Jaguar – the luxury brand known for its cars – currently makes only two of them. And only one of them is a sedan.
The rest are crossovers – which everyone else is known for making.
It makes one wonder why Jaguar decided to make them, too – as opposed to making more of what everyone else isn’t making much anymore.
Like the XF sedan.
What It Is
The XF is a mid-sized luxury-sport sedan that competes with the handful of other such sedans still on the market, including the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class sedans. Like them, it is available in both rear-drive and all-wheel-drive versions.
Unlike either of them, it is only available with a four cylinder engine. It also comes standard with a much smaller (just 10.5 cubic foot) trunk than they do.
But it also carries a much lower starting price – $45,300 – than they do.
The Mercedes-Benz E350’s base price is $54,950. A BME 5 Series stickers for $54,200 to start. That $10k difference makes up a lot for less space in the trunk.
Indeed, you can buy a top-of-the-line XF P300 R Dynamic – which comes standard with a more powerful four cylinder engine and standard AWD – for $51,000 and still spend thousands less than what Benz and BMW are asking for the four cylinder-powered (and less powerful) rear-wheel-drive versions of their luxury-sport sedans.
The XF wagon is no longer available.
12 speaker stereo, panorama sunroof and wireless charger are among the standard features.
What’s Not So Good
No more than just a four.
Not much trunk.
Many desirable options aren’t available with the base P250 S trim.
Every ’22 XF is powered by a 2.0 liter four cylinder engine – which isn’t much engine by historical standards, as well as Jaguar standards. Memories of Jaguar inline sixes and even V12s linger like those of a time when only the homeless and extreme hypochondriacs wore “masks.”
But there are two versions of this engine available.
The standard version produces 248 horsepower; the optional version amps that up to 296 via a bit more turbo boost and other tweaks. Both engines are paired with the same eight speed automatic. The 248 horsepower engine in the P250 versions sends its power to the rear wheels. The stronger version, to all four – via a standard AWD system.
With the standard engine (and RWD) the XF takes about 6.5 seconds to get to 60 MPH. Opting for the stronger engine (and AWD) gets you there about 1 second sooner – and also gets you a 155 MPH top speed (electronically limited) vs 149 for the standard-engine’d Jag.
Gas mileage varies with output – as you’d expect.
The standard-engined XF delivers close-to-economy-car numbers – 25 city, 33 highway. For a mid-sized luxury-sport sedan, these are pretty good numbers. Even luxury-sport buyers have to think about the cost of gas when it costs $5 per gallon. And the Jag’s tank holds 19.5 gallons. That works out to more than $100 per fill-up, because the Jag’s engines – both of them – want premium gas.
So the less of it the Jag burns, the less expensive it is to drive this cat.
Equipped with the stronger, 296 horsepower engine, the Jag’s numbers go down to 22 city, 30 highway. These are still not bad numbers, but it’s also not very impressive when you consider how small the 2.0 liter engine is. This is, after, all a Jaguar.
But Jaguar – and everyone else making cars – is under government pressure to downsize their cars’ engines – not so much on account of how much gas they burn but how much gas (C02) they “emit.”
Evidence that this is so can be found by gleaning the gas mileage numbers of the formerly available sixes in this class of car, or even the handful of sixes still available in generally similar cars such as the Toyota Camry – which is one of the last mid-sized cars in any class that still offers one at all. Its optional 3.5 liter, 301 horsepower V6 rates 22 city, 31 highway – virtually the same numbers as the Jag’s top-dog 296 horsepower turbo two-point-oh.
Same mileage – just about – and just about the same output. So why not just go with a V6 that makes just about the same power and delivers just about the same mileage, especially given this is a Jaguar and not a Toyota?
See that bit above about the gasses. Which are eventually going to put the kibosh on Toyota’s V6, too.
Soon, there will be no engines at all – as Jaguar has “committed” to “electrifying” its future offerings. What this means – in translation – is that Jaguar has been forced by the fact that gas engines cannot be made to “emit” zero carbon dioxide and thereby comply with government regulations to stop making them, altogether – in favor of electric motors and battery packs that generate their C02 “emissions” elsewhere.
On The Road
The answer to that question used to be self-evident: Because a Jaguar wasn’t a Mercedes or a BMW or an Audi or a Lexus. It was a Jaguar.
What made it so?
Well, for one, it was powered by a Jaguar engine. The XF is also powered by one, of course. But even though the 2.0 liter Ingenium engine is a Jaguar-designed engine it is exactly the same layout (n-line four) and displacement as the 2.0 liter engines powering practically everything now.
You will find 2.0 liter fours powering many lesser cars – in terms of their MSRPs. There is nothing wrong with those cars – or their engines, as such. But it’s a little disappointing to pop the hood of your Jag – or for that matter, your BMW or Benz – and find the same type of engine you’d find under the hood of a Honda or Mazda.
