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First Drive

First Drive: Jaguar XF

The story: Jaguar has significantly revised its executive XF saloon and estate models, with new engines that feature mild hybrid tech, a new cabin and revised front-end styling all marking out the latest model.
Key rival:BMW 5-Series
On sale:Now

Jaguar describes its “sports saloons” XF and little brother XE as key parts of its range, and the two models have received a significant 2021 makeover inside and out, with the XF first to market.

The nose is an obvious revamp, with revised, larger grille and lower air intakes and new LED headlamps with a ‘double J’ signature line of daytime running lights, while the rear bumper is also new. It’s certainly a bolder front end.

A new infotainment system headlines the interior updates, with the central switchgear all new around the Pivi Pro system. It all looks smart in matt black, but it’s a shame the infotainment screen is now another that has joined the tablet-stuck-to-the-dashboard brigade, rather than being integrated. The system works well and looks good on the large 11.4-inch screen, while it also introduces the potential for over-the-air software updates to the JLR range and the ability to sync Google or Microsoft calendars and addresses to the system.First Drive- February 2021- Jaguar XF- Image 1

The new 204hp 2.0-litre diesel engine replaces the 180hp diesel, and despite the power increase it’s more efficient, kicking off from 130g/km for emissions. It’s a refined and smooth unit that offers good performance, although it could do with kicking down a touch quicker when a surge of acceleration is required.

Ride and handling are also excellent, with the Jaguar cementing its place as an underrated rival to the BMW 5-Series at the more driver enjoyment-focused end of the executive sector.

paul barker

The verdict

Update brings efficient, refined and powerful new diesel, as well as better infotainment and a classier interior.