Nine may seem like an excessive number of gear ratios for a mid-range 2.0-litre diesel SUV, although we all know enough about lab-certified emissions and economy tests to know why Jaguar has opted for so many here.
However, the firm’s decision to use the transmission is made even more mysterious on acquaintance, when you observe that this ZF-built unit tends to cling to each ratio a little too long under acceleration before executing a fairly leisurely – albeit suitably smooth – shift.
Were the car’s Ingenium diesel engine a smoother one at high revs, or had it a greater operating range, perhaps it wouldn’t seem such a problem, but the motor possesses neither of those attributes and feels a little bit laboured for much of the time.
The upshot for the D180 is that progress never feels as energetic as you might hope for from a Jaguar, and that’s confirmed by a 0-60mph time that dips under 10sec by only the slimmest of margins.
By comparison, the similarly equipped and only marginally more potent Volvo XC40 D4 laid down an 8.5sec run in damp conditions, and was quicker by an equivalent proportion in dispatching the 30-70mph rolling sprint that’s important for overtaking. Quite simply, we’d expect better from a car whose marketing taglines seek to place it among the more vigorous and exciting models in its class.