2016 Jaguar XF Review and First Drive

by under Reviewluxury on 09 Feb 2016 08:06:13 AM09 Feb 2016
FROM $82,800
Fuel Consumption
FROM 4.3L/100km

Glorious looks; impressive engines; absolutely top-notch driving dynamics


Some of our test cars had some squeaks in their dashboards

Jaguar has marched back into the mid-size prestige sedan segment with the brilliant all-new XF model now on-sale locally priced from $82,800. After putting a variety of XF models through their paces, www.carshowroom.com.au has no doubt the British marque has the artillery to take-on the star-studded German rivals in this league.


And now with capped-price servicing and guaranteed future value schemes, Jaguar Land-Rover Australia has backed the classy newcomer with the sort of confidence-inspiring after-sales support buyers at this end of the market demand. All-new car, sharp price and strong after-sales care…yes Jaguar has all bases covered with the XF sedan range.

Jaguar says launch of the all-new XE compact sedan has allowed a focus on the larger XF which simply wasn’t possible in the past. Being the world leader in aluminium-intensive architecture (and benefitting from a £500 million investment in the required technology at the Castle Bromwich plant) sees not only a lightweight, sporty/fuel-efficient chassis but also allows Jaguar its version of ‘modular’ platforms (as pioneered by the Volkswagen Group).

So, the XF actually sits a chassis very similar to that which will be employed in the historic F-PACE - Jaguar’s first SUV – which is scheduled for Australian launch in August. Addressing the obvious conflict, Jaguar Land-Rover’s Australian Managing Director Matthew Wiesner told media at the XF launch that the F-PACE will be a totally different beast to the Land-Rover-Range Rover lineup – probably sportier and on-road biased.    

Jaguar XF Overview

The all-new Jaguar XF lineup looks like this:

Variant Price
20d Prestige (132kW ‘Ingenium’ diesel)  $82,800
25t Portfolio (177kW 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol) $97,800
35t portfolio (250kW 3.0-litre supercharged V6 petrol) $112,800
20d R Sport (132kW 2.0-litre ‘Ingenium’ diesel)    $88,800
25t R-Sport (177kW 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol) $89,800
35t R-SPORT (250kW 3.0-litre supercharged V6 petrol) $104,800
30d S 221kw (221 kW 3.0 V6 diesel)   $120,700
35t S (280kW 3.0-litre supercharged V6 petrol)    $128,200

So it’s the expected Jaguar lineup which stars the sporty R-Sport models, offers the well-equipped ‘Portfolio’ grade and kicks-off with the ‘Prestige’.


Amongst its extras, Jaguar XF Portfolio gains Windsor leather seats, 19-inch alloy wheels, surround-view camera system, LED headlights, head-up display, eight-inch touchscreen InControl navigation system and DAB+ audio.

For the range-topping and sports-oriented S version you can add a different type of 19-inch wheel, sports seats, body kit, steering wheel transmission paddle-shifters and, underneath, adaptive dampers.

Jaguar XF Engine

As you would expect from Jaguar, the ‘muscle’ in the all-new XF lineup comes from a pair of supercharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine – 280kW/450Nm exclusively for the range-topping ‘S’ model or a 250kW/450Nm version for the R-Sport and Portfolio grades.

And, like the smaller Jaguar XE, the XF can be had with the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine good for 132kW/430Nm.

Looking at diesels, you have two winners here: the new J-LR 2.0-litre, ‘Ingenium four-cylinder providing 132kW/430Nm, or, in the range-topping ‘S’ version, a 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel delivering 220kW/700Nm.


Jaguar XF The Interior

Open the door and just one look immediately tells you this is a Jaguar. There’s that familiar three-spoke steering wheel, the rotary dial gear lever and air vents – outside ones only this time - which automatically close when you shut-down the engine (closing with a very precise and hushed electronic ‘buzz’).


The dashboard layout follows the lead of smaller XE model – a broad combination of horizontal surfaces and a large, three-gauge instrument binnacle. On top of the centre stack is the familiar Jaguar audio/climate control/ navigation screen (varies by model).

