What's the used Jaguar XF saloon like?
The Jaguar XF was a radical departure for Jaguar when it first went on sale in late 2007. Retro styling was out, replaced instead by a sleek, far more modern look.
Now, this first-generation XF has long been something of a raffish choice for those seeking a smart used luxury car at a reasonable price. The 2015-onwards, second-generation Jaguar XF follows in its footsteps offering arrestingly suave looks allied to a slick and rewarding driving experience.
A 2.7-litre diesel-engined model kicked off the range initially. However, the punchier 3.0-litre diesel engine that replaced it in mid-2009 was even better.
The next major change came in 2011, when Jaguar restyled the car, giving it more modern looking front and rear lights and a slightly classier interior. At the same time it added a 2.2-litre diesel engine, but while this is the most efficient engine in the range, it feels a little underpowered and still isn’t as easy on fuel as an equivalent BMW 5 Series is.
Originally, the most powerful XF was the supercharged 4.2-litre petrol SV8, but when the car was facelifted this was replaced with an R model that uses a 5.0-litre petrol V8 and produces more than 500bhp. Both V8s are naturally expensive to run, as is the 3.0-litre V6 petrol.
Jaguar went to town when deciding what should be fitted to the XF as standard. Sat-nav, climate control, electrically adjustable seats, a leather interior and parking sensors are all included on the lower-spec Luxury model, while the Premium Luxury also gets higher-quality seats, upgraded interior trim, larger alloys, keyless entry and powered folding mirrors. The 2.2-litre diesel is also available in a more basic SE specification.
Jaguar also managed to make it more fun to drive than the contemporary versions of the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class, as well as insulating passengers well from wind and road noise. True, the XF's ride has a firm edge to it, but it’s never overly uncomfortable.
The wow factor continues on the inside, where everything is backlit in cool blue, and starting the engine causes the air vents to power open and the gear selector to rise out of the centre console.
There's plenty of space in the front, but the sloping roofline and thinly padded rear seat base means this isn’t the most comfortable place to spend long journeys. Storage-wise, the boot is big enough for suitcases or golf bags, and the rear seats fold down for extra space.
Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Jaguar XF saloon?
Some Jaguar XF owners have reported squeaks and rattles coming from the interior, particularly around the windows and dashboard, so be sure to listen out for this on the test drive.
There have been other reports of issues with the electrical wiring in the boot, making it important to check that it opens properly and that the brake lights work.
Also, listen out for a thud when braking on a full tank of fuel. This isn’t usually dangerous, but will still need checking out by a dealer.
A recall was issued on some XFs from 2010 because of an issue that led to the engine not being supplied with sufficient fuel to run. Be sure to check if the car you’re interested in was one of those affected – and if so that the work was carried out.
What are the most common problems with a used Jaguar XF saloon?
Jaguar has made big strides in improving reliability in the last decade, as confirmed by What Car?'s reliability studies. However, a small number of intermittent faults and gremlins have cropped up on the XF, most prevalently in early examples.
The electrics can suffer, with warning lights staying on, the touch-screen sat-nav turning itself off and the stereo sulking. The fuel filler cap can refuse to open along with the doors, while the door trim can work itself loose.
The air-conditioning system can also let you down, and there have been a few reports of turbo failure on diesel engines.
Is a used Jaguar XF saloon reliable?
In our latest What Car? Reliability Survey, the current XF finished eighth out of 10 cars in the luxury car class.
Bodywork, brakes and sat-nav issues were the most common problems with the 28% of XFs that went wrong. Although 68% of faults were fixed for free, some owners faced bills ranging from £751 to £1500. Almost all cars could still be driven and three-quarters were rectified in less than a week, half of those within a day.
Jaguar as a brand seems to be improving compared with previous survey results, although it still only managed a mediocre score of 26th out of 32 car manufacturers.
What used Jaguar XF saloon will I get for my budget?
At this age of car, the condition becomes king, so always check the history of your car carefully. A budget of around £7000 can get you an early example. Spend between £8000 and £10,000 on a post-facelift 2011 car in good condition with an average mileage for the year, and between £10,000 and £12,000 on a later, post-facelift car from 2012 to 2015 with an average mileage.
How much does it cost to run a Jaguar XF saloon?
The most popular engine when the XF first went on sale was a 2.7-litre diesel, which emits 199g/km of CO2. However, in 2009 this was replaced by a 3.0-litre, which managed 179g/km, so this is cheaper to tax, despite having more power. What’s more, it averages a fuell efficiency figure of 41.5mpg in official tests, compared with the 37.4mpg of the 2.7-litre-engined model.
Later in the car’s life, Jaguar introduced a 2.2-litre diesel engine which is more efficient once again, with an official average of 52.3mpg – although our True MPG fuel economy tests suggest 42mpg is more likely in the real world.
All cars were registered before the tax changes of April 2017 came into force so will be charged an annual fee according to the CO2 emissions.
If you’re buying a car that’s still under warranty, you should stick to franchised dealers for servicing until it expires. While this will cost noticeably more than at an independent, it will help resale values and ensure that all maintenance work and software updates are carried out.
Which used Jaguar XF saloon should I buy?
A 2.7-litre diesel-engined model is a fine choice, combining low running costs with enough power for the XF to be entertaining. However, the 3.0-litre diesel engine that replaced it in mid-2009 is even better.
Sat-nav, climate control, electrically adjustable seats, a leather interior and parking sensors are all included on the lower-spec Luxury model, while the Premium Luxury also gets higher-quality seats, upgraded interior trim, larger alloys, keyless entry and powered folding mirrors. The 2.2-litre diesel is also available in a more basic SE specification.
Our favourite used Jaguar XF: 3.0 D V6 Premium Luxury
What alternatives should I consider to a used Jaguar XF saloon?
The XF is aimed squarely at the 2010-2017 BMW 5 Series. That isn’t quite as fun to drive, but it’s still far from cumbersome in corners and offers more interior space. If you go for the 520d model, you also get a 2.0-litre diesel engine that’s stronger, smoother and more efficient than the 2.2-litre diesel of the XF.
Alternatively, if comfort is your top priority, you should consider the 2016-onwards Mercedes E-Class. It glides over bumps like a magic carpet - as long as you avoid models with the optional sports suspension, that is - and like the 5-Series, it’s more spacious than the XF. The biggest problem with the E-Class is its four-cylinder diesel engine, because it’s noisy and sends a lot of vibration into the car.
The final member of the German big three is the 2011-2018 Audi A6. It can’t match the handling of the XF or 5 Series, or the ride comfort of the E-Class, but it counters those shortcomings with the classiest interior of the lot.
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