From almost any angle, you'd know this was a Jaguar. You'd know this was an XF. It's a very different one though, in ways you simply won't appreciate if all you offer this car is a cursory glance. The sweeping coupe-like profile that defined the original model has evolved, the roofline lower, the rear deck longer and higher. There's a choice of saloon or Sportbrake bodystyles.
And inside? Well a seat in the front of an XF has always been a special experience and it still is. The rising circular gear selector on automatic models remains a highlight, as are the cartwheeling airvents that turn into place as you start up. Those vents have been reduced in number and thrown to the edges of the cabin with this MK2 model, with the centre of the fascia freed up for a sophisticated 8-inch 'InControl Touch' infotainment system. This set-up's certainly a vast improvement on the low-tech display of the previous model in both form and function, but we are a little surprised that Jaguar has chosen not to provide the kind of 'i-Drive'-style rotary infotainment controller that direct Executive segment rivals offer, perhaps because of the possible confusion this might have created with the similar-looking rotary gear selector I mentioned earlier. You can now order it wih dual-screen technology which will enable the driver to look at one thing (say the sat nav) while the front passenger looks at another (say a DVD).
At 4,954mm long, the XF remains a big car, so there's lots of room in the back. The doors offer an optional soft-close function, and there's plenty of natural light flooding the cabin. If you want more, you can specify a panoramic sunroof. The rear bench also features a more practical 40:20:40 split, making it easier to through-load bulky items such as skis. The 540-litre boot has the option of a power close function which can work with one of those 'gesture control' systems if you approach the car laden down with baggage.