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Tesla Model S P85 vs Jaguar XF, Kind of Sad, Really

Tesla Model S, The Future of Automobile Transportation
Tesla Model S, The Future of Automobile Transportation

In spite of the fact that the Tesla Model S is not being marketed as a luxury vehicle, it has been finding appeal across the lines from the performance category, outselling makes like Jaguar, Audi, and Lexus. How do a couple of these $100,000 vehicles compare?

Recently, one of the guys over at The Truth About Cars, Dan Wallach, had a chance to do just that, putting a Jaguar XF alongside a Tesla Model S P85. Of course, he couldn’t pull full dyno tests and off-the-line acceleration tests, but just spending a few minutes inside these cars can tell you a lot. As a former Toyota Master Technician, I can tell you that, once you’re familiar with certain vehicles, you typically only need a few minutes to determine how well a vehicle is performing. Give me half-an-hour, and I can tell you everything about it.

Jaguar XF, Dinosaur Hanging on by its Teeth
Jaguar XF, Dinosaur Hanging on by its Teeth

So, the Jaguar XF starts at a modest $50,000, or thereabout, much like the Tesla Model S starts around $70,000, but start checking off boxes and you can easily get both vehicles up over the $100,000 mark. How does a Tesla Model S P85 compare to the Jaguar XF, fitted with a giant, dinosaur-suckling, V8? First, speaking of acceleration, well, Dan says it better than I can… “I didn’t have anything even vaguely resembling the opportunity to do an apples-to-apples comparison. Suffice to say that the P85 Tesla’s acceleration is instantaneous and violent. And silent. On paper it’s faster than the über Jaguar and my butt dyno and I totally believe it.”

Aside from that, because we already knew that electric motors are vastly superior to internal combustion engines, what else can we compare between the Tesla Model S P85 and the Jaguar XF? The rear seats of the XF are not really seats, more akin to the 2+2 configuration available in the Lexus SC430, basically a shelf to put your groceries on, while the Both the Jaguar XF and Tesla Model S have plenty of space for four full-sized adults and perhaps a fifth skinny one. The XF trunk is somewhat limiting for placing wider objects, while the Model S’ hatchback design means you don’t have to do any wiggling to fit your weekend bags.

The electronics and entertainment systems of the Tesla Model S are top-notch, if you go for the upgraded audio, giving you the full-bodied audio experience you’d expect from a high-end home theater system, while the XF audio system, even the upgraded one, sounds more like a hopped up Honda Civic. The Model S 17” touchscreen is standard and easy to navigate, giving you intuitive control of practically all vehicle systems, much like we’ve seamlessly integrated with our iPhones, while the XF touchscreen has all the intuitiveness and grace of a 20th Century VCR.

Tesla Model S is the future, or at least represents it very well, and in spite of limited range, offers so much more than anything else on the market, even the luxury models.

Images © Tesla Motors & Jaguar Land Rover Limited

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About the author

Ben has been a Master Automobile Technician for over ten years, certified by ASE, Toyota, and Lexus. He specialized in electronic systems and hybrid technology. Branching out now, as a Professional Freelance Writer, he specializes in research and writing about his main area of interest, Automotive Technology, Alternative Fuels, and Concept Vehicles.

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  • Maximus

    what are you smoking Benji.. except for the infotainment system the jag outscores the tesla inevery other parameter. compare the best in class i.e  an xfr and  tesla p85 performance. xf blows away the tesla
    also whenever i look at a tesla, i cant help thinking that tesla copied and altered the looks from an XF

  • Zain Merchant

    No worries, we all make mistakes!
    The important point though is, the Model S would be more appropriately compared to the Jaguar XJ.
    It is closer in size and price to the Tesla.

  • http://www.jerewindependentresearch.com/ LoneWolffe

    Zain Merchant LoneWolffe  Ya know, throughout the whole first half of the article, he was talking about the XF. Not sure how I missed the switch to the XK later in the article.

  • Zain Merchant


    Your article:
    “The rear seats of the XF are not really seats, more akin to the 2+2 configuration available in the Lexus SC430, basically a shelf to put your groceries on” 

    TTAC article:
    “Below is a tricked out XKR-S, with matching contrasting stitching. Oh, and the driver’s seat is set perfectly for me (5’10″). Those ain’t back seats. They’re parcel shelves.”

