Jaguar XF S 3.0 diesel, Mercedes-Benz E 350 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Review
Diesels do nicely

Story and photos by Raymond Lai
22 Jul 2011

Diesel power is a pretty common sight in the executive class in Europe. Do they have the potential to do well over here as well? Raymond Lai deliberates.

Introduction, styling

In Europe, the typical executive will usually do lots of miles in their executive saloons as they quite often drive long distances from one meeting or appointment to another. Hence, it is essential that the executive saloons that they drive are refined, comfortable and most importantly, fuel efficient. Diesel powered exec saloons like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class then, fit these criteria better than petrol powered equivalents.

The oil burning Mercedes-Benz E350 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY is one of the most popular range topping executive saloons in Europe. While ‘CDI’ is extremely popular and is a common sight on European roads, the Singapore motorist is more familiar with ‘CGI’ badges on boot lids of E-Class models over here. This is because diesel powered passenger cars are a rarity over here due to the extremely high taxes the authorities slap on such oil burners. Despite the huge deterrent diesel powered passenger cars though, the German car brands like Mercedes-Benz are continuously lobbying for the powers-that-be to reconsider the tax structure for diesel powered passenger cars. In the mean time, Mercedes-Benz will willingly indent a diesel model like the E350 CDI like the one you see here if you insist.

British brand Jaguar Land Rover on the other hand, currently offers a range of diesel models in its local line up, including the Jaguar XFS, an exec saloon that makes for a logical rival for the Mercedes E350 CDI. Both the E350 CDI and the XFS then give us the excuse to find out which is the better range topping diesel executive saloons you can buy here in Singapore today.

Outwardly, only small details like the black grille inserts, different alloy wheel design (19-inch on he S) and the ‘S’ badge on the boot lid differentiate the XFS from petrol XF models. Four years on and the XF still cuts a beautiful shape, proving that it is pretty much a timeless design. Its rump is still one of the prettiest of any four-door model on sale today. A facelifted XF though, was recently unveiled and features updated styling tweaks that make the XF’s styling more in line with the larger XJ’s. The updated model isn’t available here yet till later in the year.

The ninth generation E-Class’ styling is every bit as timeless as the XF if not as evocative looking or sexy. There’s a certain seriousness in the way the E-Class looks and carries itself. Thanks to styling features like the accentuated wheel arches that are said to be inspired by classic Merc saloons, the E-Class has its own distinctive character in the way it looks. The E350 CDI differs from its E350 petrol powered sibling only by its ‘CDI’ badge on the boot lid. Fitted with the optional AMG sports styling kit and large wheels like on the test car here, the E350 CDI manages to look both sporty and purposeful.

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Engine Capacity 2993cc Turbocharged
Engine Type V 6
Power 275bhp @ 4000rpm
Torque 600Nm @ 2000rpm
Power to Weight 151.1 bhp per ton


Acceleration 6.4s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 250 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 14.7 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 6 -speed Auto
Drive Type FR


Body Type Sedan
(L x W x H)
(4961 x 1877 x 1460) mm
Wheelbase 2,909 mm
Kerb Weight 1820 kg



Engine Capacity 2987cc Turbocharged
Engine Type V 6
Power 261bhp @ 3800rpm
Torque 620Nm @ 1600rpm
Power to Weight 142.2 bhp per ton


Acceleration 6.2s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 250 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 16.7 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 7 -speed 7G Tronic
Drive Type FR


Body Type Sedan
(L x W x H)
(4868 x 1854 x 1471) mm
Wheelbase 2874 mm
Kerb Weight 1835 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 80 L


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Ventilated Discs