Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1

Should you buy a Jaguar XF?

We have a lot of time for the Jaguar XF but the key question is whether it is a class-leading executive car, like the original XF was when it was launched.

There are several elements in its favour. It’s a gratifying car to drive, for starters, with excellent handling and a depth of ability that makes it far more compelling than some of its rivals.

Its appeal is bolstered further by a decent line-up of engines; there are efficient yet somewhat characterless four-cylinder diesels for those seeking maximum frugality, or the more evocative diesel V6 and petrol options. It’s pleasing to have all-wheel drive as an option, too, albeit only on certain variants; consequently, even those seeking something more tractable and capable aren’t left devoid of choice.

The Jaguar’s on-road and on-paper appeal begins to ebb away a little, however, when you get behind the wheel – as the interior isn't quite on a par with some of the rival offerings from Mercedes or BMW. It’s just not quite as refined or as spacious in some instances, and the cabin’s also not quite as attention-grabbing or as finely finished.

Regardless, it’s still an appealing car and – in the right colour and trim – it looks a million dollars. You also get a wide range of equipment; even the base Prestige model comes with cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, electric and heated front seats, climate control, Bluetooth and a battery of safety and driver assistance features.

Couple a few choice options with the mid-spec diesel or one of the petrol engines and you’ll have an elegant executive sports saloon that’s capable of generating many a smile on more involving roads.

Its range of abilities remains somewhat patchy, however, and its excellent dynamics and capable range of engines are compromised by the lack of outright interior quality. And when you're up against the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, that's a problem.