The Jaguar XF proves growing up doesn’t mean you can’t have fun anymore

Jaguar XF 43Hollis Johnson

Over the past few years, Jaguar Land Rover has been one of the fastest-growing car companies in the US market. However, most of this growth has been thanks to the Land Rover part of JLR. In 2015, JLR’s US sales surged 26% to more than 85,000 cars, but only about 14,000 of them were Jags. In fact, the Jaguar brand’s sales fell 8% last year.

For 2016, Jaguar is making an all-out push to even things up with its corporate sibling. At the core of Jag’s strategy is the introduction of three new cars.

The new second generation XF is the first of Jaguar’s new lineup to land on our shores. The new XF will soon be joined by the BMW 3-Series-fighting XE sedan and the highly anticipated F-PACE crossover SUV.

Although the first generation XF remains very aesthetically pleasing, after nearly a decade in the public eye, it was time for a change.

“Since we now produce the smaller XE, the XF has to grow up a little bit,” Jaguar design director Ian Callum told Business Insider in an interview. “Perhaps become a little less sporty and a little more practical.”

“My balance was to really keep it as sporty as possible, but at the same time give it a lot more room on the inside,” Sir Ian added.

So, the question must be asked: “Is the youthful sports car still alive in the soul of this grown up Jag?”

The 2016 Jaguar XF starts at $51,900, while the XF S starts at $62,700. Our well-appointed XF S test car left the showroom with the price tag of $74,655.

Jaguar recently dropped off a glacier white 2016 XF S for Business Insider to sample. Let’s find out.

Photos by Hollis Johnson unless otherwise credited.

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