Even if you don’t pop the hood.
The four moves the Jag well enough – more so if you get the optional iteration of it. But it doesn’t sound like much. Or feel much different than the turbo’d fours that power so many other cars. If this Jaguar had the V8 you can still get in the F-Type it would sound and feel more like something else.
The V8 in the F-Type serves as a counterpoint in more ways than one. Jaguar used to offer the latter – as an option – with the 2.0 four as standard. It now – for what is likely its last hurrah – only comes with a V8. This being Jaguar’s bittersweet goodbye to the V8, before it goes away – not in favor of a four – but in favor of an electric motor.
This latter could prove to be the end for Jaguar – and Benz and BMW, too – as there will then be even less reason to buy any of them, specifically, since all of them will be powered by the same thing. Kilowatt hours and volts lack the emotional appeal of cylinders, displacement and arrangement. It is like buying an 800 watt vs. 1,100 watt microwave. They all heat your coffee pretty much the same way.
I don’t blame Jaguar – or Benz or BMW – for “electrifying” their lineups. Nor for the winnowing of the engines that still remain to more or less the same engines, in everything.
Electric motors whirr.
The other thing about this XF that is under Jag’s control is the way it rides. There is nothing wrong here, either. Just nothing much different, once again. All current luxury-sport sedans ride (and handle) like . . . luxury-sport sedans.
This being a function of everyone making luxury-sport sedans.
This isn’t the government’s fault. It is the fault of car companies that decided they must make cars that emulate the luxury-sport sedans made by BMW, which (for awhile) was the main car brand making luxury-sport sedans. BMWs were the “ultimate driving machines,” as they were styled – and it was so, in the sense that that they were athletic in contrast to the plush that defined luxury cars like the ones Jaguar used to be famous for.
Then paradox happened.
BMW – once different – found its rivals had become much the same as they tried to emulate what made BMW successfully different. Then they all became similar. BMW cars were no longer much different from others and the others had become so much like BMWs that there was less and less difference between any of them, in terms of how the rode and handled.
So it made less and less difference which you were driving.
The parallel example is luxury-crossover mania. Dial back the clock 30 years to the late ’90s, when Lexus alone sold luxury-crossovers – the hugely successful RX. Nowadays, every luxury car brand is making them. Making the RX just another crossover. And the same as regards its emulators.
But at least the XF is still a luxury-sport sedan – and that is no small difference given the ubiquity of luxury-sport crossovers, which even Jaguar now makes more of than cars, which Jaguar was once defined by making.
Jags have never been especially practical cars – because they didn’t need to be. People bought Jaguar cars because they were beautiful cars. Some of them were so beautiful it didn’t matter that they weren’t especially reliable, either. It has been said that an E-Type in the garage looks better than a Corolla on the road – and there is much truth in that.
Current Jaguars are more reliable – but in some ways, less practical. The XF’s tiny 10.5 cubic trunk, for instance. A Corolla (which is a much smaller car) has a much larger (13.1 cubic foot) trunk. The more apt comparison may be with the BMW 5 and Benz E, both of which are about the same size (mid-sized) and both of which have more appropriately sized trunks (18.7 cubic feet for the BMW).
One of the reasons for the decline – in popularity – of the sedan is probably how relatively little they can tote. Even the BMW. Having a five-passenger sedan that can’t tote much more than three people’s things is a problem that five-passenger crossovers haven’t got. A typical mid-sized crossover will usually have more than twice as much tote-space as a same-sized sedan. In the case of the Jag, the paucity of tote-space is easy to see.
But then you see the Jag, itself.
Though it’s not in the same league, visually, as the E-Type (what is?) it is nonetheless a Jaguar in terms of how it looks. Elegant and sleek, like the namesake cat.
Where things are even sleeker. The centrally mounted LCD touchscreen, especially. As electronic things go, it is attractive-looking (though not as attractive as the timelessly beautiful leaper mounted on the steering wheel).
It is, however, somewhat less intuitive to operate than the interfaces used in some (though not all) rival cars. But there is the compensatory happiness of very usable rotary dials for the temperature and fan speed settings.
Though this Jag no longer offers more than one engine type there are many options to choose from insofar as the amenities – if you opt for the P250 SE. Then you can get red powder-coated (and higher performance) brake calipers – poking out of 19 (rather than 18 inch) wheels as well as an adaptive suspension, heated windshield (and steering wheel) and massaging seats, among the many availables.
On the upside, stepping up to the SE still costs thousands less than the base-trim versions of the rival BMW and Benz sedans. Which means you have those thousands available to buy things like massaging seats.
The Bottom Line
The current XF – which dates back to the 2016 model year – may be your last chance to buy a Jaguar like the XF.
That is to say, a Jaguar that’s a sedan – and isn’t “electrified.”
. . .
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