Jaguar's new XF 2.2 diesel
PUBLISHED: 08:32 17 January 2012 | UPDATED: 20:54 20 February 2013
Can Jaguar's new XF 2.2 diesel take the fight to mass-market rivals, or is it a leap too far? Kent Life investigates
Leap of faith
Can Jaguars new XF 2.2 diesel take the fight to mass-market rivals, or is it a leap too far? Kent Life investigates
When the XF was first launched, it stepped confidently into a market full of talented competition. Jaguars recent history had been somewhat less that sparkling, and it was hard to see how this new saloon could possibly better offering from Mercedes, Audi and, crucially, BMWs all-conquering 5 Series.
Against all odds though, it won favour with an astonishing chassis setup theres really no other word for it - edgy looks and a best-in-class interior, earning it a catalogue of awards and accolades including Car of the Decade.
Initially launched with a couple of large diesels and two monster V8s, the XF was great fun, but there was something missing a smaller diesel for the all-important mass market.
Well, now its here. Outwardly theres little difference, save some design tweaks for the 2012 model. Its under the bonnet where things start to look a little different.
Youve seen the 2.2 diesel in this XF before, powering various Fords and Land Rovers, but its not been a straight lift-and-refit. The new engine boasts a clever stop-start system a first for Jaguar a new turbocharger, fresh engine management and also a new gearbox with eight speeds.
Somehow, from this modestly sized 2.2 diesel, Jaguars engineers have managed to coax 187bhp which translates into a 0-60 time of eight seconds and a top speed of 140mph. Match that to 52mpg on a combined cycle, and you have a very interesting prospect on your hands.
It may lack the grin-inducing get-up-and-go of its more powerful stablemates (the next engine up has 237bhp), but with 187bhp the 2.2 is still easily powerful enough to get you out of trouble and have some fun on the back roads, too.
This is largely thanks to the XFs extraordinary chassis. There isnt a road surface on which the Jaguar doesnt feel at home, whether cruising on the motorway or getting a little tail-happy on a dusty B-road.
Put it this way: youre going to run out of talent before the XF does, and it all adds up to an impressive package for an entry level car.
But its important that you dont look at the 2.2 as a budget Jaguar. This is not a watered-down, sugar-free Jaguar-lite. There are no compromises. It takes everything that modern-day Jaguars stand for and presents it to a whole new audience.
Theres nothing missing; its an all-round crowd-pleaser from a company thats producing quality at every turn, and if you needed any evidence of that, jump inside.
The XFs theatrical interior was a revolution when it was launched, and its still an absolute treat to behold. Neat touches, quality finishing and beautiful lighting put it streets ahead of drab offerings from German rivals; an excellent example in refusing to compromise for an entry level model.
So, should you buy one? This XF has been aimed at fleet managers and long-distance commuters who will love the low CO2 emissions, and those wishing to take their first steps into Jaguar ownership. But this makes for a talented Jaguar with real-word economic appeal; an engaging prospect. So yes, buy one. Youll never look back.
Price: from 30,950
Performance: 0-60mph: 8sec
Economy: 52.3mpg (combined)
Engine: 2.2litre diesel
Gearbox: Eight-speed automatic
Contact details: Lancaster Jaguar: 01732 456300