2017 Jaguar XF Review

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2017 Jaguar XF Review

Priced From $82,800Information

Overall Rating


4.5 out of 5 stars

Rating breakdown
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Safety, value & features

4 out of 5 stars

Comfort & space

5 out of 5 stars

Engine & gearbox

5 out of 5 stars

Ride & handling

5 out of 5 stars


4 out of 5 stars

Pros & Cons

  1. ProComfortable ride, superb steering, engaging engines.

  2. ConOptions are expensive; short on auto-drive features.

  3. The Pick: 2017 Jaguar XF 20d Prestige 4D Sedan

What stands out?

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The Jaguar XF is a handsome, roomy and luxurious big sedan that’s especially rewarding to drive. It feels responsive and beautifully balanced, and its petrol and diesel engines are fuel-efficient, engaging and powerful.

What might bug me?

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Friends failing to notice you have the latest new Jag. The previous XF sedan made a brave design statement, but this new car has a much more conservative, evolutionary exterior. The XF also looks disarmingly similar to Jaguar’s smaller, and cheaper, XE sedan.

Patronising comments on the interior trim, from owners of some German alternatives. While the XF’s cabin layout makes sense, looks good and is one of Jaguar’s best, the materials, fit and finish aren’t a match for, say, the Audi A6.

Driving at 80km/h on the space-saver spare tyre until you can fix your full-sized flat.

What body styles are there?

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The Jaguar XF is offered solely as a five-seat sedan.

The Jaguar XF drives its rear wheels and is classed as a large car, upper priced.

What features does every Jaguar XF have?

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Keyless entry and start, which allows you to unlock the car and drive away without removing the key from your pocket or bag. Cruise control.

Dual-zone climate control, which lets you set different temperatures for each side of the cabin.

Leather interior trim, with power-adjustment for the front seats and steering wheel. The driver’s seat remembers your settings, so that you can restore them easily after a companion has driven the car.

A multimedia system controlled from an 8.0-inch touchscreen, with a USB socket and smartphone connectivity. A Meridian sound system with Bluetooth connectivity and music streaming. Satellite navigation.

A reversing camera, and parking sensors front and rear.

Windscreen wipers that operate automatically when it rains. Headlights that turn on automatically when it gets dark. Taillights illuminated by efficient and long-lasting LEDs. A heated rear window, and heated door mirrors.

The ability to tailor the sensitivity of the accelerator pedal and the behaviour of the traction control system for different driving conditions, via a button on the centre console. Available driving modes include Eco, Dynamic, Normal and Winter.

Dynamic stability control and traction control systems which can help you control a skidding car. (Every new car must have such a feature.)

A tyre pressure monitoring system that warns you if a tyre is going flat. The spare wheel is an 18-inch space saver.

Autonomous emergency braking, which warns you of an obstacle in front (typically a car that has slowed sharply) and will apply the brakes automatically if you do not react. Lane Departure warning, which alerts you if you are about to stray from your lane (a sign of fatigue).

Six airbags: two directly in front of the driver and front passenger; one alongside each front occupant to protect the upper body and head; and curtain airbags that protect the heads of all outer occupants from side impacts.

Every Jaguar XF carries a three-year, unlimited kilometre warranty.

Which engine uses least fuel, and why wouldn't I choose it?

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The 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder in the least costly Jaguar XF, the 2.0d Prestige, uses least fuel. (The same engine is fitted to the 2.0d R-Sport, which has a more performance focused chassis tune.) It uses 4.3 litres/100km on the official test (city and country combined) – which is impressive for such a big car.

This is the most recently developed engine available in an XF, and it’s quiet, and free from the unrefined clatter that can plague some diesel engines. In most driving conditions it gives you healthy acceleration and feels like it has more than enough power.

There are two main reasons you might not choose this diesel. One is that you prefer the style of performance offered by one of the XF’s three petrol engines, each of which is smoother, more responsive and ultimately more powerful than the 2.0 diesel.

