Oakville Drives: 2017 Jaguar XF R-Sport AWD

2017 Jaguar XF R-Sport AWD
Oakville Drives: 2017 Jaguar XF R-Sport AWD

About the Author

R. G. Beltzner

R. G. Beltzner

A long time automobile enthusiast, and competitive race driver, Rainer Beltzner provides performance driving and racing instruction for Porsche, BMW, and Ferrari owners and clubs. He's been doing this for over 25 years. Often, Rainer is found driving/teaching on one of the Canadian Tire Motorsport, Shannonville or Watkins Glen tracks. During the “off-season”, Rainer spends his spare time driving and evaluating a broad range of vehicles. Follow Rainer on Twitter @redy2rol.

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Jaguar’s sedan line-up ranges from the small four door “sporty” XE  to the large full sized XJ luxury sedan. In the middle of the range sits Jaguar’s XF mid sized sedan that is available in Premium, Prestige, R-Sport and S models. The Premium, Prestige and R-Sport are available with a choice of two engine options; a four-cylinder 2.0L 180hp turbocharged diesel or a gas 3.0L 340hp supercharged V6. The XF-S model comes standard with a gas 3.0L 380hp supercharged V6.

Handling characteristics

My test 2017 Jaguar XF R-Sport all wheel drive came equipped with the 180 horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine matched with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Maximum speed is rated at 195k with 0-100k at 8.4 seconds. This engine is a very good match for the 8-speed transmission, providing a smooth transition across the full range of gears both during acceleration and deceleration. Jaguar has used aluminum extensively in this vehicle including the engine block, to reduce weight. At 1701kg, the car feels very responsive and stable providing a quite pleasant ride. The XF’s wheelbase is 125mm longer than the XE while maintaining a similar tight turning circle at 11.6m that allows for comfortable u-turns on our near empty downtown Oakville streets. Despite the small engine, the XF has no problem accelerating through on-ramps to join higher speed highway driving. As noted in my earlier review of the XE, Jaguar uses their torque vectoring technology to maximize stability during aggressive acceleration while cornering – helpful as well as a bit of fun on some of our QEW on-ramps. Once on the highway, the car settles nicely providing a sense of stability, smoothness and control. Steering responsiveness and feel is excellent as are the brakes. On Toronto’s busy and bumpy roads, the car’s suspension was more than adequate to maintain a comfortable ride. Both street level and underground parking spots easily accommodated this mid-sized sedan.

As with most Jaguar models, the XF includes steering wheel paddles to provide the driver with the option of manual up or down gear changes. Up-shifts are too slow to execute and down-shifts provide little engine braking. Paddle shifters on this vehicle add little practical or enjoyment value to the driving experience.

Comfort

Interior finish of Jaguar

Interior driver’s side of the test vehicle; Photo Credit: R.G. Beltzner

I found the XF R-Sport to be much more comfortable than the smaller XE R-Sport. My test vehicle came equipped with 10-way adjustable electric and memory premium leather sport seats that are standard with the R-Sport model. The optional “comfort & convenience” package on my vehicle added heated/cooled front seats and heated rear seats as well as a powered tailgate ($2,050). Leather heated adjustable steering wheel with sensible multi function controls as well as an adjustable steering column also come standard. The drive selector is Jaguar’s center console rotary dial that presents once the engine is started. The 8” touch screen (upgrade available to 10”) includes controls for audio, climate, Bluetooth® telephone connectivity and navigation. The standard entertainment system on this XF consists of a 380W, 11-speaker Meridian audio system. An available optional technology package adds Jaguar’s “InControl Pro” services as well as an upgraded 825W 7.1 channel digital surround system with 17 speakers. Many of the now expected connectivity features are included as standard equipment. Most of the driver’s controls are well positioned and intuitive. My test car included the optional head’s up display ($1,300) that I found helpful but also distracting as a result of flickering reflections from sunlight. Completing the front interior is a leather wrapped dash with aluminum finish. The rear of the car is equipped with folding 40/20/40 folding seats that include individual headrests and a center armrest with cup-holders.

The XF is a more practical sized car than the XE model. While still not a full sized sedan, it does accommodate larger drivers and front passengers much better than its smaller counterpart. Rear leg and headroom is also a bit better but still not ideal for larger folks. Only the XJL truly gives the rear passenger full comfort.

Safety

The Jaguar XF R-Sport comes equipped with just about all of the modern electronically controlled safety features now common on higher end vehicles. Of these, the “driving control” features are impressive with torque vectoring, dynamic stability control, engine drag torque control, ABS, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane assist, adaptive cruise control with queue assist, blind spot monitoring, reverse traffic detection, tire pressure monitoring, parking aids and surround cameras. Driver and passengers are protected with a full array of belts, airbags and side cushions.

Things to consider

The Jaguar XF R-Sport is a well designed mid-sized sedan with many luxury and innovative features that make it a very pleasant car to drive. It also has a nice overall aerodynamic look and a unique to Jaguar, front end and headlight style. This car will appeal to those that enjoy the unique Jaguar sporty look in a comfortable mid-sized and practical four door sedan. The diesel engine gave me a combined city/highway fuel consumption of 7.5L/100km. If more power and higher fuel consumption are desired, the supercharged V6 is available with 340hp or even 380 hp in the XF-S model.

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