    Very creative how the wording was slightly changed, but I do need to ask now, did you read the TTAC article? Because you are talking about two different cars! XK is not an XF.

  • Zain Merchant

    LoneWolffe Thank you for your response. As far as TTAC, I am not sure which post you are referring to. If you could provide a link that would be wonderful!
    As far as the rear seat shot goes, I did mention in my initial response that it was adjusted for someone about 5’10’.

  • http://www.jerewindependentresearch.com/ LoneWolffe

    Zain Merchant  I was just relating to another posting over on TTAC. You went over there to set him straight, too, right?

    Great pictures and points to consider. Thank you.

  • Zain Merchant

    So, I am sitting here in a Jaguar showroom with an XF just in front of me. I am a sales person for the mentioned luxury brand. 

    That being said, lets continue.

    I will in no way, shape or form tell you you are wrong about Tesla and electric motors being the future of automobiles. 

    What I will say is this: Being someone in the car industry and also just being a car enthusiast, I can point out many way that this article is heavily biased and the comparison is quite unfair. 

    Issue one: You are comparing a full size “Large” sedan, (the Tesla) to a mid size sedan (XF). A more appropriate size comparison would be to the Jaguar XJ which is the full size sedan. The competing (price wise) XJ would be the XJL supercharged, starting at $92,600 and it comes standard with nearly everything youd ask for in a luxury car. Options are mostly cosmetic including altered body panels and wheels (save for adaptive cruise control which I believe is $2300).

    Rear legroom in that vehicle is 44.1in, and 39.1in if you look at the standard wheel base model which is about 3 grand less expensive. 
    Rear legroom in Tesla Model S is 35.4 in
    Both figures were taken from Motortrend.com’s website. 

    Issue two: Comparison of an XF’s back seat to a useless 2+2. Attached is a picture of the rear seat of an XF along with a picture of the rear seat of a Lexus SC430 you compared it to. I got in the front seat first and adjusted it as follows (so its a somewhat objective test, take notes please): I am only 5’6″ so i adjusted the seat to myself and then moved it back a few inches to adjust for someone about 5’9 or 5’10. If your full sized adult friends cannot fit back there, you are either, A. Friends with large professional athletes OR B. Friends with Shrek. 

    Issue three: Trunk space. As far as the Tesla on trunk space, you are right that you can fit MUCH more in the Tesla. It has a very large trunk. Though, making it sound like the XF (again the wrong competitor, XJ is the competing car) is inadequate is completely inaccurate. Attached is a picture of an XF trunk. 

    Finally: I wont even go into the comments of sound system and intuitiveness of the touchscreen display. The Tesla’s is truly wonderful, but your comparison and comments about the sound system being like a civic’s, not good journalism in my opinion. Please do look up the Meridian Audio company and you will see exactly who makes Jaguars 

    Thank you for your time, and please next time, put more effort into posting a valid and objective article.

  • Ashtom1

    One point you might want to make is that You can do cross country in XF which charges up in 5 minutes and run 350miles on tank much faster than Tesla. The comments on sound system and seating were just lame and amateurish. You still have long way to go to write reviews. All the best in future

  • Ashtom1

    One point you might want to make is that You can do cross country in XF which charges up in 5 minutes and run 350miles on tank much faster than Tesla. The comments on sound system and seating were just lame and amateurish. You still have long way to go to write reviews. All the best in future

  • http://www.jerewindependentresearch.com/ LoneWolffe

    messele For your enjoyment, here’s a post of a Jaguar XF setting itself on fire. No bumps required! http://www.xfforum.co.uk/threads/17714-Jaguar-XF-BURNED-on-fire

  • messele

    It’d be too much to expect any kind of appraisal not full of bias… so this non-article did not disappoint.
    No room for ‘full sized’ adults in the back of the XF. Small luggage compartment? Poor sound system? You know full well you are shovelling BS by the boatload.
    PS I am amused at the Jaguar adverts being served up that fund your joke of a review site. I guess there are no Tesla adverts as nobody wants the risk of being burnt alive after driving over a bump in the road.