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Jaguar XF Road Test Review

Jaguar XF Road Test Review

By Swansway Motor Group 12-06-2018

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Motoring Journalist and ex-racing driver, John Swift, went for a spin in Jaguar's XF and remembered just why he loves the Jaguar marque.

Should I Buy a Jaguar XF?

  • Beautiful design that stands out from the crowd
  • Plenty of room for front and rear seat passengers and luggage
  • Intuitive touchscreen infotainment system
  • Classic Jaguar ability to soak up poor road surfaces
  • Grace, pace and space; a classic Jaguar

Explore the Jaguar XF


Jaguar XF Road Test Review

As with every other car in this end of the executive car market, the Jaguar XF has been hard hit by the switch to SUVs and it’s perhaps telling that the company’s first model in that sector, the F-Pace, became its fastest ever selling new car.

But there’s still a lot going for the XF, a handsome and capable car which is now in the showrooms with some attractive price packages.

Jaguar XF and XF Sportbrake parked at the side of a winding road


What does the Jaguar XF look like?

Styling: 5/5

I’ve always loved the XF’s lines, a saloon, but with the look of a coupe and against some of the rather more boxy offerings from rivals this could only be designed by one manufacturer.

Remember that old motto of company founder, Sir William Lyons, that Jaguars should have grace, pace and space? Well, the XF certainly ticks that first box.

White Jaguar XF driving towards you at dusk

This is the second generation XF and it looks just a little tidier and neater in its details than the first one, most notably in its headlight treatment. It’s very similar to its predecessor and so I wouldn’t say it’s in its first flush of youth, but it still looks good and distinctive against others.

As it happens I parked at a mainline train station the other day and saw one among Lexus, Audis and BMWs and the Jag looked the most interesting.


Is the interior of the Jaguar XF luxurious?

Interior: 4/5

There’s a welcome increase in room inside, for those sitting either in the front or behind and a big area for luggage, an area made even bigger if you care to lower the rear seats. Should you need more, the XF comes in an estate (Sportbrake) form too. The upshot is that although you might find a millimetre here or there in favour of German rivals, the Jaguar doesn’t feel any different to them in this regard.

It’s well equipped, the instruments are nice and clear and it lacks for nothing I would want. Some say the air vents which swivel open and the rotary gear selector which rises slightly as you start the ignition are theatrical, but personally I like the sense of the car coming awake. Each to their own.

Front interior of the Jaguar XF

Jaguar offers the XF in trim and spec levels with a rough division into luxury and sport themes. Even the entry level cars, the Prestige spec, get leather seats (heated at the front), reversing sensors and a decent touch screen infotainment centre that even a digital half-wit like me can fathom in two seconds. The rest of the trim levels build from there.

Explore the Jaguar XF Sportbrake


What's it like to drive a Jaguar XF?

Driving: 5/5

Let me qualify that maximum score and say it depends very much on which model you go for.

I’ve driven the performance oriented XF-R Sport and would say it’s too hard for pot-holed roads. Sure, it steers quickly and nicely and behaves itself in a corner, but as a day to day car, I’d soon tire of the rear springs hitting the bump stops and then being back thrown open as the dampers rebound. The XF-R would probably get 3.5/5 from me; though it says as much about our ever dire road surfaces as it does about that model.

However, I’ve also driven other versions on both the road, and the race track, and I can tell you that for public driving the ride is just lovely, with that classic creamy smooth Jaguar ability to soak up bumps and ridges which makes driving so much easier cross country and positively pleasant on a motorway.

As for the race track bit, I’ve driven the (non-sports versions) on their door handles around Silverstone and was impressed by the all-round brilliance of the handling in that arena and the ride on the journey to and from the track. That car had a 250 PS 2.0 litre petrol engine, was a total delight and thoroughly deserves the 5/5 rating for driving.

Silver Jaguar XF driving at speed on a winding road with spectacular view

The XF has the classic front engine/rear wheel drive layout (there are a few all-wheel drive versions but I’d go RWD) and with quite a lot of aluminium in its construction the Jag feels quite light and nimble for a big saloon which is all to the good for making it responsive to your inputs at the steering wheel.

I think the XF is a lovely car on pretty much any road and in any driving style. It’s as quiet and refined as you’d expect of a Jaguar.


What engines does the Jaguar XF have?

Engines: 4/5

Like many, Jaguar has been caught out by the recent anti-diesel crusade and has not yet caught up with a hybrid.

It’s a shame because the Ingenium family of diesel and petrol engines are excellent, but will probably become unfashionable, as the company car drivers the XF is aimed at, seek to shield themselves from higher tax bills with some element of electric power.


How much does the Jaguar XF cost?

Price: 4/5

Jaguar says it will cost you from £33,835 to enter the XF family, but to put it in a more meaningful way, as of June 2018, official company data shows that you can be behind the wheel of one, the R-Sport as it happens, from less than £370 per calendar month on a three year PCP. Not bad, is it?

White Jaguar XF driving past a cliff face seen side on


Should I buy a Jaguar XF?

Verdict: 4/5

Overall this is such a nice car and in the current market climate, attractively priced too. It’s unfashionable against SUVs, that’s true, but there’s a great business/family car here with so much going for it. Grace, pace and space…it is all here in the Jaguar XF.

White Jaguar XF driving quickly down a road away from you

Explore the Jaguar XF


Facts & Figures for the Jaguar XF

Jaguar XF:

From £33,835

Car tested Jaguar XF 2.0d R-Sport

Price: £40,145

0 to 62 mph: 6.5 seconds

Top speed: 153 mph

Average mpg: 53

CO2: 139 g/km

Main service: 24 months/21,000 miles

Warranty: 36 months/100,000 miles.


 

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