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Friday 9 December 2016
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Test Drive: 2016 Jaguar XF S Review

Test Drive: 2016 Jaguar XF S Review

The word that comes to mind every time I see a Jaguar is distinctive, because at a glance, you recognize immediately what it is.

So this week, I present to you the 2016 Jaguar XF. Originally the XF premiered in 2007, and the 2016 is an all-new, second-generation version of Jaguar’s #1 selling vehicle.

The XF falls into the mid-sized luxury category, a segment that sells well in the United States. Key competitors to this car are the BMW 5-Series, Mercedes E-Class, and Audi A6.


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The base engine on the XF is a 3.0-liter supercharged V6, putting out 340-horses, but my review vehicle is the S model, which has the tweaked 3.0-liter that takes it to 380- supercharged horses. It is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission that you can shift from paddles on the steering wheel.  Although you can get the XF in all-wheel drive, my tester is rear-wheel drive only.

What is interesting about this car is that although it is all-new and it is now mostly aluminum, the exterior looks didn’t change all that much from the 2015 model. It still retains the distinctive front end, swooping roofline, wrap around LED taillights, integrated spoiler, and chrome dual exhaust.

This particular Jag has the Ultimate Black Metallic paint, a blacked out grill, and 20” gloss black wheels. This package features just a hint of chrome on the exterior.

Jaguars, even the entry level XE, are well known for their luxury interiors, and this XF S certainly doesn’t disappoint. The seats wrap around you in total comfort and no matter your size, you can get comfortable using the 14-way power seat controls.

When you push the start button, the Jaguar XF comes to life. The round gearshift knob rises from the center console, and many of the air conditioning vents rise like a garage door to allow ventilation. It serves no real purpose, but people who get in your car for the first time will be impressed!

The gauge cluster is colorful and easy to see. Between the tachometer and speedometer, is a driver monitor that gives a lot of information and can be configured through controls on the leather heated steering wheel. Everything is easy to understand in the car, and quite intuitive.

Also new for 2016 is a much-improved center touchscreen to operate the climate control, navigation system, Bluetooth, and the 380-watt Meridian sound systems. Prior to this year, the system was slow, but this one is much better. Below the screen are more of the air and heat controls. As you look from the left side of the dash to the right, the dash flows into the doors, and stitching is nicely done.

Below the shifter, you can choose your driving mode by choosing Eco, Winter, or Dynamic and there are marked differences in the performance between all three.

The XF comes in four trim levels, starting with the Premium, next up is Prestige, then you go to the R-Sport version, and finally this one, the top-of-the-line S model. Each package comes with a higher level of standard equipment as you move up, and as you would expect, this top level S comes with a lot of standard equipment.

Some highlights of the no charge features include a power moon roof, keyless entry, blind spot monitoring, automatic high beam LED headlights, lane keeping assist, and rear camera.

This particular Jag has just over $12,000 in options. The comfort and convenience pack gives you heated and cooled front seats, soft-closing doors, and a power trunk closer. That runs $2,000.

For $2,700 you get the luxury interior upgrade, and it includes an electric rear sunshade, manual side rear sunshades, 10-color ambient lighting, 4-zone climate controlled air conditioning, and a suede headliner.

Next is the $3,100 driver assistance pack, which includes adaptive cruise control, emergency brake assist, proximity camera, parallel and perpendicular parking assist, and traffic sign recognition, which works well with the $990 heads-up display. A projector shows you on the windshield how fast you are going as well as the actual speed limit where you are. The aforementioned wheels run a smooth grand, and worth every penny.

Be aware that like most cars in this class, rear seat room and rear headroom are not huge, but it does have a very nice trunk space.

The Jag XF sort of wows you when you drive it. It is a nice driver when you are tooling around town, and in dynamic mode it feels like it would be right at home on a racetrack. The transmission shifts very smoothly-but with determination when under heavy acceleration.

One key to the fantastic handling of this car is Jag’s Adaptive Dynamics, which is standard on this model. It modifies the response of the XF to conditions and your driving style. It analyzes acceleration and braking, cornering, throttle and brake pedal activity constantly.

The 260-pound weight reduction for 2016 will allow you to get from 0-to-60 in 5.1 seconds, while still delivering pretty darned good fuel economy. It is doing a little better than the stated 20 in town, 30 on the highway, and 24 overall.

MSRP with everything this one has is just over $75,000, which is actually right in line with the competition, especially when you consider this car comes with 5 years and 60,000 miles of warranty and free maintenance.

This is a car you can’t help but love everything about it. Tata Motors has done an exceptional job with the changes on this car, and I would encourage you to put it on your shopping list.

  • What I liked most:  Exterior and interior looks, and performance. 
  • What I would change: Actually nothing, this car is awesome.      
  • MSRP: Base price $62,700, as equipped $75,145.
  • Fuel Economy:  20 City/30 Highway, 24 Combined.
  • Fuel Tank: Approximately 19.5 gallons.
  • Dimensions:  195.2” long/78.s” wide/57.4” high.
  • Weight:  3770 Pounds.
  • Trailer Towing:  Not rated.
  • Miles When Tested:  2600 miles.
  • Final Assembly Point:  Castle Bromwich, UK.
  • 2016 Jaguar XF S in a few words: A great combination of power, luxury, and fuel economy.
  • Warranty:  5-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, with roadside assistance, and free scheduled maintenance for the entire warranty period.
  • Manufacturers website: Jaguar