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Jaguar XF - Introduction

 

Jaguar’s 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged XF may be the cheapest car it sells in India, but does that compromise this big cat’s character in any way? We seek to find out after this road test, which combined city driving, highway and handling tests.

 

Jaguar XF - Design & Engineering

 

Much has been written about Jaguar’s XF. Yes, it has been around for a while, and the facelift too is now two years old. It is a shape which remains pleasant and unassuming, and the rear three-quarter profile continues to remain its most flattering angle. But the focus of this road test isn’t so much on the way this Jaguar looks, but more on how it drives.

The XF 2.0 uses a 1,999 cc four-cylinder petrol engine, which drives the rear wheels through an 8-speed automatic gearbox. This motor produces a healthy 237 PS of power, along with 340 Nm of torque. That’s more than what you get in the Mercedes-Benz E200, and the now-discontinued BMW 523i. It’s more than the A6 2.0 TFSI, too.

 

Jaguar XF - Interiors & Comfort

 

jaguar xf 2.0 road test

 

Inside the XF, the interiors now appear a familiar place. I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat myself – the XF cabin remains one of those treasures of understated elegance. The clean and simple design, with contoured metal and simple, sanded veneer creates a soothing ambience. Jaguar’s ‘Drive controller’ remains distinctly exciting to use, too, never once feeling like a gimmick.   

The plush, armchair like front seats are great, and you step out feeling fresh even after a few hours behind the wheel. The inherent compromise of the sloping roof means that rear headroom is at a premium, but then again, that is something all potential customers are already aware of.

Jaguar offers customers the option of both a ‘space-saver’ spare tyre, or a re-inflation kit. For simplicity’s sake, we’d recommend the re-inflation kit, which is not too difficult to learn how to use, and allows you to get to a service station, allow without having to roll up your shirt sleeves. However, you will be able to drive a longer distance with a space-server.

 

Jaguar XF - Interiors & Comfort

 

jaguar xf 2.0 road test

 

Inside the XF, the interiors now appear a familiar place. I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat myself – the XF cabin remains one of those treasures of understated elegance. The clean and simple design, with contoured metal and simple, sanded veneer creates a soothing ambience. Jaguar’s ‘Drive controller’ remains distinctly exciting to use, too, never once feeling like a gimmick.   

The plush, armchair like front seats are great, and you step out feeling fresh even after a few hours behind the wheel. The inherent compromise of the sloping roof means that rear headroom is at a premium, but then again, that is something all potential customers are already aware of.

Jaguar offers customers the option of both a ‘space-saver’ spare tyre, or a re-inflation kit. For simplicity’s sake, we’d recommend the re-inflation kit, which is not too difficult to learn how to use, and allows you to get to a service station, allow without having to roll up your shirt sleeves. However, you will be able to drive a longer distance with a space-server.

 

Jaguar XF - Performance & Handling

 

jaguar xf  road test

 

Now, we get to the meat of the matter; just how good is the XF 2.0 to drive? For starters, it is a turbocharged engine, and while the power and torque figures won’t raise any eyebrows, neither will they elicit a polite cough. A specific output nearing 120 PS per litre isn’t to be scoffed at; however, the disclaimer is that the XF is and has always been a bit of a ‘fat cat’. That’s not a derogatory inference, but simple fact.

Pushing nearly two tonnes of metal will always be a bit of an ask from a two-litre motor, even with forced induction, and Jaguar’s engineers have resorted to a shorter final drive to ensure the XF 2.0 has enough shove. This is the same 8-speed ZF gearbox as found on other models from the British firm, but it has been set up to match the engine. The 2.0-litre petrol motor puts out its max torque at just 1,750 rpm, which helps matters, but the gearing is still short to ensure the XF 2.0 does not end up feeling sluggish.

Throttle responses are indeed admirable, and the XF proves a pointy and willing tool even in traffic, despite its considerable size. Even without the ‘S’ (for Sport) setting selected, it changes gears aggressively. This sometimes can cause the odd lurch, or a sudden burst of sound from the exhaust, as the car downshifts a gear too many. Since this is a drive-by-wire system, with a lot dependent on the throttle position sensor, the expectation is that the engineers should be able to set up the car to an individual’s taste. Our test car was a little too snappy on the throttle.

Where the XF never fails to delight is on a twisty section of road. The inherent balance this chassis has always enjoyed is made slightly sweeter with the lighter engine in the nose. Flowing bends feel completely natural in this car, with a predictive and progressive transition from mild understeer to mild oversteer when on the throttle. What is the real sweetener is the fact that the Jag’s ride quality is not compromised despite its agile handling. In fact, its real world balance is still probably best-in-class compared to its immediate rivals.

The brakes are hugely powerful, which you begin to take for granted sometimes, never a good idea on a public road. The braking prowess the XF 2.0 possesses is quite surprising, actually.

