By Candy Chung: Jaguar has gained a lot of attention lately by releasing its first ever all-electric SUV, the I-Pace, but its long history in sport sedans shouldn’t be overlooked. The XF is a mid-sized sport sedan that slots between the smaller XE and the bigger XJ. Like other Jaguar products, XF uses Lightweight Aluminum Architecture to make the car light yet strong and stiff.
Appearance hugely impacts first impression and the XF is sure to impress. Its long hood, elegant body lines and the clever use of LED lights make it one of the best-looking vehicles in its class. My tester is equipped with black alloys and red brake calipers, a subtle reminder that the XF is a sport sedan.
Sportiness is dependent on the cohesive performance of the engine, the transmission and the chassis. My tester is equipped with the range-topping S trim with 3.0L V6 supercharged engine that produces a healthy 380HP and 332lb-ft of torque. As stated on Jaguar’s website, 0-100km takes only 5.3 seconds. I didn’t specifically test the 0-100km, but the car felt quick off the line with lots of passing power at all times. However, it doesn’t feel nearly as fast as the I-Pace which I tested the week prior. Thanks to its AWD system, the XF feels very planted going around corners. The AWD system, the wide array of safety features and the overall tuning of the car all contribute to a very confident drive. The 8 speed ZF automatic transmission works great with power delivery. The XF is an elegant sport sedan, not a sports car, so it’s not going to give you jaw-dropping acceleration; instead, you get a well-composed yet agile ride.
Like I said earlier, I got the I-Pace prior to getting the XF; therefore, the XF felt a bit dated to me. The I-Pace is using digital temperature control on a lower screen, whereas the XF is still using traditional hard buttons. Also, the XF’s rotary gear shifter is getting old, too. The saving grace is in the cabin quality and craftsmanship. It’s still Jaguar quality, with premium leather seats, leather-wrapped dash, genuine wood trims on the door panels etc. The two-seater F-Type comes with air vents that open and close. XF does the same trick but instead of the main air vents, only the outermost vents open and close when you start or shut off the engine. It’s still a trick that may wow some people but it’s hard to notice.
There’s sufficient space in the front, the back and in the trunk for a family road trip. Rear legroom is decent but the transmission tunnel in the middle is quite intrusive. As expected of a Jaguar, there are air vents, power outlets as well as heated seats in the back.
One thing I want to mention is the Meridian sound system. It is superb! I especially like the three sound settings you can choose from. The sound is crisp with just the right amount of bass for a car like this.
The 2019 Jaguar XF comes with virtually everything one would expect from a car at this price point. Its biggest competitors are the BMW 5 series, Audi A6 and Mercedes E-Class. I personally think out of these competitors, only the E-class can compete with the XF’s beautiful exterior. With a price tag of $75,900, the Jaguar XF S is definitely beyond my affordability but if you’re shopping for a luxury sport sedan, test drive the XF, you may be pleasantly surprised how many engine options it has that changes the price. For instance, the 2.0L turbo 4 starts from $65,000, that’s more than 10k lower than the S I tested!