Review

Jaguar XFR saloon (2009 – ) review

Read the Jaguar XFR saloon (2009 - ) car review by Auto Trader's motoring experts, covering price, specification, running costs, practicality, safety and how it drives.

Words by: Last updated: 14th November 2014
The Auto Trader expert verdict: ★★★★★ ★★★★★ 3.8
The 500bhp Jaguar XFR is an executive super-saloon offering fine handling and comfort. It’s more rounded than the BMW M5, but the Mercedes E63 AMG and Audi RS6 offer more power.

Pros

  • Strong performance
  • Refined ride
  • Agile handling

Cons

  • Very thirsty
  • Some of the interior fittings feel cheap
  • Not as fast as some German rivals

Interested in buying Jaguar XF?

Exterior 4/5

Changes from Jaguar XF to Jaguar XFR are subtle. These include 20-inch alloy wheels, body-kit and R-badging. The most obvious XFR giveaway is the bonnet vents. Compared to the Audi RS6 and Mercedes E63 AMG, the XFR looks pleasantly understated. There are no swollen arches or chunky side skirts. This adds desirability and gives the XFR stealth car status in this company. The XFR is very attractive and more futuristic than rivals. However, the headlights are over-fussy and the chrome-effect front grille cheapens the rest of the styling.

Interior 5/5

The sweeping dashboard and raised centre console make it modern and attractive

The Jaguar XFR improves upon the standard XF’s beautifully-finished interior. The dashboard design is attractive and the stitched leather top, aluminium trim and suede headlining add to the premium feel. The XFR could never be mistaken for its Audi and Mercedes rivals. Its sweeping dashboard and raised centre console make it more modern and attractive. The pulsating start button and Drive Selector, which rises from the centre console, all add to the sense of occasion. The shiny chromed plastic around the interior seems cheap for a £60,000-plus car. We like the touch-screen interior functions including climate, stereo and sat-nav.

Practicality 3/5

The driving position is excellent with comfortable, supportive sports seats and plenty of adjustment, even for the tallest drivers. Rear legroom is adequate, but the XFR’s curvy rear window means taller passengers will moan at the lack of headroom. The 500 litre boot compares well to rivals in terms of size, but the rear seats do not fold. The XFR’s short front and rear overhangs, the distance between the wheel arches and the front and rear of the car, make it difficult to judge distance when parking and manoeuvring. Front and rear parking sensors are included.

Ride and handling 4/5

There is a ‘dynamic’ mode, but we found the standard settings provide a better compromise

Even with huge 20-inch alloy wheels, the ride is refined. Jaguar’s Adaptive Dynamic System continuously monitors the car’s behaviour and adjusts the suspension. There’s a ‘dynamic’ mode, but we found the standard settings provide a better compromise. The XFR’s wide tyres grip well and body roll is minimal. Jaguar’s precise electric power steering system feels light, but improves with speed.

Performance 4/5

Top speed is 155mph, with the dash to 62mph taking just 4.9 seconds. This is pretty potent, considering its 1,891kg kerb weight, but it’s not quite as fast as the Audi RS6 (4.2 seconds) or the Mercedes E63 AMG (4.4 seconds). Power is delivered effectively at high speeds and in town. The charismatic V8 and supercharger sound is addictive. It is mated with a six-speed automatic gearbox which offers smooth changes with the ability to shift through the steering-wheel mounted paddles. The XFR is fitted with JaguarDrive Control that includes dynamic and winter modes. It works with the ESP system to change the engine performance, gearchanges and braking according to the road conditions, and works almost unnoticed in the background.. The changes to the engine are far more obvious in dynamic mode, where it’s easier to find the car’s limits.

Running costs 2/5

It’s a super-saloon so expect big bills. The XFR emits 292g/km of CO2, returns 23mpg and is in the highest road tax band, however these costs are comparable with rivals. Depreciation is also expected to be a significant cost.

Reliability 4/5

The XFR is based on the Jaguar XF, which has scored highly in quality and reliability surveys. The standard model has been subject of four recalls, the most serious of which can lead to the engine cutting out unexpectedly.

Safety 4/5

Euro NCAP crash-tested the standard Jaguar XF and awarded it four stars. The XFR hasn’t been tested but is fitted with driver, passenger and side airbags. More innovative kit includes a blind spot warning system and a pop-up bonnet that’s designed to minimise pedestrian injuries in the event of a collision.

Equipment 4/5

You get a lot as standard kit in the Jaguar XFR including sports leather seats, keyless entry and full-colour touchscreen. Options include the Parking Aid Pack and the crystal clear and user-friendly Bowers and Wilkins stereo.

Why buy? 4/5

It might be a super-saloon, but it’s also a supreme long-distance cruiser and offers everyday usability.

Interested in buying Jaguar XF?