$27,551 - $49,775

2018 Jaguar XF Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.8

Whether you favor a lower purchase price, improved fuel economy, or brisker acceleration, one of the 2018 XF’s four available engines will work for you. On the highway, there’s more cabin noise than you may expect from a Jaguar (especially when powered by the diesel engine), but it is still relaxing. The pleasing suspension modes range from comfortably supple to athletic and snappy.

  • "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." -- Edmunds
  • "We can attest that any number of premium sedans are enjoyable to drive, but only a handful have us thinking about the driving experience long after we've put the car to bed. The 2017 Jaguar XF is one of those cars." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)
  • "No matter where you're going or how you plan to drive along the way, the 2017 Jaguar XF S will put a smile on your face both as you walk up to the car and after you've started the engine and set off on your journey." -- New York Daily News (2017)

Acceleration and Power

Four different engines are available in the 2018 XF, all of which are paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The standard 25t engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a 247 horsepower rating. Its fuel economy is one of the highest in the class, at 25 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway.

You get even better fuel economy with the optional diesel engine: 31 mpg in the city and 34 on the highway. The 20d turbodiesel four-cylinder adds $1,500 to the price and is rated at 180 horsepower. Two supercharged V6 engines are also available – a 340-horsepower version available in every trim, and a 380-horsepower version reserved only for the XF S and the Sportbrake models.

The smaller engines are quite capable of handling highway merging and overtaking with ease. That said, most test drivers prefer the supercharged V6 engines. They aren't as throaty as some of the robust offerings from competitors, but they are thrilling enough to satisfy the occasionally rebellious jaunt.

  • "Whether you choose regular or extra-caffeinated supercharged V6, new turbodiesel four-cylinder, rear-wheel- or all-wheel drive, the 2017 Jaguar XF won't leave you wanting for performance." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • The 8-speed transmission reacts quickly to inputs from the steering-wheel-mounted paddles, although it's equally adept when left on its own. The XF's user-selectable driving modes allow the driver to choose among Normal, Eco, Dynamic and Winter. While the operating interface felt somewhat clumsy, the system definitely delivers on its promise. The Dynamic mode ups the XF's performance capabilities via a stiffer suspension setting, but also brings rather jarring shifts some editors found to be a bit too abrupt." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)
  • "The diesel engine's low-end push is enjoyable … but it tends to run out of strength at higher speeds. If there's a definable Jaguar characteristic of seemingly effortless power and smoothness, the diesel doesn't quite fit the mold. … So the real choice is 340 or 380 hp from the gasoline V6. If it matters, the 340-hp XF is slower from standstill to 60 mph by 0.1 of a second, clocking in a 5.2 seconds. Quick, but neither version is exactly breathtaking." -- Autotrader (2017)

Handling and Braking

Rear-wheel drive is standard in every 2018 XF sedan. All-wheel drive can be added to every sedan and comes standard in the Sportbrake wagon. Also included in every XF is JaguarDrive Control. This adjusts the steering, throttle, and transmission shifts to Standard, Eco, Dynamic, or Rain/Ice/Snow mode. Unlike some rivals that have indistinct drive mode settings, the XF's modes offer a nice range between comfortable and more athletic. 

  • "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." -- Edmunds
  • "The suspension is a joy – supple, flowing and precise. Combined with well-tuned electric power-assisted steering, the XF has the responses of a much smaller and lighter car." -- Autotrader (2017)
  • "Regardless of the setup, the … tires provide trustworthy levels of grip, and the brakes withstood significant abuse on a moderately warm testing day. Road noise is greater than might be expected of a midsize Jaguar, but ride comfort is a model of perfection, the suspension capably resolving road rumples, zits and scars." -- New York Daily News (2017)

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