2018 Jaguar XF

2018 Jaguar XF Review

British design, a quiet cabin and modern features give the 2018 Jaguar XF luxury driving appeal.
7.4 / 10
Edmunds overall rating
author
by Calvin Kim
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

The 2018 Jaguar XF is a midsize luxury vehicle that is a refreshingly different option among the popular and ubiquitous German staples of the class. It may not generate world-beating performance, but its lightweight all-aluminum chassis and suspension give the XF great road feel. It's available in six trim levels, two body styles, with four engine choices, and either rear- or all-wheel-drive drivetrains, so you can dial in the exact experience you're looking for.

Compared to your typical luxury sedan, the XF has more charisma and pomp. Its shift selector rises from the center console when you fire up the engine, and its interior materials and colors are all generally warm and inviting. Styling is top-notch and punches above the XF's price bracket. And in terms of size, it's on par in interior volume, but the sedan edges out others when it comes to trunk volume.

If we had to point out any weaknesses, it would be its infotainment system — more specifically, its poor smartphone integration — and build quality that falls short of the standards set by the class. But all in all, the XF is a good package: stylish, roomy and enjoyable to drive.



What's new for 2018

A new Sportbrake station wagon joins the lineup, driven by the most powerful engine the XF has to offer. The sedan is essentially a carryover model from 2017 with a few added features. Changes have been made to the selectable drive modes to allow for more customization, while additional safety and assist features have been added to the Advanced Driver Assistance System.

We recommend

We think the XF Portfolio paired with the 35t engine (3.0-liter supercharged V6, 340 hp) offers the best mix of features and performance. Throw in the Driver Assistance package, and it comes with all the gadgets and luxury accoutrements you could ask for. Compared to sportier XF variants, the Portfolio provides ample passing power while cosseting you with a smooth and quiet ride.




Trim levels & features

The Jaguar XF sedan is available in six trim levels: base, Premium, Prestige, R-Sport, Portfolio and S. The Sportbrake comes only in the S version. The Premium and Prestige trims build on the base trim with additional standard features and more available options. The R-Sport adds even more luxury features as well as an R-Sport specific body kit. At the top, you can go one of two ways: The luxurious Portfolio comes with almost every option as standard, while the S maximizes performance with a high-output engine. A number of different engines and powertrains are available for most trims.

As a performance-oriented car, even the base XF comes with JaguarDrive Control, a feature that allows drivers to select various modes altering the steering, throttle response and transmission shift characteristics to best suit the current road conditions. The base XF also comes with a 380-watt Meridian surround-sound system and an 8-inch Jaguar Touch infotainment system. The Premium trim adds driver-seat memory settings, a 40/20/40-split folding rear seat, a power-adjustable steering column and power-folding mirrors. Prestige models are upgraded to 19-inch wheels, a navigation system, keyless entry, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, front and rear park assist, and leather seats with four-way lumbar adjustment.

Further up is the R-Sport. It adds adaptive headlights, contrasting seat stitching, blind-spot monitoring and satellite radio. But the real reason to get the R-Sport is its unique visual touches such as the two-tone interior package and body kit, which includes a unique front bumper, blacked-out grille with satin chrome trim, extended rocker sills, satin chrome side vents and a trunk spoiler.

At the top end are two distinct choices: the luxurious Portfolio or the performance-oriented S. The Portfolio features 18-way power-adjustable seats with four-way lumbar support, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, a configurable ambient lighting system, a head-up display, and a larger 10.2-inch touchscreen and an 825-watt Meridian surround-sound system.

The S trim comes with 20-inch wheels and an S-specific body kit, which includes front and rear bumpers with gloss black accents, gloss black side sills, a trunklid spoiler and badging. Also standard are both Adaptive and Configurable Dynamics systems, which includes a suspension that adjusts on the fly and allows you to configure vehicle systems individually. For example, you could combine the most dynamic engine-transmission setting with the softest suspension mode. The centerpiece of the S trim is the high-output 380-hp supercharged V6, the most powerful engine offered in the XF.

The XF S Sportbrake is largely the same as its sedan counterpart, though it also includes a load-leveling air suspension, a panoramic glass roof, roof rails and a hands-free tailgate.

All trims can be had in either rear- or all-wheel drive, except the Sportbrake, which features standard AWD. Base through Portfolio trims can be equipped with either a 2.0-liter turbodiesel (180 hp, 318 lb-ft) or a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline (247 hp, 269 lb-ft). Premium trims and up also offer the 3.0-liter supercharged V6 (340 hp, 332 lb-ft) engine, while the higher-output V6 (380 hp, 332 lb-ft) is exclusive to the S.

A few optional packages that are available on most trim levels include the Vision Assist package, which has adaptive LED headlights with auto high-beam assist (this automatically dips the high beams when it senses oncoming traffic), front and rear parking sensors, front collision mitigation, blind-spot warning, and lane departure warning. The available Technology package upgrades you from the 8-inch standard screen to one measuring 10.2 inches, adds navigation and the 825-watt Meridian surround-sound system, and replaces the driver's analog instrument panel with a large 12.3-inch digital display. And lastly, a Cold Climate package is also available that includes heaters for the front and rear seats, steering wheel, windshield and washer jets.



Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the Jaguar XF S Sedan (supercharged 3.0L V6 | 8-speed automatic | RWD).

