From £29,375
Falls short on emissions, but still desirable and rewarding

Our Verdict

Jaguar XF 2008-2015
The Jaguar XF is a sublime British executive saloon. It has a tremendous interior and even greater dynamics

The Jaguar XF is a sublime British executive saloon. It has a tremendous interior and even greater dynamics

What is it?

A four-cylinder diesel Jaguar XF. Which doesn’t sound like much but it is in fact the model that Jaguar needs most right now, with sales burgeoning everywhere except for in the fleet-friendly, low-emission diesel saloon sector, which the company has been absent from in recent years.

This 2.2-litre turbodiesel motor (which you’ll know from the Freelander amongst many others) is the company’s answer to that void in the lineup. Putting out 188bhp and 332lb ft, the engine is fitted here for the first time in a longitudinal configuration and is mated to a new eight-speed ZF auto gearbox, which goes a long way to helping provide the entry-level XF’s headline figures of 149g/km and 52.3mpg.

Though we’ve driven a prototype model, this is our first steer in a final production car. Our test car came in Premium Luxury trim, which looks a little expensive but does come fully laden with kit including sat-nav, keyless entry and heated seats amongst other luxuries.

What’s it like?

Seriously good. What comes across immediately is that the new XF, despite its under-cylindered stature next to the rest of the range, is still characterised by the same unflappable, serene sensation that you get in every other XF. Intangible as that is it is significant because it means that this base car feels as well-polished as any other model in the range. The mild upgrades to the interior switchgear and more noticeable changes to the front end undoubtedly contribute to that impression.

In more quantifiable terms the XF proves as thoroughly hassle-free as you would hope. The engine responds well and offers as much urge as you would expect of a car of this class, specialising in the sort of calm, swift in-gear progress that comes from an over-indulgence of torque. Equally, if you choose to slot the gearbox into ‘S’, the whole powertrain perks up a bit, the ZF box responds well whether in auto or in manual, and you can really make good use of the well-sorted chassis.

But the XF 2.2d is not flawless. Though ride quality is settled much of the time, manages bigger bumps very well and benefits from well-restrained body roll, it also pick up high-frequency undulations or disturbances in the road surface – particularly at low speeds – even on the 18-inch alloys that our test car rode on.

Equally, engine refinement is acceptable but not exceptional. The diesel grumble does encroach into the cabin and is unmistakably that of a four-pot. It’s particularly noticeable on re-start, though otherwise the stop-start system is effective at responding to the well-judged brake pedal feel, with very little hesitation before the engine fires up when required.

Still, the steering remains nicely weighted and in general this XF feels exactly as composed and absorbing as you would hope.

Should I buy one?

Absolutely. It’s a shame that the XF falls short of the 520d’s benchmark emissions because for many fleet buyers that will be the biggest deciding factor – particularly given that the BMW is well established as an excellent proposition. Even so this is a very rewarding car that offers an extra element of exclusivity that could help make up for that shortfall. A mid-spec Luxury model would make more sense for most given its sub-£34k price and decent spec, but regardless of trim it’s clear that the XF is an immensely competitive and recommendable car. 

Price: £37,950; Top speed: 140mph; 0-60mph: 8.0sec; Economy: 52.3mpg; Co2: 149g/km; Kerb weight: 1745kg; Engine type: 4cyls, 2179cc, turbodiesel; Power: 188bhp at 3500rpm; Torque: 332lbft at 2000rpm; Gearbox: 8-spd auto

Join the debate

Comments
32

27 June 2011

Excellent work on the 2.2's revision and it's great to see they've integrated it in to the XF's character so well.

For me at this point in the market, buying (or leasing if it's on a fleet) is more than just looking at cold hard figures. Yes, it is an element but a small one compared to that of desirability. The plain fact is the Jag looks and feels more special (in most areas) than the 5 series. For a lot of customers that will be the deciding factor and personally, I know what I'd rather see sitting on my drive.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

27 June 2011

What a beauty :-)

A 4 pots Diesel under its dress :-|

27 June 2011

The sooner the XF moves to Aluminium the better - imagine the performance/emissions by chopping 200kg out of the car!

27 June 2011

A much needed competitive upgrade given the current market and will help sales of the XF. Still not that keen on the 2.2 litre engine found it gruff in a Freelander hope it does better in the XF. Think the new front headlamps are much nicer than the old ones.

27 June 2011

IMO, I think Jaguar may lose a few "image " conscious buyers, everyone will know you have opted for the runt of the litter by the fact its only got one exhaust, it wouldn't bother me, but it might bother some.

27 June 2011

This is a worthy and necessary addition to the XF lineup.The new headlight are much better and i take back my negative comments about the interior too.

27 June 2011

I'm not sure if Jaguar have been clever or been missing a trick by not introducing an affordable, fleet-friendly option at the start. Maybe it was planned to establish it as a luxury car for a limited number of affluent buyers and therefore when the 2.2D is launched, it becomes more appealing than a 'bog-standard, common place Beemer 520d or Audi A6.

I think Jag should now offer an AWD as an option to compete with those who like the Quattro Audis. I think they'd succeed in attracting some Audi customers.

The comments section needs a makeover... how about a forum??

28 June 2011

personally, and i admit i've never been a fan of the XF, this new model is a real disappointment. overwhelmingly, 4 pot diesel execs are sold to business leasing deals, and with the emissions this car has will put off many potential owners. factor in a high list price and worse residules than the competition, i can't see it selling as well as it could have done. i fully appreciate the artificial nature of the official mpg and co2 figures, but, even so, how is that bmw and audi can get co2 emissions on a mega heavy exec with a high output 4 cylinder diesel below 130g, but the jag only just struggles below 150?? strange!

28 June 2011

Price as tested £30,950? I don't think so.

507

28 June 2011

Origin of the engine, Ford?

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