The beautiful Jaguar XF is nearly unchanged for 2017, after a thorough redesign for 2016.
For this year, the main difference is the addition of a diesel four-cylinder engine to complement the midsize luxury sedan’s V-6 options.
The XF still possesses an enticing blend of design, dynamics and refinement to produce a vehicle that is both exciting and efficient. Simple lines and uncomplicated body panels present a sharp, classy form, while the supercharged V-6 delivers the thrills along with sporty handling.
XF is available in five models – Pure, Prestige, R-Sport, Portfolio, and S – priced from $48,250 to $66,200. Each model offers several engine/drivetrain combinations, including three with Instinctive AWD. A 3.0-liter V-6 produces 380 horsepower in the S trim and 340 in all others, while the diesel produces 180 horsepower. Both engines come with an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and standard rear-wheel drive.
Rear-wheel drive models are EPA rated at 20 mpg city/30 highway/24 combined, with all-wheel drive models rated at 20/28/23. Diesel EPA ratings are not yet available.
My XF35t R-Sport (base price $63,650) was a bold expression of XF’s sporting character, with a muscular body in eye-catching Italian Racing Red Metallic and Jet/Red interior featuring red stitching.
Unique body styling included an R-Sport front bumper, R-Sport extended body-color side sills, integrated rear spoiler above a satin-chrome trim strip that wrapped around into the partial LED taillights, dual exhaust tips, and R-Sport badging on the Jaguar-embossed side power vents.
XF R-Sport is available in 12 exterior colors, including deep Narvik Black, Corris Gray, Rossello Red (dark burgundy), Caesium Blue (navy), nearly black Loire Blue, and icy Yulong White.
Five more interior trims are available – Ebony Luxtec with Tech Mesh, Ebony Grained leather with oyster stitching, Ebony/Pimento Grained leather with Pimento stitching, Ebony/Light Oyster with Oyster stitching, and Brogue (dark brown) Grained leather with Oyster stitching.
A wide satin-chrome frame outlined the large black honeycomb grille, and a satin-chrome bar accented large honecomb bumper vents. Deep hood creases swept up from the edges of the grill, and strong character lines flowed from the headlights to the rear spoiler, emphasizing motion and power.
Instinctive All-Wheel Drive with Intelligent Driveline Dynamics and Adaptive Surface Response is unique to Jaguar. IDD software reacts to road conditions preemptively as well as reactively to prevent loss of traction instead of just working to regain it. AdSR works at all speeds, recognizing differences between surface types to further maximize grip.
During normal driving conditions, 90 percent of the power is sent to the rear wheels, thus retaining Jaguar’s dynamic rear-drive feel. When more traction is required, power is seamlessly transferred to the front wheels as needed, then returned to the rear wheels when no longer needed.
Nineteen-inch wheels were painted silver with five split spokes; LED headlights produced crisp lighting (close to daylight), and featured ‘J’ blade LED Daytime Running Lights with LED Direction Indicators; Adaptive Lighting adjusted the direction of the beams during cornering and when indicating a turn or lane change; Auto High Beam Assist automatically lowered the main beams when oncoming traffic was detected; and Headlight Powerwash kept the lenses clean during muddy driving conditions.
Several wheel choices are available, in 18-, 19-, and 20-inch sizes, with diamond-turned, gloss black, and dark gray finishes, and either wide spokes or split spokes.
Jaguar Drive Control with Driving Modes offers Standard, Eco, Dynamic, or Rain/Ice/Snow modes, which subtly change driving dynamics to suit the operator. Eco encourages fuel-efficient driving and Dynamic enhances the driving experience, while Rain/Ice/Snow applies gradual traction on acceleration for slippery conditions.
All-Surface Progress Control, a low-speed cruise control unique to this class, gives added confidence in slippery conditions, such as an icy incline, snowy driveway, or wet grass. Just select a target speed and XF applies just enough power to obtain optimal traction on acceleration.
The interior reflected XF’s sporty personality as soon as the door was opened, with a pulsing red ignition button that, when pressed, caused a rotary shift dial to rise from the center console.
Form-hugging grained-leather sports seats with red-stitched Jet bolsters and headrests, and Red Technical Mesh back and seat inserts continued the sporty feel. Door armrests were red, with unique Dark “Morse Code” Aluminum finishers from the door panels across the dash.
R-Sport badging on the steering wheel and R-Sport treadplates added emphasis to the sporty interior feel. The center console, cupholder cover, and shifter boot were trimmed with gloss black and silver. Trim veneers were also available in Gloss Black, Figured Ebony, Rosewood, Burl Walnut, and Ash.
Fitted within the Morse Code finisher, rotating vents deployed from the outer edges of the dash, hidden when not in use. A 10.2-inch capacitive touch screen was also framed within the Morse Code finisher.
A Technology Package included InControl Touch Pro and Wi-Fi, the touch screen, SSD-based navigation, a 12.3-inch virtual instrument cluster, and Meridian 825-watt Surround Sound.
Standard infotainment features included an auxiliary audio input, USB input, iPod integration, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, and AM/FM/XM radio. JaguarSense allowed opening the glove box and turning on the map lights with the wave of a hand.
Safety technology included Forward Collision Mitigation with Automatic Emergency Braking, Emergency Brake Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Dynamic Stability Control and Traction Control, power-operated child locks, hazard lights under heavy braking, Blind-spot Monitoring with Rear Cross-traffic Alert, rearview camera, and Perimeter Sensing Alarm and Immobilizer.
The front passenger air bag had a Seat Occupant Detector; full-length side-curtain air bags protected front and outboard rear passengers’ heads; front side air bags protected driver and passenger’s thorax; and ISOFIX in all three rear positions secured child safety seats.
Trunk space was very generous with top-of-the-class 19.1 cubic feet, capable of fitting luggage, golf clubs or strollers, holding grocery bags on several hooks, and with the rear seat back partly folded, allowed for long DIY supplies with space left over for weekly cat supplies.
Front seats were heated and cooled, while rear seats were only heated.
My Jaguar XF R-Sport was fun and easy to drive, comfortable even on a long trip, very attractive, and versatile for daily use. Cabin materials were top-notch – easy on the eyes and soft to the touch.
One drawback was that the navigation/infotainment system does not yet support Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
My XF didn’t include options, although several are available. Destination charges of $995 brought the delivered price of my XF to $64,645.
The automotive columns of Emma Jayne Williams have appeared regularly in the Star-Telegram since 2007. Contact her at email@example.com.