Review: Jaguar XF

Comfortable as a family motor or a status symbol

10 Jul 15 Tim Barnes-Clay

Pros

  • Luxury build quality

  • Good boot size

  • Lots of legroom

Cons

  • Optional extras are pricey

  • Not many petrol engine options

  • Electrical glitches

Our expert rating

The Jaguar XF is an executive luxury saloon and estate which was first introduced in 2007. It replaced the more traditional looking Jaguar S-Type.

It was a major departure for Jaguar because a refreshing modern look replaced the British firm’s former traditional styling.

Performance

The 2.7-litre V6 diesel up to 2009 is efficient and pulls really well, making it an all-embracing, popular choice. A 3.0-litre oil-burner replaced it, offering even better efficiency. XF petrols are smooth and the supercharged SV8 is frantically fast, but goes through fuel like there’s no tomorrow.

Jaguar XF engine

Ride and handling

On the move, the car feels solid and planted to the tarmac. Pull comes as a surge rather than an immediate stomach tingling sprint, but the XF still offers an entertaining ride. You're almost totally isolated from both wind and road noise, too.

Jaguar XF interior

Interior space

The Jaguar looks great and everything is generally solidly screwed together inside the cabin. There is more than enough space for four-up. However, the emphasis is focused on front seat occupants.

The XF’s legroom is fine but the slanted roofline on the saloon means that headroom starts to shrink the further back you go, so taller rear-seaters might feel a little confined. Fortunately, the boot is a good size and the back seats fold down for additional space, too.

Janguar XF boot space

What to know before you buy

Jaguar is a reliable brand but there have been gremlins that have affected the XF over the past eight years, with earlier cars suffering the most. The fuel filler cap can stop opening, as can the doors, while the door trim can become loose.

The air-conditioning system can also fail, and so can the turbo on diesel engines. Furthermore, the electrics can decide to go on the blink for no apparent reason, with warning lights staying illuminated. The touch-screen sat-nav can also play up, as can the car stereo system

Check the car you’re looking at thoroughly to make sure all locks work as they should, and ensure the dashboard isn’t lit up like a Christmas tree.

Also, don’t be afraid to crank up the sound on the music system to ensure it sounds 100%. The most obvious symptom of dodgy air conditioning is the absence of cold air. All air conditioning systems take some time to cool a car’s cabin, but if after a significant amount of time has passed you feel no cold air coming out of the air vents, then you have an issue. When it comes to a failing turbocharger, keep your ears open.

This will make a loud, distinctive noise when under acceleration. It may sound a bit like a dentist’s drill or police siren.  If you start to hear this racket from the engine on your test drive, then it’s best to walk away or get the dealer to agree to sort it before you buy.

Jaguar XF from the rear

Alternative cars

The Jaguar XF’s rivals are executive German makes. Main challengers are the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, BMW 5-series and Audi A6. These tend to be more expensive on the used market, but shouldn’t be disregarded. 

Jaguar XF - alternatives

Overall verdict

The usual luxury and build quality associated with Jaguars means you really can’t go far wrong with a well looked after used XF. The car is equally at home being your main family motor as it is your premium executive status symbol.

Running a diesel model won’t hit you hard in the pocket and it will look the business when you turn up at an important meeting.

Expert rating

Performance

Reliability

Space & comfort

Running costs

Value for money

Overall