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2015 vs. 2016 Jaguar XF: What's the Difference?

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author photo by Doug DeMuro April 2016

The Jaguar XF premium sedan has just undergone its first redesign since its original debut for the 2009 model year. While it may not look too different from the old version, the 2016 Jaguar XF offers some major changes compared to the outgoing model. But what exactly is new? And is the latest model worth the price premium over the outgoing version? To help you find out, we've created a close comparison between the all-new 2016 XF and last year's model.

Exterior

Although the Jaguar XF hasn't undergone major stylistic changes for 2016, updates to the exterior clearly modernize the sedan. Specifically, there's a revised front end with new lights and a new grille, along with an updated rear end with new taillights that uses a distinctive design borrowed from the Jaguar F-TYPE. The XF also includes new wheel designs and new colors. Still, the profile of the latest version is close enough to the overall look of the outgoing model that we suspect many shoppers could confuse the two.

Interior

Inside, the XF offers more thorough changes. While interior room and trunk space remain largely the same (save for rear-seat legroom, which has increased with the sedan's lengthened wheelbase), the sedan's cabin has been improved with a revised gauge cluster, a new steering wheel, a larger center screen and updated controls for just about everything. The XF's interior quality has also improved, as the latest model touts upgraded materials on a variety of surfaces. Still, some of the most obvious items -- such as the upright dashboard design and the unique rising, circular gear lever -- remain relatively unchanged compared to the outgoing model.

Mechanicals

For 2015, the XF offered three engines. Base models used a 240-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, midlevel versions used a 340-hp 3.0-liter supercharged V6, and top-end variants used a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 that made 470-510 hp depending on which version you chose. Rear-wheel drive was standard in the XF, though all-wheel drive was optional if you selected the V6.

For 2016, the lineup has been simplified dramatically: The V6 is the only engine that remains. Like last year, it's still offered with rear- or all-wheel drive, and it still offers a standard 8-speed automatic transmission.

While we expect to see more available engine choices join the XF's lineup in the coming year or two, shoppers who want extra gas mileage or additional hp -- and need to buy a new car right away -- will probably prefer the outgoing XF to the new model.

Features & Technology

Probably the biggest changes to the 2016 Jaguar XF relate to its vast improvements in technology over the outgoing model -- and nowhere is that more obvious than with its safety features. The 2015 XF offered a blind spot monitoring system, a backup camera and few other high-tech modern features.

In the new version, it's a totally different story: In addition to those items, the latest XF also offers lane-keep assist, forward-collision warning with automatic braking, rear cross-traffic alert, a 360-degree camera system and automatic high beams. The latest XF also touts available adaptive LED headlights and front and rear parking sensors.

And it isn't just safety features that the new XF holds over the outgoing model. There's also a wide range of newly optional convenience features, including adaptive cruise control, speed-limit recognition, a self-parking system, mobile Wi-Fi, a head-up display and 4-zone automatic climate control. Simply put, if you're into the latest and greatest gadgets and technology, you'll want to skip the 2015 XF and head straight for the new model.

Driving Experience

On the road, the latest XF behaves a lot like the outgoing model -- assuming, of course, that you chose an outgoing model with the supercharged V6 engine. If you did, you'll find familiar territory despite the improvements. The XF still offers surprisingly lively handling, strong but not class-leading acceleration, and light, predictable steering. We don't think the XF is as engaging as a BMW; but then again, it isn't as numb as a Lexus.

Given that the other engines have not yet returned to the XF's lineup for 2016, we can't compare the latest XF Supercharged or XFR against the outgoing model. Suffice it to say we're excited for those models to return, as they're the most exciting in the car's model range. As for visibility, stopping power and ride comfort, they're all about the same as last year -- which is to say that they're all excellent given the Jaguar's luxury-car status.

Safety

The Jaguar XF has not yet been tested by the federal government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Still, we suspect it'll hold up well in a collision thanks to its luxury-car engineering and solid feel.

As for safety features, the new model represents a serious improvement over the outgoing version. Specifically, it touts dramatically more equipment, as we've described in the Features & Technology section above, finally bringing it into close competition with rivals such as the Mercedes E-Class and BMW 5 Series. While we can't quantify the Jag's safety improvement with crash-test figures, it's easy to say that the latest model is dramatically better than the outgoing version purely on the strength of its more advanced safety features.

Conclusions

Although the 2016 Jaguar XF may not look dramatically different than the outgoing model, it offers some major changes -- especially in terms of technology and features. If you're a technophile or if you prioritize the latest in safety features and equipment, the 2016 XF is for you. If you're looking for the best deal, however, you may want to consider a leftover or certified pre-owned version of the outgoing XF, as it offers a similar look, a similar driving experience and more engine options -- all for a big discount.

Find a 2016 Jaguar XF for sale

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Used 2016 Jaguar XF Prestige AWD
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Used 2016 Jaguar XF R-Sport
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Used 2016 Jaguar XF R-Sport
Used 2016 Jaguar XF
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2015 vs. 2016 Jaguar XF: What's the Difference? - Autotrader