Sports car styling mixed with refined craftsmanship help to produce the magnificent XF and XFR models. Trim levels are typically high and the performance certainly doesn’t disappoint.
The goodElegant styling and outstanding driving dynamics
The badQuality options from German marques
Jaguar XF R-Sport 2.0 Turbocharged Petrol 250PS AWD Auto
Long journeys can be a daunting prospect especially when moving or rather crawling with commuter traffic, but after a week behind the wheel of the latest Jaguar XF I concluded that no journey can actually be that bad.
The reason I can make such a sweeping statement with such confidence is because the executive-class XF is one of the most comfortable cars on the market and it seems to glide effortlessly across the Tarmac clocking up the mileage with ease. And the test car with its powerful 250PS Turbocharged engine in R-Sport trim was no exception.
From every angle the XF looks impressive with its ultra-sleek, streamlined yet muscular body and my car was supplied in a rather menacing Santorini Black shade. Factor in the privacy glass, 20-inch alloys with a gloss black finish, gloss black window surrounds along with extended side sills, also in black, and the car maintains its elegant posture but with a hint of the dark side.
Other eye-catching styling features included a sliding panoramic roof, twin exhausts, LED headlights and the 25t AWD badge is a subtle reminder that this vehicle won’t be deterred by any adverse changes in the weather conditions.
Step inside and the cockpit oozes sophistication at every turn with a generous array of techno treats at your disposal. Jaguar is renowned for producing cars fit for a king and the XF is another great example of this with the likes of the finest grained leather upholstery, gloss black veneers, a digital TV, a Meridian sound system, an excellent navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity, a head-up display and a smart 8-inch touchscreen.
And the exquisite design cues are completed with soft-close doors and the ‘JAGUAR’ name in illuminated blue spread across the tread-plate as you open the side doors. This word can actually be personalised as an optional extra.
The XF also featured Jaguar’s Drive Control system which allows you to choose between different driving modes called Standard, Eco, Dynamic or Rain Ice Snow. These alter the throttle response and also the gear shift points accordingly so if Eco is chosen then a more fuel-efficient driving experience can be expected whereas Dynamic livens things up with sharper acceleration, more weighted steering and gear changes that are held for longer. Finally, the Rain Ice Snow mode is perfect for extra traction in more difficult driving conditions.
The test car was powered by a 250PS 2.0-litre Turbocharged petrol engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifts if you fancy taking over the reins. It was priced at £41,835 (increased to £58,860 with optional extras fitted) and it could sprint from 0 to 60mph in just 6.2 seconds before maxing out at 147mph. According to official figures, it can deliver combined fuel economy of 40.9mpg with carbon emissions rated at 159g/km.
Ride and comfort levels are excellent and it’s very simple to get a perfect driving position thanks to the generous amount of seat and steering wheel adjustment available. It’s also worth mentioning how quiet and refined the XF is even when pushed along at quite a click.
In busy town centres with traffic darting out from all directions, the XF proved deceptively agile for its length and the advanced parking assist system helped make light work of manoeuvring into tight spaces.
Out on the faster country lanes, switch to Dynamic and the XF really comes into its own taking on long sweeping bends at pace without a hint of traction loss or body roll. And then on the motorways, the miles simply fly by and you are guaranteed to get out after three hours-plus behind the wheel without any moans or groans.
Back seat passengers are treated to ample space and three adults can stretch out with enough head, leg and shoulder room. Then when it comes to storage, the XF’s boot has a 540-litre capacity which can be increased to 885 litres with the rear seats dropped down. The tailgate is power-gestured which is very convenient when approaching the car laden down with shopping bags.
And, as one would expect from Jaguar, the XF is packed with a comprehensive range of safety specifications and driver aids which helped it achieve the maximum five stars in the Euro NCAP rating tests.
All in all, the XF is a fabulous piece of kit that offers all the luxury we have come to expect from the Jaguar name, but it also delivers on the performance front too with blistering pace along with refined, composed handling.
Jaguar XF (2015) – first drive
With its beautifully-crafted sleek coupe styling the all-new Jaguar XF is guaranteed to stand out in any crowded car park and will be the focal point of business drivers up and down the country.
Priced from £32,300 to £49,945 the second generation XF sits neatly in the Jaguar line-up between the XE and XJ models. It is lighter and ultra-efficient with customers able to select from four richly-equipped trim levels called Prestige, R-Sport, Portfolio and S.
