The powertrain is no hindrance to any of this. Step-off is smooth and predictable, with the eight-speed auto keeping the V6 in a satisfyingly effortless mid-range mooch. Is it the most refined six-cylinder in the class? Not really, and nor is it the most intuitive gearbox, with the odd unexpected heartbeat of a pause just when you don’t want it if you’re dallying with Sport mode.
Still, there's masses of mid-range urgency, while engine noise isn’t bad unless you really rev it out, road noise is well suppressed and there’s very little mechanical vibration, so this remains a refined exec that would have you feeling fresh even after many hours of motorway slog.
An excellent driving position is a big part of that, too. The XF S gets full electric adjustment including tilt and four-way lumbar adjustment as standard, plus a seat that drops as low as anyone could want. Heated front seats and suitably top-notch leather, plus various driver aids including traffic sign recognition and automatic emergency braking, complete a pretty comprehensive standard spec.
It’s just a shame that the general perceived interior quality is still a touch behind that of Audi and BMW, let down by details such as the slightly clicky stalk movement, the fairly aged graphics on the (optional) head-up display, and some unfinished-looking wiring and seat-back release buttons tacked into the boot.
The colour touchscreen, complete with nav, is perhaps a touch slow to respond and not as easy to muddle through as the best rotary-controlled alternatives, but key functions are really easy to access and adjust, and with time it's easy to get on with this system. A fairly stonking, 10-speaker Meridian sound system and every method of media or phone connectivity you could want also means the Jag will satisfy audiophiles.
Rear passengers might feel that it’s a bit dark in the back, since the tapering windowline cuts out the light a bit, but there’s actually more leg room than in a BMW 5 Series, and not much less head room. A broad seat base offers loads of thigh support, too, so even lanky passengers will be fine in the back.
The boot is on a par with most rivals', and you get standard split-folding rear seats so you can actually squeeze a 2.0-metre-long item into the XF, provided it fits through the narrow, letterbox-shaped opening leading from the boot into the main cabin area.