The Jaguar XF isn’t the four-door you consider first in relation to choosing a luxurious sedan. In any case, you’re more likely to see a BMW 5 Sequence, Mercedes-Benz E-Class or Audi A6 roaming the streets than you’re to see Jag’s midsize sedan. The numbers again this up, too, as Jaguar bought a middling 748 XFs within the U.S. in 2020.
Does that imply this drive within the refreshed 2021 Jaguar XF could possibly be considered one of our final? Maybe, and as we identified in our first drive of this XF, eliminating the mannequin would imply the top of the Jaguar sedan. The XE and, most regrettably, the XJ have already met their maker. What a tragic day that might be. However that day hasn’t come but, which implies it’s time to take this entry significantly.
The precise model that was despatched to evaluate is the top-of-the-line Jaguar XF P300 R-Dynamic SE mannequin that begins at $51,145. Even this one is cheaper than what has historically been thought of its important opponents: the bottom BMW 530i or Mercedes-Benz E 350. As a substitute, the Jaguar XF lineup is priced to be in what’s clearly a decrease sedan phase with the Lexus ES, Acura TLX, Cadillac CT5 and cheaper Genesis G80s. The XF stands an opportunity on this taking part in subject; on the earlier one which flies the German flag? Not a lot.
Strolling as much as the automotive is sufficient to ship our first demerit. It is available in an space that was historically Jaguar’s sturdy go well with: distinctive design. The XF’s basic look hasn’t modified a lot for the reason that 2016 mannequin 12 months when this era was launched, and the mid-cycle refresh didn’t do sufficient to assist. It’s not a bad-looking automotive, however Jaguar’s taken no possibilities, and it’s getting boring. That wasn’t the case with the unique XF, which stood out boldly in and out. At present’s XF would not. We would a lot reasonably stare on the slinky new TLX or stately G80. And whereas the modern LED tails are a pleasant new contact, the elimination of its elegant twin exhaust for a hidden exhaust tucked up below the bumper is a step backwards — particularly for the uprated and extra highly effective P300 R-Dynamic trim.
No less than output from the two.0-liter turbocharged inline-four — the supercharged V6 possibility is useless, a lot to our dismay — is greater than acceptable for this class, sitting at 296 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Acceleration is basically impassive with a small little bit of response lag after getting into the throttle — it does hit 60 mph in 5.8 seconds. It’s good that Jaguar didn’t gin up a comical piped-in audio efficiency, however we may go for one thing to let occupants know this XF is the warmer one, and never the bottom 246-horse model. The dearth of any type of auditory pleasure is much more disappointing once we assume again to the snarly supercharged V6 obtainable pre-refresh (and we’ll attempt to utterly bury ideas of the unique XF’s silky outdated supercharged V8). You’ll be getting 25 mpg mixed with this four-cylinder versus 23, although the tradeoff is hardly value it.
Transmission efficiency from the ZF eight-speed automated is equally milquetoast. Jaguar’s huge, new steel paddle shifters are among the many greatest within the enterprise on this XF, however an absence of snappiness when tapping them disappoints. It’s greatest to simply flip the drive mode selector to “Dynamic” and put the transmission into Sport mode, as the pc is sensible sufficient to acknowledge whenever you wish to maintain gears and downshift below braking.
Maybe cat-like dealing with reflexes will save the XF’s dynamics? That’s what makes the TLX 2.0T such a fascinating purchase, even when now we have some misgivings with the powertrain. Sadly for Jaguar, the XF is middling right here, too. Its additional measurement over the discontinued however dynamically splendid XE is duly current. We admire our mannequin’s adaptive dampers (a part of the $1,350 Dynamic Dealing with Pack) and their means to stiffen up and help dealing with, however they’re no magic bullet to creating the XF a dynamic wunderkind. The XF is sweet sufficient to be in the identical league as different “sport sedans,” however it doesn’t stand out as a pacesetter. It’s not tender and spongy, however it is not sharp both — different sedans minimize via corners with way more rigidity and confidence than this one. Correctly performed steering tuning means the wheel weights up because it ought to in corners, however it’s missing in highway really feel and communication. There’s a good quantity of lean backwards and forwards, however it’s in a position to deal with fast transitions with out getting sloppy. Principally, count on one thing good, however not nice from the XF whenever you put it via the wringer.
Driving fans can be higher served by a TLX or CT5 at this worth level, but when the commute to work is all you want, the XF is up for the duty. In Consolation mode, the journey is extremely forgiving and nears plush territory. Plus, Jaguar’s refreshed inside provides it all of the attraction you may want on the every day drive.
The brand new 11.4-inch Pivi Professional infotainment display appears upscale and splendid within the sprint, and extra vital, works so significantly better than the outgoing Jaguar infotainment system. The identical can’t be mentioned for the local weather/seat controls. They appear good, however are overly advanced, requiring too many pushes, pulls and glances downward to function simply in a shifting automotive. Fortunately, the light-up controls on the steering wheel don’t share the local weather controls’ complexity. As a substitute, they’re only a neat get together trick and work in addition to they give the impression of being.
Jaguar did good work inside this refreshed XF to make it examine properly to its rivals (and be much less drab and spinoff than the frankly disappointing unique). It’s distinctive and brings a sure British attraction with it — the “EST 1935 Coventry” textual content is properly obtained and a cultured contact. You may get significantly better inside shade choices than this Ebony (black) leather-based, as Jaguar affords a basic tan, fresh-feeling white/black and crimson leather-based possibility. One inside function we may go with out, although, is the heated windshield. As in different JLR merchandise, the heating components that current as squiggly traces throughout the windshield are extra bother than they’re value, as they’re a nuisance to look previous at evening.
This being a midsize sedan, the backseat ought to make itself helpful. And it’s, to a sure diploma. It’s neither spacious nor constraining, because it toes a tremendous line of usefulness. You may put a few shoppers within the again seat on the way in which to the airport comfortably, however don’t consider it as a highway journey or baby-toting warrior with room to spare for everyone. The 17.8-cubic-foot trunk is a minimum of sufficiently big to carry the suitcases for the fast airport journey, and in that means, clearly exceeds what you’d discover in a TLX and positively a CT5. Sadly, the XF Sportbrake wagon is not round for these with even higher cargo wants.
From a worth and powertrain perspective, Jaguar is punching a lot additional downward with the XF this time round. It’s providing entry-level, comparatively low cost choices with the P250 in an effort to seize the cheaper facet of the luxurious market whereas sustaining its moderately spacious measurement. Nevertheless, the worth argument isn’t as sturdy whenever you get to the XF’s larger trims.
You must tack on a bunch of extras that aren’t low cost to match the extra value-oriented pricing of the ES, TLX and G80 that Jaguar is seemingly taking goal at. Getting the XF to the identical stage of kit and options requires digging into the choices checklist to the purpose that you simply get to our check automotive’s $62,295 remaining worth. Its closest analog in worth, measurement and market place is finally the Cadillac CT5, however we’d a lot reasonably be driving the Cadillac than this Jaguar. Ditto the TLX. If the Jaguar provided an identical payoff in its driving expertise, then its larger worth could possibly be justified. Because it stands, the speedy competitors drives higher and doesn’t hit your pockets as onerous.
You’re going to want to essentially need the Jaguar Leaper for the XF to make sense, which is definitely one of many explanation why gross sales figures stayed below 4 digits final 12 months. On the very least, those that do drive dwelling with an XF will discover a way more technologically fashionable and splendid automobile of their driveway. We’d merely level you within the course of different dealerships earlier than Jaguar’s when you’re set on shopping for a luxurious sedan.