The recent model of the Jaguar XF 25t R-Sport was launched in 2015/16 and was an immediate success for the marque.
Being a Jaguar fan since the mid 1970’s I appreciate the history and devotion of Jaguar followers.
The Glory days of the V12 XJ Coupe and saloon seem a long time ago now.
However the revitalisation of the Jaguar brand continues with the XF range, recently updated for 2018 with improved engines and features.
Jaguar XF R Sport manages to mix angular and flowing lines to bring the feeling of the past to life. It has a coupé like appearance with a long bonnet, deep power bulge and short front overhang. Yet it isn’t quite as feline as previous models.
The R-Sport body kit includes sports front bumper, R-Sport body colour side sills and boot mounted spoiler as well as R-Sport badging on the side power vents. The overall look is enhanced by 19 inch alloy wheels and 245/40 R19 tyres.
To complement the sense of opulence with the XF there’s an approach sequence leading you into the car as the Jaguar Intaglio at the centre of the Riva Hoop is lit up.
Open the door and you are greeted by R Sport door sills and badging on the steering wheel that allude to a luxurious interior.
Start the engine and the sequence on the dash welcomes you along with the transmission selector rising from the centre console. I was expecting Beethoven to play. While it may seem flashy, it certainly works a treat.
The dash, with two analogue dials and a 5 inch TFT MFD, and steering wheel flow as one, with no visible impairment while driving.
Overall visibility is not bad, however the ‘A’ pillars, as with most cars provide a blind spot though.
Newly enhanced front seats comfort is superb, but the high waist door sills, to me, intrude a little but others loved them.
The XF’s almost 3m wheelbase provides adequate rear room. Rear head, shoulder, leg and knee room are all as you would expect for a saloon this size. Enough for average sized passengers but a little cramped for the taller amongst us, especially if the driver has their seat all the way back.
Optional four-zone climate control system, heated seats and window blinds can make the second row an even more comfortable place to be.
The rear bench also features a more practical 40:20:40 split, making it easier to through-load bulky items such as skis or snowboards.
As you would expect the Jaguar is equipped with a packed set of standard features as well as a long and expensive options list.
Some of the key standard features include:
- InControl infotainment system
- 10 Touch Screen
- Text-to-voice technology
- Auto-Dimming Heated door mirrors with Power Fold, Memory and Approach Lights
- Auto headlights and window wipers
- Dual zone climate control AC
- Front Electric seats and
- A host of passenger comfort features.
Drive and Engine
A 2.0-litre four-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine is new for 2018 Model Year and has been developed entirely in-house and provides 184kW/365Nm, driving the rear wheels through an 8 speed transmission.
The low delivery of torque allows excellent fuel economy for a petrol engine. We achieved figures of about 6.5L/100K on the freeway and around town, albeit with a slightly heavy right foot, about 10.5L/100K.
The Jaguar has multi personalities. Around town it feels a bit like a bored caged tiger, sleep walking through traffic but occasionally growling as if to say “is this as good as it gets”. Jaguar cossets its occupants in comfort and luxury.
The ride is smooth, quiet and compliant, dismissing the horrific Parramatta road as a Sunday drive.
It’s when you point the Jaguar XF R-Sport at a twisty piece of road does it let out a roar and sprint away. Here the Jaguar heritage shows through. Here the Jaguar XF 2.5t R-Sport is simply fun to drive.
The feedback through the steering wheel is balanced and speed sensitive, power delivery is linear, meaning that there is a smooth response to throttle input and the agility of the vehicle belies its size.
ANCAP has awarded the XF with a five star safety rating. This is as you would expect.
Safety features include:
- All-Surface Progress Control,
- Stereo camera at the heart of intelligent safety,
- Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) system,
- Emergency Brake Assist
- Dynamic Stability Control & Traction Control
- Trailer Stability Control
- Airbag – Driver, Passenger, Head for 1st Row Seats (Front), Head for 2nd Row Seats, Side for 1st Row Occupants (Front)
- Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Lane-Keep Assist (LKA) systems,
- laser head-up display (HUD),
- Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Queue Assist
- Blind Sport Monitor and
- Reverse Traffic Detection,
- Forward Traffic Detection,
- Forward Vehicle Guidance,
- Park Assist
- Ride and Handling
- Design Style
Not So Good Bits
- Expensive Options list
- No Apple Car Play or Android Auto (but the Jaguar Propriety system)
- High waist and door sills that enclose the front occupants
The 2018 Jaguar XF 2.5t R-Sport is a luxury saloon that does justice to the glory days of Jaguar.
It provides Grand Touring luxury and dynamic ride and handling when asked. It isn’t the fastest saloon, nor is it the slowest. What it does is provide some fun and driving satisfaction for those that request it and luxury transport for those that don’t.
For those in the market for a sport Saloon, the XF R-Sport should definitely be on your shopping list.
Facts and Figures: 2018 Jaguar XF 25t R-Sport
- Engine: 2.0L four-cylinder petrol producing 184kW/365Nm
- Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
- Warranty: 3 years/100,000 km
- Safety: Five stars
- Origin: Multi-country production
- Price: from $94,277