4.1 out of 5 4.1
Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1

Stylish XF showcases how executive saloons can deliver comfort and incisive handling

Jaguar XF Saloon (15 on) - rated 4.1 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £34,310 - £44,800
Lease from new From £478 p/m View lease deals
Used price £9,845 - £43,435
Used monthly cost From £246 per month
Fuel Economy 29.8 - 56.5 mpg
Road tax cost £20 - £490
Insurance group 25 - 42 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Elegant, athletic design
  • Engaging handling
  • Technology laden
  • Strong engines

CONS

  • Petrol versions thirsty
  • Cabin refinement could be better
  • Rivals feel more luxurious
  • No hybrid or performance model

Jaguar XF Saloon rivals

Written by Lawrence Cheung on

Replacing a car that heralded a fresh, new start for a brand is quite the undertaking, and this second-generation Jaguar XF saloon has transpired to be up to the job - although this hasn't always been the case.

When this generation was launched in 2015, the handsome exterior had lost some of the predecessor's shape and ended up looking very similar to the smaller XE - and a great deal more anonymous. That, we could live with, but the interior had completely lost its wow factor.

Inside, they halved the number of swivelling air vents and the rest of the dash was drab and unimaginative. Sure enough, you could choose from a range of trim colours and wood finishes, but they were lost in a sea of grey material. The rotary gear selector remained, but, since this had made its way into other Jaguar Land Rover products by then, it felt completely normalised.

As a result, this seemed like a conservative evolution over the old model, but scratch beneath the surface, and you could find solace once you discovered the XF remained one the best executive saloons to drive - being more athletic than its key rivals, such as the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, let alone a more leftfield choice like the Lexus ES.

Facelifted at the end of 2020

Thankfully, this XF received a facelift just in time for 2021. The exterior came with more aggressive bumpers, J-shaped headlight signatures and a wider and flush-sitting front grille. The interior received the biggest and most appreciable change, however, with a complete redesign, while a mild hybrid diesel was launched into a simplified engine range.

To top it off, a reduced entry-level price of less than £33,000 was introduced to help the XF range represent better value against its rivals.

Lighter and more spacious

Despite being fractionally shorter and lower than the previous model, the Jaguar XF is significantly more spacious, thanks mostly to a 51mm longer wheelbase, liberating more space for rear seat passengers. A 540-litre boot is also a welcome benefit. For those requiring more luggage space, the Sportbrake is still available.

It doesn’t set class benchmarks for cabin room, but it’s capable of carrying two six-foot-tall adults in the back without them feeling cramped.

Not only is the cabin more spacious than that of the previous version, it’s made to feel airier too – thanks to a greater glass area, which includes a third side window just behind the rear doors; this effectively reduces the feeling of claustrophobia often felt by back-seat passengers.

This generation of Jaguar XF is 190kg lighter than the previous model, with the entry-level diesel model weighing 80kg less than its nearest competitor at the time. It’s also more aerodynamic (drag coefficient of 0.26) which, combined with the weight reduction, helps towards lowering fuel consumption.

Small range of engines

There are three engine options in total, ranging from 204hp to 300hp. All are 2.0-litres in size and each come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox. There is one mild hybrid diesel available and two petrol engines offering more power, while all-wheel drive can be had on the diesel and is standard on the most powerful petrol.

Engaging handling regardless of version

Jaguar has embraced the benefits of the XF’s light, stiff body to enhance the car’s handling and, despite its size, it feels nimble and lithe as you scythe through challenging bends.

The electric power-assisted steering delivers a positive amount of weighting and response through the wheel, and also improves fuel efficiency by 3% compared to a conventional hydraulic alternative.

Furthermore, there are adaptive dampers to vary the sportiness of the handling, without compromising comfort, and a much-needed overhaul of the XF’s infotainment features.

Click through the next few pages to read everything you need to know about the Jaguar XF including its practicality, how much it costs to run, what it's like to drive – and whether we recommend buying one.

Jaguar XF Saloon rivals

Other Jaguar XF models: