KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors
- Updated Date: 1/28/2014
Jaguar's answer to established midsize luxury sedans like the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the XF is the British automaker's best-seller but also among the segment's rarest entries. Stiff competition and the lingering effects of past quality woes work against Jaguar's sales numbers, but fewer sales is a good thing for buyers who put a premium on exclusivity. Jaguar XF highlights include its distinctive design, plush interior and, thanks to fewer "driver assistance" technologies than many of its competitors, more organic driving feel. The Jaguar XF isn't the obvious choice for everyone, and that's just what makes it the obvious choice for some.
You'll Like This Car If...
Whether you're a trendsetter, trailblazer or simply an admirer of Britannic automotive design, the XF is a unique alternative to common midsize luxury sedans.
You May Not Like This Car If...
If you're a hard-nosed value-conscious luxury shopper, you're probably aware that the cache of the Jaguar name does not support the cars' residual values over time. And you're probably reading a Lexus review right now, anyway.
What's New for 2014
It was actually a late addition to the 2013 model year lineup, but the newest member of the XF family is the range-topping, asphalt-melting XFR-S. With its 550-horsepower supercharged V8 engine, the XFR-S can rocket to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds on its way to a top speed of 174 mph, according to Jaguar. A cool $100,000 will buy you an XFR-S and a ticket to Disneyland, but hurry because Jaguar only plans on selling 100 of them.
After a few decades of focusing mostly on soft-sided luxury, Jaguar has recently rediscovered its performance heritage. The XF is a product of that reinvention, and it counts among the more fun to drive cars in the segment. The XF in any iteration is taut, responsive, balanced and gives good feedback through the steering and brakes. And in the top-performing XFR-S, Jaguar has a proper high-performance sport sedan worth mentioning in the same breath as the BMW M5 and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG. The running character obviously depends on engine choice, now that there are so many in the XF line, but the supercharged V6 represents an appealing balance of power, smoothness and efficiency. The 8-speed automatic transmission that accompanies every XF engine works seamlessly, thanks to all those close-spaced ratios and adaptive shift programming, but there are handy paddle shifters for do-it-yourselfers. The AWD system favors the rear wheels in its torque delivery to retain a lively rear-drive feel.
From the pages of science fiction to 21st-century roadways, the JaguarDrive Selector is one of the most innovative interpretations of a universal automotive feature. A beautifully crafted, metallic wheel automatically rises into the driver's hand once the Start/Stop button is pressed for effortless control of various transmission modes.
MERIDIAN AUDIO SYSTEM
Audiophiles will love the top-line 7.1 surround-sound audio system, standard on the XFR and optional on other XFs. The 825-watt, 17-speaker setup accommodates all the usual signal sources and includes HD and SiriusXM satellite radio.
For vehicle details and pricing notes…