We already know the Jaguar XF works in diesel form. We drove the XF3.0 diesel back in May, granting it a high score which is echoedacross the wider motoring press.
However, its hard not to imagine that the XFs credibility might becompromised by losing two cylinders and over 100 horsepower. With 163PS to its name and only four cylinders, the XF 2.2D 163 cant still bea proper Jaguar?
Yes, as it turns out, and not even one which struggles to get down theroad. Sure, 9.8 seconds to 60mph and a top speed of 130mph might notget your juices flowing, but in reality it feels little slower thanthe more expensive 200PS model. Throttle response is a little tardy(no doubt for economy reasons) and the 8-speed gearbox occasionallyslow to shift down a few gears, but this improves in Sport mode andcan be improved further by working the gearshift paddles.
Refinement is excellent too. Acceleration is less sonorous than the V6model, but at all other times the engine noise is simply a distantbackground thrum. Tyre noise is less apparent than in sportier models- our Luxury-spec car wore relatively unfashionable 17-inch wheels,but the taller tyres work wonders for ride and refinement. Handling isas sure-footed and surprisingly nimble as ever.
We cant, hand-on-heart, say the smaller wheels ruin the cars lookseither. The XF is still a beautiful shape, making everything else inthe class look either dull or heavy-handed.
Inside its much the same. The central touchscreen is now a littlebehind the times, but the clean, simple dashboard drips with class andelegance. The knurled gear selector, once awoken from its slumber, isso simple and intuitive to use you wonder why other makers persistwith clumsy levers.
Price as tested: 34,650 (approx.)
Combined mpg: 55.4
CO2: 135 g/km
Predictably, we have to conclude that, yes, even the least-endowed XFis still a real Jaguar. Real-world pace is stronger than it looks onpaper, its comfortable, refined, and exudes more elegance than youcan shake a pipe at.
Whether you can match its quoted economy figures or not is a differentmatter, and this may dissuade some in the face of ruthlessly efficientBMWs and Audis. Nevertheless, the 2.2D 163 is sure to become thedefault choice in the XF range for company car buyers. Private buyers,too, will find much to like.
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