Jaguar XF saloon

£32,300 - £49,945

The latest Jaguar XF executive saloon is more economical and lighter than the first-generation model, as well as being more spacious and packing in even more technology. The outgoing XF was a big seller for Jaguar and the new model has been dropped straight in at the deep end with rivals such as the BMW 5 SeriesAudi A6 and Mercedes E-Class. While those are excellent cars in their own right, the XF is arguably the most desirable of the four, as it's excellent to drive, good-looking and very luxurious.

The XF's styling is similar to that of the smaller Jaguar XE, which itself competes with the BMW 3 Series. It's certainly a handsome car, with a sleek, coupe-like body and distinctive LED headlamps – so it stands out from what is otherwise a somewhat bland executive-car crowd. The latest model is actually shorter than the previous XF, but its wheelbase (the area between the front and rear wheels) is longer, so there's more room in the cabin.

Running costs are a big factor for executive cars these days and the XF is at the top of its game in this respect. Jaguar claims it's 80kg lighter than direct rivals to help save fuel, while the brand's latest-generation diesel engines, known as ‘Ingenium’, are much more economical than their predecessors. The most efficient 2.0-litre model has an official fuel-consumption figure of 70.6mpg and emits 104g/km of CO2, so road tax costs £20 a year.

As well as cutting running costs, Jaguar has made a point of creating more space in the XF's cabin. This version has an additional 15mm of legroom, 24mm of kneeroom and up to 27mm of extra headroom for rear passengers compared to the previous model.

Technology is also a strong point, as the XF has equipment such as a head-up display that projects information onto the windscreen in front of you, LED headlamps, adaptive cruise control, an automatic emergency braking system, parking assistance and an updated infotainment system.

There are four trim levels for the XF, starting with Prestige and rising through R-Sport, Portfolio and S. The first three models are only available with the 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel engine with either 161 or 178bhp and a choice of six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission. 

The Jaguar XF S is the flagship model and comes with a choice of two larger and more powerful engines. There's a 3.0-litre V6 diesel with 296bhp or the sole petrol in the range: a 375bhp 3.0-litre V6. Both are only available with an automatic gearbox.

The Jaguar XF is also available with all-wheel-drive for the first time. It's only available with the higher-powered 178bhp Ingenium diesel engine and an automatic gearbox, while CO2 emissions are 129g/km and fuel economy is a claimed 57.7mpg.

Our pick would be the 2.0 Ingenium (178bhp) R-Sport fitted with the automatic gearbox. R Sport trim gives the car an aggressive, youthful appearance and the higher-powered 2.0-litre diesel is great in combination with the automatic gearbox.