2016 Jaguar XF S Review
A dynamic sports sedan with vigorous power and British charmNo Comments
It has a vigorous V6 that will get your heart racing, with a nimble chassis that's even more efficient thanks to all the aluminum packed into it.
Jaguar has done a more than respectable job of redefining itself from a company that rested the laurels of its dated but admittedly classic designs into a 21st century sport-luxury brand. Gone is the tired XJ of old, and now the long-in-the-tooth XK is gone, replaced by the awesome F-Type. It also recently added two new vehicles to its model lineup, the brand's first-ever SUV the F-Pace, and the $35,000 compact XE sports sedan. Both are meant to bring new, fresh faces to the brand and an ongoing push to compete with the German big boys.
But more than diversifying its lineup and including a lower-cost option vehicle, Jaguar has been on a powerful and noticeable design roll of late, and they have Ian Callum and his design magic to thank for this. When he debuted the XF at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show, it was a clear departure from its Lincoln LS-based and Ford partnered predecessor, the S-Type. While the all-new second generation model sees more subtle style evolution, it has emerged tauter and leaner. A lightweight body structure paired with a high-performance powertrain makes the XF S one exhilarating sports car, with levels of refinement both in and outside the cabin.
Adaptive Dynamics instinctively modify the vehicle's response to suit driving conditions and driver style, whether you're out cruising the boulevard or nailing the apexes.. According to Jaguar, steering and body movement are analyzed up to 500 times a second, affecting how much the electronically controlled dampers adjust to optimize suspension settings. All these behind-the-scenes effort equates to a supremely composed riding experience. But, when you want the XF S to let loose, Configurable Dynamics allow you select different driving modes to awaken the sporting character, with a sharper throttle.
Ride Quality: The XF S boasts a stiffer, lighter chassis that enables it to manage body roll better and improve handling while managing bumps and undulations. While the snarly V6 unleashes plenty of power, the XF S is still a gentleman, and remains composed on the road. Steering: Steering is communicative and responsive thanks to Jaguar's Electric Power Assisted Steering. It carefully monitors vehicle speed and driver inputs to acutely calibrate the amount of assistance for every maneuver. It's precise in corners, never feeling too heavy nor too light. Acceleration: The XF S is plenty quick with a 0-60 time of 5.1 seconds, but it also possesses linear power delivery and fluid shifting, making the car smooth in spite of its authoritative power. The XF S's ability to get you to very illegal speeds is deceptive thanks to the smooth power delivery. And when you turn the gearshift dial to 'S' mode, it's as if it can sense your foot is approaching before you even hit the gas. Braking: With a good pedal feel, the brakes are responsive, but not overly touchy. However, when you need to come to a complete stop after reaching speeds upward of 60 mph, they can bring you to a swift halt. Handling: The XF S strikes a good balance between taut handling and solid composure. Grip is strong, while the mild understeer is more than manageable.
While power and performance are at the top of the list of priorities for the XF S, it doesn't come without some backup. A rear camera with guiding lines comes standard on the XF, while the S trim adds advanced safety features found on the R-Sport, including reverse traffic detection, blind spot monitoring with closing vehicle sensing, and lane keep assist with driver condition monitoring.
Infotainment Screen Size/Quality: An 8-inch touchscreen provides quick response times, and is easy to manipulate and navigate through, with clear graphics displayed. The new system is more responsive than the previous one, a serious improvement that addresses one of our biggest complaints from older Jag and Land Rover models. Bluetooth Phone Pairing: Seamless pairing, with the vehicle automatically synching up my phone every time I reentered. Sound Quality: A 380-watt Meridian Sound System provides crisp acoustics throughout the vehicle, via 11 well-placed speakers. Controls: The center stack is very well laid-out with a nice balance of physical knobs and buttons to adjust settings for cabin and seat temperatures. Everything is easy to reach and user-friendly. Safety: Advanced safety systems in the XF S give you an extra set of eyes, while also helping to prevent an accident from even taking place. Our tester came with an optional head-up display that uses laser technology to project a range of important information on the windshield, such as speed and nav instructions, in colorful graphics.
Front: The hood cutline is now behind the nose, instead of slightly past the top of the grille frame , with bigger front air intakes. An upright grille and bulge on the hood give a more aggressive appearance, with signature J-Blade LED daytime running lights found on the F-Type. Rear: Wrap-around LED tail lamps and an F-Type- style lighting pattern accent the rear. Gone are the more Ford Fusion-like taillamps from the 2015 car. Profile: From the side, the XF S is sleek and athletic, with sweptback styling giving it an aerodynamic look. A single, elegant shoulder line runs the length of the body, while front ornamental fender vents are now horizontal instead of the old vertical position.
Front Seats: Bolstered leather sport seats are comfortable and supportive, with ample bolstering to hug you when you're taking corners. They're also heated and cooled, so no discomfort can detract from your driving enjoyment. Rear Seats: A generous backseat can accommodate three, though it'd be more comfortable for just two. Rear seats are also heated, and the second row enjoys ample head and leg room, with the latter increasing by about an inch. Visibility: Overall, visibility is good. Forward visibility could be better, with rather thick bases of the A-pillar impeding it somewhat, but you get used to it as you drive.
Storage: Jaguar does a nice job with the interior, not only making it visually appealing, but also ergonomic and functional. A larger arm rest provides a generous amount of holding space, along with deep side pockets, cup holders in front and back, and a little nook for your phone or change underneath the heating controls. Trunk/Cargo Room: A generous trunk gives you the ability to load the XF S up, whether you're just running errands, or are piling in luggage for a weekend getaway. The opening is wide, though the load floor isn't completely flat with an elevated shelf just aft of the rear seatbacks.
With a top speed of 155 mph and a 0-60 mph time of 5.1 seconds, it's competitive in its class. Clearly aimed at tackling its German competition, the XF S offers equal sporting character and refinement, with its own unique charm. With less of them on the road than the BMW 5 Series, Audi A6, or Mercedes-Benz E-Class, it's also the more unique choice.
Engine: 3.0-liter supercharged V6
Transmission: 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters
Drivetrain Layout: front engine, rear-wheel drive
Power Output: 380 horsepower / 339 lb-ft
Fuel Economy (mpg): 20 city / 30 highway
Base Price: $62,700
As Tested: $67,235 (incl. $995 destination)
Standard Features: Adaptive LED headlights with auto high beam, stop-start, torque vectoring by braking, 20-inch wheels, leather seating, 14-way heated front sport seats, fold rear seat, heated steering wheel, moonroof, keyless entry, Lane Keep Assist, rear camera, Driver Condition Monitor, touch screen controls, navigation, Blind Spot Monitor, 380-watt Meridian sound system.
Options on our test vehicle: Ammonite Grey-Metallic paint, head-up display, Comfort & Convenience Pack ($2,000) including: cooled front seats, heated rear seats, soft door close, and power trunk close.