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 Jaguar XF 2.2 litre diesel

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PostSubject: Jaguar XF 2.2 litre diesel   Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:43 pm

I treated myself to a test drive of the latest 2012 Jaguar XF 2.2 litre diesel a couple of days ago.
The diesel XF in Australia was originally fitted with a 2.7 litre twin-turbo V6 and was later replaced by a 3.0 litre twin-turbo V6 diesel.
That particularly model has been extremely well received in Australia for its driving dynamics, build quality, performance and its green credentials, including fuel economy and low emissions.



To attract new buyers to the marque however, Jaguar has introduced a four cylinder 2.2 litre turbo diesel to the range which is available at an introductory price point of $84990 drive-away, Australia-wide.
The actual retail pricing is some two and a half thousand dollars more than that, but is reduced for the time being to make it a very attractive proposition for Jaguar XF buyers.
In addition to that, Australian-spec cars are being ordered with SatNav as well, which is a further $2500 saving, making the new model some $5,000 under its recommended retail price at the current time.
I love the look of the XF. I find it to be a modern design which is attractive from any angle. The car was designed by the ex-pat Australian (originally from Scotland) Ian Callum who is an absolute genius when it comes to designing cars.
Callum used to work for HSV (Holden Special Vehicles) as their designer in the early days, when HSV's still looked cohesive as a design. When he left their employ, to my mind, the HSV designs were never quite the same and as fluid as they were when Callum was at the (design) helm. But I digress.....
The base model XF, called the Luxury (Premium Luxury is the next step up) is still a very good looking vehicle, despite having to "make do" with 17" alloys. The demo I drove was optioned with 19" alloys and they do make a dramatic difference to its appearance. However, as always, there is a price to pay. The ride is neceassrily slightly firmer and the road noise from lower profile tyres is greater, although you wouldn't know it because Jaguar have done a tremendous job of masking this via sound-proofing and suspension settings.



The "Luxury" model has a combination leather and suede trim which still looks very classy. The car I drove was finished in silver with charcoal trim and literally oozed quality despite being Jaguar's base-model specification.



The car automatically unlocks itself as you walk towards it, even if the key is in your pocket, and when you proceed to start the car you are greeted with the Jaguar "handshake."
The handshake is when the car comes to life: the vents open and the beautiful silver, circular transmission selector rises up from the console to tell you that it is "ready to proceed."



The engine start/stop button is located on the dashboard and when pressed the diesel engine fires into life but there is no way you would know it is a diesel from within the car.
From outside there is the familiar faint diesel clatter but from within, it is all very serene and quiet.
The driver's seat is a four-way electric adjustable affair (as opposed to six-way on the Premium Luxury) which means that attaining a comfortable driving position is easy, although fore/aft adjustment still needs to be made manually via the lever under the front of the seat. It felt extremely comfortable on the short drive I undertook, but I would have no reason to believe it would be any different on a long drive. The seats are very supportive in all areas, even for someone of my shape. Smile
Moving away from a standstill, you know you are in a quality car - it is so evident.



Inside the glovebox there is a Union Jack flag and a sticker which proudly proclaims, "Made in England" because apparently many people thought they were now being assembled in India, the company now being under the ownership of Tata. But it still feels very British with the leather-stiched dashboard top, partial leather seats and timber veneer. but at the same time, it is an ultra-modern driving environment. No longer is Jaguar relying solely on its heritage. They now have a very definite future-oriented focus and it shows.
There are apparently plans afoot to have the cars assembled in China in the future to cater for the huge demand from the ever-growing car-buying population in Asia, but for the time being, Coventry it is.



I drove the XF initially in suburban traffic conditions where it performed flawlessly. The eight-speed automatic transmission changes gear so seamlessly that is feels totally fluid in its progress. All controls fall easily to hand and are intuitive, the only concession to the European market being the indicators on the left hand side of the beautifully-trimmed premium leather steering wheel.
The leather used on the steering wheel made the leather on my i30's steering wheel feel particularly inferior by comparison. And remember, after buying my car I had the steering wheel re-trimmed in better quality leather than Hyundai provided from the factory.
Once on the road, only when you put the foot down are you able to perceptively feel the upward changes from the eight-speed transmission, but even then, they are super smooth.
The torque from the 2.2 litre diesel is a real surprise. I haven't driven the 3.0 litre version, but according to the salesman, you would have to put the two variants side by side to notice the difference in performance. Pick up is instananeous and certainly not lacking.
Being a diesel, there is an abundance of rich torque available right across the rev range and it is all too easy to find yourself on the wrong side of suburban speed limts.
From there I took the car on to the freeway where the speed limit increased to 100 km/h. Apart from a very slight wind rustle from around the driver's exterior mirror, it was almost silent at that speed.



The brakes felt progressive and very effective and when coming to a stop at traffic lights, intersections etc, the new stop/start technology kicked in and the engine was shut off automatically, although the air conditioning continued to function.
As soon as I realeased my foot from the foot brake the engine re-fired and was ready to proceed within milliseconds, certainly before my foot reached the accelerator pedal.
The fuel economy for this car on the combined cycle is just 5.4 litres per hundred kilometres, which is fantastic given the size and performance of the XF.
The car's footprint on the road is obviously considerably larger than the i30, but it never felt too big as the ride and balance were both superb.
I wish I could have driven the XF for a few hundred kilometres because I feel that it would really come into its own on an extended trip, but unfortunately, a few kilometres was all I could do.
The silver XF I drove had in fact already been sold and the new owner was in the showroom when I took it out, but the deal was that the dealership could continue to use it as a demonstrator until a new one arrived.
It had only 1700 kilometres on its odometer so the new buyer will be getting an absolute gem, particularly as it was optioned with a different timber veneer than standard, plus those beautiful 19" alloy wheels which make all the difference visually.



So after that, I jumped back into my trusty little i30 diesel and worked my mind overtime all the way home, thinking about how I could possibly afford an XF diesel 2.2 litre.
The reality is, I can't, but I've certainly stored the experience away in my mind so that when I am able to, I'll be paying another visiti to my friendly. local Jaguar dealership.
One powerball............... ........ Smile Smile Smile

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