Review: Jaguar XF (2008 – 2015)

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Wonderful and bespoke feeling interior. Amazingly quiet and refined. More economical 2.2 diesel from 2011. Navigation not fitted as standard on most models.

2.2 diesel may be economical but lacks performance. Early XFs suffer from reported electrical gremlins.

Jaguar XF (2008 – 2015): At A Glance

Few cars feel as special as the Jaguar XF. In a market dominated by German makes such as the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class, the Jaguar XF is a genuinely different rival that stands out thanks to its sleek styling and wonderfully unique interior. Jaguar moved away from the traditional styling of the S-Type and has instead gone with a sharp yet elegant look, giving the Jaguar XF plenty of road presence, helped by that large gaping grille at the front.

And that appearance is backed up by some superb engines. Jaguar's ethos is focussed towards premium quality and performance as much as comfort, so there are no low powered engines in the range. Instead there are V6 and V8s delivering the kind of pace you'd expect from a Jaguar. But the best engine is the superb 3.0-litre diesel which is supremely refined and incredibly punchy, making for effortless long distance driving.

On the road on 17-inch or 19-inch wheels the Jaguar XF is as cossetting and as comfortable as you'd expect from a Jaguar with a serene feeling on motorways, but it's in corners where the XF is a revelation. It's poised and precise with great body control and a really sporty nature. And inside it's just as good.

The cabin is a superb piece of design with some wonderful details such as the circular gear selector which slowly rises from the centre console when you start the engine. There's also a lovely blue backlight to all the switches which gives the XF cabin a really different appearance at night. Of course, the Jaguar XF isn't cheap, but it does come well equipped as standard and has a charm and class that few cars, even from other premium makes, can match.

Looking for a Jaguar XF (2008 - 2015)?
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What does a Jaguar XF (2008 – 2015) cost?

List Price from £34,935
Buy new from £30,643
Contract hire from £401.11 per month

Jaguar XF (2008 – 2015): What's It Like Inside?

Length 4961–5215 mm
Width 1860–2053 mm
Height 1448–1468 mm
Wheelbase 2909–3159 mm

Full specifications

If you're expecting the traditional Jaguar interior with plenty of old-fashioned wood and big leather armchair-like seats then you'll be surprised. This is a modern Jaguar and nowhere is this more evident than in the cabin which has an elegant and sophisticated look. The dash and central console aren't cluttered with buttons thanks to a touchscreen system which allows you to control the stereo, climate control and sat nav, which is standard on all models. The switches that are there primarily give quick and easy access to functions such as audio volume and climate control temperature.

It's very different from any other premium make and helps the XF stand out from the usual German brands, helped by some unique features such as the metal gear selector dial that slides up out of the central console when you start the engine. This is accompanied by the air vents that automatically rotate open in what Jaguar calls a 'visual ballet'. It's these elegancy details which make it feel that bit more special. 

As well as the centre cubby, which includes CD storage, an auxiliary power supply and an audio interface for an iPod or other MP3 players, the centre console has two compartments with veneered lids. It can take a large cup and two more modestly sized cups plus other oddments. Without the cupholders in place there is generous storage space for items such as sunglasses in their cases. There are large storage pockets in each door and on the backs of the front seats, while the rear centre armrest also incorporates two cupholders.

With a boot capacity of 500 litres the XF is competitive with other premium saloons and there's enough room for two large suitcases. If you opt for a puncture repair kit rather than a space-saver spare, boot space is boosted to 540 litres. There is still the option to liberate a further 420 litres of space by folding down the rear seat backs.

And in terms of rear passenger space, the Jaguar XF feels very similar to its main competitors. You'll struggle with three adults in the back due to the high central floor tunnel, but with two in the back you'll find good legroom and adequate headroom. The standard leather seats are incredibly comfortable too.

Equipment from launch (March 2008):

Luxury is the starting point in the XF range and comes with eight-way adjustable leather trimmed seats, 7-inch colour touchscreen display, satellite navigation system, Bluetooth, six-disc in-dash CD changer, rear parking aid, interior mood lighting, heated exterior mirrors with electric adjustment, 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic climate control plus cruise control.

Premium Luxury adds 10-way heated Softgrain leather seats with lumbar adjustment, 18-inch alloy wheels, Jaguar 320W premium sound system with eight speakers and sub-woofer, driver's seat memory function, heated windscreen and Softgrain leather stitched and tailored instrument panel and door tops.

SV8 is available on the 4.2-litre supercharged model only and gets additional features such as active heated and cooled front seats, 20-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlamps with automatic levelling, headlamp washers and CATS (Computer Active Technology Suspension).

