Jaguar XF saloon

The Jaguar XF is an executive saloon that takes on cars like the Mercedes E-Class, BMW 5 Series, and Audi A6. It's also available as a practical XF estate – called the Sportbrake – and arguably looks more stylish than its rivals, although rear-seat headroom suffers as a result of its swooping lines.

Jaguar offers three good diesel engines with the XF but the only petrol engine available has now been dropped. The basic diesel returns excellent fuel economy and good performance, while the top-of-the range 3.0-litre petrol offers plenty of pace, but its running costs are fairly alarming. The thrilling Jaguar XFR and Jaguar XFR-S performance models are based on the XF saloon, but are as fast as some supercars.

The XF range has been slimmed down slightly recently but the good news is that the remaining trim levels offer both more standard equipment and better value. Entry-level Luxury spec cars feature heated leather seats, oak veneer trim, automatic headlights and a rear-view camera. All models benefit from special interior touches such as a gear selector that rises from the centre console and air vents that revolve when you start the car.

The more powerful of the 2.2-litre diesel engines has 197bhp and its extra performance and slightly more refined character make it the one to go for. The entry-level diesel isn’t bad, but it's not much more economical than the more powerful of the two smaller diesels.