The 2016 Jaguar XF is completely redesigned, representing the second generation for this handsome, midsize luxury sedan. The XF seats five, features the brand’s aluminum-intensive architecture and is available with all-wheel drive.
For 2016, the XF sheds some pounds, and gains some new technologies. That and an athletic appearance make the Jaguar XF a worthy competitor for in the midsize luxury class.
Introduced in 2007, the first-generation Jaguar XF was based on a platform borrowed from the Ford Motor Company, the previous owner of Jaguar and Land Rover. Now owned by Tata Motors, Jaguar continued to use the rear-wheel drive platform through 2015. Beginning in 2016, Jaguar launched a modular, aluminum-intensive platform, designed to support the XF as well as the brand’s first SUV, the F-Pace.
The handiwork of Scottish designer Ian Callum is all over the Jaguar XF, and is also evident in the first-generation model. When the original XF launched, it introduced the sleek and new designs now common to all Jaguars today. That transformation has now come full circle.
From stem to stern, the Jaguar XF exudes an athletic presence. It’s a sedan constantly in motion with a sweeping silhouette. The front fascia is dominated by a gaping maw and angular headlamp assemblies that are accented by a distinct LED light design. A narrow lower grille opening is offset by artistically sculpted recesses, which are punctuated by chrome spears. In addition, the hood is deeply creased with muscular shoulders.
Along its sweeping profile the Jaguar XF is marked by a gently sloping roofline and a slightly rising beltline. Upper character lines, functional wheel vents and lower body sculpting are present. Moreover, all models come with alloy wheels.
To the rear is a raised deck and a deck lid spoiler. Large, horizontal tail lamps are accented with LED lights and connected by a chrome band. There’s also plenty of body sculpting and the XF has dual exhaust ports, which help round out the sporty look.
The XF’s cabin matches the sedan’s exterior in design. As one expects from Jaguar, or any vehicle at this price point, the materials are high-quality and attractive.
The dashboard is layered, free flowing and sweeps from side to side. Stitched leather is found nearly everywhere, including the top of the dashboard, door inlays, center console, seats and steering wheel. Of course, aluminum and wood accents only serve to elevate the interior ambiance.
The center console is orderly and uncluttered. It’s topped by a pair of vents and the infotainment screen, which is hemmed in by rows of switches. Beneath that, switches and knobs to manage the audio and climate control systems are present, followed by an open compartment with room for a smartphone.
The transmission shifter is at the leading-edge of the console section, separating the front seats. It rises from its flush position when the ignition is engaged. A drive mode selector, seat climate control switches, two cup holders and a deep storage compartment are also present.
When compared with the outgoing model, the 2016 Jaguar XF benefits from two additional inches between the wheels. Notably, the cabin seems roomy and airy, owing in part to the inclusion of new rear quarter windows. Five people may sit in comfort, with the driver and front passenger benefiting from heated seats and available cooled seats. The rear bench seat is a 40-20-40 split design, providing access to the trunk. Available upgrades such as four-zone climate control, rear window blinds and heated rear seats raise the comfort quotient accordingly.
For 2016, the Jaguar XF narrows its previous three-engine lineup to one, outfitting all models with a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine. Also powering the Jaguar F-Type, the boosted V6 makes 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. This model is EPA-rated at 20/30 mpg city/highway and takes premium grade gasoline.
In the top-of-the-line Jaguar XF S, a software modification increases performance to 380 horsepower, enabling this sedan to surge from 0 to 60 mph in five seconds. Two variants of an eight-speed automatic transmission are offered and paired according to the drivetrain layout.
All models benefit from torque vectoring by braking. This system is engineered to lightly tap the brakes of the inner wheels when cornering, mitigating understeer and enhancing driver control.
In either form, the engine is entirely suited to the XF. Punch the gas pedal and copious amounts of power are immediately distributed. Not once does this engine fade, with considerable thrust at the ready. A choice of drive modes — Normal, Winter, Eco and Dynamic — are available, the latter enhancing gear selection for a sportier experience.
The Jaguar XF tackles twisty roads with precision, benefiting from a double-wishbone front suspension and an integral-link rear suspension, as well as road-holding summer tires. Agile handling, composed steering, and torque-vectoring braking instill confidence in the driver.
The only option missing in this model is a six-speed manual transmission, which was recently introduced in the Jaguar F-Type. Bringing back the supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engine for an R Spec model would position the XF to take on the likes of the Cadillac CTS-V, BMW M5 and Mercedes-Benz AMG E63 S.
Jaguar is class-competitive or better when it comes to available technology. The XF can be outfitted with adaptive full-LED headlights, a laser head-up display and an assortment of driver-assist features with safety in mind.
The infotainment system is known as InControl Touch. Its foundation is an 8-inch color display featuring a capacitive touch screen. A new interface provides crisp and clear graphics and supports gestures familiar to smartphone users. Furthermore, voice control is possible for navigation commands.
Also available is a 10.2-inch screen as part of this system’s “Pro” package. The screen can be customized, much in the same way an individual organizes the apps on his or her smartphone. The larger infotainment screen also adds a 12.3-inch instrument panel that matches the arrangement found in Range Rover models.
Neither the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) nor the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has conducted crash tests of the 2016 Jaguar XF.
The XF’s aluminum-intensive frame is a plus, providing a much-desired level of rigidity and stability of the cabin’s safety cell.
The usual suite of air bags, traction control and stability control are standard, while various driver-assist features are available. For example, Jaguar offers a blind-spot monitor with closing-vehicle sensing and reverse-traffic detection. In addition, a driver-assistance pack brings in park assist, a proximity camera, advanced emergency braking and adaptive cruise control.
The Jaguar XF starts at $51,900 for the base 35t edition with rear-wheel drive. Choose all-wheel drive and add $3,000 to your base price. The XF Prestige ($56,550) and XF R-Sport ($60,650) are additional trim levels to consider. Fully optioned models equipped with the three available packages (Comfort and Convenience, Driver Assistance and Luxury Interior Upgrade) push the final price up to $70,000.
With the larger XJ in the Jaguar lineup and the redesigned XF soon to be followed by the smaller XE, Jaguar provides three lines of luxury sedans to go up against the top sedans from Europe, Asia and North America.
The value leader in this segment is the Hyundai Genesis. Other models to consider include the BMW 5 Series, Cadillac CTS, Lexus GS, Audi A6, Infiniti Q70 and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. The prices for the Jaguar XF are within range of its chief competitors.
The second-generation Jaguar XF successfully carries the mantle of the first-generation sedan. The current iteration is stylish, composed and fun to drive. Certainly, it can only get better if a stick-shift follows and the supercharged V8 engine returns under the guise of a performance model. Jaguar also has access to a turbodiesel that was recently added to Land Rover Range Rover models, which would fit nicely under the hood of the XF.
All told, the Jaguar XF is a worthy alternative to the more in-demand German marques as well as to the upstart American and Japanese models. Some people will be attracted to Jaguar for its British roots, as well as to stand out with a purchase that’s different from one of the better known models in this segment.