As you open the door, it’s not difficult to spot the design layout and the materials shared with other models from the JLR stable. Nevertheless, the dashboard is neatly designed with a lot of horizontal surfacing. It even retains the previous gen XF’s super cool start-up sequence which includes a rotary gear selector that rises up from the centre console along with the side air vents that roll up in harmony.
Theatrical start-up aside, the XF works much better as a family car compared to its predecessor. The front seats are huge and immensely supportive with more than enough thigh support and sufficient bolstering. Similarly, the rear seat is wide and nicely contoured with a deep squab, meaning you sit in it rather than on it. That said, the overall knee room, although better than before, isn’t as generous as the new 5 Series and nowhere close to the long wheelbase E-Class. The 2018 XF can be had with different leather and wood trimmings but in the Prestige trim, you have to settle for the black veneer with black upholstery and leather seats.
The top-spec Portfolio, on the other hand, has better quality leather seats, leather wrapped instrument panel surround and some extra fittings. And while we are on the subject, the XF Prestige gets a fully digital instrument cluster, parking sensors all around, an electric sunroof, climate control and a single colour ambient lighting. The Portfolio trim, meanwhile, adds electric lumbar adjustment, parking assist, keyless entry, configurable ambient lighting and a heads-up display.
The 8-inch touchscreen display for the infotainment system feels like a generation behind in the competition. It can be slow to react to touch inputs and the quality of the rear camera is mediocre. Even the high-end Meridian sound system doesn’t perform as well as other systems in this segment when it comes to audio quality. To be fair though, you can opt for the Portfolio trim that will get you the incredible 825W Meridian surround sound system with up to 17 speakers.
Despite its shortcomings, the interior of the XF feels premium and different from the German brigade. It’s well put together and the use of padded materials give it a luxury feel.