Review: Jaguar XF 2.2 diesel
Gone are the days when luxury cars and powerful, gas-guzzler engines were inseparable. The modern era is all about downsizing, and almost every carmaker is working to develop smaller, more efficient engines. Downsizing doesn’t necessarily mean making something unexciting or less powerful. Look at the German trio battling it out in the luxury sedan segment – their best-selling models are powered by either 2.0 or 2.2-litre diesel engines.
One non-German with the potential to snatch a piece of their pie is Jaguar, which up until now only had a 3.0-litre V6 diesel and a 5.0-litre V8 supercharged petrol for its XF sedan. But with local assembly of the XF now underway, the company has added a new 2.2-litre diesel variant to its line-up. This 4-cylinder engine in the XF feels pretty smooth and refined, and with minimal turbo lag, power delivery is on the linear side. From the word go, it responds well to throttle inputs and there’s no hint of hesitation as it marches ahead.
It loves to be revved and you can easily stretch it to its redline before hitting its top speed of 225kph. Driving in Mumbai’s peak traffic also proved how easygoing and relaxed the new XF 2.2 feels. This nature is further accentuated by the new eight-speed automatic ’box from XF. The ’box is pretty quick and doesn’t really bother you much, except when you want to pull out a sudden overtaking move.
It takes a while before it reacts, but then, there are paddle shifts to rescue you in these situations. The XF doesn’t feel at ease when you push it too hard as its ride tilts more towards comfort than outright performance and it does a pretty good job of it.
Surprisingly, the only way you could probably tell it’s an XF 2.2 is from the smaller 17inch alloy wheels, and at the back, where there’s only one exhaust pipe. Inside, the equipment list makes for better reading now, with additional features such as a dash-mounted touchscreen for sat-nav and rear view camera, TV tuner, paddle shifters, electric sunroof and rear sunblind, a button for the rear passenger to adjust the front seat, and a full-size spare wheel. As always, the cabin continues to make you feel special.
Local assembly of the XF has helped Jaguar price its sedan closer to its competitors that before. However, it doesn’t have a price advantage here, and at Rs 44.5 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai), it’s more expensive than its rivals. But, a smaller engine and new gearbox translate to better fuel economy, and it gets more features too. Plus, the XF could play the exclusivity card really well.
2179cc, 4-cyl in-line, turbo-diesel, 187bhp, 450Nm, 8A, RWD, 0-100: 8.5sec*, 225kph* top speed, Rs 44.5 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai)
Smooth and refined engine, with a cabin that makes you feel special. Added features and improved fuel economy ups the ante. Buy it if you want exclusivity.