2015 Jaguar XF AWD Review
The XF is currently Jaguar’s entry into the brand, but that is changing for 2016 with the arrival of the lower-end XE model.
THE PROS & CONS
What’s Best: The interior of the XF is magnificent, one of the best in the luxury class.
What’s Worst: Being a mid-size, back seat leg room is somewhat limited.
What’s Interesting: Even after driving Jaguars for several years, I’m still taken by the chrome hockey-puck style rotary shift selector that rises out of the centre console when you push the start button.
The 2015 Jaguar XF is a wonderful car — smooth, sporty and sleek.
But even with all it has going for it, Jaguar may find the XF a tough sell for the rest of the model year— not because of any problems with the car, but because of what will be replacing it a few months down the road.
The luxury automaker recently unveiled its next generation 2016 XF at the New York Auto Show and the end result is enough to make die-hard Jaguar fans drool.
The changes are many, but chief among them is the switch to an all-aluminum design, which big brother XJ has already experienced. A new entry level Jaguar XE will also go the aluminum route when it debuts, so as of now, the 2015 XF is the only non-aluminum model in the lineup.
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The move from steel to aluminum for the mid-size XF means a loss of weight, which undoubtedly will lead to improved performance and handling. Add in a host of technology upgrades including a new and improved touch-screen interface and you have a new generation XF worth waiting for.
But back to the job at hand and what’s the story with the 2015 XF?
Well, the XF model may be getting a bit long in the tooth, with this first generation having been on the market relatively intact since 2009.
But the design is still sexy and modern and the car is far from a slug on the road. The 3.0-litre supercharged V6 engine is a solid power plant, making 340 hp and 332 lb/ft of torque.
That’s a lot of power from a 3.0-litre engine. In fact, Jaguar quotes a 0-100 km/h time of 6.4 seconds. Not sports car quick, but certainly acceptable for a mid-size sports sedan that weighs in at 1,880 kg (4,144 lb). The one downside is that because of the supercharger, premium gasoline is recommended.
The 3.0-litre engine is one of three offered on the XF in Canada. The base is a turbocharged 240 hp 2.0-litre inline four-cylinder. At the top of the line is a supercharged V8 that makes 510 hp in the XFR model and 550 hp in the XFR-S. All are mated with a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission.
Our tester was an XF with the AWD Luxury Package, a $6,000 upgrade over the standard $61,500 XF AWD.
Adding in $350 for a heated front windshield, $1,375 freight and delivery and $100 Green Tax, the XF as tested priced out at $69,325.
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Jaguar introduced the Instinctive All-Wheel Drive option to both the XF and XJ models in 2013, thus transforming its lineup in a big way without actually adding any new vehicles.
As an entry point into the Jaguar lineup, the XF now competes on an equal footing with its major competitors from BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus, which all offer an all-wheel drive option on their luxury sedans.
In fact, Jaguar says the majority of the cars sold in this premium segment in the northern U.S. and Canada have AWD so this was a natural progression for the brand, now owned by Tata Motors from India.
All-wheel drive makes the XF more attractive for the Canadian market, creating a solid four-season vehicle. In dry conditions, the all-wheel drive system sends most torque to the rear wheels. When slippage is detected, up to 50 per cent of the torque can be instantaneously applied to the front wheels.
In adverse weather conditions, the driver can select ‘Winter Mode’ by pushing a button on the transmission tunnel behind the hockey-puck style rotary shifter that is a Jaguar trademark. This mode automatically pre-loads more torque to the front wheels at start up for easier acceleration. The stability control and ABS systems also come into play when this is applied.
There is also a ‘Dynamic Mode’ for more spirited driving and the ‘Normal Mode’, which is the default setting.
As one would expect of a vehicle in this premium price category, the XF is luxuriously finished inside with plush leather, heated and cooled front seats and beautiful veneer trim.
Aside from the unique rotary shifter that rises up out of the centre console when you push the start button, the Jaguar also has a cool HVAC system whereby the air vents suddenly power up and rotate in the dash.
The front seats are extremely comfortable and power adjustable and three can fit in the rear, albeit a bit of a tight squeeze since this is a mid-size car. Legroom is adequate; if you want limousine-type space, the upmarket XJ model might be more to your liking.
The trunk features 500 litres of cargo room, plenty for a couple of golf bags.
The XF is a great car and with major changes in the offing, there may to be some great deals out there on 2015 models. You’ll find the 2015 Jaguar XF certainly lives up to the brand’s motto of “space, grace and pace” all in a mid-size package.
2015 Jaguar XF 3.0 AWD 2015 at a glance
BODY STYLE: four-door mid-size luxury sedan.
ENGINE: 3.0-litre supercharged V6 (340 hp, 332 lb/ft of torque) with ZF eight-speed automatic transmission.
DRIVE METHOD: front engine, all-wheel drive.
TRUNK VOLUME: 500 litres.
FUEL ECONOMY: 13.9L/100 km city, 8.8 highway, 11.6 combined.
PRICE: $61,500, as tested $69,325 plus $1,350 freight and PDI.
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