2016 Jaguar XF

PHOENIX — In a world full of excellent midsize luxury sedans like Audi A6, BMW 5-Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, having to compete against that trio of established Bavarian winners is certainly considered a feat of Sisyphus proportions. One can only imagine the product planners at Jaguar as they attempt to win the wallets luxury sedan buyers with their redo of the XF for 2016.

The good news is that the 2016 Jaguar XF is an excellent motorcar and vastly improved from the first-generation XF that was introduced in 2009.

The redesign sees a massive switch to 75/25 percent aluminum from an all-steel structure that sheds up to 265 pounds of weight depending on the trim level. Overall it’s 11% lighter yet yields a 28% stiffer body.

The new styling is largely evolutionary and reasonably attractive, more purposeful than head turning. Most noticeable is an updated front fascia with large air dams beneath the grille that is otherwise a carryover from the previous XF. Unfortunately the rear of the car is virtually undistinguished from the look of most midsized family sedans like the Chrysler 200 or Ford Fusion.

Inside the XF has a completely new instrument panel that we found pleasant but devoid of freshness or originality with seemingly requisite applications of brushed aluminum trim, stitched leather and wood veneer. Soft touch materials were nice, seats supportive and comfortable.

The new XF is loaded with state of the art hi tech including a new, InControl Touch Pro interface and 10.2-inch screen with faster acting navigation, and internet-based features. The infotainment system was excellent. Jaguar also advances connectivity between your Smartphone and car through an app that lets you track the location, condition and information about your car from anywhere.

The 2016 Jaguar XF is offered in four trim levels: Premium, Prestige, R-Sport and S. Initially, all trim levels are offered with just one engine, the 3.0-liter V6, available with either 340 or 380 horsepower. We found performance to be more than adequate and we averaged near 30 mpg on the highway with the rear-wheel drive model. Jaguar indicated a 2.0-liter 180-hp turbodiesel four-cylinder will be available mid-2016.

Unfortunately Jaguar discontinued the super-fast supercharged 5.0-liter V8 powered models with horsepower as high as 550 for the XFR-S model.

Overall there’s a lot to like and recommend about the new XF and it’s a significant step over its predecessor. But the styling isn’t a game changer and for now is only offered with one engine.

Vital Stats

Price: $51,900
Price as Tested: $74,135
Seating: 5
Engine: 3.0-liter supercharged V6
Horsepower: 340 or 380
Fuel Economy: 20/30 – City/Highway

Fab Features:

Excellent infotainment system
Roomier inside
Pulsating “stop/start” button

— Jim Prueter