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Jaguar XF 2.2-litre Diesel green car review

jaguar-xf-2014-001.jpg 7 January 2014 by
Paul Clarke

Eco Facts

Model/Engine size: XF 2.2-litre Diesel Premium Luxury

Fuel: Diesel

Fuel economy combined: 57.7 mpg

Beating Spirit rating: 8/10

Introduction

The Jaguar XF is now available with emissions of just 129g/km CO2, equating to 57.7mpg, which is impressive for a car that looks and feels like a luxury sports saloon.

Summary

• Looks great on the outside and has a stylish interior

• Very refined driving experience if you don’t ask too much of it

• Ideal motorway cruiser

• Engine can sound strained when pushed

Background

Mention the phrase ‘green cars’ and it’s unlikely that Jaguar would have been one of the top word associations with this term over recent years. However this latest XF, the most economical Jaguar to date, is now amongst the greenest car in its class.

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Design & Engineering

This is a regular Jaguar XF with a familiar four-cylinder, 2.2-litre diesel powertrain, but one that is optimised for efficiency. Compared to the last Jaguar XF 2.2-litre Diesel that we tested in January 2012 , this latest version can manage 57.7mpg, equating to just 129g/km CO2 emissions, versus 52.3 mpg and 149 g/km CO2, so the new economy and emissions figures are a major improvement. However the power is also down – the latest model produces just 163 PS rather than the 190 bhp of our last test car.

More recently the XF with this 2.2-litre engine emitted 135g/km CO2, so this latest version has dropped a further 6g/km CO2 – its new figure of 129g/km CO2 means an improved Benefit in Kind company car tax rate.

Perhaps one of the best features of the XF is its looks. With simple, graceful, flowing lines it appears to be in a class above some rivals that have relatively cluttered design details. The interior is also stylish, and again, has real differentiation from German competitors.

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Jaguar XF Driving Experience

Drive the XF gently, ideally on a motorway, and you’ll be seriously impressed with the overall refinement and the comfortable ride. Add in the upmarket ambience of the stylish interior, and you’ll be very happy with the way it wafts you along.

However if you do need to press on, then the engine can sound – and feel – strained, in a way that the previous XF that we tested never did. The reduced power is a key factor here, which also means a slower 0-62mph time of 10.5 compared to the 8.0 seconds of our last test car – quite a substantial difference.

The XF comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission which, like the engine, works well when driven gently. There’s also an ‘S’ mode which holds the gears to higher revs. You can change manually using steering wheel-mounted paddles, although we think that it’s unlikely that most owners would use this feature very often with this engine.

The XF has relatively slow reactions when needing to accelerate quickly from standstill – which is not great when trying to exit a busy junction and nip into a gap in the traffic.

Our week-long test took in a variety of driving environments, including the countryside, and the conclusion is that this car is best suited to motorways, when it is comfortable, relaxed and economical.

Our test car was fitted with Pirelli Sotozero winter tyres, which we’re sure would have given this car excellent capability in snow, but unfortunately we weren’t able to test this in practice.

Although the XF’s dashboard has a stylish overall design, there are a few controls that are ‘form over function’, such as those for the heated seats – you need to press a button on the dash and then press another completely separate button on the touchscreen to operate them – one switch would be better.

The same could be said for the gear selector – the way that it rises out of the central transmission tunnel and is twisted to select the desired gear may look stylish, but a traditional gear selector is easier to use when trying to change gear quickly when parking. Also, the stop-start system seems over-keen to switch the engine off when changing gear during manoeuvring.

But perhaps the most disliked feature on the XF was the steering wheel, which had incredibly wide spokes, to the extent that you can’t wrap your hands around the rim at the point where it meets the spokes. This seems to be an increasing, and worrying, trend in the world of steering wheel design.

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Jaguar XF Economy and Emissions

This 2014 XF has an official combined economy figure of 57.7mpg, equating to just 129g/km CO2 emissions. The last Jaguar XF 2.2 Diesel that we tested in January 2012 returned 52.3 mpg and emitting 149 g/km CO2, so the new emissions figures are a major improvement – although the 2013 model had dropped to 135g/km CO2.

Real-life economy was, not surprisingly, down on the official combined figure. Although we managed 57.4mpg on a careful motorway run at 70mph, as this is a relatively heavy car, its economy suffers with lots of braking and accelerating, and overall after a week of mixed driving we only achieved an average of 45.7mpg. For such a car – and especially compared to Jags from years gone by – this could be worse.

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Price, Equipment and Model Range

The Jaguar XF 2.2-litre Diesel Premium Luxury costs £35,795. Our test car featured a number of extras including Meridian Surround Sound System (£1,580), Italian Racing Red exterior colour (£1,300), electric glass sun roof with sun blind (£1,000), reverse park camera (£500), Xenon headlamps (£450) and 17-inch Ursa wheels (£400). All options took the total price to £42,635.

You can opt for a 163PS or 200PS 2.2-litre diesel, or a 3-litre V6 diesel. There’s also a 3-litre V6 petrol or a 5-litre V8 petrol. Trim levels include SE, Luxury, Sport, Premium Luxury and Portfolio. Prices for the XF range as a whole start at £29,945 and rise to over £65,000.

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Conclusion

The Jaguar XF looks great on the outside and it offers a stylish environment on the inside. It’s also a good car to drive, being luxurious and refined, with a comfortable ride and good handling. It also now has low emissions of just 129g/km CO2, and combined economy of 57.7 mpg – which is impressive for a Jaguar. However the engine can sound – and feel – strained when pushed hard. We certainly prefer more powerful diesel engine options in the XF. However overall this latest XF shows that desirable cars are becoming greener and it’s awarded a Beating Spirit rating of 8 out of 10.

Car Facts and Figures

Jaguar XF 2.2-litre Diesel Premium Luxury

Fuel economy extra urban: 64.2 mpg

Fuel economy urban: 48.7 mpg

Test economy: 45.7 mpg

CO2 emissions: 129 g/km

Green rating: VED band D – first year £0

Weight: 1745 Kg

Company car tax liability (2012/13): 20%

Price: £35,795

Insurance group: 33

Power: 163 PS

Max speed: 130 mph

0-62mph: 10.5 seconds

Paul Clarke

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