2014 Jaguar XF 3.0 AWD Quick Drive

In the car world, does age matter?

Now that the XK has been discontinued after the 2015 model year, the XF executive car is the oldest product in the Jaguar lineup. Last redesigned in 2009, the Jaguar XF shows its age in many ways compared to other Jaguar products, as well as its competitors in the midsize luxury sedan segment. Despite this one (admittedly major) fault, the XF offers a rewarding drive thanks to its powerful engine, tight cornering, and stable ride. While the competition is stiff, we think it is at least worth a look for buyers in the market for a comfortable and sporty luxury cruiser.

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Model and Price

Buyers can get their hands on a stripped-down XF model for $50,175. The model we drove came with an upgraded 3.0-liter V-6 supercharged engine and a healthy 340 horsepower. A Premium Pack ($4,250) added navigation, rearview camera, keyless entry, Sirius, and a Meridian audio system. A Portfolio Pack ($4,000) tacked on heated and cooled front seats, upgraded leather, suede headliner, and other extras. Other options on our model included a Cold Weather Pack ($750), Rhodium silver-metallic paint color ($500), jet headliner ($525), and split fold RR seat with ski hatch ($125). When everything was accounted for, including the destination fee, the total cost of our model came to $64,075.

Safety and Key Features

Unfortunately, neither the government nor the IIHS has released crash test ratings for the XF sedan. But buyers can rest assured thanks to the car's two front airbags, two airbags at the outer edges of the front seats, and side curtain airbags. Head restraints in the front seats were designed to prevent whiplash in the case of an accident. Other standard safety features include perimeter alarm, engine immobilizer, tire pressure monitoring system, and LATCH restraint anchor points. Our model came with an optional rearview camera and front parking sensors that helped us safely navigate into tight spaces.

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Family Friendliness and Utility

Like many things in life, the XF offers a give and take in terms of space and utility. Rear seats don't fold down, but there really is no need to. The XF features a cavernous trunk that extends deep into the back, providing plenty of space for a week's worth of groceries and more. Trunk capacity is 17.7 cubic feet, which is more than the Lexus GS and BMW 5 Series.

But the catch is the limited space for passengers in the back. Taller passengers will find limited legroom and headroom. While normally cramped, the middle seat can be converted to a space for additional cupholders.

In terms of technology, the XF has a small touchscreen for audio, navigation, and other functions. While it may appear a bit outdated, it is perfectly functional. One of our favorite things is a rotary gear knob that makes shifting gears seamless.

Comfort and Quality

Many times, buyers can be falsely charmed by leather seats. Stiff and overly-supportive or so plush that you just sink right in the middle, it is hard to find the sweet spot. But Jaguar has managed to find this spot with its seats. In our upgraded Portfolio package, the supple leather seats were soft to the touch yet supportive enough for even the longest drives.

With one look inside the cabin, you definitely see the car's age. From the old design of the steering wheel to the outdated buttons, it is not revolutionary by any means. But we found that the cabin was functional, clean, and comfortable, and that kept us pleased.

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How it Drives

The XF is a larger car, and at times, it feels like it when accelerating or maneuvering through tight spaces. But it also feels planted and stable, capable of taking fast turns around bends with complete confidence. Overall, we think the engine provides a bit of a sporty kick that will please most performance-oriented buyers. We also enjoyed the sound insulation that made road and wind noise barely noticeable.

A few things we didn't like? The stop-start technology on this car is a bit aggressive for our liking, but overall, we felt braking was crisp and confident. Also, visibility can be limited up front and in back thanks to the shape of the car. Our biggest grievance was fuel economy, as we felt like we were always filling up. At 16/26 mpg, the Jaguar XF gets worse fuel economy than all of its major rivals, including the BMW 535i xDrive (20/29), Audi A4 quattro (20/29), and Lexus GS 350 AWD (19/26). Hopefully, a revised version of the XF will feature better fuel economy so that it can keep up with competitors in this category.

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Summary

We enjoyed our time with the XF, but why wouldn't we? Its rewarding drive, opulent interior, and easy controls made our time behind the wheel easy and fun. Still, we would probably look at other competitors in the segment because of the car's outdated design, poor fuel economy, and high costs of ownership. Buyers with their heart set on an XF will probably enjoy the mid-level V-6 model, which feels well-balanced in terms of price and power.

Spec Box

Price-as-tested: $64,075
Fuel Economy
EPA City: 16
EPA Highway: 26
EPA Combined: 19
Cargo Space: enough groceries for the whole family
Estimated Combined Range: 350 miles
Intellichoice Cost of Ownership: Poor

4 comments
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tim paul

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