Jaguar XF 2.2D review, test drive Vehical Overview

Jaguar’s recently facelifted new XF has a lot resting on its broad shoulders. Not only does it have to look fresh and attractive enough to excite new car buyers, but this new version also has to widen the XF’s appeal. This new 2.2-litre diesel will lower the entry price of a Jaguar saloon substantially and the carmaker will soon launch a four-wheel-drive version to appeal to new customers too. 
This new 2.2 will also be ideally suited to Indian customers. BMW’s 520d and Merc’s E250 CDI are the largest selling luxury cars in the market, and if Jaguar can get customers to trade a little practicality for plenty of sex appeal, then it’s game on for Jaguar in India. Also added to this will be the fact that this XF 2.2 could be the first Jaguar to be assembled in India, making this a pretty significant car.
Jaguar’s designers say the XF is a saloon with the soul of a sports car and you can kind of see what they mean. This facelift takes things even further and makes the nose of the car look even sportier. The new, smaller bi-Xenon lights allow for a lower bonnet line, the nose is now considerably more dramatic, and the new XJ-like slit-eye headlamps have a stylised ‘J’ traced out in LED. Neat. While much of the roofline and silhouette remain similar, the new XF gets wheel arches that bulge out slightly more and new elongated, three-dimensional tail-lamps. Added at the bottom is also a black splitter to break up the mass of the rear.
While the basic design of the interiors is the same, Jaguar has incorporated several new themes and elements to freshen up the cabin. So while the vents still flip open when you start the car and the gear knob still rises like Excalibur from the pond for that sense of occasion, Jaguar has lost some of the shiny stuff on the central console. A few buttons are finished in black, there now is a start/stop activation button on the central console and there is a host of new equipment including Bluetooth and iPod compatibility. Still, that sense of occasion that the E-class and 5-series seem to be able to muster is missing. The low coupĂ©-like roof also means rear comfort is not as much a priority as in some of the Jag’s competitors. Comfort levels though are only noticeably poorer in comparison and this is a good car to be chauffeured around in, just not the best.
In contrast, the new 188bhp 2.2-litre turbodiesel, known as the 2.2 i4D, we drove is all practicality. The first four-cylinder Jaguar since the much criticised X-type, this Peugeot-based motor is the same as the one used by the Land Rover Freelander. Now located longitudinally instead of transversely and driving the rear wheels via ZF’s superb eight-speed gearbox, this motor immediately impresses with how silently it cruises. And it’s smooth when you pull the car hard as well, the XF showing a surprising turn of foot, despite the motor not having twin turbos. The torque comes in nice and early, gearshifts are all but imperceptible and the motor spins with some amount of enthusiasm to the redline as well. It’s pretty obvious that plenty of work has been carried out to this motor, and the list of improvements is endless. The injectors now get acoustic socks to dampen clatter, there is a double layer of thick insulation under the bonnet, the turbocharger is now water-cooled and the block and sump are modified to be more silent. And flat-out performance felt properly brisk too, as impressive as that of BMW’s 520d at least. What also functioned very effectively was the start-stop system, which seemed to almost predict when you wanted to start off again. Jaguar, however, might delete the start-stop system for India and we might only get a six-speed gearbox, all in the name of cost.  
The prototype we drove also boasted very impressive stability, good bump absorption and plenty of poise in corners, just like the earlier XF, and it felt pretty sporty from behind the wheel too. Also impressive is Jaguar’s new electric steering system that, unlike some units, boasts a fair amount of feel.
Jaguar is likely to launch the facelifted XF in India later this year, and this 2.2 i4D is likely to be the star attraction. As ever, we’ll keep you posted, we’re sure you’d be interested in a Jaguar that starts at approximately Rs 35 lakh.



At first glance the white Jag looks like a perfectly standard XF model. But under the hood there is a power plant in which the Jaguar concern are placing a good deal of hope. It was four years ago that they introduced a four-cylinder diesel in their not very popular X-Type. But is a four-cylinder common-rail diesel of the very latest generation which is the beating heart of the 2012 Jaguar XF models. Until there is a successor for the mid-class X-Type no longer being built the concern is counting on the XF 2.2 Diesel to appeal to buyers who chalk up big mileage and value both fuel economy and low maintenance costs. The introduction of the new entry level diesel is accompanied also by a minor face-lift. New headlight arrays have been developed and the car’s interior has been upgraded for 2012. The navigation system has been modified and improved (an extra costing 2,490 Euros) although it remains tricky to operate and somewhat sluggish in delivering data.

