2012 Jaguar XF Expert Review

3.6 Overall Score
Performance 3.6 Comfort 3.5 Styling 3.8 Value 2.9

Editor's Overview

The 2012 Jaguar XF is a bold cat that competes well with European and Japanese luxury sport sedans. The XF sets itself apart with sleek exterior styling that is a departure from past Jags and with a tech-laden interior that retains an appreciable amount of traditional British warmth.

You'll Like The 2012 Jaguar XF If...

Whether you’re a trend setter, trailblazer or simply an admirer of Britannic automotive design, the XF is a unique alternative to common midsize luxury sedans.

You May Not Like The 2012 Jaguar XF If...

If you consider yourself a crafty consumer and seek a high level of value in your next luxury-vehicle purchase, the XF’s comparatively high starting price, mediocre fuel economy and historically low residual values may prove disconcerting to value-conscious buyers.

What's New

The Jaguar XF receives several significant upgrades for the 2012 model year. Highlights include a remodeled front end with a striking new headlight design, revised LED taillights, a trio of updated audio systems and a series of prominent interior upgrades.

Interior Features

The Jaguar XF provides an airy upscale cabin, where rich leather covers all five seats and high-quality materials are arranged with remarkable precision. The ergonomically-designed front seats deliver ample support for occupants of all sizes, though 6-footers will find rear-seat headroom slightly restricted from the aggressive curvature of the roof. Instrumentation is sharp and legible, but operating the touch-screen climate-control functions can quickly become a vexing task – although you might find the controls easier to operate than some of the complex systems found in German-built luxury sedans.

Exterior Features

The XF’s aggressive stance is emphasized in a sleek, aerodynamic body style and sweeping coupe-like roofline. The 2012 XF offers over a half-dozen wheel choices ranging from the standard 18-inch 10-spokes to a set of massive 20-inch dark gray Draco alloys. The range-topping Jaguar XFR features unique body cladding, gloss black upper and lower grille inserts and a distinctive front end design. Fortunately, XFR detractors can affix their own assortment of sporty exterior adornments to the less-expensive Portfolio trim, thanks to the Exterior Sport Pack, which includes the XFR’s blackout grille inserts, 19-inch wheels, a unique front bumper and a rear spoiler.

Driving Impressions

Contrary to popular belief, the 2012 Jaguar XF is not a bloated luxury barge. Instead, we found the XF’s acceleration, stability, steering and braking feedback on par with the segment’s heavy hitters. Unlike the BMW M5 and Audi S6, however, the ultra-sporty Jaguar XFR sacrifices a considerable amount of ride quality for a marginal performance increase. If the standard 385-horsepower V8 fails to satisfy for your high-octane lifestyle, we recommend the athletic, yet comfortable 470-horsepower XF Supercharged model. The XF’s 6-speed automatic gearbox features a sport mode that, in conjunction with the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, makes for a rather engaging driving experience. Jaguar has also decreased the level of driver distraction in the XF through a series of intuitive functionality changes to the touch-screen interface and miscellaneous interior controls.

Pricing Notes

The 2012 Jaguar XF has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just under $54,000, which is noticeably higher than the base prices of the BMW 5 Series, Audi A6, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and the Lexus GS. The well-appointed XF Portfolio starts around $60,000, while the XF Supercharged will set you back an additional $10K. A fully-loaded XFR tops out close to $90,000. To get a better deal and reduce the stresses of haggling, be sure to take a look at Kelley Blue Book’s Fair Purchase Price to see what consumers in your area are currently paying for their 2012 Jaguar XFs. Unfortunately, the XF is not immune to Jaguar’s unfavorable reputation for substandard reliability and thus residual values are decidedly lower than those for the bulk of its competitors.

Notable Equipment

Although the 2012 Jaguar XF carries a higher starting price than the majority of its competitors, it does feature a standard hard-drive-based navigation system with a 7-inch touch-screen and a DVD player. JaguarVoice allows for voice control of the audio, navigation, phone and climate-control functions, while the ventilation system’s humidity sensor and odor control ensure a pleasant interior environment. Safety features include a full complement of airbags and the typical accompaniment of electronic driving aides.

Notable Options

The 2012 Jaguar XF is offered in four trim levels: Base, Portfolio, Supercharged and XFR. The Portfolio model adds soft-grain leather seating surfaces and soft-touch door panels, a rear backup camera and a smart-key system that provides vehicle access and push-button ignition without the need to remove the key fob from your pocket or bag. The XF Supercharged and XFR models share a supercharged 5.0-liter engine and Jaguar’s Adaptive Dynamics suspension system that monitors wheel movements up to 500 times per second for enhanced traction and stability.

Favorite Features


From the pages of science fiction to 21st-century roadways, the JaguarDrive Selector is one of the most innovative interpretations of a universal automotive feature. A beautify-crafted, metallic wheel automatically rises into the driver’s hand once the Start/Stop button is pressed for effortless control of various transmission modes.


Audiophiles will find it tremendously challenging to nitpick the impeccable sound quality produced by the available 1200-watt, 17-speaker Bowers & Wilkin audio system.

Under the Hood

All 2012 Jaguar XF Sedans are powered by a gasoline direct-injection 5.0-liter V8. The XF Supercharged and XFR, however, add a supercharger to the mix, bumping output to a whopping 470 and 510 horsepower, respectively. As a result, the XFR sprints to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds with an electronically-limited top speed of 155 miles per hour. Snowbelt drivers will find seasonal performance quite limiting since the Jaguar XF lacks an all-wheel-drive option.

XF Base, Portfolio

5.0-liter V8

385 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm

380 lb-ft of torque @ 3,500 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23 mpg

XF Supercharged

5.0-liter supercharged V8

470 horsepower @ 6,000-6,500 rpm

424 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500-5,500 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21 mpg


5.0-liter supercharged V8

510 horsepower @ 6,000-6,500 rpm

461 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500-5,500 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21 mpg

Editors' Notes

When Jaguar unveiled the all-new XF in 2009, it signaled the beginning of the brand’s ambitious attempt to attract younger buyers and transform public perception. While it wasn’t a resounding success at first, the refreshed 2012 Jaguar XF aims to expand its appeal among midsize luxury-car buyers with a series of styling enhancements, new multimedia equipment and simpler interior controls. By virtue of these crucial refinements, we believe the Jaguar XF finally possesses the right tools to challenge such formidable competitors as the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E Class, Audi A6, Lexus GS and the Infiniti M.

Road Test Video Reviews

2012 Jaguar XF Owner Reviews

3 Reviews
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Sporty and classy performance car.

2012 Jaguar XF

The performance is amazing and the look is sporty yet classy. When something goes wrong it is a little expensive but things happen. I love everything about this car! My interior is custom made so it makes my car more diverse than others. My only downside is driving the car in the winter being that it is a performance car.

- Asia E

The car is very very fast the handling is great

2012 Jaguar XF

Performance is fast. The maintenance is low steering is great it's a gas guzzler that is very comfortable as a lot of nice features

- Jeremy A

How fast it is and how reliable it is.

2012 Jaguar XF

I like the model and all the features. No complaints. Everything is automatic and it is so fast. Cannot live without my vehicle.

- Samantha K

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