The Jaguar XF is often overlooked by buyers in the market for a mid-sized luxury sedan, but with its latest upgrades the XF is now one of the top contenders in this very competitive segment.
Prior to the 2013 model year, the XF was available exclusively with V-8 powertrains. And to make matters worse, the car didn’t offer all-wheel drive--a crucial factor for buyers in the northern states.
Suffice it to say, XF buyers didn’t have many options to choose from.
That’s no longer the case with the new 2013 Jaguar XF, which is available with rear- or all-wheel drive, as well as a diverse engine lineup including four-cylinder, V-6 and V-8 powerplants.
We’ve never needed convincing of the car’ styling; it’s simply one of the best looking cars in its class. Responsible for the svelte lines was British designer Ian Callum, the same man who penned Jaguar’s stylish new F-Type sports car as well as the original C-XF concept car
that eventually spawned the XF.
Those good looks come at a cost, however. The rakish roof design means rear seat headroom lags that in cars such as the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz E Class, and leg room is also down on the aforementioned rivals. At least the trunk is large for the class, and the rear seats fold down for better access.
Inside, the XF’s design is even further ahead of the competition. The rotary shift knob, "heartbeat" lighting and vents that wake up when the engine start button is pressed are all impressive, and chic panels of wood or piano-black trim are framed by high-grade leather. The seats are supple and well-contoured, and no matter where you're sitting, you're surrounded by rich leather and other snazzy materials, from walnut to aluminum.
On the road, the supercharged V-8 models, the V8 Supercharged and XFR, offer more performance than you’ll ever likely need from a luxury sedan, unless you happen to be a regular at your local autocross or track events. Since we’re always hungry for more power, the XFR with its 510-horsepower supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 would be Motor Authority’s choice.
If economy is your thing, a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder offers decent performance while returning a respectable fuel economy of 19/30 mpg city/highway and 23 mpg combined. A stout 240-horsepower rating means you’ll be able to hit 60 mph in 7.5 seconds.
A supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 is also offered, and is the only engine available if you want all-wheel drive on your XF. This model’s 340-horsepower rating is nothing to sneeze at, enabling the XF to accelerate to 60 mph in just 5.7 seconds, which is less than a second off the pace of the V-8 models.
No matter which powerplant’s under hood, the XF delivers tactile satisfaction and has an understated, graceful feel from behind the wheel. Shifts are smooth and the steering is both direct and well weighted.
For the complete review of the 2013 Jaguar XF, including a close look at the car’s performance, quality, safety and features, see our comprehensive report on The Car Connection