DRIVEN: Jaguar XJ L 2.0 Ti – only four-pot in its class

Jaguar_XJL_2.0_Ti_Driven_ 019

Engine downsizing is getting very common these days and even luxury car manufacturers who have traditionally had big V6 and V8 engines have embraced the practice. However, these engines seem to have eluded the full-size Mercedes S-Class/BMW 7 Series luxury car segment so far. Until now, of course.

Jaguar is one of the very few automakers who have replaced their entry-level normally-aspirated 3.0 litre V6 engine with a turbocharged four-cylinder for their flagship, the XJ. Its German counterparts have done the same for their smaller class of cars, but to date, they have maintained large normally-aspirated six-cylinder engines for the entry-level versions of their flagships. Yes, Audi has a 2.0 litre motor in the A8 hybrid, but that’s packaged as a hybrid. So for now, the Jaguar XJ L 2.0 Ti is truly unique in its class.

Jaguar_XJL_2.0_Ti_Driven_ 024

This 2.0 litre turbocharged motor is familiar. It’s used in the smaller XF, as well as other JLR products with ‘Si4’ badging such as the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Freelander. You’ll also find it in Ford products such as the Ford Focus ST and the Ford Mondeo. In Jaguar’s application, it’s mated to a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission.

On paper, the 2.0 litre displacement might put you off. But the engine allows the big cat to be rapid enough, with its 240 PS and 340 Nm of torque providing thrust much earlier than in the outgoing V6 engine. The XJ feels a lot lighter sprinting around the neighbourhood compared to, say, the sluggish 3.0 litre V6 in the S300L, and the 100 km/h sprint takes just 7.5 seconds.

Compare that to the 8.2 seconds of the Mercedes-Benz. The BMW 730Li with a similar ZF eight-speed gearbox and way higher road tax cost because of its bigger displacement and more cylinders just matches the XJ’s 7.5 second figure.

At RM638,888 it’s the cheapest in the range too. However, it does so at some expense. Being the most affordable car in the XJ L range here in Malaysia, some options that we’ve come to expect in this segment in Malaysia have been left unticked. The most glaring omission is the lack of any kind of seat adjustability in the rear quarters. The rear bench is fixed.

Jaguar_XJL_2.0_Ti_Driven_ 043

Because there are no controls for the rear seats, this also means that in the boss chair, you can’t control the front passenger seat yourself to suit your comfort. The 2.0 Ti model also doesn’t get the 825 W Meridian Surround Sound audio system that its better-equipped siblings get, making do with a 250 W Jaguar Sound system instead.

With this being a full-sized car that’s normally chauffeur-driven in Malaysia, I also arranged to be driven in the back seat to see how things would go. With the XJ tuned to be a little more on the dynamic side of things, the rear bench proved to be a little nauseating on the badly-constructed highways of Malaysia.

Jaguar_XJL_2.0_Ti_Driven_ 028

The same stretch of NKVE – where I can normally work on my laptop in the rear seat with no issues in an S300L – made me feel a little sick in the Jaguar because of all the high-frequency undulations that were coming through into the cabin. I had no idea the Merc’s AIRMATIC was taking care of all of that!

The view from the driver’s seat is fantastic though, and so is the exterior. Doing a double take when you see this car going past is a must. The front half of the interior can be described as very well embellished – plenty of wood and chrome in all the right places, and that retro-futuristic theme works extremely well. That steering wheel is a delight to hold.

The instrument panel is completely digital, so the displays can vary and show plenty of information, which is a nice touch, but I wish that the resolution on these screens would be upped a little. The same applies to the touchscreen infotainment system.

Car companies should take note that a low-resolution reverse camera feed can really spoil an interior when active. We’re all too used to looking at our iPad Retina and 1080p smartphone screens these days.

