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Jaguar XF offers diverse lineup, fuel-efficient diesel engine

The Jaguar XF provides mid-size luxury sedan buyers with a pleasing alternative to the segment’s usual choices (Audi, BMW, Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz).

What XF offers is distinctive and elegant styling, comfortable or sporty driving dynamics and a variety of engine choices.

XF’s base engine for 2017 is an all-new, highly fuel-efficient, 180-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged diesel engine.

When equipped with the diesel engine, XF is the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid offering in this segment, with a fuel economy rating of 31/42 mpg city/highway for rear-wheeldrive (RWD) models and 30/40 mpg for all-wheel-drive (AWD) versions.

The 2017 Jaguar XF is available in five trim levels (XF, XF Premium, XF Prestige, XF R-Sport and XF S). The new diesel engine, designated as “20d,” is available in all trim levels except the XF S.

I suspect, though, that most XF buyers will prefer more power and choose one of the two supercharged gasoline-powered engines.

Opting for XF’s “35t” engine gets you a strong, 340-horsepower supercharged 3.0-liter V-6. The 35t is available in all trims except the XF S.

Those who choose the top-of-the-line XF S are rewarded with a robust, 380-horsepower supercharged 3.0-liter V-6.

The XF S also provides unique exterior styling, sport seats, adjustable adaptive suspension and more.

All models utilize a smooth-shifting ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. Power is transmitted to either the rear wheels or all four wheels when equipped with XF’s optional AWD system.

Both supercharged gasoline-powered engines require premium fuel, but they deliver much quicker acceleration.

Inside, the XF provides an invitingly elegant cabin with seating for five. But because of a very high floor hump in the rear, there is very little leg room for a rear middle passenger.

There is enough head and leg room for most, but I found leg room in the rear quite restricted when the front seats were in their rearmost positions.

XF’s seats are comfortable and supportive, but the two lower trim levels feature leatherette upholstery.

The XF base model ($47,450) is nicely equipped, but it features fewer standard indulgences than competing models. The cost to purchase rises sharply when choosing options or picking a higher trim level.

My 2017 Jaguar XF 35t AWD R-Sport tester had a base price of $64,150, but because it featured options like Italian Racing Red metallic paint ($550), head-up display ($990), comfort and convenience package ($2,100), technology package ($3,200), driver assistance package ($3,200) and AWD protection package ($403), its total price jumped to $75,588.

As expected, XF’s overall driving experience varies depending on which engine and which trim level you choose. Base models are tuned more for comfort.

You can select sportier versions if you prefer a firmer ride, or the available adaptive suspension system is recommended for those who want to tailor the ride to their liking.