 

Jaguar XF - Fuel Efficiency

 

The shorter gearing we alluded to earlier can raise its ugly head on the highway, where the motor feels busy even at moderate speeds. This results in lower than expected fuel efficiency. Jaguar’s own claims are moderate, with the Xf 2.0 certified at 10.8 km/l. Our real world test, which included a combination of both highway and city driving, recorded a shade under 7.0 km/l.

 

Jaguar XF - Safety

 

Jaguar hasn’t cut any corners on this cheapest (for now) offering, and the XF comes with all the expected safety features, including airbags, ABS and ESP.   

 

Jaguar XF - Verdict

 

So should you buy one? If you’re in the market for a luxury sedan, you want a petrol engine only, and don’t want something with brute power (so no thank you, XFR / M5 / E63 AMG), the XF is worth considering for its classy interior and blend of ride and handling. At Rs 48.6 lakh, ex-showroom, it isn’t cheaper than a Mercedes-Benz E 200 or an Audi A6 2.0 TFSI. Plus, buyers are aware that it is a little long in the tooth, and is older than either the E-Class or A6.

It isn’t very fuel efficient either, and the short gearing means highway drives will always test the engine’s ability to sip and cruise.

I love the XF, I always have, but I’m afraid that the XF is still a little bit of an ‘old Jaguar’. The ‘new Jaguar’, heralded by the F-Type and the soon-to-be-launched XE, promise much more. Of course, there will be a new XF soon, probably as early as 2015, but in its present avatar, the XF 2.0 falls just a little bit short. There will always be fond reminisces and long parting looks, but this is a love affair which might not endure.  

Lastly, let’s not forget that this class of buyer is inevitably chauffeur-driven. For them, what the A6 2.0 TFSI manages to deliver will more than suffice.

 

Jaguar XF - Competition Check

 

Mercedes-Benz E 200 CGI, Audi A6 2.0 TFSI

 

Specifications

Dimensions
Length x Width x Height (mm) 4961 X 1877 X 1460
Wheelbase (mm) 2109
Turning circle dia (m) 11.48
Kerb weight (kg) 1780-1891
Boot space (lt) 500
Engine & Transmission
Capacity (cc) 2179 (2.2 litre diesel), 2993 (3.03 litre diesel), 1999 (2.0-litre petrol)
Power (PS @ rpm) 190 @ 3500 (2.2 litre diesel), 275 @ 4000 (3.03 litre diesel), 241 @ 5500 (2.0-litre petrol)
Torque (Nm @ rpm) 450 @ 2000 (2.2 litre diesel), 600 @ 2000 (3.03 litre diesel), 340 @ 1750
Gearbox 6 Speed Electronic Automatic Transmission, 8 Speed Electronic Automatic Transmission (2.0-litre petrol)






Jaguar Car Reviews by Experts

jaguar f-type- Car Review by Experts
 

The Jaguar F-Type returns the brand to its original roots, that of a sportscar manufacturer. The name ‘F-Type’ is the greatest clue yet, a powerful homage to the grand old E-Type from the 1960s and ‘70s. The new Jaguar F-Type will be available with a choice of three different engines, which includes two 3.0-litre V6 engines and a 5.0-litre V8. We drive Jaguar’s most recent offering along some sinuous roads in Spain’s wine country to bring you this exclusive test drive report.

Read Full Review

By Harmaan R A J Madon



jaguar xf- Car Review by Experts
 

Jaguar’s re-emergence as a luxury car-maker has ridden much on the shoulders of the XF saloon. From being a company which was regarded as a has-been to being the only brand globally to rub shoulders with the German Big Three of Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi, Jaguar today is poised for greater things. Developed under Ford’s watch, the XF as we know it is now over 5 years old. It has received a face-lift in 2012, and now it has a new 2.2-litre oil burner under the hood as well.

Read Full Review

By Harmaan R A J Madon



jaguar xf- Car Review by Experts
 

Jaguar 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged XF may be the cheapest car it sells in India, but does that compromise this big cat character in any way? We seek to find out after this road test, which combined city driving, highway and handling tests.

Read Full Review

By Harmaan R A J Madon






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Jaguar XF Alternatives

Looking for other cars in the same segment and price range? Your choices are many. Click on any model of your choice to go directly to that page, so you can have a quick and easy reference of the specifications and features of competing vehicles in the same segment.


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Jaguar XF Review

Recent User Review

6.7/10
by Varun Mathur, 24

Given the choice in the segment, I went for least suggested option, but I'm glad I chose the Jag over a Beemer or Merc. It has shattering performance, and the steering feel is among the best of any car I've ever driven. Shame about the average though, which is simply pathetic. My car barely gives 5 km to 1 litre of petrol