When it comes to luxury executive cars, you’d be forgiven for instantly thinking of the big German manufacturers. Yet Mercedes, BMW and Audi can’t quite scratch the itch that Jaguar does. With sleek styling, excellent handling and plenty of kit, this classy British option is perfect for business or pleasure.
There’s no denying that the Jaguar XF is a handsome car. Its grown-up looks appeal to all but the most flamboyant of motorists. This isn’t the most ‘Jaguar-y’ model ever designed. It’s certainly one of the more subtly dapper of their range, though.
The Mk1 XF caused a bit of a stir on its release back in 2008, with its uncharacteristically curvy chassis – stupid sexy, Jags. Compared to other sleeker models in the range, it was a 50s pin-up girl on a catwalk of supermodels.
While Mk2s might be a little more conservative and slimmed down, they’re still charming. As for the Mk3? We’re talking about the levels of beauty that would make a cartoon wolf repeatedly smash itself over the head with a large wooden mallet.
Admittedly, the estate doesn’t catch the eye and arch the eyebrow quite as much as the four-door saloon. Then again, whether it’s estate cars, industrial estates or estate agents, aesthetics aren’t always the most important thing.
There’s no denying that the Jaguar XF is a handsome car.
What’s it like to drive?
No Jaguar XF review would be complete without a mention of just how ridiculously fun the thing is to drive - and how luxurious it feels to be behind the wheel. There’s an opulence to driving a Jag. While older models feel sturdy sometimes to the point of heaviness, the XF has a surprisingly light touch. An iron fist in a velvet boxing glove, if you like.
The steering is alert and responsive, and there’s a punch to the acceleration. Preferred driving positions can be easily saved and recalled in the second and third generations, which is a real knockout feature.
There’s an opulence to driving a Jag.
While Jaguar may be a heritage brand with a lot of history, they refuse to rest on their laurels. In recent times, they’ve chosen to innovate and pioneer in all sorts of ways. The most notable of which hits you when you get inside an XF and survey your plush surroundings.
The interior is so stylish and well-groomed it wouldn’t look out of place on the cover of GQ magazine. If you’re equally as impeccable looking, you needn’t worry about messing up your perfectly-coiffed hair or well-pressed outfit. There’s ample room inside, whichever seat you’re in.
Noticeably large windows offer near-panoramic views. These are great for driving and a nice plus point for passengers during scenic treks. For that really high-end experience, later flagship versions offer decadent Windsor leather upholstery, a seamlessly adaptive cruise control option and a crisp Meridian sound system.
The touchscreen console is, ironically, a nice touch. The newer version boasts an impressive 11.4-inch curved glass screen, giving you access to the easy-to-use Pivi Pro infotainment system. Later XFs feature sharpened up and refined most aspects of the interior. Even the earliest models are pretty lavish places to sit in and enjoy.
One of the best aspects of the Jaguar XF is that it’s both a high-performing executive saloon and a supremely practical family car. So not only does it have jaw-dropping looks and a powerful engine, but it’s also sensibly built. You only need to glance into its large boot to see proof of that. With the back seats folded down, there’s more than enough room to fit an actual jaguar inside. Although we wouldn’t recommend it.
A roomy glovebox and two generous front door storage areas allow plenty of space for maps, sunglasses, endless yellowing receipts, half-melted Fruit Pastilles and whatever else you stuff into them.
Running costs and reliability
Compared to some of its rivals, the Jaguar XF falls a little short in terms of economy, with a slightly lower miles per gallon ratio than you may want, regardless of the engine size you plump for. Don’t expect to be able to get much more than between 30 and 35 mpg.
What we love
What we really appreciate about the XF is that it’s a stylish headturner of a car that offers serious luxury and prestige, but not at the expense of practicality or common sense. Suave and yet sensible, it even does the boring things with a level of sophistication that you only really get with a Jag. A real class act that’s ideal for motoring fans and families alike.
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Jaguar truly are icons of British motoring and they’ve proven their credentials here once again with the impressively sleek, powerful and yet sensible XF. Does ‘XF’ stand for ‘eXtremely Fabulous’? Of course not. Should it? Absolutely.
This review was