There is also a choice of powertrains with the most popular likely to be the company’s new Ingenium diesel engine which has been designed and built in-house and can achieve fuel economy up to 70.6mpg with carbon emissions as low as 104g/km.
This 2.0-litre diesel option is available with two outputs 163PS or 180PS and can be mated to manual or automatic transmissions. Alternatively, there is a 300PS 3.0-litre V6 diesel automatic or a 380PS 3.0-litre V6 petrol automatic engine too.
Thanks to the introduction of an aluminium-rich architecture, the new XF is up to 190kg lighter and despite being 7mm shorter than its predecessor, the wheelbase has been increased by 51mm. This in turn results in additional space for back seat passengers who are treated to extra leg, knee and head room.
Boasting a streamlined, coupe-like profile with a long sculpted bonnet, the XF looks every bit the sports saloon. Add in features such as an additional rear window, smart alloys, a fin antenna and state-of-the art adaptive full-LED headlights and it’s easy to see why Jaguar bosses are so excited about the car.
Ian Callum, Director of Design, Jaguar, explained that it was imperative to maintain the brand’s identity. He said: “We wanted people to see the car and think – there is a Jaguar. Not it’s an F-Type or an XF, but it’s a Jaguar.
“And the most important feature for any Jaguar is the line of the car. It needs to be simple, clear, beautiful and easy to follow and understand. It’s like a pencil flowing across a paper and then easing away.
“The new XF is leaner looking which adds to its elegance making it more befitting of its place in the Jaguar line-up.”
And once you move inside the cabin the quality of design and craftsmanship cannot fail to impress with a blend of contemporary luxury materials and finishes, along with innovative technology and infotainment systems. There is a 12.3-inch reconfigurable TFT virtual instrument cluster along with four-zone climate control, rotating air vents, 10-colour ambient lighting, a suede cloth headliner and fluted Windsor leather seats.
Infotainment is catered for thanks to two superb systems. The first is the InControl Touch which is based around an 8-inch touchscreen which is designed to be intuitive and simple to operate and supports gestures such as swipe and drag like a smartphone to navigate pages and scroll across maps.
But move up a notch and the XF is the first model to offer the InControl Touch Pro system with its 10.2-inch screen which introduces a whole host of additional features including customised home screens, dual view technology, rapid and more advanced navigation functions and data transfer rates, seamless iOS and Android connectivity, plus the option of a 17-speaker sound system to deliver pitch perfect audio.
We drove the XF in Northern Spain on a range of mountain roads, sweeping country lanes, fast motorways and also at a race circuit where the vehicle’s dynamics were really tested.
First up was the R-Sport model powered by the 2.0 180PS Ingenium diesel engine mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. This car, priced from £36,850, can sprint from 0-60mph in 7.7 seconds and has a top speed of 136mph. According to official figures it can achieve a combined 65.7mpg with carbon emissions of 114g/km and is expected to account for the majority of sales.
Obviously first impressions are vital and the XF doesn’t disappoint. It looks drop dead gorgeous from any angle and once inside the spacious cabin, the additional room is instantly noticeable – this addresses one of the major issues highlighted by customers owning the first generation XF.
And it’s difficult not to be wowed by the level of on-board technology that surrounds you and thankfully it is easy to come to terms with. There is nothing worse than getting into a car for the first time and being completely bamboozled by technical wizardry!
That’s not so with the XF. It’s easy to programme a sat nav, link a phone, alter the temperature, adjust the stereo and then there are all the other systems that can be explored as and when you need them.
Comfort levels are excellent and the XF seemed to actually glide along the Spanish roads which in fairness are far superior to ours. But even when an unexpected bump or dip was experienced, the car’s outstanding suspension ironed out any creases. There was a little wind noise from the mirrors at higher speeds, but other than that the insulation was very effective and efficient.
High speed motorway driving was an absolute breeze with all the power and acceleration you could wish for and then out on the more open roads with long sweeping bends the XF really came into its own. The road-holding was impeccable and the steering very precise. And for a vehicle of its length and size, it was deceptively agile and made light work of any tight hairpin bends.
There was a constant supply of power on tap and overtaking at short notice was easily achievable. In fact, my only gripe was the visibility because the A-pillars are quite thick and do obscure your view when turning sharply. But that aside, the XF was an absolute dream to drive. It was responsive, comfortable, nicely tuned and coped admirably with anything we threw at it.
