I don’t remember the Jaguar XF being this enormous. Maybe I got taller for 15 minutes while at Jaguar’s New York Auto Show stand this year, but I was surprised at how big the 2016 XF was in person.
Parked between the new XE and XJ, the middle Jag sedan looks particularly large. But where the old XF was a large car with a small interior, the new one is a larger car with a mid-sized interior.
The added length separates it from the little XE from the side, though. There’s a hint of Chevrolet Impala from that angle, which would’ve have been a problem if Chevrolet hadn’t unveiled another sedan that looks like the Impala at the same auto show.
But this is all good news for the interior. It’s still more snug in the rear seat than it should be, but it’s perfect for four people. Yet the driver’s seat still manages to feel cockpit-ish, like it’s clearly a driver’s car. And the cabin tech finally appears up-to-date, with a couple of sharp displays. My full impression on the new touchscreen will wait for when I actually try to change the radio station while on the move.
It’s too bad the XF’s interior lacks character. Even the top R-Sport and S models lack the warmth and any hint of old British car atmosphere. It’s something the XJ managed to modernize and bring into the 21st century, and I wish it had been carried over in the new XF. There’s lots of quality, but it’s too cold for my liking.
But if this is Jaguar’s strategy for courting Audi and BMW buyers, then it’s likely to work. And like the XE, the new XF has a whiff of old BMW about it.
Which bodes well for the way it’ll actually drive, even if it looks gigantic.