Jaguar XJ L 2.0 petrol

Big car, small engine. Does it work?

Words: Ouseph Chacko

This XJ looks identical to any other XJ on the road. This is important because you wouldn’t want to spend Rs. 1 crore and then spoil the whole thing with a 2.0 badge on the bootlid would you?

Yes, you read that right. This biggest of Jaguars is fed by a small, four-cylinder, 2.0-litre turbo-petrol and I know what you’re thinking right now. You’re thinking the engine is too small, that this Jaguar will be more of a lazy dog than a leaping cat.

This XJ looks identical to any other XJ on the road.
This XJ looks identical to any other XJ on the road.

You’ll know you’re wrong the minute you go through the ‘Jaguar handshake’ (where the cylindrical gear lever whirrs up from the centre console) and press the throttle. It’s very smooth and hardly makes any noise at idle, which is exactly what a car like this should be.

The XJ wafts and it wafts with measured ease.
The XJ wafts and it wafts with measured ease.

Press down on the throttle and you’ll be surprised at how peppy it feels. Its 237bhp and 340Nm of torque moves this 1.8-tonne car with more than adequate ease and in traffic there’s enough go when you push down on the throttle. There’s only one small problem and that is when you’re in stop-start traffic. The initial throttle response is occasionally sharp and causes the car to leap ahead and this in turn makes you leap for the brakes. It’s a small issue that you learn to drive around.

All seats are power recline and massage. Fold away centre armrest to accomodate fifth passenger.
All seats are power recline and massage. Fold away centre armrest to accomodate fifth passenger.

Most importantly though, this one wafts and it wafts with measured ease. Its waftability comes from a combination of a very absorbent ride, a smooth shifting eight-speed gearbox, a purring engine and a silent cabin – exactly what chauffeur driven owners will like about it. Sure, when the chauffeur really wants some go, he will have to downshift via the paddleshifts because the gearbox won’t downshift unless he really stomps down on the pedal. Also, this 2.0-litre isn’t as effortless as the 3.0-litre diesel XJ but apart from that, this XJ is a really charming car to be in.

There is plenty of charm on the inside but it’s not as cutting edge as some of it’s rivals.
There is plenty of charm on the inside but it’s not as cutting edge as some of it’s rivals.

The interiors are well built, the armchairs masquerading as seats are really comfortable and Jaguar’s yacht-themed dashboard is interestingly different from what everyone else is offering.
What people might find a bit old school is the driver interface – the screen looks small in the face of the S-Class’s giant twin screens and the interface itself isn’t as slick or up-to-date as you would find on any of this car’s rivals.

Small engine is adequately powerful.
Small engine is adequately powerful.

It is fully equipped though. Jaguar sells the 2.0-litre only in top-spec Portfolio trim and that means you get heated/cooled/massage/recline function on all four seats, dual sunroof, a superb Meridian audio system and all the usual connectivity functions. So, the only hiccup then is the price. At Rs. 97 lakh for this car, it is only Rs. 6 lakh cheaper than the diesel Portfolio and that’s hardly a saving when you’re spending Rs. 1 crore is it? Yes, this engine is smooth and yes this car is fully loaded and yes, there’s real character in the XJ but, given the small price jump, the diesel with its added effortlessness is the one we would put our money on.

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