Next up was some fun on the race track – this time in a mighty 380PS 3.0-litre Supercharged petrol model. In fairness, very few owners will put their pride and joy through such a punishing ritual, but the car was totally exhilarating and as sweeping bends and long straights were attacked at “silly” speeds it maintained its grip, composure and control.
A stint behind the wheel of the 3.0 300PS TDV6 model which is available in S spec and priced from £49,945 was just as thrilling and proved there is a perfect range of engines to suit all requirements. With its 0-60mph sprint time of 5.8 seconds and top speed of 155mph (limited) this car is certainly not for the faint-hearted, but it is not so economical to run with combined mpg of 51.4 and emissions of 144g/km.
All in all, the new XF is a fabulous car. It looks amazing, drives brilliantly, is packed with technology, offers great economy and comes with a competitive price-tag too.
Mention the name Jaguar and it automatically conjures up images of refined excellence, pure unadulterated luxury and unrivalled performance.
And the mighty 5.0-litre XFR-S is no exception with its gorgeous streamlining, abundance of built-in techno treats plus blistering driving dynamics and handling capabilities.
This supercharged cat can burst to 60mph from a standing start in just 4.4 seconds with a top speed that has been electronically limited to 186mph.
With more kick than an angry mule and more bite than a great white it would be fair to say it’s no pipe and slippers car then!
The driver can select an Eco driving mode to help maximise the vehicle’s fuel efficiency or a Comfort mode to add a little more zip and edge.
But if you’re feeling extra brave, the Dynamic mode (appropriately indicated by a chequered flag emblem) delivers the espresso kick we all sometimes need.
Yet whatever driving mode is utilised, the handling, acceleration, dynamics and ride is unbelievably smooth.
The car almost seems to glide and absorbs any uneven surfaces and unexpected bumps or dips along the way.
Of course there is a price to pay for such a stunning all-rounder – two in fact. Firstly, the initial asking price is £83,350 with almost £3.4k of optional extras added. And secondly the running costs – trips to the petrol pumps will be frequent as the XFR-S has a combined fuel economy of just 24.4mpg.
However, that said I was seeing an average in excess of 26mpg on a road trip covering 500 miles of motorways, country lanes and busy town centre driving and it’s not often the official stats are improved upon.
Wherever you go, the XFR-S is guaranteed to stop onlookers in their tracks thanks to its beautiful curvaceous streamlining, 20-inch alloys, bonnet louvres, quad exhaust tailpipes, red brake calipers, black grille, LED daytime running lights and carbon fibre rear spoiler.
Once you take your seat behind the three-spoke multi-functional soft grain leather steering wheel, it’s impossible not to be wowed by the craftsmanship, quality of materials and sheer abundance of creature comforts and techno treats that can be discovered.
For example, leather sports seats can be adjusted in every direction imaginable and any favourite driving positions can be stored in the car’s memory settings.
There is mood lighting along with a Meridian high premium sound system that is compatible with all modern media devices.
The heated windscreen has a timer function and there are heated seats, a seven-inch colour touchscreen, sat-nav, Bluetooth connectivity and RS badging throughout.
Back seat passengers are treated to plenty of leg, shoulder and head space and the deceptively lengthy boot can easily accommodate all luggage needs.
As one would expect, Jaguar has fitted a comprehensive range of safety features to the vehicle to protect occupants and help prevent accidents. These include as anti-lock brakes, dynamic stability control, emergency brake assist, intelligent high beam, blind spot monitoring, numerous airbags and plenty more besides.
All in all, the stunning Jaguar XFR-S lives up to its big billing.
It’s supercharged by name and supercharged by nature and no journey will ever be too long behind the wheel of this beauty.
Jaguar XF 3.0 Diesel Sport Portfolio
With its drop-dead gorgeous streamlining and host of built in techno treats the Jaguar XF is pure class all the way.
Guaranteed to stand out in any crowd, the XF looks amazing from all angles thanks to its 20-inch wheels, rear spoiler, twin tailpipes, LED rear lights and black grille.
And the inside isn’t exactly shabby either! It oozes class with only the finest leathers and materials incorporated to create a stylish, elegant and very sophisticated cabin environment.
Creature comforts are plentiful and include Jaguar’s highly impressive new Meridian sound system with CD and DVD player. There’s also a seven-inch colour touchscreen with satellite navigation, Bluetooth, DAB radio, a rear-view camera, parking sensors and a whole lot more besides.
