Updated 2020 Jaguar XF saloon and Sportbrake revealed
Executive saloon and estate borrow updates from F-Pace, including new interior design and engines
The original Jaguar XF thrusted its maker into the modern age, artfully combining references to the brand’s illustrious heritage with a clean new aesthetic, a superb interior and agile dynamics. So when the time came for Jaguar to update the model for a new generation, a poor interior and underwhelming powertrains meant the result was met with more than a little apathy. This is something Jaguar is now hoping to address with a substantial refresh for the XF, incorporating an all-new interior and crucial updates to the model’s tech and powertrains.
The new XF’s most substantial changes begin and end inside the cabin, with an all-new dash, console and door cards that share a new aesthetic with the also recently updated F-Pace SUV. Front and centre to the new design is a fresh infotainment interface presented on a new ‘floating’ screen that hovers in front of the main dash, bringing it closer to the driver and liberating more screen real estate for the Pivi operating system. Thankfully, added screen size has not come at the expense of physical controls, with new rotary dials controlling air conditioning and heating.
One rotary control you might have spotted missing is Jaguar’s signature gear selector, made famous by the original XF, but which has now been retired. While the rotunda was a fresh idea at the time, its replacement by a more usual joystick selector is one Jaguar says is preferred by buyers at this level, offering a more tactile and substantial feeling on a crucial touchpoint. The steering wheel is also new, with a smaller boss, higher quality wrapping and new controls for both the infotainment system and the sharper digital driver’s display.
The rest of the interior has been given a similar focus on quality, improving the feel, fit and finish across all surfaces and touchpoints, something this generation of XF was criticised for from launch. Fresh open-pore wood finishes accent the new plastics, soft-grain leather and much more convincing faux aluminium.
The exterior styling has been given a softer update, with new lighting and a wider, lower grille helping the XF create a more aggressive yet regal face. Two different styling applications will be available, with standard and R-Dynamic variants available on both saloon and estate models.
Changes under the skin have been applied to both update and consolidate powertrain options, with only a limited range of engines available. The new XF will be a four-cylinder-only proposition (quite a change to the V6 and V8-only first-generation XF), with a single 200bhp diesel and 247bhp or 296bhp petrols available. All are updated versions of the Ingenium four-cylinder, adapted to meet the latest emission regulations, and paired to the usual eight-speed automatic transmission.
The diesel will be available with both rear- and all-wheel drive, while the petrols will be limited to rear- or all-wheel drive for the lower and higher powered variants respectively. At its most brisk, the new XF P300 will reach 62mph in 6.1sec.
The fundamental chassis has not changed, with a combination of Jaguar’s integral-link rear suspension and double-wishbone front supporting the aluminium-intensive body. All models ride on coil springs and passive dampers, with the R-Dynamic having a marginally more performance-focused set-up. Adaptive dampers are optional across the range, while XF Sportbrake models come fitted with a self-levelling rear-axle on air springs.
Prices for the new XF will start at £32,858 for the basic saloon, rising to £46,610 for an R-Dynamic HSE Sportbrake P300. Naturally there’s a sense of regret with no sign of an M5-baiting performance version, but focusing on models that will bring the XF range volume sales feels a rational use of Jaguar’s resources.