The Jaguar XF has been at the heart of Jaguar's renaissance since it went on sale in March 2008, and continues to be its standard-bearer to this day.

But while the Jaguar XF gave its makers a car to be truly proud of, it has taken a long time for Jaguar to really exploit that advantage.

The bigger-engined XF range has proven adept at taking on all-comers at the upper levels of the class since its introduction, with the 3.0-litre diesel available in two states of tune and 3.0 petrol attracting many plaudits, and the 5.0 V8 underneath the bonnet of the mighty Jaguar XFR stealing many headlines.

However it took until cosmetic and detail technical tweaks for the 2012 model year before the XF became available with a 2.2-litre diesel, a type of engine whose sales dominate the sector. Now in 161 and 197bhp states of tune, it rivals the ubiquitous BMW 520d or equivalent Mercedes E-Class.

Meanwhile, deliveries of the Jaguar XF Sportbrake - a sports estate in modern parlance - began in 2012, finally giving the XF the extended line-up it has long deserved.

All-wheel drive Jaguar XFs are sold in markets outside the UK, while the Chinese market also gets the option of a smaller petrol engine.

Top 5 Mid-size execs

  • The Jaguar XF is a sublime British executive saloon. It has a tremendous interior and even greater dynamics

    Jaguar XF

    1
  • Superb engine and cabin, but ride and handling let the side down

    BMW 5-series

    2
  • Mercedes-Benz E-Class
    The E-class more than lives up to traditional Mercedes values

    Mercedes-Benz E-Class

    3
  • Audi A6
    The Audi A6 is a car that delivers in every area

    Audi A6

    4
  • The Lexus GS is unusual in the part of the market in not offering a diesel option

    Lexus GS

    5

First drives

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Jaguar range

Driven this week

  • Car review
    6 July 2015
    Ariel's third model takes the all-terrain car to another level. It's one of the best driving experiences we've ever had
  • First Drive
    3 July 2015
    Charming four-door city car gets Smart's new six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, in a bid to make the Forfour more versatile
  • First Drive
    2 July 2015
    First UK drive in the latest-generation MX-5 reveals an iconic roadster that's back to its best
  • First Drive
    2 July 2015
    Extra firepower and pared-down kerb weight conjure even greater brilliance from the Boxster's chassis. Pricey – but superb to drive
  • BMW's prototype fuel cell concept is based on the 5GT
    First Drive
    1 July 2015
    Fuel cell-powered 5 Series GT concept previews a revolutionary storage and refuelling system which could pave the way for hydrogen to become the alternative fuel of choice