And when it comes to performance, the XF lives up to high expectations with its 3.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine powering the car to 60mph from a standing start in just 5.9 seconds
The top speed is limited to 155mph, but one factor certainly worth highlighting is the XF’s economy.
According to official Jaguar figures it can achieve combined fuel efficiency of 47mpg and I came very close to seeing those figures during a test drive incorporating city centre and open road driving.
Acceleration through the eight-speed automatic transmission is beautifully smooth and responsive and as one would expect, there is a constant supply of power on tap as the car eats up the road with ease.
Comfort levels are exceptionally high for all and the front seat occupants are treated to incredibly supportive soft grain leather seats that can be electrically adjusted and cooled or heated.
There is ample space to stretch out and luggage restrictions will never be an issue as the already generously-sized boot can be extended further thanks to 60:40 split-folding rear seats.
There is also a ski hatch to help transport awkwardly-shaped items.
Despite its length the XF proved very agile and easy to manoeuvre although be warned, a larger-than-life parking space is required.
There was very little road surface or engine noise and to be honest, even long journeys are a pleasure in the XF. I clocked up 140 miles on one such drive and arrived totally refreshed – it really is that comfortable.
Jaguar has packed a comprehensive range of safety features into the car such as anti-lock brakes, emergency brake assist, numerous airbags, adaptive cruise control, cornering brake control, hazard warning lights under heavy braking, a pedestrian contact sensing system and a blind spot monitoring system which is a £460 optional extra.
All in all, the Jaguar XF is another example of styling at its very best.
The test car was priced at just over £49k but optional extras bumped up the price-tag by an additional £3.9k.
However, for that fairly hefty outlay you are guaranteed a car that is bursting with quality and offers all the driving dynamics you could wish for.
Jaguar XF Sportbrake 2.2 200PS Portfolio
Boasting sleek streamlining and oozing luxurious styling and sophistication by the bucket load, Jaguar’s XF Sportbrake really does seem to have it all.
Few lengthy estate models are quite as striking as the Sportbrake and wherever it passes by, it’s guaranteed to turn heads.
Eye-catching features include LED daytime running lights, a powered tailgate, smart alloys, body-coloured door mirrors and door handles, tinted windows with chrome trim, a heated windscreen with timer and heated, electrically folding mirrors.
And once you take your seat behind the leather, multi-function steering wheel it’s impossible not to be wowed by the incredible comfort levels and vast range of on-board technical wizardry at your disposal.
Jaguar has used the very finest leathers and materials to create a warm, welcoming and very desirable environment.
The soft grain leather seats offer armchair-style comfort and they can be electrically adjusted, heated or cooled.
Creature comforts are plentiful and include an incredible infotainment system featuring DAB radio, CD/DVD player, Aux, USB and iPod connectivity, Bluetooth, satellite navigation, automatic wipers, parking sensors, automatic headlights, cruise control and lots more.
The Sportbrake has a very driver-focused cockpit so all dials and controls are ideally positioned for ease of use. This means the driver can concentrate on the road ahead without searching around for fiddly buttons.
So the XF Sportbrake looks magnificent, is packed with quality specifications and the asking price of £48,872, which included just over £4k of optional extras, is also competitive. But what about performance?
Well, fear not because this vehicle achieves top marks once again.
The 2.2-litre diesel-driven engine powers this longer-than-life car from 0-60mph in just 8.2 seconds and on to a top speed of 134mph.
The eight-speed automatic transmission is smooth and very responsive as the car seems to glide along the country lanes eating up the Tarmac in its path.
But for me, it’s not just the power and brilliant handling that impressed, it was the agility of the car and the smooth ride. It’s the sort of car that is safe to drink a hot coffee in while on the move.
Cabin noise is virtually non-existent and if economy is a vital factor then the combined fuel efficiency of 54.3mpg will strike the right chord.
The boot is huge – 1,675 litres and this capacity can be increased even further thanks to 60:40 split-folding rear seats.
The test model also featured a ski hatch as an optional extra.
The Sportbrake is kitted out with a comprehensive range of safety features, including emergency brake assist, dynamic stability control, pedestrian contact sensing, cornering brake control, numerous airbags to protect all occupants and plenty more.
Jaguar claims this XF Sportbrake represents a compelling combination of elegance and capability – both practical and dynamic.
I have to admit I agree with every word.
Jaguar XFR 5.0 Supercharged
With elegant streamlining that’s guaranteed to turn heads plus blistering performance capabilities the Jaguar XFR is certainly not for the faint hearted.
