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Jaguar XF 161bhp diesel driven

Driven August 2012

Jaguar XF 161bhp diesel driven

Forget the F-Type - this lower-powered, four-cylinder diesel XF is where the future of Jag lies. Number-crunching, fleet-friendly cars like the 2.2-litre are where the sales are. If cars like this XF don't sell, no one gets an F-Type.

So Jag is now offering the small diesel XF with two power levels. We've already seen the 187bhp version, but this new one has been robbed of 26bhp, with torque reduced to 400Nm (from 450Nm). As a result, the 0-100kph time rises to 10.5secs, from 8.5secs, and the top speed drops by 16kph.

In other words, not hugely impressive figures. Yet on the road you don't notice because there's just about enough torque to make overtaking OK, and the refined diesel makes journeys relaxing.

But, and it's a big but, the CO2 and economy figures haven't benefitted. So the less powerful engine still emits 149g/km and 22.2kpl - that's OK for a 187bhp engine, less so for a 161bhp one. And then you consider the BMW 520ed - it's similar money and manages 119g/km and 26.6kpl.

So the news here isn't great - this Jag is slightly redundant. If you're a private buyer, get the pokier 2.2-litre. If you're a company car buyer, get the Beemer.

The numbers
2179cc, 4cyl, 161bhp, 400Nm, 22.2kpl, 149g/km CO2, 0-100kph in 10.5secs, 209kph, 1745kg

The verdict
A fine car, but not the finest XF. Save up some more and get the more powerful 187bhp diesel

Piers Ward

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