Well-judged balance of ride and handling is one reason to buy
Less than £11,000 is enough to buy a roomy and luxurious Mk2 XF. Tempted?
The XF saloon under the microscope here plays the evolutionary card better even than a BMW 5 Series, being almost indistinguishable from the original XF of 2008-15 that preceded it. Look harder, though, and under its stylish body it marks a genuinely new chapter in the model’s story.
Its aluminium-rich structure is lighter and stronger, its engines are a new generation of powerplants named Ingenium, the cabin is roomier and it features smarter infotainment and better materials.
Prices for the first 2015-registered cars open at around £12,500 for the lowest-powered diesel, the 161bhp 2.0-litre, with around 60,000 miles. If mileage isn’t a worry, you can buy cheaper still, with a 112,000-mile 2016-reg example we found costing just £10,800.
That’s from an independent dealer, by the way. At the time of writing, the cheapest official Jaguar approved used XF was a 2014-reg 2.2 TD, a Mk1 model, with 50,000 miles for £12,500.
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Given how similar the two generations look, it helps to know, when searching for an early Mk2 car, that its dominant engines are 2.0-litre diesels, whereas Mk1 cars are 2.2s. As with the Mk1, the Mk2 XF is bought new as a business tool. It’s why the 2.0-litre diesel engine – in 161bhp, top-selling 178bhp and, launched in 2017, 237bhp outputs – dominates the used car classifieds.
It’s available in the three core trims, too. All have alloy wheels, bi-xenon headlights, powered leather seats and, depending on the power, a choice of manual or eight-speed ZF automatic gearboxes. If you want luxury, go with Portfolio, but if something more sporty is your bag, choose R-Sport, with its bodykit and firmer suspension.
The rarer and less tax-efficient 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engines also come in three power outputs (197bhp, 247bhp and 296bhp) but are all automatics. As with the more powerful diesels, some are available in four-wheel drive.
For a low-mileage used car buyer, a 2.0i petrol has its attractions. However, the petrol engines arrived only in 2017, are fewer in number and tend to have lower mileages. As a result, prices start at around £20,000, or £25,000 for our pick, a 2017-reg 2.0i 250PS R-Sport with 15,000 miles.
The big guns in the Mk2 lineup are 3.0-litre V6s. The diesel is turbocharged and makes 296bhp and the petrol is supercharged to the tune of 375bhp. Both come in S trim with a bodykit and adaptive dampers. We found a 2015 petrol 3.0i S with 35,000 miles for £22,995 but a same-age 3.0D S diesel with 70,000 miles for £16,745. Torquier and more economical, it’s the diesel we’d buy.
Whichever version you go for, you need to understand that the XF isn’t the most reliable car. In the last What Car? reliability survey, it came bottom in the luxury car class below the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. If you buy one, make sure it has a belt and braces warranty.
EngineIf it’s a diesel, check the oil level. Too high and it may be suffering oil-dilution issues caused by excessive regeneration of the catalytic converter.
InteriorInfotainment glitches include disrupted phone calls, and problems with the WiFi and sat nav. A Jaguar update should sort some of them. If one is fitted, check you’re comfortable with the Jaguar In-Control touchscreen operating system. Also, be sure the standard-fit voice control system obeys your commands. Some leathers including Windsor can wear prematurely.
BodyThere have been numerous reports of water leaks so feel the carpets in the cabin, especially the footwells, and the boot for damp.
Need to know
‘Total Recall’ should have starred the XF. Alerts include a cracked inner sill, engine cutout, possibility of sundry fuel leaks, failure to achieve the CO2 emissions limit, problems with the safety restraint systems and the possibility of the instrument cluster going blank. There’s more…
Among premium makers, Jaguar’s approved used scheme is unique in offering a two-year, unlimited-mileage warranty. Certain consequential damages, where a failed component causes others to fail, are also covered.
Look out for upgraded XFs. For example, shortly after launch, it was possible to upgrade the infotainment to InControl Touch Pro, and V6 cars could be specced with Adaptive and Configurable Dynamics that vary damping, steering and drivetrain responses.
XF 2.0D 240PS R-Sport Auto: Expensive new but we’re talking used, so the powerful 240PS diesel gets the nod over the 180. R-Sport sharpens the looks but its stiffer suspension set-up doesn’t unsettle the XF’s ride.
XF 3.0 V6 380PS S: New, it cost around £55,000 but you can pick up a 2018-reg example of one of these beauties for £35,000. If you have to ask about its fuel economy, you can’t afford it.
Ones we found
2015 2.0D 163PS Prestige, 64,000 miles, £12,599
2016 2.0D 180PS Portfolio auto, 61,000 miles, £15,995
2017 2.0i 250PS R-Sport auto, 15,000 miles, £25,000
2018 3.0D 300PS Portfolio auto, 3000 miles, £28,327
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