What's the used Jaguar XF saloon like?
The Jaguar XF has long been something of a raffish choice for those seeking a smart luxury car. This second-generation version follows in the steps of the original XF in offering arrestingly suave looks allied to a slick and rewarding driving experience.
This model is predominantly aluminium. It’s lighter and leaner than the first XF, yet bigger inside, too – another overhaul prescribed by its predecessor’s shortcomings. It also gets a range of new engines, with four variants of JLR's 2.0-litre, four-cylinder Ingenium diesel engines, which was further supplemented by a trio of Ingenium petrols two years after launch in 2017, while the top of the range is dominated by 3.0-litre V6 petrol and diesel engines mainly found in the XF S.
There are four trim levels to choose from for the Jaguar XF - Prestige, Portfolio, R-Sport and S, split into two categories - Luxury and Sport. The entry-level Luxury models, also known as Prestige, get 17in alloy wheels, bi-xenon headlights, leather upholstery, electrically adjustable and heated front seats, rear parking sensors and Jaguar's InControl Touch infotainment system complete with Jaguar's standard 80W audio system.
Upgrade to Portfolio and your XF gets more luxuries such as 18in alloy wheels, Windsor-clad leather upholstery, more electrical front seat adjustment, gloss veneer, split-folding rear seats, a heated windscreen, keyless entry, front parking sensors and a reversing camera, as well as a 380W Meridian sound system. Opt for the R-Sport trim and the XF gains a sporty bodykit, sports suspension, black headlining, front parking sensors and lots of exterior gloss black trim on top of the Prestige trim, while the range-topping S models get 19in alloy wheels, a more aggressive bodykit, red brake calipers, keyless entry, a 380W Meridian sound system, a reversing camera and adaptive dampers added to the package.
Luxury cars like this have to be smooth and relaxing to drive and, on this count, the XF certainly scores well. Even with the optional, larger wheels it’s suitably wafty, though you do feel a trace of the rippled road surfaces below you making their way through the chassis to your backside. XFs with 19in wheels or less seem to cure even this minor irritation, providing a thoroughly fitting level of comfort.
Happily, this comfort doesn’t come at the expense of handling. For such a large car, the way the XF can move through corners is little short of astonishing; the nose swings into corners the instant you turn the wheel, while the supple suspension damps out mid-corner bumps and allows the XF to glide fluidly from corner to corner with perfect control.
Meanwhile, the chassis is beautifully balanced and responds sweetly to your throttle and steering inputs. The result is a car that’s a delight whether you’re on a twisting back road, a fast, sweeping A-road or a motorway.
Inside, the XF could be just as impressive, were it not for a couple of flies in the ointment. First, there’s the infotainment system, which has a few labyrinthine menus and doesn’t respond as quickly as it should; then there’s the build quality – some of the switchgear and a couple of the plastics feel a little cheaper than the equivalent rivals’.
Fortunately, smart touches such as the knurled gear selector and the arc of wood veneer that stretches across the dashboard do a good job of distracting you. Space, meanwhile, isn’t an issue for any occupant – there’s more in a couple of its rivals, but you have to question whether you’d really need it.
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