2018 Jaguar XF

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$47,775 — $72,100 MSRP Shop local deals
(4.8) 4 reviews
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Road Test
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Key Specs

of the 2018 Jaguar XF. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    21-35 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    247-hp, 2.0-liter I-4 (premium)
  • Drivetrain:
    Rear-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    8-speed automatic w/OD and auto-manual
  • View more specs

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Handling
  • Steering feel
  • Huge trunk
  • Safety feature adjustability

The Bad

  • View through heated windshield
  • Negligible power difference between V-6 engines
  • Driving mode controls placement
  • No manual transmission
  • Tame exhaust sound

Notable Features of the 2018 Jaguar XF

  • New 247-hp turbo four-cylinder
  • Diesel four-cylinder or supercharged V-6 available
  • Aluminum construction
  • Eight-speed automatic transmission
  • Rear- or all-wheel drive

2018 Jaguar XF Road Test

Mike Hanley
The Verdict:

There are moments when the 2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake drives like the sporty luxury car it looks like, but it's mostly undistinguished — particularly the cabin.

Versus The Competition:

Most luxury automakers have abandoned the mid-size wagon in the U.S., turning their attention instead to the surging SUV class. One of the few holdouts is Mercedes-Benz, which still sells the E-Class wagon — a much more luxurious alternative to the XF Sportbrake that's also less expensive (see their specs compared here).

The Enthusiast Special

Hang around enough car enthusiasts and you'll learn many of them have soft spots for wagons, preferably with a manual transmission. And a diesel engine. In other words, the unobtainium of the automotive world. I understand why this kind of car is appealing — good cargo space, fuel efficiency, low-end torque and an engaging driving experience — but it's not the body style most car shoppers today want.

The XF Sportbrake, though, has the makings of an enthusiast special, even if it doesn't check all the boxes. Based on the XF mid-size luxury sedan, the Sportbrake's body style is sleek and stylish, with a low-slung stance and intimidating face with gaping grilles. It does not, I'm sad to report, offer a manual transmission or a diesel, though Jaguar does champion one or the other in some models including the XF sedan, which offers a diesel engine.

After driving the Sportbrake S with its supercharged V-6 engine, however, any longing for a diesel will quickly fade. Rated at 380 horsepower and 332 pounds-feet of torque, the V-6 effortlessly accelerates the wagon up to highway speeds and has the power to quickly pass slower-moving traffic.

The eight-speed automatic transmission that the engine drives, however, is less impressive; it will leave some driving enthusiasts wishing for a manual. Though the transmission's part-throttle kickdown performance is exceptional — the automatic drops a gear almost instantly whe...

The Enthusiast Special

Hang around enough car enthusiasts and you'll learn many of them have soft spots for wagons, preferably with a manual transmission. And a diesel engine. In other words, the unobtainium of the automotive world. I understand why this kind of car is appealing — good cargo space, fuel efficiency, low-end torque and an engaging driving experience — but it's not the body style most car shoppers today want.

The XF Sportbrake, though, has the makings of an enthusiast special, even if it doesn't check all the boxes. Based on the XF mid-size luxury sedan, the Sportbrake's body style is sleek and stylish, with a low-slung stance and intimidating face with gaping grilles. It does not, I'm sad to report, offer a manual transmission or a diesel, though Jaguar does champion one or the other in some models including the XF sedan, which offers a diesel engine.

After driving the Sportbrake S with its supercharged V-6 engine, however, any longing for a diesel will quickly fade. Rated at 380 horsepower and 332 pounds-feet of torque, the V-6 effortlessly accelerates the wagon up to highway speeds and has the power to quickly pass slower-moving traffic.

The eight-speed automatic transmission that the engine drives, however, is less impressive; it will leave some driving enthusiasts wishing for a manual. Though the transmission's part-throttle kickdown performance is exceptional — the automatic drops a gear almost instantly when you press the pedal a bit when cruising — full-throttle kickdowns are drawn-out affairs; the transmission is in no hurry to pick a lower gear.

