"Grace, space, pace" the Jaguar advertisements said in the old days. The XF is a little lacking in the first term, a little excessive in the second, and absolutely over the top in the third.
This is a lovely car, perhaps the best Jaguar ever. Nothing broke, nothing went wrong, it was reasonable if not really good for fuel economy cruising down the highway, and it was outstanding in ride comfort. The electronics seemed slow, but not the steering or chassis response, which certainly matter more. I had no occasion to brake really hard, but in normal use they were reassuring. I did make a couple of maximum-effort starts, and these were drama free and mightily impressive.
The XF is not groundbreaking nor is it a style leader by any means - it is absolutely generic viewed from behind - but it looks good and attracts a lot of attention. I received quite a few questions when I stopped for fuel.
I hope it is as successful in the marketplace as it needs to be, because it would be a shame to see Jaguar disappear, which it surely would have done under Ford tutelage.
Robert Cumberford, Automotive Design Editor