Want a mid-size luxury sedan, but you’re not ready to drive the same car as your dentist? You might be in the market for a Jaguar XF. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about it right here in the Ultimate Buyer’s Guide.

The XF is sized with the BMW 5-Series, Audi A6, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and the other competitors that matter less. Jag’s billing it as more of a charmer than the Germans, more refined than the Americans and more dramatic than the Japanese.

In this respect, it sort of succeeds. The car is good, but unless you fall in love with the physique it’s not a tremendous standout. Jag’s other play is for value; they’ve priced the XF just a bit below comparably-equipped rivals and offered a five year, 60,000 mile, fix-anything warranty that transfers to whoever owns the car. That should be a nice bump on resale value, but it’s even more significant for first-owners who might be leery of Jaguar Land Rover’s reliability reputation.

What It’s Like To Drive

If you’re expecting an asphalt-eating Autobahner I think you’re going to be disappointed. The XF drives clean. It’s comfortable, and has plenty of power when you want to squirt off or impress somebody getting onto the highway. It even wraps itself around corners. As long as you’re near the speed limit.

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The car comes in RWD and AWD variants. Some prefer the sensation of being pushed, but the AWD system is designed to mimic rear-drive experience by mostly just engaging the front wheels when it thinks they’re needed to pull you out of the scrub.

We had a few variants of the XF all over Spanish backroads and on a race track. It felt pleasant to drive the mountains with some energy, but got flummoxed at full-pace on track and booting it through a Formula 1 starting grid, well, let’s just say the car was a lot happier driving home from the circuit than it was on it.

What’s New About The 2016 Jaguar XF

Most people will have to look close to spot the visual differences between this and the outgoing car, but the tweaks are welcome ones. A slightly hungrier face. Brighter eyes. The smooth silhouette from the old body style is intact, with a slightly harder crease across the beltline below the door handles.

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This really plays into the “gentleman spy” vibe Jaguar is always striving for in advertising; a tough-and-tux’d James Bond. That theme carries on inside with toys like an engine-start button that pulsate and user-selectable mood lighting.

From a practical standpoint, the 2016 XF gets a longer body and bigger footprint theoretically translating to a smoother ride, better grip and a more aggressive stance. All-Surface Progress Control (ASPC), an on-road version of “off-road cruise control” you get on Land Rovers, is a new option that significantly improves grip and safety in slippery driving conditions by actively managing power and brakes automatically when traction loss is detected.

As for the 2.0 liter diesel you’ve heard about, Jaguar Land Rover says it’s still on schedule to drop into the XF in 2016 for the 2017 model year. And frankly you might want to wait, because this engine basically provides way better fuel economy at a negligible tax on realistic performance. It’s whisper-quiet, and still makes for an extremely satisfying drive.

Powertrain Breakdown

The Jaguar XF launched with one engine: a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 with either a 340 or 380 horsepower tune. Those aren’t particularly big power numbers considering the car’s 3,800 pound heft, but matched to a ZF 8-speed automatic, they’re enough to get the car to 60 in the low five second range.

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That’s pretty quick. It’s not going to smoke a 550i or a V-Spec CTS, but it’s enough to keep a smile on your face.

2016 Jaguar XF Engine Options

EngineMax Horsepower (hp)Max Torque
(lb-ft)
3.0L Supercharged V6340 @ 6500 rpm
380 @ 6500 rpm
332 @ 3500 rpm
339 @ 3500 rpm

Fuel Economy Breakdown

The XF’s fuel economy numbers are right there with its classmates. The Cadillac CTS V6 makes a similar 335 horsepower and scores exactly the same 20/30/24 mpg rating from the EPA. The 300 horsepower 3.0-liter turbo I6 in the 5-series? Yup, you guessed it: also 20/30/24.

So, the XF’s fuel economy is right there with the rest of the mid-sized luxury students. It’s not in the “gifted” program, but it’ll probably make the honor roll.

2016 Jaguar XF Fuel Economy Ratings (City/Highway/Combined)

_3.0L Supercharged V6
8-Speed Auto20/30/24
20/28/23 (awd)

Trim Level Breakdown

The Jaguar XF comes in four main trims: Premium, Prestige, R-Sport and S, all of which can be had in either two-wheel or four-wheel drive configurations.