Portfolio (from March 2009) is distinguished by 19-inch Artura alloy wheels, 16-way ventilated heated and cooled front seats, Suedecloth premium headlining, premium carpet mats, a wider choice of veneers and five interior colour combinations including two that are unique to the Portfolio - all of them featuring distinctive contrast stitching.

Child seats that fit a Jaguar XF (2008 – 2015)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Jaguar XF (2008 – 2015) like to drive?

There was one diesel engine available when the XF was launched - a 2.7-litre twin turbocharged V6 with a fairly modest 207bhp. But what helps make this engine such a good choice is the sheer torque it offers, making it ideal for effortless long distance motorway driving. It's very refined too and this is helped by the excellent six-speed automatic gearbox (which comes as standard on all XFs) which gives rapid yet incredibly smooth shifts. It also comes with steering wheel-mounted paddles for changing gear yourself.

In fact, the diesel is so good it makes the entry-level 3.0-litre V6 petrol seem somewhat pointless. It does have more horsepower with 238bhp but it's marginally slower from 0-62mph and uses more fuel with an average of 26.8mpg compared to the diesels with 36.7mpg. Of course if it's performance you're after (and don't mind the fuel bills) then the 4.2-litre V8 is the engine to go for.

The standard 300bhp 4.2-litre V8 has a 0-62mph time of just 6.5 seconds and is incredibly muscular with a delightfully deep burble from the engine and a nice rasp from the exhausts under acceleration. But the real star is the supercharged version which sees power boosted to an incredibly 420bhp and an immense 560Nm of torque.

It's a very different beast and feels lighting fast with a 0-62mph of just 5.4 seconds, with thunderous pace available with just a slight prod of the accelerator. However, at low speeds it's sedate and as easy going as the diesel.

On the road the XF is wonderfully easy and relaxing to drive, in-keeping with the Jaguar tradition for comfort. The ride quality is excellent and at 70mph it's amazingly quiet inside. The long wheelbase and wide track mean it's very stable, which is great news in corners. This is no wallowy and soft saloon, it's taut and level with great composure, giving you plenty of confidence to push it into corners.

In March 2009 the engine line-up was revised and the big news was the introduction of a new 3.0-litre diesel to the replace the 2.7-litre engine. Also used in the Land Rover Discovery 4 and Range Rover Sport, this superb V6 diesel boasts more power with 240bhp plus extra torque and the increases are instantly noticeable on the road, especially when accelerating hard where there's more power available at high revs.

But the real gem is the XF Diesel S which uses this 3.0-litre diesel engine but fitted with sequential turbochargers to boost power to 275bhp giving it a 0-62mph time of just 6.4 seconds. It's one of the best diesel cars around and offers effortless acceleration with really punchy in-gear peformance for overtaking. It's also incredibly hushed in-keeping with Jaguar's refined image. Yet despite all these improvements, it's actually more efficient and can average 42.0mpg with CO2 emissions of 179g/km - impressive for such a large vehicle.

At the same time, the 4.2-litre V8 was replaced with a new 5.0-litre V8. The normally aspirated version has 385bhp and huge reserves of torque making it a wonderful car at the top of the range. 0-62mph comes up in just 5.7 seconds and it's a delight to drive with breathtaking acceleration. The supercharged version of this engine is now reserved for the high performance XFR model.

In 2010 Jaguar introduced a new Adaptive Dynamics system for the XF Diesel S model and you can read our first drive here.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
2.2 D 52–55 mpg 8.5 s 139–149 g/km
2.2 D 163 55–58 mpg 8.5–10.5 s 129–139 g/km
3.0 Supercharged 29 mpg 5.9 s 224 g/km
3.0 V6 27 mpg 8.3 s 249 g/km
3.0 V6 D 47 mpg 7.1 s 159 g/km
3.0 V6 D S 47 mpg 6.4 s 159 g/km
5.0 V8 25 mpg 5.7 s 264 g/km
5.0 V8 Supercharged 24 mpg 4.9 s 268 g/km
5.0 V8 Supercharged 550 24 mpg 4.4 s 270 g/km

Real MPG average for a Jaguar XF (2008 – 2015)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

16–52 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Jaguar XF (2008 – 2015)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Will a V8 petrol be hard to sell?

If I buy a 2008 Jaguar XF V8 petrol, will it be difficult to sell?
It won't be difficult to sell but it will cost a lot to keep on the road. If it's a car you have your heart set on then I'd say go for it. But be sure to have plenty of money in reserve for tyres, maintenance and insurance. All three will be relative to a car that's worth £40,000+.
Answered by Dan Powell
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