2018 Jaguar XF 25t R-Sport Saloon Review

We Road Test the Jaguar XF 25 R-Sport

Jaguar XF R-Sport 25t Overview

The Jaguar XF 25t R-Sport is the first Jaguar saloon I have tested in a while. I have to admit to being a Jaguar fan from my early teens.

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 25t R Sport

Jaguar XF R-Sport 25t External

Jaguar sedans have always had a subtle beauty about them, and the XF R Sport is no different. It 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.

Front LED lights are smooth to the body line and also feature Jaguar’s signature J-Blade LED daytime running lights. The rear LED lights feature the signature Jaguar graphic from F-TYPE.

So there is a big tick for the XF R Sport overall looks and design.

Jaguar XF 25t R Sport

Jaguar XF R-Sport 25t Internal

When one steps inside the XF R Sport, there is a sense of the occasion. Appreciation of the XF’s interior starts from outside – 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.

Jaguar XF 25t R Sport

Start the engine and the starting sequence on the dash welcomes you along with the transmission selector rising from the centre console. It certainly presents a sense of grandeur. At first I didn’t like to pop up transmission, but then have found it very easy to use.

The dash, with two analogue dials and a 5 inch TFT MFD, and steering wheel flow as one, with no visible impairment while driving. The steering wheel is thick and feels as though it’s part of you, especially with the thumb position on the wheel.

Overall visibility is not bad, the ‘A’ pillars, as with most cars provide a blind spot though. Front seat comfort is superb, however the high waist door sills, to me intrude a little, but others loved them.

The newly enhanced front seats provide even more comfort for driver and front passenger as the upgraded ‘Luxury’ seats now provide powered ‘Z’ headrests with manually adjustable wings.

Jaguar XF 25t R Sport

The XF’s 2,960mm wheelbase means that rear passengers enjoy traditional Jaguar comfort while options such as the four-zone climate control system, heated seats and window blinds make the second row an even more comfortable place to be.

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.

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. The boot lid benefits from an optional power open and close function. The boot itself is larger than you imagine and its length provides useable space for luggage.

Jaguar XF 25t R Sport

Jaguar XF R-Sport 25t Features

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.

Jaguar XF 25t R Sport

Jaguar XF R-Sport 25t Engine and Drivetrain

A 2.0-litre four-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine is new for 2018 Model Year and has been developed entirely in-house in three power ratings: 147kW/320Nm, and 221kW/400Nm.

The vehicle we are testing here is the 184kW/365Nm version. This produces 184kW @ 5500rpm of power and torque of 365Nm @ 1200-4500rpm, 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 XF 2.5t R Sport will accelerate from 0-100kmh in 6.6 seconds and top out at around 244kmh. Yet these figures are ok, but they don’t encapsulate the essence of the Jaguar.

Suspension comprises double-wishbone front and Integral Link rear suspension systems that  provide the inherently high levels of stiffness needed for agile handling and steering precision with the compliance essential for first-class comfort and refinement. Advanced damper technologies – both passive and continuously variable – improve ride quality still further and extend the XF’s breadth of dynamic capability.

Jaguar XF 25t R Sport

Jaguar XF R-Sport 25t – What is like to Drive?

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.

Head along the freeway and the Jaguar XF simply purrs along (apologies for the obvious analogy). Cruising at speed is effortless and pleasant.

While it cruises easily, it never feels boring or dull though, but more composed.

Jaguar XF 25t R Sport

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 XF has near perfect 50:50 weight distribution. Combine this with a light yet stiff body, thanks to the extensive use of aluminium, and Jaguars legendary ride and handling and you have a sport saloon that balances the demands of normal daily driving with sport driving when required.

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.

“The XF has to deliver driver reward through agility and immediacy of response when it’s called for, and yet great ride composure and comfort too. The XF’s light and rigid aluminium intensive architecture is a key enabler for us delivering those attributes, as it provides an optimal basis for finely tuning the ride and handling characteristics of the car.
“The result is that the XF is as satisfying to drive quickly, as it is comfortable to be driven in.”
Mike Cross, Chief Engineer of Vehicle Integrity, Jaguar

Jaguar XF 25t R Sport

Jaguar XF R-Sport 25t Safety

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

Jaguar XF 25t R Sport

Jaguar XF R-Sport 25t Summary

Jaguar has had a tumultuous history, with many glory years and then a few in the wilderness. The 2018 Jaguar XF 2.5t R-Sport is a luxury saloon that does justice to the glory days.

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.

Jaguar XF 25t R Sport

Also Look at:

  • Audi A5 Sport Quattro
  • BMW 520
  • Lexus GS F Sport

What’s Good:

  • Ride and Handling
  • Design Style
  • Economy

What’s not so Good:

  • 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

Model Jaguar XF 25t R-Sport

  • Model Price $94,277 RDAP
  • Drivetrain RWD 2.0Lt 8 speed Auto
  • Power 184kW @ 5500rpm
  • Torque 365Nm @ 1200-4500rpm
  • Safety 5 Star ANCAP
  • CO2 Emissions 154 g/km
  • Economy (ADR comb) 6.8 L/100km
  • Tow Capacity – TBA
  • Tow Ball Rating TBA
  • Servicing TBC
  • Warranty 3yr/ 100,000 km with full roadside assist

 Overall Rating     81/100

  • Behind the Wheel           8
  • Comfort                            9
  • Equipment                       8
  • Performance                    8
  • Ride & Handling              9
  • Practicality                        8
  • Fit for Purpose                9
  • Prestige Appeal               8
  • Fun Factor                       7
  • Value for Money             7
Jaguar XF 25t R-Sport
4.0

Summary

Jaguar has had a tumultuous history, with many glory years and then a few in the wilderness. The 2018 Jaguar XF 2.5t R-Sport is a luxury saloon that does justice to the glory days.

About Rob Fraser 201 Articles
Rob Fraser – General dogsbody & Director Rob is the founder of the business. Coming from a Financial services background, where everyone drives a prestige car, he has a unique perspective on the market segment.He has owned a number of prestige cars himself amongst the way too many cars he has owned in his time. Having previously lived at the top of corporate life he retired in 2000 and hasn’t put a suit and tie on since. Cars are his passion so why not have a business doing what you love he figures.The Prestige Car Guide eventuated from a continual demand from Rob’s strong ties to the financial services world and the advice he still provides to prospective buyers