XF Makeover More Than Meets the Eye

The ’16 Jaguar XF gets a top-to-bottom makeover, including an all-new aluminum architecture, new exterior styling, front suspension shared with the F-Type and a 380-hp version of the British brand’s supercharged 3.0L V-6 engine.

Bob Gritzinger, Editor-in-Chief

January 6, 2016

4 Min Read
Jaguar makes extensive use of aluminum in midsize XF sedan
Jaguar makes extensive use of aluminum in midsize XF sedan.

SEDONA, AZ – Add the Jaguar XF midsize sedan to the list of the British brand’s models making the leap to aluminum-intensive construction, from its lightweight chassis to body-side panels pressed from a single sheet of the metal alloy.

On sale in the U.S. now, the XF slots between the entry-level ’17 XE sports sedan and the flagship fullsize ’16 XJ luxury sedan. With the addition of the XE to the lineup, the XF no longer needs to fill the niche from entry to midlevel in the Jaguar portfolio.

As a result, one of the biggest changes is that the XF’s base powertrain is now the supercharged 3.0L V-6 producing 340 hp. A 380-hp version of the same engine goes into the uplevel XF S, the first application of the higher-output V-6 in a Jaguar sedan. Both come with 8-speed automatic transmissions and are offered in rear- or all-wheel drive.

The previous XF line included a 2.0L turbocharged I-4 as the base powerplant which now is limited to duty in the entry-level XE sedan. The XE enters U.S. showrooms this spring, followed by the F-Pace, Jaguar’s first CUV.

All three models, XE, XF and ’17 F-Pace will be offered with a 2.0L, 180-hp, 317 lb.-ft. (430-Nm) I-4 Ingenium turbodiesel, starting with the XF in mid-year.

The XF’s move to a heavily aluminum-based chassis and body helps the sedan drop 265 lbs. (120 kg) compared with the ’15 model, despite a higher level of equipment and an extra 2 ins. (51 mm) in wheelbase to 116.5 ins. (2,960 mm). Overall, the 4-door is nearly identical in length at 195 ins. (4,954 mm) and height at 57.5 ins. (1,457 mm), but the added wheelbase improves rear seat legroom and headroom.

Styling evolves, with a shorter front overhang, a more coupe-like profile, added rear-quarter windows and an upright front fascia while maintaining a clear Jaguar family resemblance. Simple character lines emphasize that the lightweight body-side panels are stamped from one piece of aluminum.

Key chassis upgrades build on several proven Jaguar techniques and components, including an aluminum double-wishbone front suspension borrowed from the F-Type and foam-baffled aluminum unibody construction that yields a 28% increase in torsional rigidity, Jaguar says. Rear suspension is an integral link setup. Passive and adaptive dampers control suspension movement. 

Interior improvements center on the optional InControl Touch Pro infotainment system, featuring a 10.2-in. (259 mm) touchscreen which, thanks to a major upgrade in computing power, reacts considerably faster than Jaguar’s previous system. Advance driver-assistance capabilities, including lane-keeping assistance, adaptive cruise control and parking assistance, are available.

Impeccable Road Manners, Maximum Tech

Driving the XF for several days on scenic routes in Arizona revealed the car to be uncommonly quiet and smooth – even when traversing miles of gravel backroads on an unplanned excursion that took us off the established drive route. Passenger comfort and the elimination of any road, wind or powertrain noise clearly were priorities.

Power is ample from both engines, especially at launch and in passing maneuvers, no doubt thanks to the common 332 lb.-ft. (450 Nm) of torque available from either engine. We did find the proximity of brake and accelerator pedals somewhat tight, requiring care to avoid inadvertently pressing both pedals.

Driver aids work especially well in maintaining pace and distance from other vehicles ahead in traffic and in identifying lane markers and staying in the chosen lane, even around curves. Jaguar’s confidence in the lane-keeping system is evident in that it allows automated steering to function for an unusually long 45 seconds without the driver’s hands on the steering wheel.

The XF leads off a huge year for Jaguar in the North American market in which the brand expects to triple its market reach with the addition of the XE and F-Pace, as well as expansion of diesel-engine offerings.

Pricing adjustments by model along with Jaguar EliteCare, a new 5-year/60,000-mile (97,000 km) complimentary maintenance, roadside assistance and warranty program, also are expected to give Jaguar a boost in the marketplace.

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'16 JAGUAR XF Specifications

Vehicle type

5-passenger, front-engine, rear-wheel-drive luxury sedan


3.0L supercharged DOHC V-6

Power (SAE net)

340 hp @ 6,500 rpm


332 lb.-ft. (450 Nm) @ 4,500 rpm

Bore x stroke (mm)

84.5 x 89.0

Compression ratio



8-speed automatic


116.5 ins. (2,960 mm)

Overall length

195 ins. (4,954 mm)

Overall width

74 ins. (1,880 mm)

Overall height

57.4 ins. (1,457 mm)

Curb weight

3,770 lbs. (1,710 kg)

Base price


Fuel economy

20/30 mpg (11.7-7.8 L/100 km) city/highway


Audi A6, BMW 5-Series, Cadillac CTS, Hyundai Genesis, Infiniti Q, Lexus GS, Mercedes-Benz E-Class



Weight-saving aluminum architecture

Underwhelming styling updates

Excellent center stack layout

Poor power outlet placement

Superb supercharged V-6 power

Base 4-cyl. no longer an option


About the Author(s)

Bob Gritzinger

Editor-in-Chief, WardsAuto

Bob Gritzinger is Editor-in-Chief of WardsAuto and also covers Advanced Propulsion & Technology for Wards Intelligence.

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