Jaguar XF 2.2 Diesel Review

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Jaguar XF

Jaguar XF 2.2 Diesel

Model/Engine size : 2.2 Diesel Premium Luxury

Fuel: Diesel

Fuel economy combined: 52.3 mpg
Green-Car-Guide rating: 9/10
The Jaguar XF 2.2 Diesel , returning 52.3 mpg and emitting 149 g/km CO
2
, is the most economical Jaguar ever, so does it still have the luxury sporting nature expected of the brand?

Jaguar is still remembered affectionately for its huge 5.3-litre V12 petrol engines from the XJs of the 1970s and С80s, so a small 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel engine sourced from Ford may be seen as somewhat of a departure from traditional Jaguar history.

But don’t panic, the 190 PS engine with 332 lb ft of torque still propels the XF with sufficient performance and a good deal of refinement. It may not have the lazy power of an old-style V12 petrol unit, or even the smoothness of today’s six-cylinder units, but you’ll be glad about that when you’re filling up at the pumps.

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The car still has the coveted Jaguar badge and recently-refreshed XF styling, which is distinguished from the previous model by the headlights losing their circular cut-out into the bonnet. It’s probably the best-looking car in its class, and it’s certainly more individual than the many Mercedes and BMWs on our roads.

The interior is also a well-designed and luxurious environment, with features such as the gear selector rising up from the transmission tunnel upon start-up adding a certain upmarket ambience to the cabin. We particularly like the smooth stitched leather top to the dashboard Ц such surfaces are all too often very cluttered in modern cars, resulting in numerous reflections on the windscreen.

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It’s spacious in the front, but there’s not as much room in the rear as you might expect; although rear legroom is good, the large transmission tunnel makes it a four rather than a five-seater, and there’s a low rear roofline. It does have a huge boot though, and the rear seats can drop down to enlarge this space.

Importantly, the XF is rear-wheel drive, so providing a much more driver-focused experience than a front-wheel drive Audi A6 could ever do. Its chassis has a fluidity that means that the rear end is easy and controllable to have fun with if the roads are even slightly damp.

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One of the Jaguar’s trump cards is the excellent combination of comfortable ride and sporty handling that it offers. It can waft down the motorway offering all the refinement of a limousine, as well as coping with urban obstacles such as speed bumps very admirably, but, helped by steering with a decent amount of feel, it can also offer fun on twisty back roads.

The XF 2.2 Diesel has an eight-speed automatic transmission with the seventh and eighth ratios acting as overdrive gears. It certainly shifts very smoothly, but in Drive it can be slow to change gear, so don’t expect instant reponses. Changing to Sport mode means that it stays in gear until much higher revs. You can manually override the auto changes with steering wheel-mounted paddles, but you’re then left wrestling with eight gears, which is too many.

The XF generally makes rapid, relaxed, refined and effortless progress on motorways, and the quiet cabin means that you can find yourself travelling much faster than you think, although some wind noise is evident at high speeds.

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Overall we averaged 45 mpg, which included much motorway driving, which is good for such a car, but this dropped to 35 mpg during more enthusiastic A and B road driving. The XF has an Сintelligent’ Stop-Start system, so-called as it is designed to start up more quickly than other systems, and this is estimated to increase overall fuel efficiency between five and seven per cent. However it aims to assist with reduced fuel consumption particularly in built-up areas, but with such a relatively heavy car, don’t expect great economy in such an environment.

One fairly trivial issue is that two separate actions are required to operate certain interior controls; for example, to switch on the heated seats, it’s necessary to press a button on the dash, and then another icon on the touch screen menu. This seems to be an increasing trend in such cars at the moment, but we’d prefer to have just one traditional switch rather than trying to touch a number of buttons including small icons on a screen while driving.

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The XF 2.2 Diesel is available for £30,950, or £33,950 in Luxury trim. Our test car came in Premium Luxury spec, priced at £37,950. The extra price premium is due to its very well-equipped specification, which includes extra features such as soft leather and wood veneers to make the interior even more classy. There’s also a leather 3-spoke steering wheel with Sequential Shift paddles and remote controls for audio, cruise control, Bluetooth telephone connectivity and Interactive Voice; the trouble is, due to all the buttons, the steering wheel spokes are so wide that your hands can’t fit around them.

If you prefer more power then there are 3.0-litre V6 diesel engines, in 240 PS and 275 PS Diesel S form. There are also petrol engines – a pair of 5-litre V8s developing 385 PS and, in supercharged XFR form, 510 PS. These may sound enticing, but you’ll become bored of visiting petrol stations.

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Summary

If you want a Jaguar and you want it to be economical, then the XF 2.2 diesel is the one for you. It’s a highly desirable car with sporty handling and very few faults.

If you want the most economical car in this class then you would have to go for the BMW 520d EfficientDynamics Saloon with its combined economy figure of 62.8 mpg and emissions of just 119 g/km CO2 Ц which makes a big difference in the area of company car tax: 22% BIK for the Jaguar compared to the BMW’s 13%. The BMW really does have no compromises, but, despite this, for some people the Jaguar badge will be the winning factor. It is still seen by many as more exclusive, upmarket and prestigious than a BMW, especially at the golf club, and the fact that such a car can also potentially return more than 50 mpg is a very welcome bonus.

So the XF 2.2 Diesel gets a Green-Car-Guide rating of 9 out of 10, only dropping a point because the 520d ED is now so far ahead in terms of efficiency. If image and the driving experience are more important than outright economy, you won’t be disappointed with the XF 2.2 Diesel – especially if your driving involves lots of sweeping A and B roads.

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Paul Clarke

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Fuel economy extra urban:TBC mpg

Fuel economy urban:TBC mpg

CO2 emissions:149 g/km

Green rating:VED band F – First year £130

Weight:1745 Kg

Company car tax liability (2011/12):22%

Price:£37,950

Insurance group:40

Power:190 bhp

Max speed:140 mph

0-62mph:8.0 seconds

DPF: Yes

Keywords: Jaguar XF 2.2 Diesel review, Jaguar XF 2.2 Diesel road test

Read our Audi A6 2.0 TDI Road Test

Read our BMW 520d ED Road Test

Read our Mercedes E220 CDI Road Test