Full 2014 Jaguar XF Review
What's New for 2014
A very limited-edition XFR-S high-performance variant debuts for 2014. Besides that, the 2014 Jaguar XF has only minor equipment changes.
When you first start shopping for a midsize luxury sedan or performance sedan, the all-star models from Germany are likely to come to mind first. And certainly you're justified in starting and stopping your car search right there. But if you expand your horizons a little, you'll find that the 2014 Jaguar XF is equally as desirable and tops those class leaders in a few areas.
Where the Jaguar XF primarily sets itself apart from rival luxury sedans and sport sedans is in its distinctly British personality. Other luxury midsize sedans have a certain austerity and seriousness to their design. With the 2014 Jaguar XF, there's a palpable sense of occasion as the start button pulses red before start-up, the gear selector dial rises to meet your hand and the air vents appear seemingly from nowhere. And while the mainstream German sedans have a reputation for being drivers' cars, the midsize XF is just as engaging to drive and, when equipped with Jaguar's potent supercharged V8 engine, it's a roaring good time by anyone's standards. Further, the XF doesn't sacrifice luxury in the name of performance. Ride comfort and interior materials quality are on par with the competition.
Jaguar also offers plenty of variety in the XF lineup. On the entry-level end, there's a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder model. We don't find it very inspiring to drive, but if top fuel economy and an affordable price are what you're after, this is the XF to get. Still, most shoppers will find it worthwhile to step up to the V6-equipped XF 3.0, which provides brisk acceleration and offers an all-wheel-drive option as well. Then, there's the XF Supercharged. Along with stirring performance, this model receives higher-end interior furnishings that almost put it in another class. Finally, the performance-focused XFR and the ridiculously potent XFR-S add a strong dose of adrenaline to the mix.
An outdated infotainment interface is the main drawback to the Jaguar XF, as the car's audio-navigation system is more complicated to use, slower to react and generally less functional than the newer systems found in the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Moreover, you'll find that some of the leading-edge safety technology offered on these rivals simply isn't available on the Jag. In spite of these issues, the 2014 Jaguar XF is still well worth considering alongside the competition. It may just provide that elusive character that you find missing from the others.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
Classified as a midsize luxury sedan, the 2014 Jaguar XF is offered in six trim levels based on drivetrain choices. These start with the base 2.0T and climb upward to the 3.0, 3.0 AWD, Supercharged, XFR and new XFR-S.
Standard features for the XF 2.0T include 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic self-leveling xenon headlights, rear parking sensors, automatic wipers, heated mirrors, a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather upholstery, six-way power-adjustable heated front seats, driver memory functions, a 7-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a 10-speaker audio system with CD player, iPod integration and USB and auxiliary audio inputs.
Besides adding a supercharged V6 engine, stepping up to the XF 3.0 and 3.0 AWD (all-wheel drive) gets you 19-inch wheels, automatic engine stop-start and selectable winter and dynamic driving modes.
For the 2.0T and 3.0 trims, a number of option packages can be added. The Portfolio Pack adds upgraded leather upholstery, a 16-way adjustable driver seat (12-way front passenger) and ventilated front seats. Technology features come from the Premium Pack option, which fits the XF with keyless ignition/entry, front and rear parking sensors, a voice-activated navigation system, a rearview camera and an upgraded 12-speaker Meridian sound system with HD and satellite radio. There's a Cold Weather Pack with a heated windshield and a heated steering wheel. Lastly, there's the Vision Pack with adaptive headlights, automatic high-beam control, auto-dimming sideview mirrors and a blind-spot monitoring system.
The XF Supercharged comes with almost all of the above options as standard (minus the adaptive and high-beam controlled headlights) and further adds a supercharged V8 engine, an adaptive suspension and 20-inch wheels with performance tires.
The XFR draws a bit more power from the supercharged V8 and adds the adaptive headlights with automatic high beams, a rear spoiler, extended side sills, unique exterior and interior trim, a power rear sunshade, front sport seats (18-way adjustable driver, 14-way passenger), 60/40-split-folding rear seats with pass-through and a 17-speaker Meridian surround-sound audio system.
The new XFR-S is limited to only 100 examples in the United States and has an increased power output, a carbon-fiber front splitter and rear diffuser, alloy pedals and piano black interior trim.
