2014 Jaguar XF

The Jaguar XF is a mid-size luxury sedan that distinguishes itself from its rivals by placing a greater emphasis on high style inside and out. Dynamic handling and a plush interior are also among the four-doorâ€tms strong suites.

Those looking for an XF with super-sedan levels of performance should consider the 510-horsepower XFR or the 550-horsepower XFR-S.

Recent Changes
For the previous model year, Jaguar expanded the XFs engine lineup with a turbocharged four-cylinder and a supercharged V6 while also enhancing the sedanâ€tms appeal in northern states by adding an available all-wheel-drive system.

Following those major revisions, the latest year is fairly quiet for the XF, with the only news of note being a handful of new optional equipment packages.

Overview
Inspired by the CX-F Concept car, the XF features a low roofline, an athletic stance and tastefully minimalistic chrome trim, touches that conspire to create an elegant and purposeful look. The sedan was recently updated with a completely reworked front fascia with a subtly reshaped grille, revamped lower vents and newly streamlined headlights with LED daytime running lights arranged in a distinctive Jaguar 'J-Blade' signature pattern. Around back, the tail lamps were extended onto the trunk lid, while a range of new wheel choices completed the visual changes.

The cabin is trimmed with the supple leathers and top-quality materials one would expect of a Jaguar while also featuring modern touches like the so-called "surprise and delight" air-conditioning vents, which present a flush dashboard surface until the ignition is switched on, at which point they rotate to the open position. Also lying dormant until the car is switched on is the unusual rotary shifter, which motors up and can be rotated to select from park, reverse, neutral, drive, and sequential modes.

Jaguar recently upgraded the XF with more supportive seats, new hide and veneer choices and a revised color scheme on the centre console, fascia and steering wheel that replaces the outgoing 'Tungsten' finish with a more contemporary 'Aurora' theme.

Dynamically speaking, the XF rewards drivers with accurate, tactile steering and a well-tuned suspension that provides a good balance between ride comfort and handling prowess.

Powertrain Options
The XFâ€tms new entry-level engine is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 240 horsepower and 251 lb-ft of torque. The other addition for the latest model year, a 3.0-liter supercharged six-cylinder, replaces the previously available naturally-aspirated V8 and produces 340 horsepower.

The range-topping engine is supercharged 5.0-liter V8 that produces 470 horsepower and 424 lb-ft of twist, enough propel the cat from zero-to-60 mph in the mid-four-second range.

All three engines come equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel-drive is available as an option, but only with the V6 engine.

Fuel economy is rated at 19/29 city/highway mpg for the four-cylinder; the V6 is rated 18/28 mpg and 16/25 mpg in front- and all-wheel-drive forms, respectively; and the V8 returns 15/23 mpg.

Trim level breakdown
Jaguarâ€tms mid-size sedan comes in four flavors: XF, XF 3.0, XF 3.0 AWD and XF Supercharged.

The XF comes standard with the turbocharged four-cylinder in addition to leather upholstery, genuine wood trim, heated from seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a sunroof, 250-watt, 10-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with iPod and USB ports, a seven-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth smartphone connectivity with audio streaming, a smart key system with keyless start, a rear parking aid, automatic headlights, automatic windshield wipers and 18-inch “Vela alloy wheels.

The XF 3.0 adds the supercharged V6 and 18-inch twin-spoke “Lyra” alloy wheels. The XF 3.0 AWD brings a sure-footed all-wheel-drive system and 19-inch ten-spoke “Artura” alloy wheels.

Besides the 5.0-liter supercharged V8 engine, the rear-wheel-drive XF Supercharged brings a touchscreen navigation system with 30 GB of music storage space, a 380-watt, 10-speaker Meridian stereo with iPod and USB ports and HD radio, heated, ventilated and soft perforated leather seats with memory functionality, a heated steering wheel, leather trim with twin needle contrast stitching on the instrument panel and door roll tops, deep pile carpet mats, a driver information center, ambient interior lighting, 20-inch alloy wheels, adaptive headlights with an intelligent high-beam system and front and rear parking aid systems.

The XF Supercharged also benefits from Jaguar's Computer Adaptive Technology Suspension (CATSTM). Shared with the XK, it uses electronically controlled, two-stage, adaptive dampers whose characteristics are automatically adjusted within milliseconds in response to road conditions and driving inputs.

Numerous options are available, with highlights including different leather and aluminum/wood trim choices, an audiophile-approved 825-watt stereo from specialist company Meridian and a radar-based adaptive cruise control system that automatically accelerates or brakes as necessary to maintain a set distance from the car in front.

A trio of new options packages are available for the latest model year. These include the Vision Pack, which includes a Blind Spot Monitor, Adaptive Front Lights, Intelligent High Beams and an auto-dimming rear view mirror; the Premium Pack, which adds a navigation system with voice command functionality, a 12-speaker, 380-watt Meridian sound system, front and rear parking aids, Adaptive Front Lighting and a proximity key; and the Interior Sport Pack, which brings 18-way driver and 14-way adjustable front seats in soft brain leather, and bright pedal trim.

Safety Technology
Every XF model comes with dual front, side and side curtain airbags, ABS, traction and stability control systems, an emergency brake assist system and a valet mode that limits the car to low speeds.

Key Competitors
Rivals to the XF include the BMW 5-Series, the Audi A6, the Lexus GS 350 and the Infiniti M37 and M56.