The supercharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine in the Jaguar XF S may be getting a bit long in the tooth these days, but it is still a lovely thing to drive. Partnered with a refined eight-speed automatic transmission, its 380hp gives more than enough performance for any given situation. Unlike many ‘sporting’ saloons (and unlike Jaguar’s own F-Type sports car), the XF S does not have a booming exhaust note to drive you batty over a long journey. Instead, the fast Jaguar is a pleasingly hushed model of discretion.
The performance does come at a price, however. Over a week of mainly gentle driving and motorway cruising, we rarely saw fuel economy reach 30mpg. If we’d been really pushing it, the numbers would probably have been down in the teens.
Better than: Audi A6, Infiniti Q70, Maserati Ghibli, Mercedes E-Class, Volvo S90
Not as good as: BMW 5 Series
On the road
If you enjoy driving your large luxury saloon along winding B-roads at speed, then the Jaguar XF S fits the bill very well. The steering encourages you to play and the handling is excellent for such a large car. Switch the car into Dynamic mode and it’s a sharp performer.
Finding a balance for the other 99% of the time is usually a difficult trick. Big wheels and stiff suspension are usually the enemies of comfortable ride, and most manufacturers will sacrifice one in favour of the other. Jaguar, however, has managed to balance the opposing requirements of ride and handling pretty well.
Even on our car’s optional 20-inch wheels (19-inch is standard), the XF S was a comfortable commuter and motorway cruiser. Switching over to Eco mode dulls the throttle response significantly, which is actually very useful in commuter traffic compared to the very sensitive response of Normal and Dynamic modes.
Better than*: Audi A6, Infiniti Q70, Lexus GS, Maserati Ghibli, Volvo S90
Not as good as*: BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Next page: Equipment, summary and specifications
*Where we have not driven competitor vehicles to rate against the tested vehicle, we have aggregated reports from across the UK motoring media.