem unfair: Can a car like the BMW 535d that is about to be replaced stand in the way of a visually and technically ultra-modern and incomparably younger sedan like the Jaguar XF V6 Diesel S? The question is not entirely unjustified. Seven years is a long time. This is where marriages come into their critical phase, children are ready for school, and the automotive industry can easily change generations within this period. Since this is the case and because new brooms mostly sweep better than old ones, also and especially at the premium manufacturers of German vehicle construction, it can be assumed that the new five-series BMW that is in the starting blocks will be able to do a lot better than the currently still current sedan of the type E60. But of course we didn't want to leave the self-igniting Jag in the room without making a comparison. And because, with the exception of the 535d, there is no other competitor on a par with the XF V6 Diesel S in terms of performance, the oldie just had to serve again - which is not a disadvantage either. Then the successor's merits can later be assessed more profoundly. But enough of the preface.

Diesel sedans with 275 hp and 286 hp

Let's take a closer look at the two opponents. 275 horsepower tickled out of a longitudinally mounted V6 by means of two exhaust gas turbochargers in the Jaguar without spark plugs are compared to 286 in the BMW. Here the six cylinders are traditionally arranged in series. Despite this discrepancy in the engine structure, both cars use exactly 2,993 cm³ displacement. At 84 and 90 millimeters, the bore and stroke are just as identical as the drive concepts of the mid-range sedans.

Both the BMW and the Jaguar only apply a generous portion of torque to the wheels of the rear axle: the BMW 535d lifts up to 580, the XF V6 Diesel S even up to 600 Newton meters on the crankshaft. An automatic system supplied by ZF is responsible for power transmission here and there. At BMW, the six speed levels are selected using the forward /backward selector lever, which is now used in all series, Jaguar relies on an even more futuristic-looking metal selector button in the center console that automatically lowers when the engine is switched off.

Jaguar XF weighs just under 2 tons

This and the rest, as if by magicThe closing air vents underline that the XF is, despite all its conceptual similarities with the five, the much more modern, albeit slightly larger and much heavier car. At 4.96 meters in length, it remains just below the five-meter mark, and with a live weight of 1,971 kilograms, it is just below the two-tonne pain threshold. Without the 20-inch wheels with mixed tires that are part of the performance kit, the Jaguar XF V6 Diesel is hardly lighter with around 30 kilos less. Either way, the Briton has to let Bavaria go in terms of power to weight ratio. With eleven horsepower more under the hood and 223 kilos less on the ribs, the victory of the 535d in this category of the sport auto rating is certain.

Also the outcome of the shootout on the 2.6 kilometer short circuit in Hockenheim suggests bad things for the Jaguar. In fact, the senior from Munich, who competed with Bridgestone Potenza RE050A tires of moderate size 245/40 R18, easily pulls away from the newcomer from Coventry in Rund, Baden, with Dunlop SP Sport 01 tires in the normal version: 1.19.6 minutes at BMW are 1.21. 3 at the Jaguar opposite. Only with the surcharge, the adapted chassis of the XFR and 20 inch large, with Dunlop Sport Maxx tires of size 255/35 front and 285/30 rear covered light alloy wheels, the Brit stalked a good deal closer to the Bavarian: Equipped in this way, the XF V6 Diesel S only loses nine tenths of a second on the 535d and, in view of its poor power-to-weight ratio, achieves a considerable lap time of 1.20.5 minutes.

After all, the Jaguar has to use 7.2, the BMW, on the other hand, only set and hold 6.1 kilograms. The Englishman doesn’t seem to be porter. Subjectively, one would think that the XF Diesel is basically easier than it is. The agile turning of the spacious four-door car is followed by a gentle turning of the rear with a distinctive chrome trim. At the same time, the Jaguar always remains free of malice even in the border area. The ZF automatic system is completely convincing in this area, both in sport mode and with the aid of the shift paddles mounted on the steering wheel. And the fact that the diesel engine can never be recognized as such is seen as a very likeable trait here, as in everyday life. The BMW 535d shows less restraint in this regard: it dies out audibly, but is surprisingly easy to turn. This explains the significantly better result of the southern German in the sprint and elasticity test.

