2017 Jaguar XF Review

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The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director
June 19, 2017

The aluminum-bodied 2017 Jaguar XF is no lightweight when it comes to nimble handling or rear-seat space.

Some of the world's best sporty sedans come with letter-and-number names. Ever tried to sort them out? 5-Series, E-Class, A6, and CTS, it's as if Webster's ran out of words.

With the XF, Jaguar joins the ranks of the alphanumerics—and it's also joined this elite cadre, with a four-door marked by relaxed handling, a wealth of technology, and intriguing high-efficiency power.

What it doesn't have: the dodgy back seat of the first XF, or a manual transmission, at all.

Review continues below

Sold in 20d, 35t, and S form, the Jaguar XF options up from base trim in Premium, Prestige, and R-Sport packages.

For the lineup, we give it a 7.6 out of 10, with its highest scores coming in performance, comfort, and features. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Jaguar XF styling and performance

The XF has a straightforward style that's elegant and spare. It shares much of its shape with the smaller XE sedan, but the XF has a longer roofline and forward-canted roof pillars that tent over its more substantial rear-seat space. The cockpit is toned down from Jaguar's glamorously trimmed past; touchscreens are the new meme in town, and some versions drop analog gauges entirely for a digital display. The cockpit's clean rectilinear shapes and rotary control placement make it a fraternal twin of the XE.

XF power comes from 4- and 6-cylinders. The 4-cylinder is a turbodiesel with great fuel economy and perfectly serviceable acceleration and limited appeal in a bad PR era for diesel. Most XFs sport supercharged V-6 engines with either 340 or 380 hp. In either case, an 8-speed automatic paddle-shifts quickly through its range. The combination makes for strong acceleration, though the quick 0-60 mph times of 5.0 seconds for rear-drive, 380-hp sedans are joined by the usual V-6 thrumble.

All-wheel drive is an option, and Jaguar fits the XF with driving modes that give its steering more weight, its throttle and transmission quicker responses. The XF also gets a novel traction control system that governs the brakes and throttle in low-friction launch scenarios.

Balance is the XF's hallmark; it's quick and nimble, and somewhat more softly tuned than its rivals. The suspension has twin wishbones at the front wheels and an integral-link setup at the rear. A set of adaptive dampers are available, and the XF's driving modes can soften or firm them up on command. The result? A supple-riding car with direct but light steering and forgiving handling—a rival for a Cadillac CTS VSport or an Audi S6/S7, with less of the overwhelming firmness.

XF comfort, safety, and features

The XF's interior is neatly finished and spacious; the rear seat is finally friendly to adults, and the trunk's huge. Built from aluminum, the XF trades some of its curb weight for better packaging. Some versions are up to 265 pounds lighter than the previous XF—but have better rear-seat room, by far, though the new car is a touch shorter. Four adults can sit very comfortably, and there's no worrying for claustrophobics in the back seat, as was the case before.

No crash-test scores are available, but the XF's bonded body structure and safety technology give it a leg up. We're curious to see how its aluminum structure will fare in federal and insurance-industry tests. The safety technology offered on the XF is state of the art, including surround-view cameras, full LED headlights, a laser-projected head-up display, adaptive cruise, blind-spot monitors, parking assist, and an autonomous braking system that uses stereo cameras to detect obstacles and to trigger the car to stop on its own. However, many of those features are walled off in the most expensive trims.

From in-car wireless Internet to InControl Touch Pro, the XF vastly upgrades its infotainment and tech offerings as well. On the infotainment front, the XF will offer a choice between the new InControl Touch smartphone-connectivity interface and an 8.0-inch touchscreen, or a new version with a 10.2-inch touchscreen, faster processing speeds, and a coordinating 12.3-inch instrument panel like the one found in the Range Rover. It's a colorful, feature-rich system that has foibles like almost every other infotainment system.

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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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$48,250
MSRP based on 20d RWD
 
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7.6
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 7.0
Performance 8.0
Comfort & Quality 8.0
Safety N/A
Features 9.0
Fuel Economy 6.0
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