Coming in a couple of months, but sadly not fitted to any of the vehicles at the media launch is an Audi-like 12.3-inch colour TFT screen ahead of the driver which, for example, can be configured to be a full-size map. The TFT screen in front of the driver will be supplemented by a new 10.2-inch ‘Pro’ screen on the centre stack – expect up-market Portfolio and R-Sport versions to score this upgrade from April.

Plenty of seat and steering wheel adjustment sees the driver enjoying the traditional Jaguar sporty driving position. And all-round visibility is excellent thanks to a surprisingly large glasshouse.


Without doubt this generation Jaguar XF certainly overshadows its predecessor in rear seat legroom. Those in the back will enjoy nice support too.

Airport limousine operators take note: with more than 500-litres of boot capacity, the all-new Jaguar XF has your needs covered. For owners we’re talking multiple full-size sets of golf clubs.

Jaguar XF Exterior & Styling

There is more than a hint of the XE in the looks of the all-new Jaguar XF – just like BMW 3 Series and 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and E-Class. And we can assure you, as per the XE, the Jaguar XF is a very handsome vehicle – photos really don’t do it justice.


Up-front the styling is traditional Jaguar but with a modern twist. Yes there is the hallmark grille with the ‘cat’ logo central but notice the heavily sculptured bonnet and aggressive headlights – very ‘on-trend’.

Side view highlights the modern curved roofline, three-window glasshouse and introduces some sporty intent when side sills are fitted.

At the rear, we liked the standard bootlid spoiler and spectacular array from the high-mounted lights. Very Jaguar and very contemporary.


Jaguar XF On The Road

The very familiar roads of Victoria’s Yarra Valley were waiting and the organized folk at Jaguar ensured your www.carshowroom.com.au correspondent got to sample all four engines during our two day drive program.


Here’s the big news: we’ve driven countless cars over these roads and we can confidently say the all-new Jaguar XF is right up amongst the very best for both steering and chassis response. Thanks for that dynamic display goes to excellent calibration of the electronic power steering and the suspension (a complex pairing of double wishbone front – as per the sporty F-Type - and integral link rear).

It’s sharp without being jarring, precise without being nervous and refined without being isolated. Yes we did like the adaptive dampers but even without, cornering is commendably flat.

At the risk of sounding like ‘Boy Racers’ our re-acquaintance with Jaguar’s supercharged V6 was tremendous. It’s certainly on the same page as say the Mercedes-Benz E400 – current model but the all-new range isn’t far away – for performance.

And, at the other end of the spectrum, the ‘Igenium’2.0-litre turbo-diesel (lighter in weight over the front axle) was a nice blend of dynamics and impressive fuel consumption (4.3l/100kms).


But at the end of two days our pick of the powerplants was Jaguar’s 200kW/700Nm 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel. Just the effortless acceleration courtesy of the 700Nm and the quiet operation makes this the ideal engine for the Jaguar XF.


Jaguar XF Issues

Some of the cars we drove at the national media launch had some squeaks around the dashboard surfaces.


Jaguar XF Verdict

Well first things first – Jaguar is these days a very hip brand. And the all-new XF – like the rest of the range - is very easy on the eye both inside and out. For some, that alone gives it a bit of an edge over the German rivals.

Driving dynamics? Well this was once the exclusive domain of the Germans, but not anymore – the XF points, steers and responds with equal aplomb.


We’ re generally happy with the XF’s prices. But as always, when you’re buying, you do have to carefully cross-check features and technology items against the rivals model-by-model.

So, all things considered, Jaguar is back in the prestige mid-size sedan segment with a terrific car. We think the all-new Jaguar XF will provide a massive boost to the ‘Big Cat’s’ sales numbers from this year onwards.

Jaguar XF The Competition

Audi’s A6 with Quattro is one of our favourite cars and the range-toppers (S6 and RS6 Avant wagon) are without doubt two of the best cars on the planet. However the entry-level front-drive 1.8TFSI model - while sharply priced at $79,900 - is beaten in the driving dynamics department by the all-new Jaguar XF. Hard to top the A6 for interior styling it must be said.

BMW has a massive range of 5 Series models starting at $79,900 for the 520i. A wonderful interior is matched by the stylish exterior (and that’s a big change from the boring previous generation). Not as proficient as the Jaguar in the twisty stuff – and that’s a massive shift in positioning.

Mercedes-Benz rolls-out an all-new E-Class lineup shortly.  


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