These days while we are all swooning over the F-Type and the new Range Rover Sport, for Jaguar Land Rover one of the most important launches ever was the Evoque and XF. Both were the keys to the entry into the lucrative mid-size luxury segment. The Jaguar XF was first revealed in 2007 and then it was facelifted heavily some years later as the model you see here. The XF then has been the back bone of the Jaguar sales so it was only fitting that we drive the XF 2.2 diesel. Read on.
Even without the badges you would know its a Jaguar with its sleek styling and possessing a swagger unmatched by its rivals. The coupe-ish styling, sharp eye-catching headlamps and a long bonnet make the XF a head-turner like no other car in its class. As we said the slimmer headlamps catch you eye first having the LED daytime running lights arranged in the Jaguar 'J-Blade' signature pattern.
The big and distinctive tail-lamps which extend onto the central portion of the boot lid give this cat a lot of presence. To differentiate from the bigger 3.0 diesel variant it has 17 inch alloys (also on the 2.0 petrol). Coupled with some splashings of chrome the XF is a stunner that is a whole world away from the S-Type it has replaced. We like.
Get in and you can't help but marvel at how Jaguar has crafted this interior. While rivals have a sober boardroom ambience with their interiors, the XF creates a tinge of drama and excitement. The combination of Knurled Aluminium with Satin Rosewood along with the leather is also classy and fit and finish is just stunning.
Push the throbbing start/stop button and the AC vents open theatrically and then the gear lever rises up which is just fantastic. This is supposed to be the lower spec variant or so we are told as it does not seem like that.
The XF 2.2 and the 2.0 petrol comes in the Luxury trim level while the 3.0 diesel comes with the Premium Luxury trim level. Standard equipment is a lot more generous than its rivals with features like electric seats, navigation, rear view camera, electric glass sunroof, touch-screen system, 250W sound system, interior mood lighting, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth etc. Space is decent though headroom is in short supply at the rear which is the price you pay for those coupe-like looks.
After just a few minutes behind the wheel we were surprised at how quick and responsive the XF feels. Performance on offer is quite strong and it feels livelier than its direct rivals. The power output is a healthy 187 bhp and 450Nm of torque but the real star is the superb 8-speed automatic transmission which means there is no lag and power is spread evenly.
Unlike other diesels it also loves to rev and putting the gearbox in manual and using those lovely paddles made for an enjoyable drive. We got upto high speeds with ease and to be honest there is 'enough' performance here to enjoy or even to actually use.
Another area where the XF impressed us was its refinement which is easily class best and beats its German rivals. When it comes to ride and handling the XF does well here though the steering is a bit too light and lacks some feel but on the other hand it does not have a stiff ride and nor does it crash onto the potholes plus the terrific refinement actually makes it very comfortable.
Priced at near Rs 49 lakh (ex-showroom Mumbai-pre octroi) we think the XF 2.2 diesel makes for a great buy as it is significantly cheaper than its bigger engined brother and also great value in comparison to its rivals. Do remember that it packs in more equipment and just feels more special.
The 2.2 Diesel then is the sweet spot in the XF range so if you are shopping for a executive luxury sedan that offers exclusivity and makes you stand out from the crowd, this is it.