Jaguar XF Saloon review
Brit firm's magic finally returns with the stunning XF saloon.
Innovative and stylish, it scooped Auto Express’s prestigious Car of the Year accolade in our 2008 New Car Honours.
Video: watch CarBuyer's video review of the XK Coupe
Three trim options are on offer - Luxury, Premium Luxury and SV8. Whatever model you pick, there’s no denying the XF’s style. The imposing grille, sweeping roofline, strong shoulders and neat LED rear lamps all add to the eye-catching looks. The standard car’s 17-inch alloy wheels appear small in the wheel arches, so we’d recommend spending the extra on 19 or 20-inch rims.
The Jaguar’s cabin feels special as soon as you climb aboard. Hit the start button and the cylindrical gear selector glides up from the centre console, while the dash-mounted air vents automatically roll open. At night the cosseting experience is heightened further still as the whole cabin glows a cool blue. Pick the Premium Luxury version and you’ll get a traditional mix of leather and wood trim. Only poor packaging lets the XF down. Headroom can be tight for taller occupants and there’s only 500-litres of luggage capacity on offer.
Not only is the 2.7-litre V6 diesel the most popular with buyers, it’s the also the best unit in the range. With 204bhp, the refined oil-burner can sprint from zero to 60mph in 7.9 seconds, yet still return 37.6mpg. The 3.0-litre V6 petrol is underpowered in comparison and the 4.2-litre V8 thirsty. Performance fans can plump for the supercharged SV8, which serves up 410bhp and 560Nm, but struggles to return 20mpg. For buyers wanting even more urge, a 500bhp XFR is on the cards for early next year.
Despite using the same platform as the elderly S-Type, the XF is a revelation on the road. Thanks to its incisive steering, finely tuned damping and strong grip there are few executive rivals that can match the finesse and sensitivity of the big Brit. Better still is the relaxing ride that manages to isolate occupants from the worst road surfaces. It’s refined too, with engine, wind and road noise kept to a minimum.
This is where the Jaguar needs to shine if it is to lure BMW, Mercedes and Audi buyers. Pick the 2.7-litrre diesel and you’ll have little to complain about. Fuel economy is 37.6mpg, while servicing costs are reasonable. But it’s the XF’s residuals that really impress, with oil-burners retaining around 50 percent of its value after three years. Buyers looking to keep costs down should steer clear of the petrol models, particularly the thirsty V8 versions.
EuroNCAP has not tested it yet, but the Jag should be safe. Airbags, stability control and a bonnet that pops up in a pedestrian impact to cushion the collision are all part of the standard spec. You can also pay extra for a blind-spot warning system, tyre pressure monitors and a Parking Aid Pack featuring front sensors and rear cameras.
Our Choice – Jaguar XF 2.7D Luxury