Jaguar XF review

Category: Executive car

The XF is a competitively priced, great to drive and well equipped executive car

Jaguar XF front cornering
  • Jaguar XF front cornering
  • Jaguar XF interior dashboard
  • Jaguar XF boot open
  • Jaguar XF infotainment touchscreen
  • Jaguar XF front right driving
  • Jaguar XF front driving
  • Jaguar XF rear right driving
  • Jaguar XF front left static
  • Jaguar XF rear right static
  • Jaguar XF grille detail
  • Jaguar XF alloy wheel detail
  • Jaguar XF rear lights detail
  • Jaguar XF interior front seats
  • Jaguar XF interior back seats
  • Jaguar XF ClearSight rear-view mirror
  • Jaguar XF interior front seats detail
  • Jaguar XF front cornering
  • Jaguar XF interior dashboard
  • Jaguar XF boot open
  • Jaguar XF infotainment touchscreen
  • Jaguar XF front right driving
  • Jaguar XF front driving
  • Jaguar XF rear right driving
  • Jaguar XF front left static
  • Jaguar XF rear right static
  • Jaguar XF grille detail
  • Jaguar XF alloy wheel detail
  • Jaguar XF rear lights detail
  • Jaguar XF interior front seats
  • Jaguar XF interior back seats
  • Jaguar XF ClearSight rear-view mirror
  • Jaguar XF interior front seats detail
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Introduction

What Car? says...

At one time, if you wanted an upmarket car you would automatically look at the well-established German models – but the Jaguar XF changed all that.

The second-generation XF offers stylish looks, a luxurious interior and sharp handling, and a mid-life update helped bolster its appeal by treating it to a heavily revised interior, a slick 11.4in touchscreen infotainment system, revised engines and a rationalisation of the trim line-up. That last change was significant because it dropped the XF’s list price well below those of the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class

So, while it has been left behind in terms of tech and outright space by fresher, next-generation rivals, the XF has become a bit of a bargain, and its relatively athletic proportions and simplicity could play to its strengths.

But is all that enough to keep the Jaguar XF relevant against such strong competition? Read on to find out whether it can still hold its own against the best executive cars...

Jaguar XF rear cornering

Overview

The Jaguar XF is great to drive, well equipped and manages to undercut key rivals with a competitive list price, and that helps to make up for an interior that isn’t quite as plush or tech-laden as the class best. Go for the D200 diesel if you’re a company car buyer or worried about fuel costs and stick with entry-level R-Dynamic S trim for the best value for money.

  • Brilliant handling
  • Smart, easy to use interior
  • Undercuts rivals yet comes with tonnes of kit
  • Interior build quality disappointing
  • Engines aren't very smooth
  • Rivals are quieter
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Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox

The cheapest engine in the Jaguar XF line-up is also our favourite. Badged D200, this 201bhp 2.0-litre diesel matches the Mercedes E-Class E 220d with its 7.6 seconds 0-62mph time and is barely any slower than an Audi A6 40 TDI’s time of 7.4 seconds. It feels impressively punchy from low revs and is plenty quick enough to whisk you up to motorway speeds without any fuss. 

Alternatively, there are the 247bhp and 296bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged petrols, badged P250 and P300. The P250 gets rear-wheel drive while the P300 comes with four-wheel drive. 

Surprisingly, the range-topping P300, despite having significantly more power than the D200 diesel, doesn’t feel that much quicker in most day-to-day situations. That’s because you really have to rev it out to tap into the full performance on offer – peak power comes at a heady 5,500rpm.

The cheaper and less powerful P250 behaves similarly and we reckon it’s perfect adequate – just don’t expect mind-bending performance.

A revvy petrol engine might sound well suited to a sports-oriented saloon, but the eight-speed automatic gearbox (fitted to all XFs) can be a bit sluggish to respond when you ask for a quick burst of acceleration.

Suspension and ride comfort

The XF's ride is a little bit firm around town, but at higher speeds it's comfortable and well controlled on both standard suspension and the adaptive set-up (called Adaptive Dynamics) fitted to the 300 Sport.

Jaguar XF image
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Whichever system is fitted, expansion joints and rough roads pass beneath you with minimal fuss and the XF's body doesn't bounce up and down over dips and crests. Of course, adding bigger alloy wheels makes the ride firmer (something you’ll find on most cars) but even on massive 20in alloys the ride never feels uncomfortable.

The much softer setup of the E-Class trades body control for more ride comfort.

Handling

This is where the XF shines. Despite its not insignificant footprint, the XF handles with the agility and athleticism of a much smaller car. A large part of this is down to the steering, which is well weighted, precise and quicker than most key rivals', including the BMW 5 Series

The tyres generate plenty of grip, giving you lots of confidence when driving the XF quickly along a twisty road. That's helped by the standard-fit torque vectoring system, which makes the car to turn in even more willingly by gently braking the inside wheels in tight corners.

