Used Vehicle Review: Jaguar XF, 2007-2015

Vehicle Type

Mid-size Luxury Sedan

History/Description

Ever classy! The Jaguar XF launched on Canadian shores for model-year 2009 to compete with comparable machinery from BMW, Audi and Lexus. Today, just a few years later, one can find a used copy of the British posh-cruiser available in the same pricing ballpark as a nicely loaded new Camry. Further, there’s no shortage of higher-mileage, earlier units priced from the mid-teens!

Depreciation is a beautiful thing—especially when you’re able to get into a car once priced in the seventies for under $20,000. Look for earlier models with rear-wheel drive, V8 or supercharged V8 power, and a six-speed automatic. Note that from 2010, a 5.0L V8, with or without supercharger, replaced the older 4.2L unit, and newer models began offering a mileage-focused 2.0L turbo four-cylinder engine, or a 3.0L supercharged V6 as well. Look for available AWD on select models. It’s a frisky-pants, rear-biased AWD setup that’s a total hoot in the snow, if you’re into slidey stuff.

High-performance XFR and XFRS models were available too.

Feature content was fitting of a world-class luxury performance sedan, with a Bower and Wilkins stereo system packing 500-plus watts, navigation, authentic wood trim, Bluetooth, push-button start, and the signature shift dial, which rises from the console when the engine is started. Dual zone climate control, climate-controlled seats, rain-sensing wipers and a heated windshield (highly recommended) were also available.

What Owners Like

A finely honed blend of comfort, power, agility, and refinement attracted many shoppers to the XF, with potent on-demand performance from the larger engines, and crisp steering and confident handling helping to seal the deal. Highly apparent interior quality and classy looks, as well as the posh factor, were highly rated too. The up-level stereo system and powerful xenon lights were among the favourite features of shoppers. Most owners rave about the switchable drive modes, which allow the XF to be switched from a comfortable cruiser to a hot-rod rocket sled at the touch of a button.

What Owners Dislike

Some owners complain of a plain and simple central command interface, small and tricky to read instruments and an annoying wiper washer system, which sprays windshield juice right onto the wiper blades, so pre-flooding a frozen windshield isn’t possible. Plus, an annoying re-wipe function often smears frozen washer juice around a few seconds after the windshield is already clear. Grab a Jaguar technician on his lunch break, buy him a coffee, and have him or her disable it.

Here’s a look at some Jaguar XF owner reviews.

The Test Drive

According to numerous owners, common problems in the first-generation Jaguar XF are of the niggling and frustrating variety, though few seem systematic or particularly worrisome. Test drivers are advised to ensure all of the XF’s software is up to date, including the software that controls the vehicle’s power accessories, navigation system and driveline. Owners have reported that issues like frequent dead batteries, navigation-related issues and restricted performance have all been rectified by updated software, which is relatively cheap and easy.

Confirm that the dial shifter moves from position to position, numerous times, on your test drive, too. Failure of the mechanism to unlock and allow the dial to be placed into reverse or drive, or any warning messages that appear while doing so, warrant further investigation at a Jaguar dealer, and will likely be fixed by a computer system reboot or computer programming.

Note that low battery voltage may have numerous ill effects on the various systems in a car like the XF, so spend the thirty bucks on a trickle charger and use it when your new Jag will be parked for more than a day or two.

Here’s a discussion relating to earlier XF models from this generation, suggesting that owners be aware of two fairly common issues. First up? A check engine light, though possible for a variety of reasons, may illuminate because of a leak in the supercharger system. In some cases, it’s a gasket between the supercharger and engine, and many owners have had it replaced under warranty. In other cases, it’s a leak in the intake system where the brake booster plumbing is connected. Neither issue is massively serious or difficult to fix, though the supercharger gasket will be pricier to repair out of warranty. Here’s a bit more reading.

The second issue is the water pump on the 4.2L V8 found in first-year XF models (2009), which may be prone to leaking. Any used car should have its cooling system checked for proper fluid fill levels and condition, and if low coolant levels on a 2009 model are apparent, the water pump should be the first item investigated. Coolant puddles beneath the car are another trouble sign. The newer 5.0L V8 engine wasn’t free of coolant-system problems, either. Here’s a thread discussing how certain hoses and other coolant plumbing bits could fail, and how some owners choose to change these parts out as if they’re consumable maintenance items, just to be safe and prevent overheating and leaks.

Scrutinize the condition of the brakes, especially in the rear of a used XF. Some owners complain of very premature rear brake pad wear, speculating that if the vehicle is driven often in the snow or rain, frequent engagement of the traction control system in response to slippery conditions may play a role. If the XF you’re considering has low brake pad life remaining, a warning message may also be present in the instrument cluster. Call it into pricing negotiations.

Confirm that the seats all function as expected, ensuring proper functionality of the memory recall settings, all motorized adjustments, and both the heat and cool functions, if equipped. Poor performance from the ventilated seat system may be remedied by replacing a small filter, accessible from beneath the seat, restoring air flow to the system.

This discussion focuses around a possible dashboard defect, in which the leather surface of the dashboard suddenly lifts and bulges away from the plastic beneath, causing an unsightly blemish.

Two final notes.

First, some used XF models with supercharged engines may have been modified to run higher-than-factory boost levels via non-stock software tuning and/or a smaller-diameter supercharger pulley that rotates the compressors faster than originally intended. This can make more power, but also damage internal engine components and void any remaining warranty. Most shoppers should avoid a used model that’s been modified to run non-stock supercharger output.

Second, the XF is a great candidate to test drive with an engine code reader on hand. Borrow one from a friend, or pick one up, and bring it with you. Simply hooking it up to the XF’s computer port and doing a scan can help reveal any issues relating to sensors or electronics that may be hiding within the car, or even discover that an expensive sensor or module is in need of replacing.

The Verdict

With a thumbs up from a Jaguar mechanic after a pre-purchase check that includes the cooling system, supercharger system, electronics system and braking system, a healthy used XF can be bought with relative confidence. Though the model seems affected by numerous smaller issues, it appears delightfully free of more serious mechanical and electronic issues common in comparable German models. A used copy available through a Certified Pre Owned program at a local Jaguar dealer is your best bet for peace of mind.

Here’s a lengthy list of recalls. Bring the VIN number of the XF you’re considering to a dealer and have the service department check to see if any of the no-cost recall jobs are outstanding on the model you’re considering.

Ever classy! The Jaguar XF launched on Canadian shores for model-year 2009 to compete with comparable machinery from BMW, Audi and Lexus. To 10/15/2015 10:28:08 AM