Back To The Future: Jag Offers First Four-Cylinder In Nearly 7 Decades
2013 Jaguar XF 2.0T Review:
The last time Jaguar offered a four-cylinder engine, Dinah Shore topped the record charts with “Buttons and Bows.”
Alas, Dinah has long since taken the celestial way in her Chevrolet, so it’s unlikely she’ll return with that tune any time soon. But – stop the presses! – Jaguar, for its part, is back with a four-banger for the first time in 65 years. Call it a sign of these mpg-conscious times.It was the 1948 Mk 1.5 that last carried the four-cylinder banner for Jaguar. The long-delayed sequel arrives for 2013 in the form of the XF 2.0T. For the record, the ’48 Mk 1.5 made 65 hp. The ’13 XF 2.0T makes 240. Jaguar has traded up.
In fact, the automaker is engaged in something of a drivetrain revolution with its sedans. Having sold nothing but V-8s in the U.S. since the star-crossed X-Type went into the history books half a decade ago, Jaguar in 2013 also offers a supercharged six-cylinder (not to mention supercharged V-8s) in both XF and XJ, the latter a top-of-the-line full-size model that hasn’t offered a six-pack since 1997. But we digress.
Borrowed from corporate cousin Land Rover, which employs this turbo four in its Evoque crossover, the I-4 in XF routes power, including 251 lb.-ft. of torque, to the rear wheels via a new eight-speed automatic that sends the old six-speed to the showers.
On the road, the car feels slow, but it’s really not. Sixty mph arrives in 7.5 seconds. It’s just that we’ve come to expect quicker acceleration from XF, whose blown six, which boasts a far growlier exhaust note than the muted tenor of its four-pot brother, greets 60 mph nearly two seconds faster.
Still, XF remains comfortable to occupy and gorgeous to behold, all the while delivering gratifying fuel economy in turbo-four trim. In 170 miles of highway driving, we got 29 mpg, just as the EPA promised.
Room is great up front and surprisingly good in back considering the sexy roofline. Just watch your head as you get into the back seat or you’ll bonk your melon on the slinky C-pillar.The suspension manages to nicely balance ride comfort and lively handling.
So, if you’re seeking sybaritic luxury but feel guilty enough about it to want better-than-average luxury-car fuel economy, the XF 2.0T is a great choice.
Just be aware that for a mere 3 grand more – hey, you’re already spending nearly 48 – you can get 100 more horsepower (100!) with XF’s 340-hp blown six.
Dan Wiese is a freelance automotive writer living in St. Louis. He also is a regular automotive contributor to Fox 2 KTVI-TV St. Louis. You can e-mail him at: firstname.lastname@example.org