Jaguar XF Review
Car Tested: 2013 Jaguar XF 2.2 Diesel Luxury
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 54,30,000/-
The XF 2.2 might be the new entry level model in Jaguar’s stable, but it is still very desirable and high on performance.
Entry level models of luxury brands account for a majority of sales in India. Most people buy luxury cars to be chauffer driven and don’t really care much about the engine, as long as the vehicle offers them the regular bells and whistles, they are content. In the executive luxury segment, the German trio have been doing massively well with the BMW 520d, Mercedes E220 CDI and Audi A6 2.0 TDI accounting for a majority of sales. All these vehicles are powered by 4-cylinder diesel motors, which means not only are they cheaper to buy, but even cheaper to run. Now British manufacturer has launched the Jaguar XF, powered by a 2.2-litre, 4-cylinder diesel engine, which is all set to give a tough competition to the German teutons. The diesel XF was earlier offered only with a V6 powerplant, brought via the CBU route. Now Jaguar has started local assembly of the XF in its 2.2 avatar, which shows huge promise. We drive this 4-pot diesel XF to see if it’s as terrific as its elder siblings.
Exteriors – The design of the Jaguar XF remains as eye catchy as before. The styling is unmistakably Jaguar with the long bonnet and those sharp lines which giving the vehicle a very unique appearance. The XF has the presence to turn heads where ever it goes and the coupe like roofline further amplifies the sporty flavour. The boomerang style day time running lights and C-shaped tail lights are other highlights on the Jaguar XF. While Jaguar has left all the chrome bits on the XF, they have reduced the wheel size (17-inch Libra alloys in Jaguar speak) and removed the S badge from the boot. The XF 2.2 comes with a single tail pipe exhaust against the dual ones found on more powerful models. However, even with these minor changes, the XF still looks stunning and fresh.
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Interiors – Step inside and you still feel the sense of occasion that you would in any other Jaguar. The AC vents open and the gear lever rises up as soon as you press the start button on the centre console. There is little to tell that you are in a lower spec model, because Jaguar hasn’t skimped on equipment. You still get all those features which make the XF such a special car. The only way you can make out if the XF you are sitting in is equipped with a 2.2-litre engine is by looking at the wood inserts, which don’t have a gloss finish like in the 3.0-litre diesel variant.
The XF 2.2 boasts of many features not offered by rivals (on 4-cylinder engined variants) like touch screen system with TV tuner, nagivation and rear view camera, electric sunroof, electric seats, electric rear sunblind and steering mounted paddle shifts. Ofcourse the paddle shifts are there because you don’t get a gear lever but a rotary knob for selecting gears, thus the only way to manually take control of shifting is through the steering mounted paddles. Kudos to Jaguar for offering a full sized spare wheel (with alloy) on the XF, something which adds to the practicality of the vehicle.
Then there is the touch enabled cabin lights (only at the front) which are very intuitive to use. Comfort levels are simply excellent and the front passenger seat can be adjusted from behind to increase rear seat legroom further, a feature of high use in India. Rear seat legroom is not class leading but there is decent amount of space at the rear. The sloping roofline compromises a bit on the headroom but not by much. Overall the cabin of the Jaguar XF feels every inch as exclusive as its more pricier variants, the company doesn’t let you know you are traveling in a smaller engined model.
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Performance – Looking at the engine bay, the first thing you might want to know where is the battery, well it’s in the boot, right next to the spare wheel (all XFs have this type of arrangement). Jaguar engineers have done fantastic packaging on the XF. The XF 2.2 is powered by a 2179cc, 4-cylinder engine which produces 190 PS of peak power at 3500 RPM and 450 Nm of peak torque at 2000 RPM. This engine is mated to a new 8-speed automatic gearbox and the other versions of the XF have also been updated with this new transmission.
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Performance from this motor is very strong, with power being delivered in a linear fashion. 0 – 100 km/hr takes 8.5 seconds (as per the company), which is 2.1 seconds slower than the V6 diesel. Top speed is 225 km/hr against 250 km/hr (limited) in bigger engined versions. Surprisingly you never feel the lower displacement as the XF 2.2 is very responsive and revs freely to its 4200 RPM redline. It’s only at high speeds do you feel the lower output and we found the XF 2.2 to be more than adequately powerful on our 300 odd kms with the car. There is a small lag initially after which the XF pulls strongly, with good drivability on offer in both city and highway conditions.
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Cruising on the expressway is hassle free, you have cruise control and the engine is very relaxed, doing around 105 km/hr at 1500 RPM in 8th gear. This smaller oilburner is also more fuel efficient and in spite of driving the vehicle in S mode, we got a mileage of around 9 km/l, which is very impressive. The 8-speed gearbox is quick to shift but sometimes doesn’t down shift as quickly, even though you stomp the accelerator. However the paddle shifts let you control things and you can quickly get into the gear you want to extract maximum juice from this mill. Overall NVH levels are excellent and there is little to tell this is a diesel vehicle.
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Driving Dynamics – The Jaguar XF is more suited towards comfort and offers a very good ride quality on all types of roads. The XF 2.2 features 55 profile rubber which further enhances the ride quality of the car. The vehicle transmits little to the occupants but we found the high speed ride to be a bit bouncy over bad roads. Handling is predicatable but the steering isn’t near as quick to respond to inputs like the BMW 5-Series. That said, the balance between ride and handling has been well achieved and the XF offers a good blend of both, with the focus more towards comfort. Braking performance is excellent and the XF sheds speeds with confidence.
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Verdict – The Jaguar XF is now more affordable but feels as special as before. Small details make it throughly desirable (like the nozzle placement on the wipers itself ensure better washer spray coverage and the mood lightning inside the cabin gives a unique appeal at night). The XF has always appealed to the heart but with local assembly and a 4-cylinder engine, it appeals to the head as well. Jaguar has offered the entry level XF with many features, which makes the vehicle immensely attractive. The XF 2.2 is sure to give a volume boost to Jaguar in India (the car already has a waiting period of 3 months in some cities) and has the merits to give the Germans some sleepless nights.
The Jaguar XF continues to offer comfort, performance and style but in a more practical package, which will appeal to a large section of buyers.
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* Unique styling elements
* Engine performance and NVH
* Equipment levels
What’s Not So Cool
* Bouncy ride at high speed
Further Reading –