2012 Jaguar XF

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$10,923–$26,927 Inventory Prices
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Road Test
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Key Specs

of the 2012 Jaguar XF. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    18-19 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    385-hp, 5.0-liter V-8 (premium)
  • Drivetrain:
    Rear-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    6-speed automatic w/OD and auto-manual
  • View more specs

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Ride and handling
  • Drivetrain refinement
  • Elegant cabin design
  • Acceleration
  • Sharp styling
  • Large trunk

The Bad

  • Poor reliability ratings
  • Tight backseat legroom
  • A few low-rent cabin fixtures
  • Some road and wind noise

Notable Features of the 2012 Jaguar XF

  • New front-end styling
  • Two available supercharged V-8s
  • XFR performance version
  • Six-speed automatic
  • Available blind spot warning system

2012 Jaguar XF Road Test

David Thomas

Jaguar made just a few changes to its XF sport sedan for 2012: nips and tucks to the front end, flashier taillight treatment and an updated navigation system. It doesn't sound like much to rave about, but added to what's already one of the better-driving cars in the segment, it's a winning formula.

There may be better all-around midsize luxury sedans out there, but for shoppers interested in performance, the 2012 Jaguar XF is the clear winner. Sorry, BMW.

You can thank the XF's standard V-8 engine and relatively affordable starting price for that declaration.

What's New
The exterior changes are so subtle you wouldn't expect them to have a major impact on the XF's overall look, but the slimmer headlight assemblies — now with xenon headlights and LED running lamps — alone make the new XF a sleeker cat than the 2011. The tighter grille and revised hood help make the 2012 both more aggressive looking and more similar to the flagship XJ sedan.

The taillights — also LEDs for 2012 — have been trimmed down, and the silver bar bisecting both sides of lights is no longer adorned with the name "Jaguar." The leaping cat emblem is all you need to know this is a Jag.

My test car in white was a looker. My wife and I spent a weekend in downtown Chicago, and the XF drew stares from passers-by on Michigan Avenue despite the fact that this XF has been on the market — sans design tweaks — for a few years. It looked flashy enou...

Jaguar made just a few changes to its XF sport sedan for 2012: nips and tucks to the front end, flashier taillight treatment and an updated navigation system. It doesn't sound like much to rave about, but added to what's already one of the better-driving cars in the segment, it's a winning formula.

There may be better all-around midsize luxury sedans out there, but for shoppers interested in performance, the 2012 Jaguar XF is the clear winner. Sorry, BMW.

You can thank the XF's standard V-8 engine and relatively affordable starting price for that declaration.

What's New
The exterior changes are so subtle you wouldn't expect them to have a major impact on the XF's overall look, but the slimmer headlight assemblies — now with xenon headlights and LED running lamps — alone make the new XF a sleeker cat than the 2011. The tighter grille and revised hood help make the 2012 both more aggressive looking and more similar to the flagship XJ sedan.

The taillights — also LEDs for 2012 — have been trimmed down, and the silver bar bisecting both sides of lights is no longer adorned with the name "Jaguar." The leaping cat emblem is all you need to know this is a Jag.

My test car in white was a looker. My wife and I spent a weekend in downtown Chicago, and the XF drew stares from passers-by on Michigan Avenue despite the fact that this XF has been on the market — sans design tweaks — for a few years. It looked flashy enough amid a sea of luxury cars.

Performance
Thankfully, the potent range of V-8 engines under the newly sculpted hood haven't been tinkered with for the new model year.

The base XF comes with a stunningly powerful 385-horsepower, 5.0-liter V-8 engine that hits 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. You'll pay roughly the same for the base V-8 in the XF as you would for the less-powerful twin-turbo six-cylinder in the BMW 535i, but it's a few thousand more than the supercharged six-cylinder in the Audi A6. The XF costs thousands less than the 420-hp Infiniti M56. See these models compared.

Besides being a good value proposition against the competition, the XF also feels the most like a sports sedan without sacrificing ride quality. That means when you're carving a corner in the XF, it's a more exhilarating experience than in any of the three cars mentioned above, with no more ride harshness than the BMW.

Driving the base V-8 was a satisfying experience even for someone who regularly tests cars with even bigger numbers on their spec sheets, but for shoppers who aren't as impressed, Jaguar does offer more powerful trim levels. The next step up is the 470-hp XF Supercharged, which not surprisingly has a supercharged version of the base car's 5.0-liter V-8. Next up is the XFR with the same supercharged V-8, but in this case putting out 510 hp. Both feature unique wheels and other exterior and interior trim differences.

