Jaguar XF 2015 review
With its distinctive mesh grille and Jaguar’s snarling bi-function Xenon headlights, the XF is a car that will turn heads for all the right reasons. Jaguar have always been known for their gorgeous designs, but the XF is testament to their relatively new-found appreciation for the modern, with a creased bonnet (available in weight-saving carbon fibre in the R-Sport model) that would not look out of place on a 2015 BMW.
Although drivers of the previous XF would easily be able to pick the latest model out of a line-up, there have been some subtle updates, such as a shortening of the car’s length and widening of the wheelbase by 51mm. The R-Sport version is the most noticeably different, with its own bodykit and more responsive sports suspension.
The entire range comes with vented disc brakes, while the R-Sport comes with red brake calipers as part of its higher performance braking system. Additional features, including chrome side power vents (optional across the range), gloss black window surrounds (featured from R-Sport upwards) and chrome window surrounds (standard across the range) are also available to help you customise the car to your personal taste.
Automation brings an added element of convenience to the XF 2015, with rain-sensing windscreen wipers and automatic headlights with washers keeping your eyes firmly on the road and the joy of the drive. Jaguar’s innovative Pedestrian Contact Sensing System is another innovative inclusion, acting somewhat like an airbag to help lessen the impact on pedestrians should a collision take place.
The cabin design has developed to improve on many areas. The car boasts 27mm of extra head room compared to the previous model (despite having a lower roofline) and 15mm more leg room in the back, making it more spacious than BMW’s 5 Series. Boot space starts at a reasonably sized 20 litres, but Jaguar’s innovative ‘load through’ option enables the rear seating to be folded forwards for the storage of larger loads.
Four trim packages are available for the XF; the Prestige, R-Sport, Portfolio and top-of-the-range S (six-cylinder only). Jaguar have ensured a new sense of luxury across the range, with the electronically adjustable leather steering wheel imported from the XE/F-Type and improved ergonomic seating. Comparisons to the XE do not stop there, with a new 10.2-inch infotainment display and climate control switch gear bringing it more in line with its sportier younger brother.
On the road
The XF is in its element as a long-distance motorway cruiser, eating up the miles in quiet comfort with enough extra under the bonnet to give you an additional boost when it’d needed most.
Some smart design features from Jaguar have improved performance across the range, increasing the power-to-weight ratio and enhancing the car’s eco-credentials simultaneously. Thanks to a new 2.0-litre, four-cylinder Ingenium engine, as much as 190kg has been shaved off the old XF diesel engine variants. Two versions of the diesel engine have been made available from launch, as well as six-cylinder options for some added gusto. In tandem with the six-speed manual gearbox, the 161bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine can boast a class-leading emissions rate of just 104g/km at 70.6mpg. Those looking for a little extra power for their long-distance trips might opt for the 178bhp model with eight-speed automatic gearbox.
Known for its rear-wheel drive pedigree, the XF has achieved almost perfect weight distribution, giving it a balanced feel with improved drip and responsiveness round corners. 20-inch alloys and sports suspension (optional for the higher trim packages) feel at home on this car, increasing the overall ride quality whilst still affording the driver an exhilarating and engaged driving experience. The power steering is light and responsive, even at low speeds – a must for parking a cruiser of this nature.
Jaguar designers have clearly been kept in the loop when it comes to customer feedback for the XF 2015. The updates aren’t particularly major, but specifically address areas that had previously been found lacking. The lighter, slimmed-down XF offers a more exciting yet stable driving experience, while improvements to the cabin décor have brought it more in-line with its illustrious XE cousin.
So if you’re looking for an executive motorway cruiser that will keep you entertained, is a winner in its class for holding its value and giving good running costs, and will not break the bank at £32,300, Jaguar’s new XF could just be the car for you.