JAGUAR has given its mighty XF model a fresh new look for 2021 with both the saloon and Sportbrake versions boasting a sharper design, an all-new interior and lots of extra kit.
And there is also the latest 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel engine with mild hybrid technology on offer that produces impressive fuel efficiency with reduced carbon emission for lower running costs.
We opted for the larger-than-life XF Sportbrake in R-Dynamic S guise with all-wheel drive. Costing £37,415 (£42,320 with options), the five-door car was powered by the 2.0-litre diesel engine delivering 204PS and 430Nm of torque.
It was matched to a smooth eight-speed automatic gearbox and could complete the 0-62mph dash in 8.0 seconds and topped out at 143mph, with combined fuel economy of up to 49.5mpg and carbon emissions from 150g/km.
The new XF is a striking looking car with the latest design cues, including a new-look front bumper with larger lower air intakes, a wider grille with a mesh design, plus super slim LED lights with distinctive daytime running lights.
There is a wider rear bumper and the R-Dynamic S model had lots of sporty R-Dynamic badging along with some optional extras such as 19-inch seven-spoke alloy wheels, a black exterior pack and privacy glass.
Moving inside, the car features the new Jaguar layout with heightened luxury and a minimalist approach with less physical buttons. There is a centrally-mounted 11.4-inch touchscreen with Pivi Pro - JLR's latest multi-media infotainment system.
Creature comforts include full smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a DAB radio, iPod integration, a Meridian surround sound system (£820 upgrade), a wireless charging pad with phone signal booster (£300 option), a 3D surround camera and fully powered seats that can be heated to fend off the winter blues.
The driver benefits from excellent all-round visibility and all systems are simple to use on the fly. It's also nice to see separate controls for the climate control functions to avoid driver distraction.
The acceleration through the automatic gearbox is smooth and responsive with steering wheel-mounted paddles for added fun. In addition, there are drive modes called Dynamic, Comfort, Eco and Rain/Ice/Snow. Comfort is ideal for motorway cruising, but if you fancy adding an edge then switch across to Dynamic and the throttle responses are sharpened up and the gear changes are timed for a sportier drive.
The road holding is ultra-grippy with neat body control and well weighted steering and, despite measuring almost five metres in length, the XF Sportbrake is deceptively agile and easy to manoeuvre.
There is clever technology that works out where the extra grip is needed on the all-wheel drive model along with rear self-levelling air suspension for ultimate comfort.
All occupants are well protected from any road surface, engine or wind noise in the beautifully refined cabin which is created from the finest materials and upholstery. The seats are made from Ebony perforated grained leather and there is light oyster-coloured headlining, lots of soft touch surfaces and smart wood veneers.
There is bundles of room inside the lengthy Sportbrake model too with ample space for a trio of back seat passengers to stretch out. And luggage restrictions won't apply either as the boot can swallow 716 litres, increasing to 1,695 litres with the 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat.
In addition, there are numerous handy storage places scattered throughout the car with a lockable glovebox, front and rear cup holders, a cooled cubby box, a sunglasses compartment, door bins, trays and the wireless smartphone charging pad.
The 2021 model also features all the upgraded driver assist systems to help protect occupants and other road users. Safety kit includes lane keep assist, trailer stability assist, emergency brake assist, hill launch assist, brake pad wear indicator, Isofix child seat fixtures, driver condition monitoring, a full suite of airbags and lots more besides.