Jaguar XF Review

The Jaguar XF first hit the roads back in 2007 as a replacement for the aging S-Type, and heralded a new design language for Jaguar, leaving its stuffy wood-trimmed image behind and entering a new cutting-edge generation for the British automaker. The XF debuted a party piece that was to become a Jaguar trademark, in the form of its hidden air vents and sunken rotary gear selector, both of which would smoothly appear when the start button was pressed.

Initially launched solely as the Jaguar XF Saloon, the range expanded in 2012 to include the XF Sportbrake Estate, which is arguably one of the most attractive estate cars on the road. The Jaguar XF is now in its second generation and continues to look attractive and elegant, with a sporting touch that helps it remain a serious contender against some formidable German rivals.

This Jaguar XF review will look in more detail at some of the reasons why the XF is one of the best cars to rival other executive saloons and estates such as the Mercedes E-Class and BMW 5 Series.

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Jaguar XF Sportbrake vs Jaguar XF Saloon

The Jaguar XF Sportbrake estate arrived three years after the XF Saloon and added even more appeal to the Jaguar XF range. The word "Sportbrake" gives a nod to the shooting brake estate design from which the XF Sportbrake takes its inspiration. The Sportbrake's athletic stance and sharply curved rear end gives it a sporty look that few other estate cars share. And yet it is still practical, with a large tailgate and a generous load area.

The XF Saloon is hardly a traditional-looking saloon car either, with its sleek coupe-hatchback styling hiding the fact that it actually has a separate boot compartment rather than a hatch. Whichever of the two versions you pick, you are certain to have an innovatively-styled, unconventional car.

The Sportbrake is currently available to order brand new at around a £3000 premium over the XF Saloon.

Jaguar XF Design

The Jaguar XF was designed as a modern reimagination of one of Britain's best known luxury car brands. It used technology to reinvent itself with quirky design details such as its pop-out air vents and gear selector, and its modern headlamps with LED J-shaped running light signatures. This was combined with its wire mesh grille which harked back to Jaguars of old such as the XJ and E-Type.

The Jaguar XF of today makes gratuitous use of aluminium in its body and chassis, making it light and strong, and helping convey the modern image that Jaguar hopes to be known for. Its sharp looks with narrow front and rear lights give it a contemporary style inside and out, and help it stand out against some of the more cliché German alternatives. The XF also forms the underpinnings and design of the F-Pace SUV, for those wishing to ride the crest of the SUV wave.

Jaguar XF Style

The party-piece air vents and gear selector from the first generation Jaguar XF have sadly now gone and are replaced with more conventional items, but the new gear selector is satisfyingly small and stubby, and positive to use. The design is now fairly minimalist, with most of the controls confined to the steering wheel and centre dash, without intruding into the rest of the cabin.

The dashboard is curvy and pleasant to look at, and whilst being very elegant it is otherwise discreet and lets you focus on the driving experience. You sit low, ensconced by the sweeping dashboard and high transmission tunnel; this is styled deliberately to make you feel involved in the driving experience. Some of the build quality could be a little better and this does take some of the shine off the attractive styling, but this is not the end of the world when you consider the XF's keen price point and its tech offering.

Jaguar XF Comfort

You will immediately feel comfortable when you slide behind the wheel of the Jaguar XF. It comes as standard with 12-way electrically adjustable front seats, which are heated for comfort. Higher specification models come with 16-way electric memory sports seats. You might have to spend half an hour getting them exactly how you want them, but from that point it is just the press of a button to slide everything into the perfect place, ready to tackle the drive.

The myriad adjustment options make the driving position very comfortable, and all the switchgear has been designed to be well in reach of the driving seat, making for a relaxed driving experience. The combination of the sumptuous luxury and sporty edge really helps you enjoy driving the XF, whether on a country road or when munching those motorway miles.

Jaguar XF Practicality

The Jaguar XF saloon has quite a small aperture when you open the boot lid, so it can be a challenge to load larger items into it. If you find that you regularly need to carry bulky loads around, then look to the XF Sportbrake estate to take this challenge on, with its large tailgate and decent load space.