Similarly, some aspects of the Sportbrake's ride and handling performance impressed while others left me underwhelmed. Jaguar has done a good job tuning the car's suspension, and the ride is taut and controlled in Normal drive mode without feeling harsh, but things are bumpier in the car's Dynamic mode. The suspension really shines in fast corners; the car feels planted and stays relatively flat, and the bolstered front bucket seats hold you securely in place.

It's too bad the wagon's steering doesn't provide the same level of enjoyment. The setup is short on road feel in both Normal and Dynamic, and even though it's easy to place the car where you want, the numb steering is out of step with the wagon's otherwise sporty demeanor.

Where's the Luxury?

The Sportbrake's $71,445 starting price (including a $995 destination charge) puts it squarely in competition with luxury cars from the likes of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, but compared with those offerings, the Jaguar's interior looks decidedly mainstream — both in overall design and in choice of materials.

The cabin has a few interesting design cues, such as motorized covers that roll over the outer dashboard air vents, but the layout and appearance is otherwise very plain. There are none of the adventurous, delightful details you get in an E-Class.

Beyond that, many of the materials aren't rich enough for a car this expensive — or even a car $20,000 less expensive. The basic-looking plastic trim on the center console and below is an eyesore at this price; it's not any nicer than what you get in Jaguar's entry-level XE compact luxury car, and the XE's interior isn't exceptional for its class.

Comfort and Utility

The driver's seat's numerous power adjustments helped me find a comfortable driving position, but it's one that doesn't offer great visibility. The raked windshield and large rearview mirror housing work to block your view out the right side of the windshield, making it harder to see crossing traffic at an intersection. The big roof pillar next to the driver's seat blocks over-shoulder views, and the rear window isn't big, either. Crisp 360-degree camera system images on the dashboard touchscreen are helpful when maneuvering at low speeds.

The backseat is comfortable for taller adults, and the seat cushions have a scooped design. The seat folds flat with the cargo floor, increasing cargo volume from 31.7 cubic feet to 69.7, but the backrest doesn't recline.

With its low load height and obstruction-free design, the cargo area is a useful space. The only thing that compromises its utility a bit is that it's not that tall, which might prevent some larger items from fitting.

Why Here, Why Now?

It wasn't that long ago that Jaguar exclusively sold cars, but the British brand has jumped into the SUV realm in recent years, first with the F-Pace mid-size SUV and then with the compact E-Pace.

With the popularity of SUVs soaring, those moves make a lot of sense, but with the luxury wagon class barely hanging on, the decision to bring the XF Sportbrake across the Atlantic is harder to understand — especially with a starting price that's a staggering $22,675 higher than the base XF sedan. There's no question the Sportbrake is better equipped than the base XF, but its $71,445 starting price will be a deal-breaker for many wagon fans, assuring the car niche status.

Cars.com's Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com's long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don't accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com's advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.


Latest 2018 XF Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.8)
Performance
(4.8)
Interior Design
(5.0)
Comfort
(5.0)
Reliability
(4.8)
Value For The Money
(4.2)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

This car has it all!

by LindaS from Rochester Hills, MI on October 15, 2018

This car has it all, luxury, reliability, performance and comfort! It has every feature you can think of. It drives like a dream and has such a sleek look. Read full review

(4.0)

This is my 5th Jaguar...Love the brand!

by LAWoolf from Los Angeles, Ca on August 24, 2018

I love the lines of the Jaguar and the feel of a solid car beneath me. There are very few shortcomings with my XF, and it's an easy car to drive....Very roadworthy!!! My only gripes are with the GPS ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2018 Jaguar XF currently has 0 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2018 Jaguar XF has not been tested.

Manufacturer Warranties

Backed by Jaguar
New Car Program Benefits
  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    60 months / 60,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 60,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    60 months / 60,000 miles

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits
  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    5 years/less than 60,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    7 years/100,000 miles

  • Powertrain warranty

    7 years/100,000 miles

  • Dealer Certification Required

    165-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All Program Details

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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