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Outgoing traditional Jaguar exec offers a lot of space and tech, and an appealing drive. It’s no modern, fleet-minded, electrified marvel – just a lot of car for the money

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One last shuffle of the deck. That’s what this 2024-model-year updated version of the Jaguar XF looks like, with production of the car rumoured to be winding up as soon as the middle of 2024.

It was back in 2021 that Jaguar first cut XE and XF prices in rather eye-catching fashion. It’s now added only about £1000 each to the sticker tags - even after two years of such walloping inflation. So a top-of-the-line XF D200 Sportbrake like our test car comes in fully £8000 less than a like-for-like BMW 320d Touring and £10,000 less than a full-house Mercedes C220d Estate (and, don’t forget, this was a car designed to compete with rivals from the class above).

Don’t expect a discount, mind you. The price you see is the one you’ll pay, says Jaguar - but, thankfully, it sounds as though you won’t mind that too much, with monthly finance rates being appealingly low, even taking the Jaguar’s residual values into account.



jaguar xf sportbrake review 2023 002 panning side

Has Jaguar finally got this car’s specification and value positioning right, then, with only months of life left in XF production, and so many fleet buyers now wedded to the low-emissions electrified powertrains with which it can’t compete? Ironically enough, it certainly looks like it.

Suffice it to say, there’s no plug-in hybrid model here. The 2.0-litre four-cylinder Ingenium diesel powering our test car is the most economical and the cheapest engine in the new XF range, for which is claimed a WLTP combined fuel economy of up to 56.9mpg (D200 R-Dynamic S saloon) and CO2 from 130g/km.

Jaguar has deleted the old AWD diesel model so its P250 and P300 turbocharged petrols are the only other engines available. Neither has the mild-hybrid assistance of the D200, though - and only the P300 adds four-wheel drive.


jaguar xf sportbrake review 2023 009 dash

On the inside, the revised XF gets a smattering of extra standard equipment: heated mirrors, better seats, and digital instruments. More widely, though, it may be near enough unrecognisable to you if you haven’t cast your eye over this car for a few years because Jaguar really did make a big improvement to the perceived quality and classy material allure of this car back in 2021. 

The tastefully dulled, subtly sculptural chrome trims immediately catch your eye, but when you explore the darker corners of the driving environment, you find matching perceived quality in other places, too. 

Don’t like the black-on-black leather interior of our test car? Jaguar offers some lovely ivory and tan hide options, which you could even have extended over the upper doors and dash with the money you saved from not buying a BMW or Merc.

The various clusters of buttons and knobs, on the steering wheel and the centre console, are much more neatly presented and better finished than they used to be as well.

And remember that black rubberised look and feel that the car’s secondary switchgear used to have? It looked all right when brand new, but you’d have bet on it wearing badly. Well, that’s all long gone, replaced by chunky-feeling chrome window switches and illuminated toggle buttons on the steering wheel's spokes.

The Pivi Pro infotainment screen, meanwhile - 11.4in on the diagonal, a lot squarer of aspect than the old car’s set-up, and with a slightly convex display that makes it appear to hug the curve of the dashboard quite nicely - is also very creditable. It’s standard on even entry-level S-grade cars, as is Jaguar’s digital instrument pack, which is also very good.

And it’s easy to use, fully furnished for wireless device mirroring compatibility, and both reliable and robust with its software. The line of shortcut buttons on the margin of the display and the easy configurability of the home screen to suit the functions you access most often are as key to this as the system’s responsiveness.

Seat comfort up front is very good. If you’re on the taller side, there’s a chance you might notice a slight shortage of telescopic steering column adjustment range, or the closeness of the car’s roofline. The XF never was the biggest or most accommodating of mid-sized executive options, but now that’s it priced like rivals from the class below, that’s much less likely to bother you.

Boot space on the Sportbrake version is a very useful 550 or so litres up to the window line, although you lose the car’s underfloor storage if you go for a mild-hybrid diesel (which carries its 48V battery and power inverter under there), whereas you’ll keep it if you have a P250 or P300 petrol version.


jaguar xf sportbrake review 2023 024 engine

JLR’s gently hybridised Ingenium diesel four-pot retains the occasional funny driveline engagement when you’re just tipping into the throttle pedal, as it juggles that transient blending of its electric and combustive power sources. Such instances are pretty rare, though. Most of the time, it just offers usefully stout-feeling mid-range torque, paired with good refinement and equally good economy for a car of its size. During mixed-speed touring, an indicated 50mpg is easily achievable with a fairly light load on board.

This phase of mild hybridisation has also made a perceptible difference to how torquey these engines feel on the road and mechanical isolation has been incrementally improving over the years in parallel. (The new XF has an active noise cancellation system that works to dampen the effect of its various sources of noise on your senses.) 

The eight-speed gearbox may be the last piece of the puzzle for Jaguar to sort. It still seems to hesitate at times, but also to rush its engagements and actuations at lower speeds and at other times.

It isn’t the sharpest-feeling thing, either, when you start to flick the nicely chunky, metallic shift paddles the XF has - although that shortcoming isn’t enough to take the shine off what is a very rounded and increasingly well-polished powertrain.


jaguar xf sportbrake review 2023 026 handling

If you’re attracted to this car for the reasons we’ve always rated it – as pretty consistently the best-handling and most rewarding mid-sized executive option on the market – it’s still worth seeking out. That’s saying something for what is, underneath it all, an eight-year-old saloon car with significant links to one much older.
Go for an R-Dynamic HSE Black model and there are still one or two options you’d want to add: I’d pay extra for 19in wheels and adaptive dampers. 

Our D200 had standard passive suspension and 20in rims, so there was just a hint of noise and excitability about its ride. Nothing to put you off what remains an enticing car to drive, though, with weighty, tactile steering, fluent but contained body control, and appealingly balanced rear-driven handling that allows you to really enjoy threading what is a big car along a winding road as if it were much smaller.

The XF takes camber change and quick corners in its stride

The XF’s steering isn’t overly direct but it’s accurate, intuitive and perfectly weighted, with no perceptible spongy or elastic feel, so you can place the car with confidence and judge grip levels similarly. 

There’s enough torque to momentarily animate the chassis into gently positive attitudes around slower bends. The XF has modern driver aids and electronic convenience features, but they’re fully switchable ones and, by and large, they don’t come between you and the enjoyment of the driving experience.

The one mechanical difference between an XF saloon and Sportbrake remains the wagon’s fitment of self-levelling rear suspension, which is there to compensate when carrying heavy loads or towing. It doesn’t impose any undesirable dynamic tolls on the car, though. Ride isolation seems equally good at the back as it is at the front axle, and the car’s ride frequency is very well balanced over longer-wave inputs.


jaguar xf sportbrake review 2023 001 cornering front

XF trim levels have been rationalised to R-Dynamic S, SE, and HSE, the last two with new Black pack bodystyling if you want it (though you can still have a chrome grille and window trim for no extra cost). Automatic high-beam LED headlights and ‘animated’ directional indicators are now standard too, as well as heated and powered mirrors, electric seats and digital instruments.

Prices start from less than £36,000 for an entry-level diesel saloon - which really does seem first-class value, for private buyers at the very least. Sportbrake wagons can’t be had in quite the same entry-level trim and are priced - in R-Dynamic SE Black trim - from a little over £40,000.


jaguar xf sportbrake review 2023 028 verdict

The Jaguar XF may be a car just months from the end of production, but in so many ways, its package seems stronger now than ever. 

It has the cabin quality and sophisticated on-board technology that so often couldn’t be taken for granted, over the years, in a Jaguar. It has the same appealing ride and handling that has always set the car apart. And it has a cabin and boot that compare more favourably than ever for practicality with the rivals against which the XF is now priced.

Given that £40,000 now seems to be about what we’re expected to pay for a mid-market electric hatchback, a full-sized executive estate car capable of 50mpg touring for broadly the same outlay suddenly seems an absolute steal. And I don’t think it takes any sentimentality of feeling at all about the fate of the Jaguar brand as we know it, or so many of its cars, to appreciate as much.

Matt Saunders

Matt Saunders Autocar
Title: Road test editor

As Autocar’s chief car tester and reviewer, it’s Matt’s job to ensure the quality, objectivity, relevance and rigour of the entirety of Autocar’s reviews output, as well contributing a great many detailed road tests, group tests and drive reviews himself.

Matt has been an Autocar staffer since the autumn of 2003, and has been lucky enough to work alongside some of the magazine’s best-known writers and contributors over that time. He served as staff writer, features editor, assistant editor and digital editor, before joining the road test desk in 2011.

Since then he’s driven, measured, lap-timed, figured, and reported on cars as varied as the Bugatti Veyron, Rolls-Royce PhantomTesla RoadsterAriel Hipercar, Tata Nano, McLaren SennaRenault Twizy and Toyota Mirai. Among his wider personal highlights of the job have been covering Sebastien Loeb’s record-breaking run at Pikes Peak in 2013; doing 190mph on derestricted German autobahn in a Brabus Rocket; and driving McLaren’s legendary ‘XP5’ F1 prototype. His own car is a trusty Mazda CX-5.

Jaguar XF First drives