Published on April 23rd, 2023 | by Subhash Nair0
2022 Jaguar XF P250 R-Dynamic HSE Review
The Jaguar XF facelift model may be the sport sedan’s last shot at redemption.
The Jaguar XF P250 R-Dynamic might just be the final petrol-powered 4-door sedan from the British company. The brand built itself up with some of the most exciting-to-drive sport sedans in the market but eventually were pushed around by forces beyond its control. This facelifted XF might just be their last attempt at redemption before transitioning to a pure EV and SUV-focused portfolio. Did the Coventry-based luxury marque give us something for the ages or is the last XF another non-starter in the segment? We took it for a spin to find out.
Sporty Behind The Wheel
The XF now comes in Malaysia with a Jaguar Land Rover ‘Ingenium’ engine. For our displacement-sensitive market, JLRM has decided to specify the XF with the 2-litre 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine which sends its power to the rear wheels via an 8-speed ZF automatic. It comes in just one specification – the P250 R-Dynamic HSE. This is not the most powerful configuration for the Jag, but it is a high-specification car with loads of goodies and a sportier appearance package.
The engine packs a sufficient power and torque while the automatic is a quick shifter that keeps thing exciting and can be manipulated with metal paddle shifters. Most of the time, this gearbox will just be busy keeping fuel efficiency up though.
The XF P250 is a fun vehicle to chuck around corners and it handles itself well in terms of comfort too. Its driving character is light and agile with power available upon request. While the engine isn’t the most powerful in the segment, it certainly has a distinctive growl to it and feels willing to rev.
Space is a little tighter than expected, so don’t have yourself chauffeured in this and expect a great experience. The XF’s a driver’s car through and through.
The drive experience is quite a thrill for the senses with agility being a highlight here. It sits between an equivalent 5 Series and E-Class in terms of pure capability in the driving department. While the drive is characterful, Jaguar’s tuning is just not masterful enough to set itself apart in the segment. Pedal feel is still a little limp, shifts aren’t quite as immediate as they could be and the engine revs don’t quite rise and fall as quickly as they should.
Even with multiple drive modes available, we suspect most drivers will leave it in its default settings most of the time and manually engage the paddle shifters for a burst of spirited driving.
While this is just a facelift, I have to say that the XF is looking finer than ever. The aggression and modernity have been ramped up a notch thanks to the new light clusters and bumper designs.
The XF has an understated look to it. Jaguar has chosen not to chase trends but instead to keep to classic sport sedan design principles. The result is a car that looks handsome, aggressive and timeless. This is a bit of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the XF will probably look as good in twenty years as it does today. On the other, it looks already a little older than its contemporaries in the segment.
This has always been Jaguar’s way of doing car designs and we have to respect that they’ve mastered the art of automotive proportions. Jaguar’s weakness in the last few years has been infotainment and digital integration. That has thankfully improved with the facelifted XF. The new curved Pivo Pro infotainment system is one of the better looking ones in the segment with a very intuitive user interface too. Frame rates are good on the driver’s digital display as well.
Besides the screens, the highlight of the Jaguar XF facelift’s cabin is its return to basics. The motorized elements, such as the deployable air vents and gear selector are gone. There’s a little rotary selector for the drive mode and that’s about all the drama you’ll get out of this interior. We think it’s a step in the right direction.
Worth It For Collectors
All-in-all, the latest Jaguar XF solves some issues while ignoring others completely. On the positive side, it now looks the part of a proper 2020s sports sedan with a modern digital experience and more reliable switchgear. On the negative side, it’s still more of a specialist than a generalist in this segment while coming in at a huge premium over its CKD rivals.
That’s to be expected from JLRM – they just don’t do local assembly. Perhaps this time the XF will mature to become a collector’s item, being quite possibly the last of its kind. It would have been nice if the 3.0L inline-6 was an option, but we’ll have to settle for the 2.0L turbo. At least it’s an in-house design and a nice sporty heart to send the XF off with.
Jaguar XF P250 R-Dynamic HSE Specifications
Engine: Inline-4, 16-Valve, DOHC, Turbocharged Petrol
Gearbox: 8-speed Conventional Automatic
Max power: 250PS @ 5,500rpm
Max torque: 365Nm @ 1300-4500rpm
Top Speed: 244km/h
0-100 km/h: 6.7seconds