- Luxurious cabin
- Enormous boot space
- Packed with technology
- Options ramp up the cost
- Noisy petrol engine
When you’re looking for a saloon the ones likely to come up are from the big German hitters like BMW and Mercedes-Benz, but how about looking a bit closer to home?
Jaguar launched the XF saloon back in 2007 and it’s now into its second generation, so does the model have enough to take on its major rivals? We tested it for a week to find out.
We were really impressed by the overall driving experience of the XF, it has really good steering with plenty of feedback to the driver and reacted well to some twisty roads we took it on, it never felt like we had to overcorrect.
It rides really well too; passengers noticed how comfortable it was even in the rear and it shows how well Jaguar have engineered the suspension on the XF as it can cope with any roads you throw at it.
With Jaguar’s Drive Control you can set up the car to how you want to drive it with adjustments to the throttle response, gear changes and steering, and the Rain Ice Snow button will provide extra traction if you do happen to be driving the XF in these conditions. We wanted it to snow so we could try it out...
On The Road
We tested the XF with the 2.0 turbocharged petrol engine which delivers 200PS with 320Nm of torque using a slick and seamless 8-speed automatic gearbox it gets from 0 - 60mph in 7.1 seconds with a probably never-needing-it top speed of 146mph. If you’re looking for quicker upshifts then you can put it into Dynamic mode, or if you’re intent on being fuel efficient then Eco mode will short shift.
One thing we did notice is how noisy the four cylinder was on start up leaving a few people thinking we were driving a diesel, but once up to speed it’s a fairly quiet engine, so if you’re looking for a refined motorway cruiser then this is the car to go for.
Jaguar’s Ingenium range of engines have been made to produce maximum performance but still be fuel efficient, so this emits 154g/km of CO2 so will cost £500 for the first year in road tax and with fuel economy around the forty mpg mark, then running costs will be good.
Jaguar have a few other engine options including a 3.0 litre V6 supercharged petrol with a very generous 380PS while the twin turbocharged 3.0 V6 produces 300PS.
As soon as you slither down into the driver’s seat Jaguar have added some memorable features as soon as you press the start button, the rotary gear dial lifts up like a platform and the air vents spin open, it’s little things like that add so much class to a car.
The XF is a saloon but definitely has been ingrained with a lot of sporty, sleek design, it has a clamshell bonnet leading down to domineering black grille which features the famous red growler badge, there are lashings of chrome on the window surrounds, on the Jaguar embossed side vents and also on the rear badges.
Our test car came in a stunning Loire Blue paint colour at £705 with privacy glass also adding an extra £395 to the final price.
In The Car
Behind the Wheel
The Jaguar XF is a well thought out, driver focussed cabin with very comfortable, supportive seats, we were disappointed that they were only electronically adjustable for the back not for sliding forward and back, the same went with the steering wheel rake. Everything else is premium...
The front and rear seats are heated, the front ones can be adjusted on the touchscreen which can be a bit fiddly when you’re driving.
Jaguar have added colour to the interior with a bright, optional 10.2-inch touchscreen with colourful menus, a funky heads up display and blue light inserts around the centre stack buttons.
Their Touch Pro display screen features a new navigation system and uses voice recognition so you don’t have to take your eyes off the road or your hands off the wheel. There’s also an eco data display which can be fun on a long drive, especially if you have a heavy right foot. If you pay the extra £540 for Secure Tracker it can let you know if your XF has been stolen and where to look for it.
There are various points for charging and connecting smartphones including a 12V socket, two USB slots, an HDMI point and also Bluetooth.
Space & Practicality
Jaguar have made the most of the space in the car, leg and headroom is good upfront, although we did find that with an adult in the rear middle seat, visibility out the rear window was obscured.
Boot size is a very decent 540 litres, as soon as the electronic tailgate opened it amazed us at how much space there was, so expect to get quite a few bags and suitcases in there. For £665 you can add the optional power gestured boot lid and if you’re looking for even more practicality and space then Jaguar also do their Sportbrake estate version.
We managed to fit a child car seat in the rear quite easily and there’s enough room that the child won’t be kicking the seat infront.
With storage in the high centre stack between the front seats there are also cup holders and ample room in the doors.
The Jaguar XF costs from £33,835 for the entry-level Prestige, which comes with a three-year warranty, around £2,500 less than the rival BMW 5 Series. The model we tested started at £37,935, but with options ramped it up to an around £49k, the sliding panoramic roof was an extra £990 and the Navigation Pro Pack with a Meridian sound system was £1,780.
So how does it compare to its rivals? The XF is a really stylish saloon, it’s packed with technology, it’s super luxurious and in terms of cost it is well-priced for the segment it’s in, but stay away from the options list as it can turn it into a very expensive buy.
Quality & Reliability
We’d just gone from having an Audi to testing the Jaguar and even though we really like the premium feel of the Audi interiors, the XF can certainly rival it.
The soft touch leather throughout, the aluminium effect additions and the wood effect inlays in the doors and under the front window really reminded us of old school craftman’s stunning work and it adds a look and feel that is very premium.
Reliability is an area that Jaguar stuggle at, but that being said in the Auto Express Driver Power Survey for 2017 the first generation XF came second for most reliable car and that’s rated by the people that own them. If Jaguar can iron out a a few niggling electrical issues that owners have had then it’ll be taking the top spot.
Safety & Security
The Jaguar XF is packed full of safety technology so it’s no wonder that in 2015 it scored the full five tests in the EuroNCAP tests with 92% for adult occupant protection and 84% for a child.
It does come with a raft of safety and driving aids including cruise control with a speed limiter, a brake pad wear indicator, stability and traction control, Autonomous Emergency Braking, which will reduce the impact of a possible collision, Pedestrian Contact Sensing and a parking assist pack with a 360 degree surround camera (we loved this feature as you couldn’t fail to not park properly) was an extra £2,020.