If you were looking for evidence that the new XF is intended as a cagey evolution of the old, its cabin provides it.
Like the XE, this is now a Jaguar suited and booted primarily for business. The firm’s natural proclivity for flair, one feels, has this time been kept mercilessly in check and the bottom line ruthlessly adhered to in all corners.
This hasn’t inhibited a drastic improvement in fit and finish, but the plastics aren’t uniformly impressive. The end result is not in the same league as a high-spec Audi A6 – which mingles luxury and premium finishes about as well as it’s possible to do – but it still manages to evince an upmarket and purposeful sense of style.
Several items – the peekaboo vents, the gear selector dial, the phosphor blue ambient lighting – are firmly established XF traits. Others – the air-con switchgear and the infotainment – are recognisable carryovers from the XE. The cabin’s size, though, is clearly all new and appreciably better than before.
The previous XF traded a little too keenly on the concept of a snug, sporting saloon, the rear ultimately feeling more cramped the longer you spent in it.
The new model, with its roofline and wheelbase tweaked in the right directions, conveys a more liberal sense of space, certainly in comparison with the XE. This stops short of outright capaciousness – as it must, the XJ being Jaguar’s back-seat pantheon – but with 24mm more room for knees and 15mm more for legs, adults ought to feel markedly less shortchanged if they’re consigned to the rear.