Jaguar XF 2.2 Diesel
    The four-cylinder common-rail diesel with 2.2 litres capacity puts out a respectable maximum of 450 Newton metres of torque.

New terrain for the cat

While rival German car makers in the premium category have not been slow to bring out high-performance six-cylinder diesel engines and also smaller entry level versions for fleet customers, Jaguar has until now only offered for the XF a slimmed down three litre motor with 211 horsepower. And so the four-cylinder diesel is a welcome step. “This is the most economical Jaguar ever built”, explains the head of the XF program, Andy Wyman, “the motor is amazingly quiet and has hardly any vibration. It runs as smoothly as our six-cylinder diesels of the model years up to 2010.” The power plant is the result of a collaboration between Jaguar, PSA and Ford. The four-cylinder common-rail diesel with 2.2 litres capacity and simple turbo boosting is also to be found as the motorization for Rover Freelander, Peugeot 508 and Ford Mondeo models. In spite of having those four combustion chambers is whispers smoothly and puts out a respectable maximum of 450 Newton metres of torque. 140 kilowatts or 190 horsepower are more than enough to push the auto well along country roads or Autobahn stretches. The hundred mark is reached in 8.5 seconds and the top speed of the British sedan is 225 kilometres an hour, surely enough to silence critics, although there is a slightly tardy pick up of power to be noted.

In the norm cycle the four-cylinder diesel demands 5.4 litres of fuel. This thirst could be lowered if the 1.8 ton Jaguar XF came with regenerative braking, as is the case with so many competing models. “But this would have been a step too far in the current face-lift”, admits Andy Wyman and points out that the car maker has limited capacity in this respect, “however it will be available in the future. We are working on it.” The Jaguar engineers are nevertheless satisfied with the current result for the fuel requirement of 5.4 litres also means CO2 emissions reduced to 149 grams. This in turn qualifies the XF 2.2 Diesel for tax breaks for corporate fleet autos in several European territories. Business clients also appreciate the other virtues of the 4.96 long sedan. The car is roomy and can take 540 litres of load in the boot.

Developing 190 PS and 332 lbs ft of torque, the new engine is capable of returning 52.3 mpg on the combined cycle while emitting 149 g/km of CO2.

Making its debut on UK roads fitted to a prototype development vehicle, the new four-cylinder 16-valve common rail diesel engine displaces 2,179 cc and is installed in a north-south configuration for the first time.  The new engine features a water-cooled turbocharger with low-friction pistons, new injectors and a new crankshaft.  The new configuration allowed Jaguar engineers to add a new oil pan and new electronic systems affecting the crankshaft to allow the new intelligent Stop-Start system to operate more efficiently.

Intelligent Stop-Start aims to reduce the prolonged time spent in the shutdown and start-up phase usually experienced in such systems.  The Jaguar system overcomes this partly through the inclusion of the new crankshaft sensor and fuel rail pressure holding system meaning the engine needs less time to restore drive through an innovative engine restart capability.  This is best demonstrated when approaching a busy roundabout – in situations where the driver briefly brings the vehicle to a stop only to move off again quickly.  In conventional systems the engine needs to shutdown completely before restarting again, leading to often frustrating delays.  The Jaguar system is able to restart the engine while it’s shifting down from as little as 400 rpm meaning it does not need to come to a stop – drive is therefore restored more efficiently.

The inclusion of the Stop-Start function is estimated to increase overall fuel efficiency between five and seven per cent.

Along with a new engine, the development vehicle debuts an advanced eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox.  With the seventh and eight ratios effectively acting as overdrive gears, the new gearbox allows the 2.2-litre engine to be optimised to deliver swift responses when required and effortless motorway cruising ability to ensure the ideal balance between efficiency and performance.  The sprint to 62 mph takes 8.5 seconds before achieving a maximum speed of 140 mph.

The high levels of refinement expected of modern Jaguars are retained with engineers putting particular emphasis on sound deadening around the engine and bulkhead as well as active engine mounts to reduce vibration.  The result is a 3dB reduction in cabin noise to make the car one of the most refined vehicles in its class.

The new powertrain will feature in a future XF production car with specifications and an estimated on-sale date being announced at the New York Auto Show.


that's it for now.............Drive safe make sure you wear your seat belts and please do not use high beams........


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