The R-Dynamic models come with lowered, stiffened sports suspension. The 300 Sport is fitted with adaptive suspension, engaging Dynamic mode tightens the handling up even more, but it's best left for super-smooth roads.

Noise and vibration

The D200 diesel engine isn't as hushed as the A6 40 TDI’s under hard acceleration, but it’s quiet and subdued around town and at a cruise. The P300 petrol, meanwhile, is even smoother and quieter, but it’s a shame that it doesn’t make a more sporty sound when revved to the redline.

With a minor level of road noise and the engine fading into the background, the XF is hardly a noisy companion on the motorway. However, there are more hushed rivals out there. The low level of wind noise filtering through around the door frames highlights how much better an E-Class isolates occupants from the outside world.

You might notice a few engine vibrations through the floor and steering wheel, while the standard eight-speed automatic gearbox can frustrate with its tendency to dawdle during shifts.

Driving overview

Strengths Fun to drive; precise steering

Weaknesses Could be quieter; automatic gearbox can be hesitant

Jaguar XF interior dashboard

Interior

The interior layout, fit and finish

Driving position and dashboard

It’s easy to get comfortable behind the wheel of the Jaguar XF. Even entry-level R-Dynamic S-grade cars come with 12-way, electrically adjustable front seats (including adjustable lumbar support) with a memory function – this lets you save your preferred seat settings and recall them at a touch of a button. Stepping up to R-Dynamic HSE trim nets you 16-way electric adjustment. 

No matter which trim you opt for, the driver seat lines up nicely with the pedals and steering wheel. Our only minor grumble is that the steering’s telescopic adjustment range is a little short for driver’s over 6ft. 

As standard, you get Jaguar’s Interactive Driver Display and these are digital dials on a 12.3in screen. They put a wealth of useful information just below your sightline and make the optional head-up display a worthwhile extra rather than an absolute must.

Meanwhile the rest of the dashboard is well laid out and easy to get the hang of, with physical buttons for the climate control and media volume. That’s not the case with most rivals, including the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class, which places the climate controls on the touchscreen, and, while that looks great, it's distracting to use while driving.

Visibility, parking sensors and cameras

The driver will have no problems seeing out of the front of the XF. Its narrow windscreen pillars mean very little is obscured at junctions. Similarly, the front side windows are deep enough that roundabouts and T-junctions are no bother.

The rear side windows aren't too pinched, so anyone sitting in the back won't feel claustrophobic. The rear pillars are quite thick, though, obscuring the driver's over-the-shoulder view.

Thankfully, all XFs come with front and rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera. If you pay a bit extra you can get a 360-degree view camera and a ClearSight rear-view mirror, too. At the touch of a button, this becomes a digital screen that shows a live camera feed from directly behind the car, so you can still see what's behind even if the rear window is obscured.

LED headlights are standard on all versions, although stepping up to R-Dynamic SE trim also gets you high-beam assist. Pixel LED lights, meanwhile, are available as an option – these can stay set to main beam even when you don’t have the road to yourself, by shaping their light output to avoid dazzling other road users.

Sat nav and infotainment

The XF features Jaguar’s Pivi Pro infotainment system. Its responses are swift and the 11.4in touchscreen's graphics are impressively sharp. There’s also lots of functionality, including standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay wireless phone integration.

As touchscreen systems go, it's one of the best in the class; it’s relatively easy to use on the move, thanks to having a line of conveniently placed digital shortcut buttons and a handily configurable home screen. It still doesn’t quite beat the 5 Series with its rotary dial control, which is less distracting to use when driving.

The standard 180W sound system is perfectly acceptable, but music lovers can upgrade to a punchier Meridian Sound System (standard on R-Dynamic SE models).

Quality

This latest version of the XF benefitted from an overhauled interior, with a big focus on improving material quality. And things did improve.

The buttons feel nicely damped, denser feeling plastics are present throughout the interior, and the 11.4in touchscreen acts as a nice focal point for the dashboard, with its convex display helping it blend into the dashboard in a neat fashion. 

It is a shame, however, that the hide used on the leather seats doesn’t feel particularly plush or expensive, while the fake plastic metal-effect trim looks cheap compared with what you get in an Audi A6 or BMW 5 Series. 

Interior overview

Strengths Smart interior; decent infotainment system; easy to use controls

Weaknesses Interior isn’t quite as solid as in an Audi A6 or BMW 5 Series

Jaguar XF boot open

Passenger & boot space

How it copes with people and clutter

Front space

Interior space is one of the Jaguar XF’s strongest assets. Two tall adults will feel cocooned by the way they sit low in relation to a high window line, but there’s a generous amount of leg room and enough space between the driver and passenger to not get in each other’s way.

Located in front of the gear selector there is a small shelf that will take most wallets, keys or a mobile phone (and an optional wireless charging pad), while beneath the central armrest is a cubby big enough to accept a bottle of water or a small packed lunch – you’ll also find a USB, USB-C and 12V socket in there.

