Jaguar XF review - is the Jaguar's exec-saloon best in class? - Jaguar XF engine, gearbox and technical details

An engaging drive, but rivals beat Jaguar in some areas

Evo rating
from £33,835
  • Engaging chassis, ride comfort and handling
  • Restrictive engine choice, lacks cutting edge technology

Six- and eight-cylinder engines were once commonplace in cars of this size, but now four-cylinders are the norm and anything more a real luxury. Unfortunately, it's a luxury the XF doesn't currently possess, with just a single 3-litre V6 diesel upholding multi-cylinder honours.

Everything else is found in four-cylinder format, under Jaguar Land Rover's "Ingenium" engine series and both petrol and diesel iterations. This starts at the bottom of the range with a 161bhp 2-litre diesel and climbs up to a 296bhp 2-litre petrol, with various outputs in between.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Subscribe now and get your first 5 issues for £5 or buy the latest issue in all good newsagents!

The 2-litre diesel is available in 161bhp, 178bhp and 237bhp outputs, with 280lb ft, 317lb ft and 369lb ft of torque respectively, the first two delivering their torque output at 1750rpm and the most powerful car coming on song from 1500rpm.

Petrol models start off at 247bhp at 5500rpm and 269lb ft at 1200rpm, and finish with the potent 296bhp, 295lb ft car, whose outputs appear at 5500rpm and 1500rpm respectively. The top V6 diesel makes the same power output as the range-topping petrol, albeit at a lower 4000rpm, but has the most torque of any XF with a walloping 516lb ft delivered from 2000rpm.

Advertisement - Article continues below

An 8-speed automatic is available across the majority of the range, while the lowest pair of diesels also come with a manual option. While evo is the first to champion the manual gearbox, in the XF we’d give it a wide berth. The shift isn’t particularly precise or intuitive around the gate, and feels far to rubbery in action rather than smooth and mechanical.

The auto is smooth and suits the car's character, and while it sometimes gels unhappily with the diesel engines it's much better suited to the petrols. In the diesels the 'box sometimes hunts for gears and changes down a few too many ratios rather than making the most of the torque on offer, but the petrols behave themselves with the gearbox and changes with the paddles are swift too.


Most Popular

Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang Mach-E uncovered as all-electric SUV

The Mustang has been hit with the all-electric, SUV treatment
20 Nov 2019
Porsche 911

Porsche 911 GT3 vs GT3 RS vs GT2 RS - track battle

Porsche’s GT3, GT3 RS and GT2 RS are the most hardcore of the 911 breed, but pitched head‑to‑head which will we crown champion?
15 Nov 2019
used cars

Best used cars for sale this week

We’ve delved into the classifieds and chosen our favourite cars for sale this week
15 Nov 2019
Hyundai i30 N

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Nurburgring

We brought the Hyundai i30 Fastback back to its spiritual home in Germany's Eifel mountains, where there is a racing track you might well have heard o…
7 Oct 2019