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Jaguar XF 2020 review: Chequered Flag


Can a luxury sedan be a family car? For this week’s family review I tested the Jaguar XF Chequered Flag edition. It’s at the top of the 30t range and looks very swish on the road.

Does it work for a family of four or five or will it forever be a 'dad' car. Yes, dare I say it, I know a few dads who drive a sporty sedan while the mums are in the SUVs, carting the children around

The XF Chequered Flag costs $101,400 before options and on road costs, and competes with cars like the Audi A6, Mercedes E-Class and the BMW 5 series

I drove it for seven days to see how my family of four would fare with a luxury sedan

The XF Chequered Flag costs $101,400 before options and on road costs. The XF Chequered Flag costs $101,400 before options and on road costs.

How does it look?

It’s a beaut to look at, and certainly is a crowd pleaser. I got a few comments from the mums at school pick-up. It’s very sleek with a sophisticated grille on the front and various Jaguar badges stamped all over the car. It feels modern and looks great. 

Inside the car is lovely, too, though I must admit I would have chosen a different interior. There were red and black leather seats which do look fabulous and give a very race-oriented vibe.

It has a Chequered Flag leather steering wheel with a Jaguar stamped on it that feels great to touch. The centre console area is finished in a high gloss black and you can choose your accent material. This one had a metallic trim but there are wood veneer options and I think that may have added a more luxe feel. 

The dash has a pebble finish, but I think a smooth finish would feel more premium. This car is fitted with a panoramic sliding roof which costs an extra $3370, but it’s not huge. I’m not sure it’s big enough to warrant that price tag. 

This car is fitted with a panoramic sliding roof. This car is fitted with a panoramic sliding roof.

How does it drive?

It’s a very smooth, effortless driving experience, with a lot of power behind the accelerator. There is a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine that gets up hills with ease and is speedy along highways.

You can overtake cars with confidence and it’s very quick off the mark. It’s quite nimble and handles well. The steering is an even weight, not too heavy, not too light either. 

There is a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine that gets up hills with ease and is speedy along highways. There is a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine that gets up hills with ease and is speedy along highways.

Everything works in unison and I really enjoyed driving the XF this week. 

It’s easy to park with a high definition reverse parking camera but there’s no 360-degree view camera. 

How spacious is it?

The front is very spacious with lots of leg and headroom for taller passengers. The seats are comfortable and even on long drives it doesn’t feel cramped. 

My two children aged six and eight had plenty of space in the back, as did I at 161cm, but taller people might want a touch more headspace.

The front is very spacious with lots of leg and headroom. The front is very spacious with lots of leg and headroom.

Still, this is a sedan and the focus is on the front seats, not the rear. If you’ve got young children you’ll be fine. 

The back seat also fits three child seats, I did it with two boosters and a baby capsule. It will be tight to do seat belts up on the boosters but they do fit. 

The back seat fits three child seats. The back seat fits three child seats.

And the boot is generous, at 540L it’s bigger than lots of mid-size SUVs, but it is long and low rather than high. So while we were easily able to fit the CarsGuide pram and I also loaded boxes into the boot this week, I was unable to fit a box of groceries on top of the pram because of the lack of height. 

"We were easily able to fit the CarsGuide pram in the boot and I also loaded boxes into the boot this week." "We were easily able to fit the CarsGuide pram in the boot and I also loaded boxes into the boot this week."

How easy is it to use every day?

The front seats are 10-way power adjustable and the boot opens with a button on the key. The keyless entry is also immediate, it works with one pull of the door handle instead of two, as is usually the case. 

There are two cupholders up the front, a spot for keys and a phone, a decent centre storage bin and large storage in the doors.

There are air vents in the second row, but no separate climate control. There are air vents in the second row, but no separate climate control.

Rear passengers get two cupholders in the centre armrest and pockets on the back of the front seats. There are air vents in the second row, but no separate climate control. 

It was very practical for my family and I this week, I was able to fit everyone comfortably in the car and when I needed to haul a big load of boxes around, they all fit.

How safe is it?

Standard on the Jaguar XF you’ll find airbags for driver and front passenger plus side curtain airbags that extend to the back row. There are advanced safety features like Auto Emergency Braking and lane departure warning.

For other advanced safety you can opt in the 'Active Safety Pack' which gives you everything else: adaptive cruise control, park assist and rear cross traffic alert. 

There are two ISOFIX points and three top tether points for kids car seats and the XF scored a maximum five ANCAP stars when it was tested in 2015.

The XF scored a maximum five ANCAP stars when it was tested in 2015. The XF scored a maximum five ANCAP stars when it was tested in 2015.

What’s the tech like?

Plug your phone in for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and your phone’s main apps will appear on the 10.0-inch screen. Use maps to navigate and Spotify to listen to music.

It also has a Wi-Fi hotspot and the sound is provided by Meridian, so turn the volume up for an immersive audio experience. 

Featuring a 10-inch screen. Featuring a 10-inch screen.

How much does it cost to own?

The Jaguar XF Chequered Flag edition costs $101,400 before on road costs and options.

This car was fitted with extras: Active Safety Pack ($4720), panoramic roof ($3370), powered tailgate ($1160), 'Configurable Dynamics' ($1160), DAB digital radio ($950), privacy glass ($950), and heated front seats ($840), taking the total to $114,550. 

Fuel consumption is a claimed 6.8L/100km. Fuel consumption is a claimed 6.8L/100km.

Fuel consumption is a claimed 6.8L/100km and over the week for me it did 9.3L/100km. 

It’s covered by Jaguar’s three year/unlimited km warranty and services are required every 12 months/ 26,000km.


The Wrap

The Jaguar XF Chequered Flag really is a beautiful car to drive and worked well for my family this week. There’s enough space inside, it’s very speedy if that’s what you’re after and if you don’t mind the lack of height then it can work for a family - or just for one of the parents while the other drives an SUV

I gave it a family rating of 8.1 out of 10 and my children gave it the same. They love big cats so were very impressed with all the badges on the car. 

"My children love big cats so were very impressed with all the badges on the car." "My children love big cats so were very impressed with all the badges on the car."

Likes

Exterior design
Smooth, fast drive
Luxury feel

Dislikes

Rear seat tight for adults
Advanced safety optional
Low boot height

Scores

Nedahl:

4.1

The Kids:

4.1

$101,400

Based on new car retail price