If you're shopping for a midsize luxury sedan, you would have good reason to go German. After all, they created the segment and set the standards ever since. Competitors from America and Asia have been producing compelling choices for years. And now there's a new one from Great Britain: the 2017 Jaguar XF.
The XF wears its Britishness on its sleeve. Its handsome styling sets it apart from the competition, as does its cabin, which is plush and posh in the best British tradition. But the U.K. also has a history of innovative engineering, exhibited by the XF's extensive use of aluminum in the body which reduces weight and thereby contributes toward improving both agility and economy.
Of the XF's available powerplants, none delivers better economy than the new-for-2017 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel, which puts forth 180 horsepower and a healthy 318 pound-feet of torque. Diesels have something of a bad reputation nowadays, but the EPA estimates remind us of their true beauty. The diesel XF is rated at 35 mpg combined (31 city/42 highway) with rear-wheel drive and 1 mpg less with all-wheel drive — numbers we expect from the smallest of economy cars, not from a midsize luxury sedan. For comparison, the XF's gasoline option — a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 that produces either 340 or 380 hp (the latter in S-trim cars) and 332 lb-ft of torque — is EPA-rated at 23 mpg combined (20 city/29 highway), more in line with what we expect from this class.
The gasoline-powered 2017 XF is certainly quick; Jaguar estimates a zero-to-60-mph time as low as 5.2 seconds for the 380-hp version, and the 340-hp and all-wheel-drive versions are not far behind. The diesel suffers from some off-the-line turbo lag, but once the engine is on the boil it merges and passes with authority. It's well suited to the XF's road manners; for such a big car, the XF feels very light on its feet (because, after all, it is). The basic suspension tune provides a nice balance between sporty and serene, and the optional adaptive dampers allow the driver to bias the car one way or the other.
The XF's cabin is a delight, and we love the theatrical aspects. The starter button gently pulsates with a red glow, and when you press it, the rotary gear selector rises majestically from the center console. The XF has top-notch interior materials, a generous trunk and, despite its sleek roofline, excellent headroom for rear-seat passengers. Unfortunately, the infotainment system trails the class; though the controls are straightforward, response time is slow and we were surprised at the lack of Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, or Internet and WiFi connectivity.
Jaguar offers five versions of the XF: Standard models come with a healthy assortment of luxury must-haves, with Premium and Prestige models adding consecutively more creature comforts. The R-Sport is sporty primarily in appearance, while the S gets the high-performance chassis hardware. Regardless of your sport sedan needs, Edmunds can help find the perfect 2017 Jaguar XF for you.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.