The folding rear seats and 17-speaker sound system in the XFR and XFR-S are optional on the other XFs, as are a variety of wheels, exterior and interior trim and styling upgrades, and adaptive cruise control.
Powertrains and Performance
With five different engines, the 2014 Jaguar XF lineup has something for every taste and budget. The XF 2.0T is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 240 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic is the only transmission available, and it sends power to the rear wheels. In Edmunds testing, this model accelerated to 60 mph in 8 seconds, which is slow for a base-model sedan in this class. On the plus side, the XF 2.0T is rated at an EPA-estimated 23 mpg combined (19 city/30 highway).
The XF 3.0 makes use of a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine rated at 340 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive variants are available, and Jaguar estimates the rear-drive version will reach 60 mph in 5.7 seconds, while the AWD model is claimed to make the same run in 6.1 seconds. The EPA estimates fuel economy for the rear-drive 3.0 at 21 mpg combined (17 city/28 highway) and the AWD version at 19 mpg combined (16/26).
Things start getting serious with the XF Supercharged, which sports a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 producing 470 hp and 424 lb-ft of torque. In testing, we hit the 60 mph mark in a quick 4.5 seconds. The more potent XFR squeezes out 510 hp and 461 lb-ft from the supercharged V8, and the XFR-S manages a further increase to 550 hp and 502 lb-ft. In Edmunds testing, the XFR-S accelerated to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds. Despite the spread in power output, the EPA rates all V8-powered XFs at 18 mpg combined (15/23).
All V6- and V8-powered Jaguar XF sedans have an automatic stop-start function that shuts off the engine at stops to increase fuel economy.
Standard safety features for all Jaguar XF models include 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). More advanced systems like collision mitigation (with pedestrian detection) and lane keeping assist are not offered on the XF.
In Edmunds brake testing, a Jaguar XF 2.0T equipped with 19-inch wheels and all-season tires came to a stop from 60 mph in 120 feet, which is about average for an entry-level midsize luxury sedan. An XF Supercharged with 20-inch wheels and summer tires needed only 113 feet, and the XFR-S stopped in a very short 108 feet. Both distances are on par with similarly equipped premium-brand sport sedans.
Interior Design and Special Features
Bringing the Jaguar XF to life is a bit of an event unto itself. Pressing the pulsating starter button also triggers the gear selector dial to rise from its flush position on the center console, and what were once flat dash-panel elements rotate to reveal the air vents. The cabin retains much of the old-world charm of Jaguars past, but with a modern interpretation that includes contemporary materials. That said, you're likely to find the seating a little tighter in both the front and rear compared with the accommodations in the E-Class and 5 Series. But it's entirely suitable for a true midsize luxury sedan, and the sense of compactness contributes to the Jag's more engaging feel once you're behind the wheel.
Cargo capacity, on the other hand, is quite generous for a midsize luxury sedan at 17.7 cubic feet. Split-folding rear seats further increase capacity and allow for the transport of longer items; they're standard on the XFR and XFR-S and optional on other XFs. Along with the folding seats, you also get a center pass-through with a ski bag.
The only notable disappointments in the XF's interior are the limited rearward visibility and the outdated infotainment system. Large roof pillars limit the view behind, requiring reliance on the parking sensors or rearview camera that is optional on lower trims. Jaguar's infotainment interface trails competing systems with its small display, plain graphics, slightly delayed responses and over-complicated menu structure.
It should come as no surprise that the base XF 2.0T model won't win over drivers who put a priority on performance. Acceleration is merely adequate, and the engine and transmission are often slow to respond to gas pedal inputs. The supercharged V6 engine in the midrange XF 3.0 provides much more energetic performance and should satisfy the majority of midsize luxury sedan shoppers.
However, the V8-powered 2014 Jaguar XFs provide a wealth of power, and the acceleration in the top-of-the-line XFR-S borders on ludicrous and really has to be experienced to be believed. Besides the vast increase in power, the V8 models also benefit from an adaptive suspension that improves handling dynamics without sacrificing the XF's luxurious ride quality. Driven briskly around turns, the Jaguar XF has considerable grip and surprisingly high limits. More demanding drivers might find the steering a little too light, but the XF is still more fun to drive than many competitors. All models provide a quiet cabin on the highway, with wind and tire noise quelled to near silence.