Luxury Sport Sedan
The latest Jaguar XF hit the road in 2016. A major overhaul saw the second-generation sedan evolve to deliver more dynamic styling, improved performance and efficiency, and new features and technology.
Constructed using mostly new parts and debuting new model nomenclature and powertrains, the XF advanced on all fronts. This midsize luxury sedan competes against similar models from Cadillac, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi, among others. Key competitors include the Lexus GS, BMW 5 Series, and Audi A6.
Feature content included climate-controlled memory seating, powerful headlights, a premium stereo system, rain-sensing wipers, an advanced safety suite, a back-up camera with parking sensors, and plenty more.
An eight-inch touchscreen and head-up display (HUD) helped add high-tech flair to the cabin, while advanced chassis controls like torque-vectoring and adaptive dampers helped deliver a premium drive with confidence and comfort to spare in all conditions. A 360-degree parking camera system was also available.
Look for a 3.0L supercharged V6 engine with up to 380 hp on tap, depending on the model and year selected. All units got an automatic transmission, and both rear- and all-wheel-drive (AWD) configurations could be specified. This generation of XF also offered 2.0L four-cylinder engines in both turbocharged gasoline and diesel setups.
What Owners Like
On most aspects of styling, handling, comfort, interior quality, and a rich and upscale motoring feel, the XF seems to have impressed its owners. Feature favourites include the powerful lighting and stereo systems, and the XF’s excellent AWD system, which can deliver a drive that ranges from playful to confident, depending on the position of the drive mode selector and the driver’s right foot.
What Owners Dislike
Some owners wish for a smoother ride from sportier models, and test-drivers should remember that units on bigger wheels with thinner tires may ride less comfortably than units on smaller wheels with taller sidewalls. Some owners complain of fussy smartphone connectivity, and limited outward visibility, too.
Pro Tip: Invest in Quality of Life Improvements
Considering a new-to-you Jaguar XF? Think about spending a few extra bucks on some products, services, and accessories to help keep it in tip-top shape for the long-haul.
Professional leather treatment and conditioning may prove a great investment to help keep the XF’s beautiful seating surfaces in excellent condition. Professional paint correction and sealing can work similarly for the exterior of the car.
A battery trickle charger is another worthy investment. Use this to keep the battery topped off when you won’t be driving your XF for more than a few days and you’ll be less likely to experience unwanted electrical system surprises caused by a weak or dying battery.
The Test Drive
When first approaching a used XF of this generation, focus your attention on a few areas during an initial walkaround. First, check the paint for signs of chipping or damage at vulnerable locations – for instance, the edge of the hood, or the areas behind each wheel. Check each wheel (and the tire surrounding it) for signs of damage like gouges, splits, cracks, or abrasion. Note that lumps or gouges in a tire sidewall indicate damage that likely requires replacement. If in doubt, have it checked out by a professional.
Finally, be sure to check all exterior lighting for signs of rare but potentially problematic water intrusion. If you notice moisture, pooling water, or condensation within any exterior lighting housing, the housing should be replaced. Call this into your pricing negotiations.
Other checks come courtesy of a Jaguar XF owner forum member who advises shoppers to ensure the trunk lid isn’t striking and damaging the bumper beneath it, and that the doors don’t contain any standing water courtesy of a blocked drainage system. Test this by opening each door and rapidly moving it back and forth while listening for sloshing sounds from within.
Cabin Air Filter
Cabin air filters need to be replaced on a regular basis to keep the XF’s climate control system happy. A clogged or plugged cabin air filter can cause system performance issues or damage.
Ask the seller when the cabin air filter was last changed. If they’re not sure, budget for a new filter and have it replaced to fend off potential trouble. Here’s a handy how-to guide for do-it-yourself types. Remember that running a clean and fresh cabin air filter is a great way to prevent climate-control-related headaches.
Air Conditioner Stress Test
During your test drive of a used XF, be sure to spend a few moments with the car parked while the engine is at operating temperature, and blast the air conditioning to the max. Ensure a consistent stream of cold air arrives quickly and stays on strong.
If that’s not the case, or if the system seems to be inoperable or inconsistent, have it checked by a professional. A damaged or leaking condenser – or a clogged cabin air filter – may be the culprit.
Battery, Stop-Start/Software Updates
Software updates are often applied to modern cars by dealer technicians to optimize or correct the operation of a variety of vehicle systems. Running the latest software for your vehicle is a great way to ensure everything works as intended, and some software updates are deployed to pre-emptively fend off potential issues before they happen.
In the case of the XF, some owners say that a software update may improve the operation of a wonky engine stop-start system, which is designed to save fuel.
A healthy battery is also vital to the proper operation of all vehicle systems, including engine stop-start. For minimized headaches, shoppers are advised to work with a Jaguar dealership to ensure the specific XF they’re considering has a healthy battery and charging system, and is running the latest software updates.
Some owners have reported premature wear to the leather and piping on the driver’s seat of certain models equipped with specific leather seating configurations. Here’s some more reading. Carefully scrutinize all seating surfaces for signs of premature wear, noting that the outboard edges of the driver’s seat are most susceptible.
Some owners have had seats repaired or replaced under warranty. As one owner forum user reports, “There’s a technical bulletin now on this issue with portfolio oyster leather wear on bolster. Quote ‘JTB00591’ to your dealer.”
Beware Warranty-Voiding Modifications
Some owners choose to modify their powertrains with non-factory parts and software to attain higher performance levels. Most do not. Note that such upgrades may cause engine damage or failure that’s not covered by warranty, even if the offending parts or software are removed before a dealer warranty inspection. Most shoppers should avoid buying a used XF that’s ever been chipped or tuned.
Warranty coverage does not apply to damage or wear caused by the use of non-factory parts or electronics.
So far, the vast majority of owners of this generation XF report few if any troubles with their cars as they age – though test-driving shoppers are advised to take the steps outlined above to maximize their chances of winding up with a first-class copy of a second-hand unit. For further peace of mind, consider having the vehicle inspected ahead of your purchase by a Jaguar technician, and opting for any extended warranty coverage you deem worthwhile.
A used model that’s been regularly serviced and inspected by a dealer is your safest bet, and buying a used XF whose service history is unclear is not advised.
Here’s a list of recalls.