The 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbocharged petrol driving the XF 25t responds more crisply to the accelerator pedal in sporty driving, and has noticeably more urge when you work it hard – say for overtaking on rural roads. Fuel use is 7.5 litres/100km: much greater than the diesel, but still good. (It is available in Portfolio or R-Sport trim.)

Choosing the XF 35t brings you a 3.0-litre V6 supercharged petrol that consumes 8.3 litres/100km. It feels noticeably stronger than the smaller diesel, and has twice as much power if you ask for it. (Again, Portfolio or R-Sport.)

The more expensive XF S is available with an even faster, retuned, version of this engine.

The other reason you might not choose the smaller diesel is that you want the combination of fuel efficiency and high power provided by the other engine option in an XF S, a 3.0-litre V6 supercharged diesel. It allows you to overtake as swiftly as you could with a V6 petrol XF, but uses only 5.5 litres/100km.

Each engine offered with an XF uses an automatic stop-start system. This saves fuel by shutting down the engine when you stop, and starting it again when you press the accelerator to drive away.

Every Jaguar XF is fitted with an intuitive and smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic gearbox.

What key features do I get if I spend more?

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Jaguar offers the XF at four equipment levels, most of which give you a choice of engines. They are Prestige, Portfolio, R-Sport, and S.

The least costly is the XF Prestige, which comes only with the 2.0-litre diesel engine, and has 18-inch wheels and very bright Xenon HID headlamps.

Spend more for an XF Portfolio and you can choose a 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder or a 3.5 litre petrol V6. Wheels are bigger, at 19-inches, and the tyre profile is correspondingly lower – which sharpens steering response.

In a Portfolio, a head-up display projects useful driving information, such as your speed and navigation instructions, onto the windscreen, where you can see it more easily and safely while driving. Headlamps use efficient and long-lasting LEDs, and dip automatically for oncoming drivers. There is a power-opening boot lid.

Choose an XF R-Sport instead and you give up the Portfolio’s head-up display, LED headlamps and powered boot lid in return for a firmer suspension tune, which makes the car react more immediately to the steering, and lean outwards less in fast cornering. You also get a sports body kit, different wheels, and several other sporty cosmetic touches.

Spend more again on an XF S and you get a different body kit and red-painted brake calipers. The head-up display and LED headlamps return. Adaptive suspension adjusts the car’s ride automatically for the driving conditions, enhancing comfort and control.

There are also several advanced safety options that you can buy for any Jaguar XF. Adaptive Cruise Control maintains a safe distance to the car in front automatically, with the help of a long-range radar. Blind-spot detection alerts you to cars in adjacent lanes that you might not have been able to see. A lane-keeping system adds to the standard lane departure warning: if you drift too close to the edge of your lane, it applies counter steering to put you back on track.

A larger, 10.2-inch central touch screen, and a fully digital instrument cluster, are also optional, under the label InControl Touch Pro. The digital instrument cluster measures 12.3-inches and is fully configurable, allowing the driver to add sat-nav instructions and other useful information alongside the usual dials.

The Adaptive suspension that is standard on the XF S is also available as an extra-cost option on other versions.

Does any upgrade have a down side?

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Paying extra for an XF R-Sport improves handling, but the firmer ride also reduces comfort.

Some of the optional safety systems are surprisingly expensive, such as Adaptive Cruise Control at $2700 (it includes highway-speed auto-braking). However, many of these can be purchased in option packs which reduce the cost of individual items.

Standard colours are black and white. Ten metallic colours are available as options, each costing about $2000.

How comfortable is the Jaguar XF?

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The Jaguar XF is a very comfortable car, and strikes a deft balance between sporty handling and a relaxing ride.

The standard coil-spring suspension feels supple and composed, and does a commendable job of smoothing out surface imperfections and larger bumps. That is partly because it uses frequency-dependent dampers that allow a soft and comfortable ride at low speeds, while firming up to improve control at high speeds. (An extra mechanical valve in the dampers does the job.)

