2018 Jaguar XF side view

2018 Jaguar XF review: A horrible car that isn’t actually that bad

Before even starting this Jaguar XF review, I need to get it out in the open that I’ve never really been much of a Jaguar fan. The biggest turn off for me by far has been styling, and as much as I’ve tried to acquire a taste for thier brand language, I just can’t seem to make it happen.

It’s really true – there have been very few Jaguar‘s released over the years that have appealed to me from a styling point of view and more often than not I end up wincing and wrinkling my nose whenever one drives by.

The other issue I’ve had with the Jaguar brand is the fact that it’s overly notorious for being unreliable. It seems like every Jalopnik article or YouTube video I watch featuring one of these cars skews towards how it left the owner stranded, resulting in a magnificently awesome story of frustration, anger, and survival.

The stories are really fun to read about, but it’s hard not to feel sorry for the owners and think how lucky I am that I don’t have to live with one of these cars on a daily basis.

That being said, I fully admit that I was feeling pretty excited about getting the chance to put together a Jaguar XF review. But just as I expected, the process didn’t start very smoothly.

The story of how this 2018 Jaguar XF review began

While on a short trip to Austin Texas recently, I noticed that Avis was offering Jaguar F types for rent. Being that I needed the car for an afternoon and I wasn’t about to step foot in a Kia Forte again, I immediately jumped all over that opportunity and made the reservation.

However, upon arrival at the Avis lot at the airport, they handed me the keys to a 2018 Jaguar XF instead. Wait, what? I was in the mood to hoon around like a badass in a sports car that particular afternoon, and the thought of floating about in a large four-door sedan instead didn’t seem that appealing to me. At all.

2018 Jaguar XF
You’d be upset too if someone threw you the keys to this when you were expecting an F Type. First impressions of the 2018 XF? It looks too Buick-y to me and it was giving me the urge to drive straight to the local shuffleboard court to check out the action.

“What about the F type?”, I asked with a concerned look on my face. “Oh, we haven’t had any of those for a long time” the stern-looking Avis agent replied back. Being that it seemed as if she didn’t give a shit about her job at all, I wasn’t about to argue with her about the fact that the website said that there was at least one available. Oh well.

2018 Jaguar XF rear view
Be honest – if you didn’t see that crazy jumping cat logo on the back, would you even be able to guess that it’s a Jaguar?

Despite the feeling that I lost out big time on the F Type, at least I had a car for the afternoon. And they even made an effort to pull the car out of the parking lot and up to the main entrance for me.

Of course it wouldn’t make up for the fact that I wouldn’t be driving a swanky F Type, but it was indeed a good start. But then, just as things were looking up, the Jaguar demons reared their ugly horns and things turned sour – again. Did you really think that this Jaguar XF review was going to go off without a hitch? Ha!

Behold the electronic glitches

Long story short, Jaguar XF problems are something I should have researched before getting in and turning the key. Starting the car revealed in that not only one tire was low on air, but all four of them were. What the hell? Not feeling adventurous enough to deal with a rental car that needed service, I walked back into the reservation office and informed them that the car had issues. “Oh don’t worry about that” she replied. “The tire pressure is fine. It’s the warning lights that are malfunctioning and it’s scheduled to be fixed soon. Have fun sweetie!”

Feeling skeptical, I returned to the car and tried to ignore the fact that the dashboard was all lit up like a Christmas tree.

2018 Jaguar XF wheel and tire
According to the onboard computer, this right here is a tire low on air. Or is it? I still can’t believe I found the courage to drive away from the rental lot in a Jaguar spewing warnings at me.

Other than that little annoyance, I actually found it to be pretty nice inside and I was feeling like Jaguar had impressed me for the first time in my life.

2018 Jaguar XF interior
The interior. Nice enough for me to forget about the fact that this car might be possessed with electrical gremlins!

In all, I spent about five hours with the 2018 Jaguar XF that afternoon, and overall it was a decent experience. The best way to sum up my feelings and impressions about it is to point out some things that I think future owners need to know.

1. It’s not that fast (probably not what you wanted to hear in a Jaguar XF review)

The first thing that I did when I sat down in this car was to Google it’s specs. Given the fact that I’ve never been a Jaguar fan at all at any point in my life, it kind of makes sense that I would know nothing about this thing. But as I sat there scrolling through the search results, my interest piqued when I realized that I was at the helm of a supercharged 3.0L V6 producing 380hp.

That sounded like a lot for a car of this size, and the somewhat aggressive exhaust tone upon startup gave me a hunch that this thing was going to be a ripper. However, once out on the road, it felt slightly unsatisfying.

2018 Jaguar XF V6 engine
380hp might sound like a respectable amount of power (and it is considering that my Mustang has 406), but it just didn’t feel all that powerful. Maybe it was only running on three cylinders? Well, this is a Jaguar after all, so you can’t be all that upset at me for assuming the worst.

Don’t give me wrong – of course it had plenty of power to have a fun and exceed the speed limit a lot quicker than I could in my 2010 Honda fit, but if I didn’t know how much horsepower this car produced I only would’ve guessed maybe 260 or so. It’s got plenty enough power for being a daily driver, but unfortunately, not enough to keep an enthusiast happy long-term.

2. The 2018 Jaguar XF is the perfect car for a road trip across the USA

Believe it or not, there are actually a few things that I really liked about this 2018 Jaguar XF. The biggest thing was the realization of how good of a cruiser that it is. It’s not an overly large car, but it certainly big enough to feel really comfortable inside to the point where it made me feel like I wanted to hit the road and drive (instead of fly) back home to San Diego.

Of course, if you read my pros and cons list of the Volkswagen Beetle, I proclaimed that car to be a really good road trip car as well. So take this compliment with a grain of salt…

2018 Jaguar XF road trip
If there’s on thing that the Jaguar XF does really well, it’s cruise. Grab your friends (preferably those who know how to fix cars) and hit the open road!
DriveAndReview selfie Jaguar XF
It takes balls of steel to drive a Jaguar out to remote cowboy country like this. The vultures must have known what kind of car I was driving because they were starting to circle overhead…

Visibility out of each and every window is excellent, the seats are very firm and supportive, and the overall driving position is really good. I know for a fact that I could be comfortable piloting this thing for hours on end. Keep in mind that I was really comfortable during a C7 Corvette road trip from San Diego to Washington DC a few years ago as well, so take that for what it’s worth.

It’s worth noting that I also consider the XF to be a lot more engaging (and comfortable) as road trip car compared to cheaper competition such as the Chrysler 300 S. If you’re curious, do be sure to check out my Chrysler 300 pros and cons list to find out why.

3. Be prepared to deal with annoying glitches (it’s a Jaguar duh)

Yes, it’s absolutely true. Everything that you’ve heard about the Jaguar automobile company and its reputation for poor reliability is still true to this day. Granted, they are getting better year by year, but they’ve still got a long way to go and it’s quite unfortunate considering that the cars they are building these days are pretty darn nice.

Remember those low tire pressure warnings that I mentioned earlier in this post? Well, those happy little warning lights were what greeted me as I settled into my first ever Jaguar driving experience, and I’ve got to admit that it didn’t surprise me at all.

I guess that’s one good thing about having a bad reputation – when bad stuff happens, it’s never surprising. But come on Jaguar – your’re building awesome cars these days, and there’s no excuse to be letting glitches like this fall through the cracks. And least it’s juicy content to add into my 2018 Jaguar XF review though, so I’m willing to let it slide this one time.

By the way, the first thing I did after leaving the Avis lot was to stop at a gas station to check the tire pressure at all four corners. Sure enough, the tire pressure was fine though the warning lights remained lit. Two hours later, they finally went away and the mystery of those lights remains unsolved. Welcome to Jaguar!

2018 Jaguar XF steering wheel and dashboard
What the hell? What happened to the warning lights? Not that I was complaining, but the sudden dissapearance of the tire pressure warnings gave me a lot to think about as I drove further and further out into the Texas backcountry. Was it just a glitch? Was it going to throw new errors at me and eventually leave me stranded? Butt pucker factor level 8 for sure.

4. It’s true – the 2018 Jaguar XF gets a lot of attention

I’ll admit it. Even I did a double take when I first saw this car for the first time – even though I was expecting to be driving an F Type this afternoon instead. I’m not a very big fan of large four-door sedans (at all), but I’m not ashamed to admit that the 2018 Jaguar XF is a fine looking automobile in and out.

2018 Jaguar XF side view
As much teasing about the Jaguar brand as I have in this review, I will admit that it’s a pretty nice looking car from some angles. I’d totally rock one as a daily driver.

I was really surprised to see how much attention it got while out on the road. That’s good and bad I guess because I’m the biggest introvert you’ll ever know and I hate it when people stare at me or at least in my general direction. This car got a lot of looks from people of all walks of life, which leads me to believe that Jaguar is appealing to the masses and that their visual brand language is on point.

2018 Jaguar XF review pics
Can you imagine this thing with tinted windows and lowered on some nice wheels? I can. And it’s hot.

It’s very clear to me that this is a status car that many would want to buy for the attention. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It looks like luxury, it (kind of) drives like luxury, so it would be a perfect fit for anybody looking to step up in life and start arriving in style.


All in all, I actually ended up quite liking the 2018 Jaguar XF quite a bit. There. I said it. Never in my life would I have expected to admit liking anything made by the Jaguar automobile company, but this particular car left a good impression on me and I would admit that it has inspired me to check out more of the Jaguar lineup in the near future.

Yeah, the tire pressure warning thing was annoying, but this car is good enough to overlook little glitches and annoyances like that. My only real suggestion for anyone looking to buy a used 2018 Jaguar XF is to get it with and extended warranty – because you will need it.

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