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The Top Gear car review: Jaguar XFR

£32,245£49,745
8/10
Overall verdict

For: 

An exceptional Jaguar. The XFR manages both comfort and ballistic pace

Against: 

Exhaust is a bit tame on the standard car
Possibly the best fast large saloon in the world. The old Jag tagline rings true here: ‘Grace, space and pace’.

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Our choice

Jaguar

5.0 V8 Supercharged XFR 4dr Auto

£63,395
N/A
23mpg
4.70s
510bhp
292g/km

What we say: 

XFR isn't the scalpel that is the BMW M5, but it is quite excellent nonetheless. Manages both comfort and ballistic pace

What is it?

Quite brilliant from Jaguar. The XFR is everything that you could want it to be, except possibly for the exhaust note.

Driving

Quite soft on first impressions, with slightly numb steering for such a fast car. Start prodding a few buttons and go a bit quicker though, and the XFR opens up a whole range of previously veiled ability. It’s not the scalpel that is the BMW M5, but the XFR has its own character that’s very easy to hustle. You get more indication that the car is going to start to oversteer, in most cases revelling in the fact that it seems to release into mild slides at corner apex without biting your head off or forcing your overly puckered sphincter to eat the seats. It can be a hooligan, but you have to poke it a bit to get it angry - after that, it’s sublime. 

The XFR is determinedly a decent road car first and a headbanger second, so the ride is firm but not intrusive, the autobox almost totally unfelt and the ambience one of determined pressing-on rather than blood and fire. There’s a lot of waft here, a nice surprise for something with 500bhp.

Not lacking. A 5.0-litre supercharged V8 with 510bhp and a 0-62mph time under five seconds (4.9 to be exact). A more impressive figure is a 50-70mph time of just 1.9 seconds - that’s what you’ll use to overtake the average truck - enough to make your eyes widen. There’s a limiter at 155mph, though Jaguar ‘leaked’ the fact that an unrestricted Jag would hit around 198mph. That’s quite a lot.

The XFR-S adds 40bhp and 41ft lbs to the mix. It’s 30 per cent stiffer than the regular car, and boasts a redesigned rear subframe and bigger brakes and wheels. Oh, and a massive wing. 

On the inside

There’s not a great deal that sets the XFR apart from the standard XF on the inside, so the quality seems as per the normal version. There are a few extra badges, some nice bolstered seats, a speedo that is forced to read much higher, but otherwise this is XF. That means no really bad problems have arisen quite yet and that Jag seems to have a handle on what makes a car feel just a little bit special. 

All the practicality of the XF - so while possibly not the best in class, certainly nothing that you’ll be stamping your feet about. Big boot, seats four comfortably and five at a push, easy to drive, easy enough to park and thread through traffic - the XFR is very easy to like. 

Owning

You’ll be struggling if you want really decent mpg from a supercharged 5.0 - and on test TG returned just 14.8mpg with ‘enthusiastic’ driving style. A 292g/km C02 figure doesn’t seem very good, but this is over 500bp remember. Insurance is group 20. And when you drive it £65k doesn’t actually seem that much. Seriously.

Highlights from the range

Title 0–62 CO2 MPG BHP Price
The fastest
3.0 V6 Supercharged S 4dr Auto
5.0s 198g/km 34.0 380 £49,400
The cheapest
2.0d Prestige 4dr
8.2s 104g/km 70.6 163 £32,245
The greenest
2.0d Portfolio 4dr
8.2s 104g/km 70.6 163 £36,345

Wildcard

How about something completely different?

Wildcard

9/10

Land Rover Range Rover Sport

£61,545£93,995
Wrap the V8 in the body of a Range Rover Sport, and you have something that handles well enough, and can go pretty much anywhere, too