I’m becoming a Jag lover.
It started with the new F-Type. I’m still swooning after my week with that car.
Now it’s the 2015 Jaguar XF. This is a four door mid-sized sedan. If you want big you can bump up to the XJ, but for most folks the XF should do just fine.
Let’s start outside. I always hate when auto writers use the word “sexy”. After all, it’s just a car. But I have to admit there is something sexy about the XF. It has curves in all the right places. I love the ridges in the hood and the way the center section bulges out so purposefully. While some manufacturers are going for massive grilles, Jaguar has simple elegance. The useless vents behind the front wheel don’t thrill me, but the rest of the car does. Yes, it’s just a sedan. But it just looks right.
That elegance is even more pronounced when you slip behind the wheel. The interior is beautiful and refined. It’s a nice, simple layout that doesn’t overpower you. It’s a perfect blend of wood, leather and aluminum. It’s one of the few cars that I made a point of closing the cup holder and the door to the small storage space. It’s like wearing a suit with your shirt partially untucked. Why ruin such beautiful lines? Starting the car adds another experience. With the engine off, the vents are closed. Turn it on, and the vents slowly rotate to an open position. Even better, the round gear selector knob rises from the center console. Sure, it’s just a gimmick, but I loved it.
I’ve read some reviews that called the electronic display and interface slow and outdated. I didn’t share that same experience. It wasn’t the best I’ve tried, but it also wasn’t the worst. About the only knock I have is that the display wasn’t very big. I would love to see it just a little larger. There was also a display between the tach and speedometer and it seemed pretty limited. Some cars give you lots of options, the XF less so.
The seats were very comfortable. Mines were perforated leather with plenty of adjustments. The back seat wasn’t huge, but it wasn’t bad. I took some friends to dinner one night, and no one mentioned the lack of space. Of course, you can fill that space with sound courtesy of the 825 watt Meridian audio system. I did feel that visibility was limited when I looked to the right, but that could have simply been where the seat was positioned.
My test car was the 3.0 Portfolio. The base XF comes with a 2.0 liter, four-cylinder, supercharged engine that delivers 240 horsepower. Bump up to the Portfolio and you get a V6 that produces 340 horsepower. I haven’t driven the smaller engine, but I’m going to guess it’s just not enough. On the other hand, 340 hp was just right. Of course, you can also get carried away with several other models that top out with the XFR-S that has 550 horsepower. Of course, it also starts at $99,000. Driving the 3.0 with the eight speed transmission I never felt that I needed more. Mileage is respectable. You can expect 18 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. You should average 22 mpg, but my test week came in at slightly less than 21 mpg.
The XF uses an intelligent stop/start engine system to improve its mileage. You pull up to a light, and the engine shuts off. Take your foot again and the engine starts turning. While it works flawlessly, I can’t say it was the smoothest stop/start system I’ve driven. Not bad, just not the best.
The base XF with the four-cylinder engine starts st $51,175. You have eight different options that take you up through the super performance XFR-S model that will likely cost you more than $100,000. That’s probably one awesome sedan. But my Portfolio test car came in at $58,600 and I thoroughly enjoyed our time together.
You can spend more for a luxury car, and you can spend less. You can get more tech goodies, or bolder styling. But if you’re looking for mid-sized elegance, the Jaguar XF could be the car of your dreams.