Interior
While Jaguar has upgraded some aspects of the interior — new seats and button treatments — cabin quality remains inconsistent. There are rich leather treatments on the steering wheel and dashboard, but the silver paint that adorns much of the center control panel remains cheap-looking.

There's plenty of room for front occupants. The driver's seat slings you back more than the competition, amplifying that sports car feel. But that sacrifices backseat room, which is tighter than many others. At 5-foot-10, I fit behind the driver's seat where I had it positioned, but it wasn't a spacious feeling, like you find in the Infiniti.

The shift knob that rises upon ignition is still present and still a conversation starter if ever one was planted in a car's interior design. The motorized air vents also hide away when the car is turned off.

Features & Pricing
It might sound odd to say a $53,000 sedan is well-priced, but you get quite a bit for the XF's starting price, which is more than other luxury marques. There are the bi-xenon high-intensity-discharge and LED headlights I mentioned earlier — which also get their own washers — plus rain-sensing windshield wipers, a moonroof, leather seats (they're heated in front), and keyless entry and ignition.

The multimedia system with navigation is also standard. It features a 7-inch touch-screen — small for this class — a USB input, Bluetooth for phone and audio, a 30-gigabyte hard drive to store music files and a 10-speaker stereo system.

Many of our editors aren't fans of the touch-screen system because it takes a long time to switch between menus and because you have to use the screen to access features like the heated seats and steering wheel. However, after a week of driving it I became more familiar with its eccentricities and had my own method of using it down pat.

Also, when my wife hopped into the car for the first time she found the heated seat controls instantly — something at least one savvy automotive editor in the office complained about.

The only feature I'd add to the base car is a $2,300 Bowers & Wilkins sound system that was included in the Portfolio trim level I tested. Its sound was worth at least 22 Benjamins.

There are plenty of optional safety, technology and luxury packages you can add to any of the XF trims, but they aren't going to improve my impressions of the base car drastically.

Safety
Like many other luxury models, the XF has not been crash-tested by either the federal government or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The Jaguar has a basic suite of safety features and airbags but no unique features to separate it from the rest of the class. A list of its standard safety features can be found here. Click here to read our full Car Seat Check.

XF in the Market
If you were making your car-buying decision based on driving chops, value and looks, the XF would be the clear winner in this category. However, Jaguar has always been known as a brand with questionable reliability, and that hasn't changed much in recent years. Consumer Reports gives the XF — along with the BMW 5 Series — its lowest reliability grade, and J.D. Power's 2012 Vehicle Dependability Study has the XF at the bottom of the segment, along with the Lincoln MKS.

Those are clear warning signs to shoppers that the XF might not be the practical choice —  but that doesn't mean it's not worth driving to determine if it's worth the risk.

Send David an email  



2012 XF Video

After three years on the market, the Jaguar XF gets a relatively small headlight styling update, which impacts its look in a dramatic way, according to Cars.com Managing Editor David Thomas.

Latest 2012 XF Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.8)
Performance
(4.8)
Interior Design
(4.5)
Comfort
(4.6)
Reliability
(4.0)
Value For The Money
(4.2)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Great car!

by LDarke from Clearwater, FL on April 12, 2018

Love the car. Always wanted one and picked one up preowned. Looks great and is a blast to drive. Comfortable seats for short trips or long road trips. Fantastic V8 motor and handles great. Plenty of ... Read full review

(5.0)

great vehicle

by loveit from ca on March 27, 2018

its a great vehicle very reliable and a smooth ride. I usually just use it to go out on the weekends and love all the attention I get. Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2012 Jaguar XF currently has 0 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2012 Jaguar XF has not been tested.

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    48 months / 50,000 miles

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by Jaguar

Program Benefits

Rigorous 165-Point Inspection, Transferable Warranty, Roadside Assistance, No Deductible, Vehicle History Report, Trip Interruption Benefits

  • Limited Warranty

    Up to 7 Years / 100,000 miles

    Up to 7 years/100,000 miles from original in-service date (no deductible), whichever comes first
  • Eligibility

    Under 5 years / 60,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a 165 point inspection and reconditioning.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The XF received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker