The XF has been Jaguar’s entry-level car since its launch in 2008. Now, with the smaller XE filling that position, Jaguar has taken the opportunity to re-shape the XF into an even more advanced premium executive saloon.
Underneath, it’s based on the same lightweight aluminium underpinnings as the XE, allowing it to weigh up to 190kg less than the old car. It’s also marginally smaller, although Jaguar says it has even more space inside.
Styling changes over the old car are minimal, but include changes to the car’s front grille, while at the rear end new lights have been inspired by those used on the F-Type sports car – giving the XF a distinctive appearance.
Also new are Jaguar Land Rover’s Ingenium diesel engines – 2.0-litre, four-cylinder powerplants which allow the XF to return more than 70mpg in some cases.
Other engine options include the same 3.0-litre supercharged V6 petrol already found in the F-Type sports car and a tweaked version of the current car’s 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel.
What’s the 2015 Jaguar XF like to drive?
We drove the XF with a 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel engine producing 296bhp and 516lb ft of torque. It’s unlikely to be the best seller in the range – that will come from the Ingenium diesel engines – but it’s the most powerful diesel on offer.
It’s a strong engine, allowing the XF to reach 60mph from a standing start in just 5.8 seconds – that’s impressive, and even more so when you remember this is a 1750kg saloon rather than a lightweight sports car.
The engine is coupled to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, which can also be controlled via paddles mounted on the steering wheel. It offers both normal and sport driving modes – the latter allowing the car to stay in lower gears for longer.
The automatic transmission can be a little slow to respond to downshifts in sport mode, but using the wheel-mounted paddles negates that. It also adds an extra level of driver involvement to the XF.
It’s here that the XF truly feels like a sports saloon – and where it’s the most fun to drive. By contrast, on the motorway the XF is relaxing and easy to drive, proving itself to be a versatile and practical car.
One of the best bits of the XF is its steering. It’s very well weighted and accurate, allowing the XF to mask its large size and handle with an agility more akin to the smaller XE.
What’s the 2015 Jaguar XF like inside?
The XF’s redesigned cabin features a new centre console design, including the familiar dial controller for the gearbox. A new 8.0in touchscreen system for controlling navigation and infotainment comes as standard, and can be upgraded to a larger 10.2-inch setup at a cost of £1200.
Other options include a head-up display, which can project speed and navigation instructions onto the windscreen, and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, which can be configured by the driver.
The upgraded system we tried might be pricey but it works brilliantly, the larger display helping to make the most of the navigation display. Jaguar says the new XF has more leg room than its main rival, the BMW 5 Series, although by only 3mm.
Sit in the rear seats and the difference is clear. A tall adult can sit in the back over long distances with no complaints, with plenty of head and leg room.
Similarly, both driver and front passenger sit in comfort, our only complaint being the seats can be too firmly bolstered for some. Some of the materials – particularly around the transmission controller - don’t fit with the XF’s premium image, either.
Should I buy one?
The Jaguar XF is a sublime premium saloon, and one which Jaguar says can still return up to 51.4mpg with this diesel engine. Other engine options will return even better results, but they don’t have the added performance of this V6.
BMW’s 5 Series – which starts at £30,865 compared to the XF’s starting price of £32,300 – appears to offer better overall value, and Audi’s A6 has a more premium feeling cabin, but it’s the XF which is the better driver’s car.
The old XF was praised for mixing the key elements of sporting saloon and luxury limo so well, and this second-generation car is no different. It remains one of the best executive saloons you can buy.
What Car? says
Engine size 3.0-litre V6 diesel
Price from £49,945
Torque 516lb ft
0-62mph 5.8 seconds
Top speed 155mph
Fuel economy 51.4mpg