Full 2013 Jaguar XF Review
What's New for 2013
Jaguar introduces two all-new engines for the 2013 XF: a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 and a 2.0-liter four-cylinder. Both are meant to offer buyers better fuel efficiency than the existing V8. The XF also gets another significant new piece of equipment for 2013: optional all-wheel drive. Finally, all 2013 XFs get a new eight-speed automatic transmission, while a standard stop-start function for the V6 and V8 engines also helps save fuel.
Midsize sedans, even those from premium automakers, can have a certain me-too kind of presence. Usually, there's only so much designers can do, or have been willing to do, with a four-door sedan aimed at generally conservative and cautious buyers. But the 2013 Jaguar XF happens to be a pleasant exception. With a design presence and air of exclusivity, the XF makes an impression that its more mainstream rivals struggle to replicate.
Distinctiveness is on display for the XF's interior, where the pulsing-red start button and transmission gear selector that rises from its resting position in the center console stand in stark, high-tech relief to the dense leather and wood that more symbolizes Jaguar's past. There's still plenty of leather in there, but it now competes with convincing metal and plastic finishes and a deluge of electronics features to define the XF's unique, effective and impressive interior.
Mechanically, there are a lot of changes for the 2013 Jaguar XF. Two new engines debut: a turbocharged four-cylinder and a supercharged V6. The new supercharged 3.0-liter V6 -- it replaces the now-discontinued base 5.0-liter V8 -- pumps out a healthy 340 horsepower that certainly befits a sport sedan. The turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder may be pushing the boundaries of luxury-car acceptability, but it does pump out 240 hp and returns pretty good fuel economy. All-wheel drive is a new addition to the 2013 XF as well, though for now it's only offered with the V6. Of course, the supercharged V8 remains on tap for those placing a priority on power.
These 2013 additions certainly help round out what was already one of the more distinctive choices in the midsize luxury sedan segment. Granted, the XF still has some flaws, most notably its awkward electronics interface and a lingering reputation for less-than-stellar reliability. But overall we like the XF and find it to be a great choice among more mainstream luxury sedans such as the 2013 BMW 5 Series, 2013 Lexus GS and 2013 Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2013 Jaguar XF comes in five distinct trims: XF 2.0; XF 3.0; XF 3.0 AWD and the high-performance XF Supercharged and XFR.
The 2.0 and 3.0 models comes standard with 18-inch wheels (19s for AWD), automatic bi-xenon headlights, rear parking sensors, a sunroof, automatic wipers, cruise control, automatic dual-zone climate control, heated six-way power front seats, driver memory functions, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, leather upholstery and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Other standard equipment for all XFs includes Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a 7-inch touchscreen display and a 10-speaker sound system with a CD player and a USB/iPod interface.
The optional Convenience package adds keyless ignition/entry, auto-dimming side mirrors, blind-spot monitoring, voice controls and a rear sunshade. The Premium package includes adaptive front headlights, front parking sensors, a rearview camera, a navigation system and a 12-speaker Meridian premium sound system with satellite radio. A Cold Weather package adds a heated steering wheel and a heated windshield.
The XF Portfolio Pack adds upgraded leather upholstery, 16-way front seats with ventilation and a faux-suede headliner. A Sport Portfolio package variant is also offered; it further adds 19- or 20-inch alloy wheels and special interior and exterior trim.
Along with their more powerful V8s, the XF Supercharged and XFR models include the contents of all the available XF option packages. The XF Supercharged and XFR also are fitted with an adaptive suspension, bigger brakes, 20-inch wheels and summer tires. Adaptive cruise control, a high-output 17-speaker Meridian surround-sound audio system and 60/40-split-folding rear seats are stand-alone options.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2013 Jaguar XF lineup introduces two completely new engines: a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder and a supercharged 3.0-liter V6.
The four-cylinder becomes the XF's base engine and develops 240 hp and 251 pound-feet of torque. As with every 2013 XF engine, the four-cylinder is coupled to the all-new eight-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy ratings for the XF 2.0 are 19 mpg city/30 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined. In Edmunds testing, the four-cylinder XF accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 8 seconds, which is below average for a base-model midsize luxury sedan.
The XF 3.0 carries the new supercharged V6 that churns out 340 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque, figures that are not far off from the previous 5.0-liter V8. A 0-60 time of around 5.7 seconds is expected. The V6 is the only engine that can be linked to all-wheel drive. Fuel economy stands at 17/28/21 for rear-drive and 16/26/19 with AWD. The four-cylinder and V6 engines also have automatic engine stop-start functionality at stoplights to help achieve their fuel economy estimates.
The XF Supercharged packs a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 that produces 470 hp and 424 lb-ft of torque. In Edmunds testing, this engine propelled the car up to 60 mph in a quick 4.5 seconds. A modified version of this engine in the XFR produces 510 hp and 461 lb-ft of torque. Both have EPA ratings of 15/23/18. Expect acceleration from zero to 60 mph to be in the low 4-second range.
The 2013 Jaguar XF comes standard with traction and stability control, antilock brakes, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. Available safety equipment includes a blind-spot warning system, a rearview camera and a forward-collision alert system (included with adaptive cruise control).
In Edmunds brake testing, it took about 108 feet for an XFR to come to a stop from 60 mph. That performance came with 20-inch wheels and summer tires, so XFs with different tires are likely to stop in a slightly longer distance.
Interior Design and Special Features
Although the inside of the XF is far from the spongy lounges of Jaguar's past, there's still an overall feeling of warmth and texture that the more tech-oriented interiors of Jaguar's German rivals can't generate. There are large expanses of aluminum on the dashboard facing and trim areas, but the look is of high fashion rather than hard metal and it mixes elegantly with the soft leather on the XF's seats and small areas of wood trim. The gauge cluster is modern but simple, with the attention going to the automatic transmission's signature "handshake," rising out of the center console each time the driver triggers the engine's start button.
The XF's center console is dominated by a touchscreen navigation system. It's been improved over the years, but compared to the electronic interfaces found in other midsize luxury sedans, the Jag's still suffers from slow response times, antiquated menu structures and a smallish display.
While backseat headroom and rear visibility are at a premium, the XF's trunk capacity, at 17 cubic feet, is one of the segment's largest.
Previously coming only with V8 power, the XF accelerated with an effortless demeanor that only become more disdainful of physics once the supercharged versions of the 5.0-liter engine came into play. Performance from the new supercharged V6 is certain to be difficult to distinguish from the now-discontinued conventional V8, but the 240-hp four-cylinder, with its leisurely acceleration, stretches the XF's credibility as a sport sedan.
Driven through turns, the XF has considerable grip and surprisingly high limits. The steering is a little light and numb, but the 2013 Jaguar XF is still more fun to drive than many competitors.
The Supercharged's lusciously smooth V8 takes you into another dimension of performance, serving up a seemingly endless wave of eye-popping power. The 510-hp XFR adds even more thrust along with the most capable and entertaining handling in the lineup.