Used 2011 Jaguar XF Review
Now in its third year of production, the XF sedan continues to be a game-changer for Jaguar. Recent Jags were seemingly designed to cater to what people thought a Jag should be: namely, a quaint motorcar that looked just like the quaint motorcar that came before it. They were built for the people who think of England as a nation filled with yarn-twiddling grannies sipping Earl Grey and telling tales about the War.
The XF, along with the new, larger XJ, has left those people in its dust and established a bold new stylistic direction for Jaguar. Traditional virtues like powerful engines and a sumptuous cabin remain, but the XF's contemporary shape sets it apart as a Jag for the 21st century.
The midsize 2011 Jaguar XF has earned a warm welcome over its first two years of production. We're fond of its rich character, highlighted by items like the console-mounted start button that pulsates red and the circular gear selector that rises from the console when the engine comes to life. Of course, it also drives exceptionally well, with prodigious V8 power and an excellent balance between handling and comfort. The XF Supercharged even prevailed in an Edmunds comparison test with segment stalwarts from Audi, BMW and Mercedes.
Jaguar's most significant change for 2011 is swapping the base model's former 4.2-liter V8 for the more powerful 5.0-liter V8 that debuted in the 2010 XF Premium. The naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 pumps out 385 horsepower in these two models, while the familiar XF Supercharged gets (yes) a supercharged version of the engine good for a whopping 470 hp. The supercharged XFR tops the line with an even more powerful version of the XF Supercharged's motor rated at 510 hp and 461 pound-feet of torque. Along with the gutsier engine, the XFR also gains other performance upgrades, unique exterior and interior enhancements and user-selectable modes for the suspension.
A more powerful engine for the entry-level XF is a worthy third act for a car that's already established itself as a class standout. The XF Premium's generous standard amenities continue to hold strong appeal for the typical luxury car buyer, while the XF Supercharged and particularly the XFR give shoppers of a BMW M5 or 2011 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG a reason to stop at a Jaguar dealer. Any 2011 Jaguar XF deserves a place on your "to drive" list if you're considering a sedan in this price segment. The XF is not without its quirks and detractors, but the car's blend of sophisticated road manners, high-tech features and signature British interior ambience is uniquely enticing.
performance & mpg
The 2011 Jaguar XF features three engines in four models, each with a corresponding trim level. The base XF and the XF Premium sport a 5.0-liter V8 that produces 385 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. The XF Supercharged has a supercharged version of the 5.0-liter V8 rated at 470 hp and 424 lb-ft. The XFR has a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 with even more power, cranking out 510 hp and 461 lb-ft of torque. All send their grunt to the rear wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission that features a Sport mode and shift paddles. Fuel economy estimates for the naturally aspirated 5.0-liter engine are 16 city/23 highway/19 combined. Estimates for the supercharged XFR engine are 15/21/17.
Performance is as impressive as the engine specifications would suggest. In recent testing by Edmunds, a Jaguar XF Premium sprinted to 60 mph in only 5.7 seconds, while an XFR needed only 4.5 seconds. With sports car acceleration, even these heavy luxury cars should satisfy the most demanding of drivers.
Standard safety features include antilock disc brakes with brake assist, stability and traction control, front-seat airbags, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. A rearview camera and a blind-spot warning system are optional on the base XF and standard on the XF Premium, XF Supercharged and XFR.
Braking performance for the XF lineup is particularly noteworthy. Under controlled conditions, we managed to bring an XF Premium to a stop from 60 mph in only 106 feet -- a distance usually associated with high-performance sports cars. In testing, an XFR required an equally impressive 108 feet to stop.
The 2011 Jaguar XF's smooth and hushed demeanor allows for comfortable long-distance journeys, yet there's also an unexpected level of performance for a Jaguar sedan. Around corners, the XF has considerable grip and surprisingly high limits. The steering is a little light and numb, but the XF is still more fun to drive than many competitors.
Acceleration from the base 5.0-liter V8 is swift and seamless, yet the lusciously smooth supercharged V8 in the XF and Supercharged takes you into another dimension of performance, serving up a seemingly endless wave of eye-popping power. For those who desire a Jaguar with even sharper claws, the 510-hp XFR adds even more thrust, along with the most capable and entertaining handling in the lineup.
The Jaguar XF's interior is a bold step forward for both the traditionally frumpy British brand and the entire luxury sedan segment. The console-mounted start button pulsates red like there's a real feline heart beating deep inside. Pressing it fires the engine to life, and then the circular gear selector rises into the driver's palm as the four air vents open and rotate into place. Some might find this production a bit gimmicky, but the XF backs it up with soft leather, tastefully applied wood and a pleasing design. Overall, it's a standout in a segment typically known for conservative cabins.
There are a couple ergonomic missteps, though. Most of the audio, climate, navigation and Bluetooth phone functions are controlled via a central touchscreen, and while the menus are logically arranged, some of the virtual buttons are too small. Also, the unnecessarily swoopy graphics make processing times too long. The center stack's few physical buttons are welcome for adjusting the climate system, but those devoted to audio controls are redundant, and generally this real estate could be better utilized. Rear outward visibility is also worse than average.
In terms of space, those in front will find an ample amount, but taller folks seated in the back may find their heads grazing the roof -- the XF is not as commodious as the 5 Series or E-Class. The trunk, however, is quite roomy at 17 cubic feet.
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.