From £29,375
New four-pot diesel greatly extends XF’s appeal and economy, and retains impressive refinement

Our Verdict

Jaguar XF 2008-2015

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

Steve Cropley Autocar
23 March 2011

What is it?

Jaguar is six months from launching what will rapidly become its most important, most affordable and biggest-selling XF saloon, the 188bhp 2.2-litre turbodiesel. Autocar has been given an exclusive sneak preview of how it will drive.

The long-awaited model, expected to account for around 60 per cent of XF sales, will use the first ‘north-south’ version of the familiar 2.2-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine that powers various PSA and Ford models, along with the Land Rover Freelander and forthcoming Range Rover Evoque.

The new XF will have a series of still-secret 2012 exterior and interior updates (hence the test car’s exotic camouflage) and drop below the 150g/km CO2 and £30,000 price levels so important to company car buyers.

The engine will also have ZF’s new eight-speed auto transmission and a new stop-start system that restarts the engine as soon as the driver comes off the brakes to drive away. Both of these are vital components in the car’s ability to achieve a combined fuel consumption of 52.3mpg and an easy cruising range of 750 miles.

Jaguar is anxious to point out there’s far more to building this XF than just ‘dropping in’ the new engine. New also are piezo injectors, a Mitsubishi turbocharger and an oil cooler. There are big revisions to the induction system and the manifolds are new, as is the sump. Jaguar has also installed its special engine management to match powerplant and gearbox.

What's it like?

Lower costs and better fuel economy are all very well, but one question burns brighter than all the rest: can this econo-XF still cut it as a fully fledged Jaguar? The answer is a resounding yes; the engineers have expended plenty of time and effort making it so. The careful sound-deadening pack double-insulates the bulkhead, wrapping even ancillaries such as the alternator and turbocharger in duvet-like padding.

The eight-speed transmission has been calibrated for the XF’s performance and weight (the four-cylinder engine saves 65kg compared with a petrol V6), while the XF’s rotary gear selector on the console and steering column paddles for manual selection are retained.

On the road, the car is quiet, long-legged and torquey. From the driver’s seat you’re barely aware of a four-cylinder rattle even at idle, and never on the move. The transmission’s ultra-low first and second gears give it impressive step-off (making the most of the engine’s generous 332lb ft of torque), yet the eight-speeder allows motorway cruising with less than 2000rpm showing on the tacho.

Automatic gearchanges are near enough to imperceptible, but you hear and feel a quick, smooth response when using the gearchange paddles. And there’s an irresistible bonus when you come to refuel the car: the trip computer predicts a maximum touring range of more than 800 miles.

We weren’t supposed to judge our prototype’s chassis. Engineers say they still have development work to do. To us, though, the car had all the XF credentials: supple bump absorption considering its impressive body control, near-perfect straight-line stability and plenty of cornering authority through the familiar excellent steering. Cornering was roll-free and near-neutral. When it was time to accelerate again, the generous torque, which peaks at just 2000rpm, gave impressive thrust.

Should I buy one?

Jaguar will start taking orders for the new model next month, but won’t deliver the first of them until September. However, right here, one major concern can be laid to rest: the long-awaited 2.2-litre diesel XF is a real Jaguar.

Jaguar XF 2.2D

Price: £29,000 (est); Top speed: 140mph; 0-62mph: 8.5sec; Economy: 52.3mpg (combined); CO2: 149g/km; Kerb weight: 1650kg (est); Engine: 4 cyls, 2179cc, turbodiesel; Power: 188bhp at 3500rpm; Torque: 332lb ft at 2000rpm; Gearbox: 8-spd auto

Join the debate

Comments
63

30 March 2011

Sounds like a winner. Specs seem broadly comparable with the 520d and I like the idea of an 8 speed gearbox! Best of luck to Jaguar with this one, they've been on a roll and I'd like to see them succeed.

30 March 2011

At last the XF can take centre stage with this engine.Its great to see Jaguar on a roll.Long may it thrive!!

30 March 2011

Decent performances and good price but I don't think the total sales of the XF will raise much across Europe, the current numbers are too low compared to other 3.0 V6 diesel saloons

30 March 2011

[quote Autocar]

What is it?


Jaguar is six months from launching what will rapidly become its most important, most affordable and biggest-selling XF saloon, the 188bhp 2.2-litre turbodiesel. Autocar has been given an exclusive sneak preview of how it will drive.


The long-awaited model, expected to account for around 60 per cent of XF sales, will use the first ‘north-south’ version of the familiar 2.2-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine that powers various PSA and Ford models, along with the L...Read the full article

[/quote] Looks like a winner! XFs leave me cold, but even I can see this model makes a lot of sense. Make my Jag a 73 XJ v12 then.

30 March 2011

Someone is making a killing selling tons of sticky back plastic in fab 50s patterns to car makers all over Europe.

30 March 2011

Ok Autocar let us know (as in ask Jag) will the new XF get electric steering or hybrid electric/hydro? Also due to its poor crash test performance have any changes been made to improve this? thanks for the reporting. j

30 March 2011

Will the 4 cyl diesel XF come with a facelift from day one or only in 2012 while the non-face lifted one will be sold with this engine from September

30 March 2011

About time, the no brainer car Jag has needed since 2006 is finally launched! This should sell loads, a comparable powertrain to its prime competitors and more style equals winner!

I am pretty sure the Tata management had asked the Jaguar management why they did not have a 4 cylinder diesel in their mid range model and no V6 diesel in their coupe and the answer was something that a GM manager would have been proud of. The market is ruthless, no point having a great car without the right engine for the market, just ask Cadillac, Lexus and Infiniti!

30 March 2011

This is the same engine that gives 200 PS in the Mondeo, looks like it's been de-tuned here for CO2 purposes.

It's available as a manual and auto in the Mondeo and only manages 173 g/km as a six-speed auto. Looks like the eight-speed ZF 'box shared with the 5-Series makes a big difference.

This should sell extremely well and it makes you wonder what took them so long - were they waiting to coincide with the facelift?


HQ

30 March 2011

Really interested in other facelift items also. XF suffers from poor packaging (small chairs, narrow rear space) and sub-par nav system. If they address those matters properly, it may well prove to be a worthy alternative to the boring German competition for years to come.

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