From £29,3758
New R-Sport model brings the looks of the XFR to a more humble XF, with pleasing results

Our Verdict

Jaguar XF 2008-2015

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

What is it?

Something we’re surprised Jaguar hasn’t done before now: a sportier-looking version of a more humble version of the XF.

The inspiration for the R-Sport is clear from the name. Jaguar has noted the success of BMW's M Sport models, which bring the looks of the M cars to the rest of the range. Mercedes-Benz also does it with its AMG Sport models, as does Audi with its S Line range.

While Jaguar’s German rivals offer dynamic upgrades as well as cosmetic ones in their respective R-Sport-style trim levels, the British firm only offers cosmetic upgrades for now.

These are inspired by the XFR and XFR-S models, and include a sportier front bumper, a rear spoiler, new side sills, 17-inch alloys, plenty of R-Sport badging inside and out, and a newly-trimmed charcoal interior.

The trim is being offered with the 161bhp and 197bhp versions of the 2.2-litre turbodiesel and a 237bhp 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel in saloon and estate bodystyles, so it’s a toe in the water exercise to see if the R-Sport trim can be expanded into a full-blown M Sport rival across its range in the future. 

What's it like?

A very fine car indeed. The XF is still one of the most handsome saloons out there, the R-Sport trim tastefully improving the aesthetics to these eyes. The cabin is also still a nice environment, having aged well and been updated since the XF first went on sale in 2008, the charcoal R-Sport trim certainly giving it a sportier edge.

The R-Sport additions don’t alter the way the XF drives, but it’s noteworthy in reappraising the XF that time has not diminished its appeal. This is an executive saloon with crisp steering, a soothing ride quality, even on the low rolling resistance 17-inch rubber of our test car, and impressive turn-in.

It’s a shame Jaguar didn’t seek to make any dynamic tweaks to the R-Sport to differentiate it from the rest of the range in something other than cosmetic terms, but when the base package is so well sorted the rule of if it ain’t broke don’t fix it was applied in this original R-Sport model. Should it be a success though, we'd expect the R-Sport brief to be expanded in future applications. 

Elsewhere, the familiar drivetrain is well-suited to motorway cruising, and around 50mpg is achievable in this scenario. There’s plenty of low-end grunt also for brisk acceleration. We’ve still reservations about the automatic transmission, which can be slow to respond when a need a turn of pace on the motorway when you spot a gap in the traffic.

Should I buy one?

Yes. The XF R-Sport is a handsome, well-sorted executive saloon that looks as good as it drives.

It faces strong competition from the likes of the also excellent BMW 5-series 520d M Sport auto’, which betters the Jag on performance and economy, but is around £2500 more expensive to buy.

But this new R-Sport model is a welcome addition to an XF range that seemingly gets more competitive with age, rather than having its appeal diminished. 

Jaguar XF R-Sport 2.2 Diesel

Price £33,995 0-60mph 9.8sec Top speed 130mph Economy 57.7mpg CO2 129g/km Kerb weight 1735kg Engine 4cyls in line, 2179cc, turbodiesel Power 161bhp at 3500rpm Torque 295lb ft at 2000-5500rpm Gearbox 8-spd automatic

 

Join the debate

Comments
23

10 July 2014
0-60 in 9.8 seconds? So whilst it might look like an XFR, it'll be shown a clean pair of heels by a 1.0-litre Fiesta. All show and no go.

I think I'll pass...

10 July 2014
You don't spend all day going from 0-60, if your lucky enough to find yourself behind the wheel in one of these you will more likely to be sitting at 80 mph on the motorway with cruise control switched on and after spending hours driving will arrive at your destination completely ambivalent to the fact that some cars can get to 60 m.p..h. a second or two before this model.

 Offence can only be taken not given- so give it back!

10 July 2014
DBtechnician wrote:

You don't spend all day going from 0-60 , if your lucky enough to find yourself behind the wheel in one of these you will more likely to be sitting at 80 mph on the motorway with cruise control switched on and after spending hours driving will arrive at your destination completely ambivalent to the fact that some cars can get to 60 m.p..h. a second or two before this model.

On that basis, Jaguar needn't bother offering the XF with a V6 diesel as well. But they do, so clearly some XF drivers do care about performance. But this R-Sport model is limited to the 161bhp engine, and it accelerates slower than a 1.0-litre Fiesta.

10 July 2014
Potential customers of the XF in any spec are not even looking at the Ford dealership let alone the fiesta model. The last time I was inside a ford dealership I was considering buying Fords Focus RS about 5 years ago but the interior of the car as well as the poor dealership experience put me off.
Nothing wrong with the fiesta but it's no XF.

 Offence can only be taken not given- so give it back!

10 July 2014
DBtechnician wrote:

Nothing wrong with the fiesta but it's no XF.

At no point did I suggest that the two were rivals. It just seems surprising that a £33k Jaguar has poorer acceleration than a 1.0-litre Fiesta.

10 July 2014
Motormouths wrote:

At no point did I suggest that the two were rivals. It just seems surprising that a £33k Jaguar has poorer acceleration than a 1.0-litre Fiesta.

I don't think that's surprising at all. Cars are not priced solely according to their engine size and 0-60 time, and I would have thought that most people here would understand that. Were you genuinely surprised that the most powerful engine in the Fiesta range (at a whopping £15.5k for a supermini!) results in a 0-60 time a tiny fraction quicker than the least powerful in the Jaguar range?

You do know that the Jaguar is much bigger and heavier than the Fiesta, right? If so, how could you be surprised about this?

Out of interest, was anyone else surprised?

10 July 2014
Sporky McGuffin wrote:

Were you genuinely surprised that the most powerful engine in the Fiesta range ...

Do you realise that the 1.0 EcoBoost isn't the most powerful engine in the Fiesta range? The ST has over 50bhp more. Over 80bhp more if you opt for the Mountune upgrade.

11 July 2014
Motormouths wrote:
Sporky McGuffin wrote:

Were you genuinely surprised that the most powerful engine in the Fiesta range ...

Do you realise that the 1.0 EcoBoost isn't the most powerful engine in the Fiesta range? The ST has over 50bhp more. Over 80bhp more if you opt for the Mountune upgrade.

I do now - I had forgotten the ST.

So, were you really genuinely surprised that the second (third if you count the modified ST) most powerful Fiesta is faster than the least powerful XF? I notice you didn't answer that question, which still stands.

11 July 2014
Sporky McGuffin wrote:

So, were you really genuinely surprised that the second (third if you count the modified ST) most powerful Fiesta is faster than the least powerful XF?

Yes. I said I was earlier, so why the need to ask me again? I didn't for a second suggest that the entry-level XF should be a fast car, but the performance (or rather lack thereof) on offer from this XF is poor to say the least. With the way it looks, you wouldn't expect it to accelerate slower than cars like a Fiesta 1.0 and a Polo 1.2.

10 July 2014
I do wish people would bother less with appearance and more with the underlying car. I am sick to death of the ridiculous array of sport / R / sport / AMG badges / styling /monster wheels / low profile tyres that is available with the weediest engines. I think the rot started in the mid-90s when the BMW 316i coupe became available with sport bits - but Audi has perfected it (not that perfection is a word that can apply... - well only my opinion!)

It just shows that people only care about what things look like, not what is underneath (slight exaggeration there I know...). Give me substance any day

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