BMW wins the sprint and elasticity test

The BMW 535d reaches the country road pace after 6.3 seconds, the 200 -km /h mark is history after 18.4 seconds. The XF Diesel S approaches the same exercise in a relaxed manner, in keeping with its more voluptuous stature: It sprints from a standing start in 6.7 secondsto 100 km /h and is 200 km /h after 22.0 seconds. The distinguished Briton can keep up well with the pull-through measurement, but loses significantly behind the BMW at around 140 km /h. On the other hand, the torque curve of the Jaguar ensures a constant grin on the face on long cross-country journeys: 'Even in sixth gear, he clums the mountains flat, that it is a real pleasure,' commented a colleague who is otherwise more of the hardcore group on the character of the XF and explains whether his enthusiasm for a diesel sedan with automatic power transmission has led to the bankruptcy of his sporty attitude.

In fact, both cars are primarily convincing in everyday use, for which they were designed. In terms of space, the XF V6 Diesel S, which is above average in the interior and trunk, scores points, while the 535d still has its very modern-looking nose ahead in terms of fuel consumption: While the Bavarian is satisfied with an average of 10.0 liters of diesel over 100 test kilometers, it thirsts it the English after 11.2 liters of heating oil. Assuming a certain restraint on the accelerator, the Jaguar can also move a good eight liters over 100 kilometers. The appearance of the material and the quality of workmanship are above average here as there. When deciding for or against, personal design preferences can be the deciding factor.

However, the next generation of the mid-range BMW will probably go one better in this regard - the sideways glance at the big brother with the code number puts it Seven near, whose elegant, minimalist cockpit design is state of the art and, according to the top-down philosophy, will almost certainly also set highlights in the new five. Either way, both cars are already very close to the luxury class - both in terms of dimensions and in terms of the sum of the comfort and high-tech features used in the test cars. If the fleet managers no longer want or are not allowed to order luxury class limousines, then the manufacturers upgrade the middle class. It's as simple as that. It goes without saying that this also leaves its mark on pricing.

Surcharge brings test car to around 75,000 euros

While the basic prices of both cars are 55,200 (BMW 535d) and 54,500 euros (Jaguar XF V6 Diesel S) are still within limits, the premium manufacturers go to great lengths with the extras that are subject to a surcharge. As a result, the bottom line was that the test cars were significantly more expensive: the blue BMW would be available for 74,697 euros, the Jaguar with a tighter chassis set-up and 20-inch wheels for 74,880 euros. With this, too, the sedans reveal upper-class ambitions, which they also do justice to to a large extent. Only the Jaguar's sound system is a nuisance: the radio reception quality is still goodbelow average, and when it comes to RDS there is also no report. If you want to stay at the same station over a longer distance, you have to repeatedly activate the station search yourself. The navigation system guides reliably, but is not among the best in its class in terms of graphic display and usability.

As far as infotainment is concerned, BMW is well ahead with its iDrive system and Connected Drive, which can now be operated easily . The British have done a great job with the XF Performance in other respects: That a Jaguar teaches a comparable BMW on the brakes and in the slalom test Mores was by no means a matter of course. In fact, the strong diesel makes up those points here that help it to a narrow victory on points. With an average deceleration of 10.6 m /s² with a warm brake system, the braking distance of the Jag is still below the point-relevant 37-meter limit even after the tenth full braking from country road speed. The 535d just misses this requirement with 37.2 meters and an average deceleration of 10.4 m /s² despite the very similarly dimensioned braking system and has to be satisfied with six instead of seven evaluation points in this discipline.

In the Pylonengasse, which is 180 meters long, the middle-graders display similar behavior, but with varying degrees of success. Both cars have a relatively high body roll. Sure, if comfort - as is usual with sedans intended for long journeys - shouldn't be neglected. Overall, however, the lighter BMW appears to be more sedate than the almost two-ton Jaguar when walking around the cones 18 meters apart. In addition, the 535d pushes slightly with the rear in the limit area. Well controllable, but the tendency to oversteer always costs time.

The Jaguar scores points in terms of driving dynamics

The Briton, who is largely committed to neutrality, can get through a bit more playfully with the stability program deactivated the pylon lane rock and push its shiny nose with the massive radiator grille a good deal faster over the finish line of the handling course than the more delicate BMW: 65.1 km /h average speed of the XF V6 Diesel S Performance is 63.5 km /h 535d opposite. Without a performance kit, the Jaguar operates roughly on a par with the Bavarian in this discipline. Whether the new five can restore the old dynamic balance of power, which according to BMW actually always ranked ahead of Jaguar, has to be clarified at the next opportunity.


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