The 2021 Jaguar XF is a midsize luxury sedan. It blends handsome styling, a premium interior, and engaging driving dynamics in one elegant package. It’s nice enough to compete with European rivals like the BMW 5 Series, Audi A6, and Mercedes-Benz E-Class while undercutting all three on price by a decent margin.
The XF got a mid-cycle refresh for 2021. It adds some things we like while cutting some things we miss already. Let’s take a closer look at the Jaguar XF and see if it’s the right luxury car for you.
What’s new for 2021?
The XF gets a welcome face-lift for 2021 with a revised exterior and an all-new interior. There’s also a new JaguarDrive Selector and over-the-air software updates on select models. Another pleasant surprise is a pretty significant price cut of over $7,000 compared with the 2020 model.
However, a couple of changes we’re not excited about include the discontinuation of the Sportbrake wagon body style and the loss of the supercharged V-6 engine option. On the plus side, it makes for a more simplified model range that’s easy to shop for.
What we like
- Stylish inside and out
- Efficient base engine
- Attractive starting price
- Smooth ride
- Agile handling
- Generous trunk
What we don’t
- No more Sportbrake wagon option
- Could use a higher-performance variant
$43,995 to $49,995
The 2021 Jaguar XF has two turbocharged engine options. The base engine is a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four which produces 246 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque. The upgraded engine is also a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 296 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.
The Jaguar XF
As of this writing, there is no official fuel economy rating for the 2021 XF from the EPA. However, in the 2020 model, the base engine with rear-wheel drive returned great fuel economy of 25 city/34 highway/28 combined mpg making this Jaguar one of the most efficient cars in its class.
The more powerful four-cylinder engine can only be had with all-wheel drive in the 2021 model. In 2021, this configuration netted 22 city/31 highway/25 combined mpg.
Standard features and options
The 2021 Jaguar XF is available in three trims; P250 S, P250 SE, and P300 R-Dynamic SE. The first part of the name indicates performance. The P250 models use the base engine that makes approximately 250 horsepower. As you may have guessed by now, the P300 uses an upgraded engine that makes almost 300 hp. The P250 models are rear-wheel drive and the P300 is all-wheel drive.
The XF S ($43,995) has a nice list of standard features for being a base model. It has a panoramic roof, LED headlights with signature DRL, 18-inch wheels, grained leather seats, heated and power-adjustable front seats, and wireless device charging. The standard infotainment system is an 11.4-inch Pivi system with SiriusXM, Android Auto, and Apple AAPL, -3.37% CarPlay. Meridian premium audio also comes standard.
For driver assistance tech, you get a 3-D surround-view camera, automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, driver condition monitor, blind-spot assist with rear cross-traffic alert and clear exit monitor, front and rear parking sensors, and cruise control with a speed limiter.
Upgrade to the XF SE ($47,095) and you’ll be treated to a more luxurious experience. Extra features over the base model include heated, power-folding, memory mirrors with an auto-dimming driver-side mirror, 19-inch wheels, illuminated sill plates, keyless entry, a power-adjustable steering column, memory front seats, automatic high beams, traffic sign recognition, and adaptive cruise control. You also get an upgrade to the Pivi Pro infotainment system which used two LTE modems that allow you to stream media and download over-the-air updates.
Finally, the range-topping R-Dynamic SE ($49,995) upgrades the sport sedan credentials of the XF. On top of an engine upgrade and standard all-wheel drive, this trim adds an R-Dynamic appearance package, an R-Dynamic-branded leather steering wheel, an Ebony Morzine headliner, and grained leather sport seats with contrast stitching.
As of this writing, the 2021 Jaguar XF has not been crash-tested by the NHTSA or the IIHS.
The XF is pretty generous with standard safety technologies. Standard features include a 3-D surround-view camera, automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, driver condition monitor, blind-spot assist with rear cross-traffic alert and clear exit monitor, front and rear parking sensors, and cruise control with a speed limiter. Optional additional features include automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, and traffic sign recognition.
Behind the wheel
The 2021 Jaguar XF is a well-balanced midsize luxury sedan that tends to drive like a smaller car. Performance from the base engine is respectable and it’s good for enjoying the daily drive. The suspension and steering match the engine’s performance with agile handling and precise steering. All the while, you’re treated to a smooth ride in a nicely designed interior with very comfortable seats. Some more expensive competitors have nicer interior materials, but there’s very little to complain about from inside the XF.
Upgrading to the available 296-hp turbocharged engine with standard all-wheel-drive adds a nice extra dose of performance. The engine is more responsive and it competently puts its power to the road via a well-tuned AWD system. Turn the new JaguarDrive Selector to Comfort, Eco, Rain-Ice-Snow, and Dynamic modes to perfectly suit your drive. The different drive modes adapt the transmission, throttle, steering, and suspension to your needs at the turn of a dial.
The P300 model is fun, but we would love to see a higher-performance variant of the XF as we do in most of its competitors.
Other cars to consider
2021 Cadillac CT5: The Cadillac CT5 is a good choice on the affordable side of midsize luxury cars. It’s a practical option with a roomy interior and a nice list of standard features. For 2021, the excellent Super Cruise semiautonomous driving system is finally available.
2021 Acura TLX: All-new for 2021, the Acura TLX presents one of the strongest values in this segment. It has sharp styling, good handling, and a very nice interior for its price point. The base turbocharged engine is more powerful than the one in the XF, but it’s the only engine option in the Acura.
2021 Genesis G80: The Genesis G80 is all-new for 2021 adopting the emerging design language of the brand. There are two excellent engine options, a ton of standard features, and a roomy, well-appointed interior. The base price is a little higher than the Jag, but it’s still a strong value in this class.
2021 Volvo S90: The Volvo VLVLY, +1.02% S90 upholds the brand’s legendary reputation for safety. It also gets a refresh for 2021 with an updated exterior and more standard features. Another nice perk is that it has some of the most comfortable seats in its class.
Used BMW 5 Series: The BMW BMW, +0.28% 5 Series is excellent but expensive. That’s why it’s a good luxury car to shop for on the used market. The current-generation 5 Series sedan that began in 2017 is practical, athletic, and comfortable while offering the latest technology.
Used Audi A6: The Audi A6 is another midsize luxury car that’s good to shop for new because of the lofty price tags on new models. Since the A6 was updated in 2019, Quattro all-wheel drive comes standard on every trim and this Audi is a class leader in interior quality and design.
Jaguar has repositioned the XF to be a better value in midsize luxury cars and we think that was a good move. Instead of playing second fiddle to the German competitors in this class, it’s a sort of middle-ground between more affordable luxury sedans like the Cadillac CT5 and more expensive offerings like the Audi A6. This is a space that the updated XF serves nicely.
We already miss the Sportbrake wagon and the supercharged V6 option, but we understand why they were dropped. Those options just aren’t very popular in the U.S. market.
The loaded XF P300 R-Dynamic SE model with the engine upgrade is hard to pass up. With its starting MSRP still under the $50k mark, it’s a lot of sport sedan for the money. However, most luxury car shoppers will be more than content with the more affordable base model and its excellent fuel economy.
This story originally ran on Autotrader.com.