The front door pockets will struggle to accept a large water bottle because they are rather shallow, but at least the XF’s glovebox is a better size, with room for more than just the owner's manual.

Rear space

Two six-footers will find their knees well clear of the front seatbacks and won't have to put up with their heads brushing the rooflining. 

However, three adults side by side won’t have quite as much shoulder room as they would in the Audi A6. The base of the middle rear seat is also raised, making it uncomfortable to sit on, and there’s very little room for the middle occupant’s feet. Then again, the same goes for most of the XF's rivals.

Each front seatback has a pocket and there's one in each rear door, too, although the latter is quite narrow.

Seat folding and flexibility

Just like the driver’s seat, the front passenger seat has electric height and backrest angle adjustment as standard, making it easy to fine-tune the perfect position. It even gets electrically adjustable lumbar support as standard, allowing you to fend off lower back pain on longer journeys.

The rear seats fold in a 40/20/40 configuration as standard – a feature also available in the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class – and the seatbacks lie almost flat when they're folded down.

Boot space

At 448 litres, the XF has a smaller amount of boot space than its key rivals, the 5 Series and E-Class. Access is also less impressive, because the XF's boot aperture is small even by saloon standards, so loading broad items can be tricky.

The boot also narrows dramatically towards the rear seats. This means that, when the seatbacks are down, you’re left with a narrower tunnel to squeeze items through than in the Audi A6. If you need more space, there is the estate version, the Jaguar XF Sportbrake (which we've review separately).

An electric boot lid is standard (you have to pay extra on the 5 Series).

Practicality overview

Strengths Spacious for four; versatile folding rear seats as standard

Weaknesses Not very comfortable for a central rear passenger; smaller boot than rivals

Jaguar XF infotainment touchscreen

Buying & owning

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

The Jaguar XF comfortably undercuts all its main rivals, including the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class. That’s rather impressive when you consider how well equipped it is as standard. Resale values aren’t as strong as its key competitors, though, so it will lose its value quicker. 

Where the XF falls short on is choice. The entry-level 2.0 diesel D200 has the lowest CO2 emissions in the XF line-up and is the logical choice as a company car. And in base form, the XF’s low emissions put it in a lower benefit-in-kind (BIK) category than an equivalent A6.

However, company car drivers hoping for a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) XF will have to look elsewhere, whether it’s a Jaguar F-Pace PHEV, or the A6 TFSI e, BMW 530e or Mercedes E300e.

Equipment, options and extras

Entry-level R-Dynamic S-grade cars aren’t stingy on kit. You get 18in alloy wheels, 12-way electrically adjustable leather seats, cruise control, automatic LED headlights and wipers, LED daytime running lights, a powered tailgate, front and rear parking sensors and the 11.4in Pivi Pro infotainment system. Because it's so well equipped, it's our favourite.

Stepping up to R-Dynamic SE trim adds a heated front windscreen, rear privacy glass, larger 19in alloy wheels and keyless entry. Range-topping R-Dynamic HSE trim gets luxuries such as 20in alloy wheels and Windsor leather upholstery.

The 300 Sport adds a black painted roof and adaptive suspension.

Reliability

The XF finished near the bottom of the executive car class in our latest 2023 What Car? Reliability Survey, in 20th place out of 24 cars. This placed it above the Audi A6 and just below the Volvo S90.

Meanwhile, Jaguar as a brand finished a disappointing 29th out of 32 manufacturers in the same survey. 

Every new Jaguar comes with a three-year, unlimited-mileage warranty as standard that can be extended if you're prepared to pay a bit extra. You can have MOT cover added, too.

Safety and security

Every XF gets a host of safety equipment as standard, including automatic emergency braking (AEB), a lane-departure warning system, a driver attention monitoring system and six airbags. Mid-level R-Dynamic SE adds blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

In its Euro NCAP safety test back in 2015, the XF scored five stars but it's worth noting this rating has since expired due to the testing regime having become far more stringent since those days.

An alarm and engine immobiliser are fitted to deter thieves. Indeed, Thatcham Research awarded the XF full marks for its resistance to being driven away and good marks for its ability to resist a break-in in the first place but this was also a number of years ago.

Costs overview

Strengths Cheaper to buy outright than rivals; well equipped

Weaknesses No company-car-friendly PHEV option; questionable reliability

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FAQs

  • Yes, production of the XF ended early 2024.

  • As it neared the end of production, the 300 Sport was the flagship model.

At a glance
New car deals
Target Price from £35,670
or from £484pm
Swipe to see used car deals
Nearly new deals
From £34,490
RRP price range £35,670 - £48,230
Number of trims (see all)4
Number of engines (see all)3
Available fuel types (which is best for you?)petrol, diesel
MPG range across all versions 32.7 - 56.9
Available doors options 4
Warranty 3 years / No mileage cap
Company car tax at 20% (min/max) £2,124 / £3,443
Company car tax at 40% (min/max) £4,247 / £6,886
Available colours