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall7.4 / 10

Driving

8.0 / 10

Acceleration8.0 / 10
Braking7.0 / 10
Steering7.5 / 10
Handling7.5 / 10
Drivability8.0 / 10

Comfort

7.0 / 10

Seat comfort6.0 / 10
Ride comfort7.0 / 10
Noise & vibration9.0 / 10

Interior

7.0 / 10

Ease of use6.5 / 10
Getting in/getting out7.0 / 10
Roominess7.0 / 10
Visibility7.5 / 10
Quality6.5 / 10

Driving8.0

Although not as quick as V8 offerings in this segment, the XF still has a fun demeanor that makes it interesting to drive in a variety of situations. Whether you're on a back road or simply commuting to work, it's an easy car to get comfortable with.

Acceleration8.0

Its 3.0-liter supercharged V6 generates 380 hp and 339 lb-ft and hustles the XF from zero to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. That's not the quickest in the class, but it's more than adequate for any passing or merging maneuver.

Braking7.0

Medium-travel and a medium-firm brake pedal maintain a luxury driving feel in the XF. In a panic-stop situation, the brakes performed well, slowing the Jaguar to a stop from 60 mph in 116 feet. Good, considering its all-season tires.

Steering7.5

The XF's electric assisted steering is tuned well. Initial turn-in is good but not quick. On-center feel is nice and progressively resistant as the wheel turns. Its default setting has adequate heft without being obvious.

Handling7.5

Stability control keeps the XF walking a straight line in normal conditions. But in dynamic mode its playful character emerges. Hard off throttle midturn steps the back out effortlessly. Ease off and torque vectoring tightens your line.

Drivability8.0

Easy to drive in all situations. The eight-speed automatic transmission responds quickly when provoked, yet it remains smooth at low speeds, when leisurely shifts are preferred. Wheel-mounted paddle shifters hold gears regardless of mode.

Comfort7.0

The XF straddles the line between luxury and sport. The ride quality is on the stiffer side, though not so much as to be a crutch. Meanwhile, the cabin remains quiet and isolated. Despite offering plenty of space, the driver's seat is overly firm and may be a deal breaker for some.

Seat comfort6.0

These seats are firm. We found a two-hour window of acceptable driving comfort before the fidgeting began. Not everyone will consider these long-haul-friendly. The rear outboard seats are fine for adults and spacious in all directions.

Ride comfort7.0

As sport sedans go, the ride quality of the XF is acceptably stiff in S form. Its suspension absorbs road imperfections competently, be they small or large.

Noise & vibration9.0

Engine noise is nonexistent at cruising speeds and nearly as muted at full throttle. The cabin remains quiet over most surfaces, though some suspension noise is evident over bumps. It is quieter than others in the segment.

Climate control

With its own set of dedicated buttons, the climate control system is easy to use and effective. Seat heating is standard on the higher level models, or can be equipped as part of a cold weather package.

Interior7.0

Top-quality materials extend throughout, giving the interior an appropriately luxurious feel. Infotainment is thoughtfully designed but lacks the finished details of competitors. What really sets the XF apart from the class is its trunk, which is comparatively massive.

Ease of use6.5

The touchscreen infotainment layout is logical and easy to use. Hard buttons bordering the interface offer some redundant controls and are a welcome alternative. The navigation system on our test car froze multiple times.

Getting in/getting out7.0

The XF is as easy to climb in and out of as any in this segment once the doors are open. They open fully but are heavy. The optional "soft close" self-closing door feature helps. We didn't have any issues in tight parking spaces.

Driving position

While the XF could be considered a sport sedan, the driver's seating position is decidedly on the comfort side. The standard seat package lacks any sort of additional seat bolstering, with only higher level models offering adjustable lumbar support.

Roominess7.0

Front and rear headroom are comparable to most in the segment. Plenty of lateral space for all outboard passengers to get cozy. Three adults in the back seat isn't such a bad proposition, at least for a short period of time.

Visibility7.5

Visibility is dependent upon seating position. Those sitting farther back will find the side and rear roof pillars combine to make one large driver-side blind spot. Over the shoulder is OK, though. Multiview cameras are a big help.

Quality6.5

No build quality issues of note on our test car. Panels aligned properly and it was free of squeaks and rattles. Interior controls and switchgear don't quite have the sturdiness and refinement of some others in the class.

Utility9.0

With a large trunk volume, and sizable rear seats, the XF is a good road-trip companion. If you're travelling with small children, the XF can handle both front- and rear-facing child seats with ease.

Small-item storage

Most of your odds and ends will wind up in the moderately size door pocket or cupholder. There's a small recess underneath the climate control system, but it's not large enough for larger smartphones — those will have to go in the center console armrest.

Cargo space

The trunk space is wide and deep, and gooseneck trunklid arms are recessed so as not to impede cargo loading. The pass-through size is average, as are the number and depth of interior nooks.

Child safety seat accommodation

Four Isofix latch points are clearly marked behind plastic covers, while three top-anchor mounts are located directly behind their respective headrest positions.

Technology

The XF's two primary infotainment systems utilize either an 8- or 12-inch display and control all functions aside from climate controls. We found the standard functions such as audio and telephone easy to use, while navigation and connectivity lacked the same intuitive ease of use.

Audio & navigation

With your choice of either 380-watt or 825-watt Meridian digital surround-sound package, you can easily fill the cabin with the sounds you want. Using the navigation system takes some patience, but it does become easier once you understand its logic.

Smartphone integration

The standard XF comes only with Bluetooth and a USB hookup. Smartphone connectivity is handled via a proprietary app interface that's paired to an onboard subscription-service hotspot.

Driver aids

Most aids will come in the form of the Vision Assist package, which includes front and rear park assist, adaptive LED headlights, blind-spot monitoring and lane departure warning, and emergency braking. Unfortunately, this package is not available on the base model.

Voice control

The system processes commands related to the entertainment system and telephone use, but nothing beyond that.

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.