Jaguar XF Saloon full 9 point review
The XF is available with a range of four- and six-cylinder diesel engines, along with a six-cylinder petrol. The higher-powered i4 four-cylinder diesel is swift enough, so you’ll rarely have to rev it hard. If you can afford it, though, the V6 diesel is the one to go for; it offers seriously strong performance, even from low revs. The automatic gearbox (optional on the i4 diesels and standard on other XFs) is impressive, apart from the odd pause when selecting a lower gear in Sport mode.
Ride & Handling
Jaguar is famous for producing sporty saloons, and the XF is no exception. It masks its size well and handles with the agility of a much smaller car. A large part of this is down to the steering, which is well weighted and precise. The ride is a little firm around town, but on every other road the XF is supremely comfortable, and that’s on both the standard suspension and the adaptive set-up fitted to high-end versions.
The four-cylinder diesel engines are generally hushed, if a little too noisy when revved hard. There’s also a telltale diesel rattle from the V6 at about 2000rpm, but it’s otherwise quiet. The V6 petrol version, on the other hand, sounds suitably sporty (and loud) when accelerating quickly. Wind noise isn’t a major issue, with only a slight whistling from the windscreen at speed; overall, however, the XF isn’t quite as refined as its best rivals. The automatic gearbox is smooth.
Buying & Owning
The XF is a premium product with a premium price, but it is predicted to have exceptionally strong resale values, which will keep depreciation and leasing costs down. The i4 four-cylinder diesel versions have particularly low CO2 emissions, so are an excellent choice for company car drivers. These engines are more economical than the ones in many rivals, too. The V6 engines are competitive in terms of their efficiency, if not class leading.
Quality & Reliability
Perceived quality inside and out is very good, and material choices in most areas are sound. The only disappointment is the trim surrounding the gearlever on automatic versions, which looks and feels cheap. Everything feels solidly put together, though. There’s no reliability data on this second-generation XF at present, but Jaguar as a brand scored below-average marks in our most recent reliability survey.
Safety & Security
Every XF gets a host of safety equipment as standard, including automatic emergency braking, a lane departure warning system and six airbags. There’s also an optional Active Safety Pack, which adds driver attention monitoring and a system that warns you if another vehicle is crossing your path while you’re reversing. An alarm and engine immobiliser help to deter thieves.
Behind The Wheel
It’s easy to get settled behind the wheel of an XF. The seat is comfortable and supportive, and is set quite high to ensure a good view of the road ahead. All the major controls also fall easily to hand, and many functions can be controlled via the buttons on the steering wheel. Reaching to press the touchscreen infotainment system is easy, too.
Space & Practicality
There’ll be no complaints about space up front, and a couple of tall adults will be able to sit comfortably in the back seats on long journeys. The boot opening is fairly narrow, but the boot is big and the space it offers extends a long way back and is completely flat. It’s a shame that split-folding rear seats aren’t standard on the bottom two trim levels (they’re a fairly expensive optional extra, too), but they are fitted to Portfolio and S versions.
Even entry-level Prestige XFs come loaded with kit, including leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, sat-nav, cruise control, rear parking sensors and heated part-electric front seats. We think it’s worth spending the extra on Portfolio trim, which adds a reversing camera, keyless entry and engine starting, and an upgraded stereo. Options worth going for are the automatic gearbox (on the i4 diesel versions) and the 10.2in InControl Touch Pro touchscreen system.