The optional adaptive suspension (fitted as standard to the XF S) uses electronically controlled dampers to do a similar job in a more sophisticated way. However, the standard suspension rides so comfortably it isn’t worth spending the extra money.

The XF’s cabin is beautifully built and spacious, and provides a lot of luxury. The cabin design is logical and pleasing.

What about safety in a Jaguar XF?

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The XF offers a lot of safety technology, and much of it is fitted even to the least expensive model. Even the XF 2.0d has a reversing camera, six airbags, auto emergency braking and lane departure warning.

Autonomous Emergency Braking is a key safety feature fitted to all XF models and will automatically apply the brakes to prevent, or at least mitigate, frontal collisions with other cars or pedestrians at speeds up to 80km/h.

Included in the optional Adaptive Cruise Control system is radar-based Intelligent Emergency Braking, which can detect when a collision is unavoidable and applies the brakes to reduce the impact. This system works at freeway speeds.

The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) rated the Jaguar XF at five stars for safety, its maximum, in April 2016.

I like driving - will I enjoy this car?

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Absolutely. The XF combines its supple ride with masterly handling, and offers responsive and powerful engines. The big cat corners with an eagerness and composure that belies its 1700kg kerb weight.

The XF also has one of the best steering systems in a car of its type. The electric steering feels sharp and fluid, provides a good sense of connection to the road, and is surprisingly direct for a car of this type. In addition, the electronic stability control has been tuned superbly, and braking is incredibly strong when required.

The focus on handling is helped by an all-new suspension system that comprises double wishbones up front and a complex multi-link system at the rear. As well, this XF is claimed to be significantly more rigid than its predecessor, while weighing nearly 200kg less.

How is life in the rear seats?

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The rear seat area in the Jaguar XF is spacious and comfortable. This is aided by the XF’s longer wheelbase which has been stretched 51mm over the previous generation.

The seat cushions are deep and comfortable, and there is a centre armrest with twin cupholders. Rear passengers get dedicated air-conditioning outlets.

There are ISOFIX anchor points for rear child seats.

How is it for carrying stuff?

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The Jaguar XF has a large boot at 540 litres – about the same as a Holden Commodore. The boot is deep and well shaped, and opens wide – which is useful when loading large objects. Rear-seat backrests fold 40-20-40, which lets you accommodate long pieces of cargo while optimising passenger space.

Where does Jaguar make the XF?

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The XF is built in the United Kingdom, at Jaguar’s factory in Castle Bromwich.

What might I miss that similar cars have?

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If you’re a fan of having cars drive themselves, you might miss the latest autonomous driving technology available in some key alternatives. For example, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class can drive itself on roads without clear lane markings, and change lanes by itself. Jaguar admits it’s a step behind here.

Perhaps a station wagon body-style. The XF is likely to be sold solely as a sedan in Australia.

Another car worth considering is the Audi A6, which offers all-wheel drive across much of its line-up, adding security in slippery conditions. The XF is rear-wheel drive only.

Are there plans to update the Jaguar XF soon?

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This second-generation XF is an all-new car that began its life cycle in February 2016.

Jaguar has announced a significant update for the 2018 model year, and expects the revised XFs to arrive in September 2017. The update will bring new and stronger Jaguar-developed turbo-petrol engines (Jaguar calls them Ingenium engines), and the option of a more powerful diesel. The revised XF will also have a more comprehensive driver assistance suite, among other changes.

I like this car, but I can't choose which version. Can you help?

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There’s no obvious weak link in the Jaguar XF range. However, the least costly model, the XF Prestige 2.0d, is arguably the best all-round version. Its new 2.0-litre diesel is the most fuel-efficient engine on offer, and the XF’s well-sorted dynamics mean you lose little handling ability to the more expensive cars.

If you’re a keen driver, though, we’d recommend the petrol powered XF S. Its sportier and more powerful engine is the most suited to the XF’s well-tuned chassis, and makes it the most enjoyable XF to drive on winding mountain roads.