Having sampled the Jaguar XF 2.2 diesel sometime back we were quite keen to drive the 2.0 petrol to see whether the 'base variant' delivers the full Jaguar experience. You see even in luxury cars the base variant is mostly so stripped out that you may as well wonder it is the same car shown in the glossy brochures. Not so the XF 2.0.
This variant nearly has everything when compared with the top-end XF with interior mood lighting, navigation, reverse park camera, a superb 250W sound system, touch-screen, dual-zone climate control, powered seats etc
On the outside differentiation over the top-end XF variants includes smaller 17 inch wheels which actually does not take away anything from the looks but improves the ride (more on this later). One interesting thing is that unlike the XF 2.2 diesel the 2.0 petrol gets dual-exhausts. Nice.
Of course the talking point is under the hood with 2.0 turbocharged petrol developing 237 bhp and 340Nm of torque. Now 237 bhp is more than ample and it also dwarfs the power output of its rivals. What will take you by surprise though is the sharp throttle response in 'D' mode. The XF 2.0 will do 0-100 km/h in 7.9 seconds which is terrific especially since this is the 'entry-level model' in the XF range.
We like this engine's appetite for revs especially in 'S' mode but honestly for most of the time leaving it in 'D' will do. There is hardly any lag and we comfortably managed nudging 190 kmph further demonstrating this engine's prowess. However if you are in the mood the 8-speed auto would be at your command via the paddle shifters which are great to use and very responsive.
Now as discussed earlier the smaller wheels actually help the ride and you get the feeling that the XF 2.0 has become a touch soft which actually gives it important luxury car brownie points. Potholes are dealt better now and overall for our roads the XF 2.0 is the better choice. What is even more impressive is that Jag has nailed the ride/handling combo as around the corners performance has not been affected. Body control is good and the steering offers decent feedback.
Priced at Rs 49.07 lakh ex-showroom there is not much in terms of price difference over the 2.2 diesel but without a doubt we prefer the 2.0 petrol even though the diesel would be more efficient (we got 8 kmpl for the petrol).
The reason for this is quite simple as the 2.0 petrol goes better along with the character of the XF. Despite being around for a while it's timeless design still turns heads and the interior is a real triumph with its simple design and wonderful combination of materials- in stark contrast to the sombre, button infested cabin of its rivals.
So the 2.0 petrol certainly hits the sweet spot in the XF range and our advice is that if you are in the market for a large executive saloon- give the Jaguar XF 2.0 a long, hard look.