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All XFs get a double wishbone suspension up front, an “integral link” setup in the back and electric power steering.

  • Premium: Starts at $51,900. Notable standard features: 3.0-liter 340 horsepower supercharged V6, 8-speed automatic transmission, 18” alloy wheels, 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, stop/start technology, 380W 11-speaker Meridian audio system, rearview camera, power front seats with driver memory, cloth seats, xenon automatic headlamps with LED signature lights, All Surface Progress control (low speed cruise control for low-traction situations), InControl Remote (access vehicle features via smartphone), dual-zone climate control. Notable options: all-wheel drive ($3,000); Cold Climate Pack: Heated front and rear seats, heated windshield and washer jets, heated steering wheel ($950); Vision Pack: LED headlamps, adaptive front lighting, high beam control, front and rear park aid, blind spot monitor with Closing Vehicle Sensing and Reverse Traffic Detection ($2,900);
  • Prestige: Starts at $56,550. Notable standard features over Premium: Leather seats, heated front seats and leather steering wheel, 4-way lumbar support, interior accent lighting, keyless entry, front and rear park aids, Navigation, 19” alloy wheels. Notable options: all-wheel drive ($3,000); Vision Pack ($2,900); Comfort & Convenience Pack: Power open/close trunk lid, soft close doors ($2,000); Technology Pack: 10.2” touchscreen with navigation, 12.3” Instrument Cluster, Meridian 825W 17-speaker Surround Sound System ($3,100); Adaptive Dynamics ($1000).
  • XF R-Sport: Starts at $60,650. Notable standard features over Prestige: Unique bodykit, unique chrome exterior trim, unique interior trim, Lane Keep Assist, Driver Condition Monitoring, full adaptive LED headlamps, high beam control, blind spot monitoring with closing vehicle sensing, reverse traffic detection, satellite radio, unique 19” wheels. Notable options: all-wheel drive ($3,000); Comfort and Convenience Pack ($2,000), Technology Pack ($3,100); Driver Assistance Pack: Park Assist, proximity camera, traffic sign recognition with speed limiter, adaptive cruise control, advanced emergency brake assist, 360 degree park distance control ($3,100); Luxury Interior Upgrade Pack: Suedecloth Premium headliner, unique ambient lighting, carpet mats, sunblind for rear window, electric sunblinds for side windows, manual four-zone climate control ($2,700); Adaptive Dynamics ($1,000).
  • S: Starts at $62,700. Notable standard features over R-Sport: 380 horsepower supercharged V6, “S” bodykit, adaptive damping, 20” wheels, red brake calipers, unique sport seats with “S” stitching, metal sill finishers, other “S” interior trim. Notable options: Same as R-sport, plus Black Pack: Black grille, side vents and side window surrounds ($320);

[Build Your Own Jaguar XF]

Which One We’d Buy

The 2017 with a diesel? You knew we were going to say that. The small-displacement diesel has enough low-end power to keep the satisfaction in the Jaguar driving experience and the added economy makes the XF feel like an almost sensible choice.

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But if you’ve got to have one this year, we would spec a RWD version of the Prestige with the tamer 340 horsepower engine. The aesthetic tweaks on the R-Sport are going to be worth the extra money to true Jaguar fans, but for somebody just looking to get into a mid-sized sedan they won’t loose in the parking lot the luxury trim will have most of the toys you want.

That gets you to about $58,000. Safety toys like blind spot monitoring and traffic detection are another $3,000, and the technology pack with the sweeping infotainment screen and incredible audio system is about $3,000 again. I’d skip the safety and go with the stereo; that gets you out of the dealership a little over $60,000 with a fine looking luxury car that’s pretty well loaded with toys to impress your passengers and keep you entertained on the commute.

Important Facts At A Glance:

MSRP: $51,900-$65,700 Top Speed: 155 MPH

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Acceleration: 5.0s to 60 [XF S awd]

MPG: 20 city / 30 hwy / 24 combined [3.0L 2wd]

Engines: 3.0L Supercharged V6

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Max Horsepower/Torque: 380 hp/332 lb-ft

Curb Weight: ~3,770-3,880 pounds

Transmissions: 8-speed automatic

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Drivetrain Layout: Front Engine, RWD/AWD

Photo credit: Jaguar