Its 5.0-litre supercharged engine delivers incredible acceleration racing from 0-60mph in just 4.7 seconds and then from 50-70mph in 1.9 seconds and the all-round performance and handling would satisfy the fussiest of motoring experts.
But there is a softer side to this car and the luxurious interior offers a glimpse into the quality and technical wizardry featured within the XFR.
The seats which can be heated or cooled are made from soft grain leather and they can be adjusted 18 ways to find the ultimate driving position.
Other creature comforts include a heated windscreen with timer, a brilliant 17-speaker sound system which is compatible with every modern day device, cruise control, Bluetooth, sat nav and plenty more besides.
And this car is going to attract plenty of attention from onlookers too thanks to the smooth lines, smart light clusters with LED rear lamps, red brake calipers, quad tailpipes, rear spoiler, front grille with black mesh inserts, bright side window surrounds and striking alloys.
The test car featured Italian Racing Red paintwork and that perfectly set the tone for this beautifully equipped vehicle.
Okay, so admittedly at almost £70k with all the added extras, the XFR is not cheap and the combined fuel economy of just 22.5mpg will mean regular trips to the petrol pumps, but that aside, what a car!
It handles exceptionally well as it moves swiftly and very smoothly through the six-speed automatic transmission although you can change gear yourself thanks to steering wheel-mounted paddle shifts.
The ride is incredibly responsive and apart from the roar of the engine, cabin noise is pretty quiet as the car eats up the Tarmac absorbing every bump and dip along the way.
In and around town, it cruises effortlessly alongside city traffic and those parking sensors are vital when squeezing into tight spaces due to the car’s length.
But it’s out on the faster country lanes where this cat comes alive. The immense power at your disposal is awesome and the handling absolutely majestic.
All passengers are treated to exceptionally high levels of comfort and there will never be any limitations on luggage as the generously-sized boot can easily be extended further thanks to 60/40 split-folding rear seats.
Jaguar has packed the car with a very comprehensive list of safety features such as anti-lock brakes, emergency brake assist, a tyre pressure monitoring system, cornering brake control, numerous airbags and lots more besides.
All in all, the Jaguar XFR boasts the ultimate in wow factor qualities. It looks stunning, handles superbly and no journey will ever be too long behind the sporty steering wheel.
Jaguar XF 3.0 Diesel S
When a car is fitted with a heated leather steering wheel, you just know it has to be a little bit special no matter how indulgent and the Jaguar XF lives up to all expectations.
Okay, so let’s get the biggest issue out the way first – this car is not cheap, but you can be sure your £45k (£50k with extras) is going to be very well spent and what price do you put on safety, performance, comfort and style anyway?
From the second you lay eyes on this sleek XF with its dazzling 20-inch alloys, LED rear lamps, rear spoiler and heated, auto dimming, power folding exterior mirrors you know the week-long test is going to be fun, fun, fun – and it was.
The handling, build quality and endless list of entertaining gadgets kept me amused for hours on end and the comfort levels were second to none.
Fitted with a powerful 3.0-litre diesel engine, the XF takes its lead from the stunning XFR model to deliver a more dynamic, responsive drive that boasts stats of 0-60mph in 5.9 seconds, 50-70mph in 3.2 seconds and a top speed that is limited to 155mph. That gives you an idea of the power at your disposal.
But, even with your foot flat to the floor, there is a certain sophistication in the way the XF handles itself. The transition through the automatic transmission is as smooth as possible and the vehicle really seems to glide along the pothole-ridden Tarmac absorbing every lump and bump with ease.
Road-holding is exceptional, and although the rear window is not that large, the all-round visibility is generally very good.
Comfort levels, front and rear, are exceptionally high and storage is catered for via the generously-sized boot and plenty of smaller compartments throughout.
Few cars can compete with Jaguar on the gizmo stakes once again, the XF is kitted out with a whole host of great creature comforts such as interior mood lighting, a driver information centre, air vents that automatically close when you turn off the engine, seats that move 18 ways and have memory functions, sat nav, a brilliant audio system and absolutely loads more. To be honest, I could have played in the XF all week and still just scratched the surface of top notch specifications.
And the safety features are equally as impressive with anti-lock brakes, numerous airbags, cornering brake control, emergency brake assist, tyre pressure monitoring, a blind spot monitor and plenty more besides.
To sum up, the dazzling XF beautifully combines the style and sophistication of a luxury four door saloon, with the soul of a sports car and looks of a coupe – quite an achievement all round.