In the cabin there are a reasonable amount of cubbies and storage areas for phones, keys or refreshments; it is nice to see that Jaguar have considered substance as well as style in the interior of the XF.

The rear seats are mounted quite low and are deeply sculpted, which helps accommodate taller passengers in spite of the low roofline, and the long body allows for plenty of legroom for all passengers. There is also a 40/20/40 split on the rear seats as standard if you need to carry larger items.

Performance and Engine Options

Jaguar's diesel engines now feature mild hybrid technology, which help to reduce CO2 emissions and improve fuel economy. All XFs come with eight speed automatic as standard, and drive goes to the rear wheels, although some models can be specified with four wheel drive for a bit of extra traction when needed.

The entry level diesel version is the D200, offering 201bhp from its 2.0 litre turbocharged engine, in exchange for up to 57 miles per gallon. It comes with a mild hybrid system which features a small battery to allow the engine to cut out at particular times when the engine isn't needed. The D200 is also available as an all wheel drive version.

The XF also comes in the P250 or P300 turbocharged six cylinder petrol versions, which offer 246bhp and 296bhp as standard, and return 34mpg and 31mpg respectively. The P300 is available as a four wheel drive only, and the P250 is rear wheel drive only. Unfortunately, the petrol engines don't yet come with the mild hybrid system.

The majority of buyers are likely to go for the D200, which is more economical, has the mild hybrid diesel combination, and its real-world performance is almost as good as the petrol versions with plenty of torque on tap.

Trim Levels

At present there are two trim levels available on a new Jaguar XF in the UK, which are R-Dynamic and R-Dynamic Black. Both are very well specified and offer excellent value when compared with models in its class from German rivals such as Audi and Mercedes.

The R-Dynamic comes with plenty of kit, including full LED headlights, an R-Dynamic body kit, 19" alloy wheels, two zone climate controls, an 11.4 inch screen with Jaguar's Pivi Pro infotainment system, wireless Apple CarPlay and front and rear parking sensors.

Upgrading to the XF R-Dynamic Black gives you a panoramic glass roof (which slides open on the saloon and is fixed on the Sportbrake), rear privacy glass, black 19" alloy wheels, the Black exterior detailing pack and heated electric door mirrors.

Reliability and Safety

The Jaguar XF scored five stars on its Euro NCAP crash test, but this was back in 2015 and is due to be repeated. However, while the Euro NCAP standards have moved on in recent years, so has the safety equipment in Jaguar's lineup, so there is every expectation that the new Jaguar XF will score five stars.

Standard safety equipment includes ABS, DSC, adaptive cruise control and rear ISOFIX for child seats, as well as driver assistance features including a driver condition monitor, blind spot monitoring, lane keeping assist and emergency braking.


The new Jaguar XF R-Dynamic saloon starts at £33,975 on the road, and the R-Dynamic Black starts at £37,535 for the D200 diesel rear wheel drive version. If you want an AWD version, this starts at £35,620. The entry level P250 petrol engine starts at £38,310, and the P300 starts at £44,800.

The Jaguar XF Sportbrake estate starts from £37,190 for the R-Dynamic, and £39.395 for the R-Dynamic Black in the D200. There is then a big jump to £43,255 for an AWD version of the D200. The P250 is £37,190 and the P300 is £46,650. 


The Jaguar XF saloon and the Jaguar XF Sportbrake estate are both superb cars which undercut many of their German counterparts in price by some margin, while offering achingly good looks and an attractive, high-tech interior. The early stages of hybrid technology are in place but it would be nice to see this expanded on through plug-in hybrid or full electric technology.

The best all-rounder of the range is the D200 RWD, and you would probably need to consider carefully whether there is enough value in upgrading to the petrol or AWD versions, because the extra costs are significant.

The technology inside and out is excellent, particularly in terms of infotainment, and you should consider upgrading the stereo to one of the superb Meridian systems. If you can overlook the evidence of some slightly cheaper materials used in the Jag than you'd find in a Mercedes E-Class or BMW 5 Series, then you might secure yourself a good value, good looking luxury car for your money.

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