Jaguar_XJL_2.0_Ti_Driven_ 002

The XJ has notable agility through the bends, feeling like a smaller class of car, thanks to its light aluminium chassis, good steering feel and well-tuned dampers. The gearbox could have been tuned to be a bit more aggressive though, as shifts remained relatively slow even with the Jaguar Drive Control’s sportiest mode selected.

But seriously – 2.0 litre four-cylinder power works in this class of cars, especially when there’s plenty of budget to cancel out vibrations and any undesirable four-cylinder sound from intruding the cabin. Jaguar’s rivals should just follow suit and get rid of their antiquated normally-aspirated 3.0 litre lumps.

Looking to sell your car? Sell it with myTukar.

10% discount when you renew your car insurance

Compare prices between different insurer providers and use the promo code 'PAULTAN10' when you make your payment to save the most on your car insurance renewal compared to other competing services.

Car Insurance

Paul Tan

After dabbling for years in the IT industry, Paul Tan initially began this site as a general blog covering various topics of personal interest. With an increasing number of readers paying rapt attention to the motoring stories, one thing led to another and the rest, as they say, is history.



  • Sandiwara BN on Jan 10, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    This car is the biggest revenue earner for the AP thieves. 2 year old XJs are being sold for 25,000 pounds. But come to Malaysia, the AP thieves sell it for RM500,000 and above. Biggest profit margin. We are all supporting the AP thieves with our income tax money. Let us support them further. A handful of 20 or 30 people being enriched by MITI

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 102 Thumb down 9
    • Johnny on Jan 10, 2014 at 5:33 pm

      note several things when looking for a car:
      1. mileage (high milers tend to be cheaper)
      2. insurance write offs
      3. LWB/SWB versions
      4. petrol vs diesel versions as well as trim levels. (luxury, premium luxury, portfolio)

      the 25k quid car that you saw was most probably a SWB luxury trim with the barest minimum options. it probably also is a high miler and was probably used as a taxi or a rental car.

      the ones sold here for 500k are generally the supersport/portfolio trim with the larger 5L engines, and the 3L engines in some cases.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 24
      • Jaguar Truth on Jan 11, 2014 at 11:22 am

        I check autotrader in the UK, high spec and LWB versions are being sold for 25k quid or even less.

        You are right about high mileage cars by rental companies being sold cheap. Our AP guys buy high mileage cars and clock it down in Malaysia to 15,000KM, so cheating everybody. They buy even less than 20,000 quid direct from rental companies. these cars clocked abt 300,000KM already

        But the biggest cheat is Sisma. Sell overpriced. Last time XJ they sell for 1 million. Nobody buy. Now they drop a bit. Still so expensive compared to UK price.

        XF even worse. Car less than 30,000 pounds. Here they sell RM500,000. See how much they untung. No car company in the world can untung RM200,000 sebiji!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1
        • Keris Jawa on Jan 11, 2014 at 12:15 pm

          I do not have anything against used car dealers. Some of them are honest people cari makan. But to people with less knowledge about car like myself, we are susceptible to fraud by some of them who only cares about making money. So I avoid them, to be safe. My friend once traded in his Lancer and then saw it advertised in Mudah for a very much lower mileage. So used car buyers, beware!

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1
        • Johnny on Jan 11, 2014 at 12:20 pm

          @Jaguar Truth,
          You are probably right about high miler cars being sold cheap. However, I think from a more mature perspective, it is poor practice to generalize. I know of AP dealers who leave the registration plates (from the UK) on the cars while selling them, as well as the dealer sticker (ie agnew BMW or charles hurst etc) and so as a consumer, the responsibility is yours to check, and double check before buying any used car. Do note many second hand Malaysian car dealers also clock down the mileage of the car; and that practice of clocking down is as big in the UK and Ireland as it is here. Hence, the best thing to do for any reconditioned used car dealer is to check. if it’s a reconditioned car, check the number plate against the databases in the UK. use the VIN to contact the dealership from where the car was bought from originally. a few extra calls would go a long way.

          about the XF, I had one when i was in the Uk and yes, 30k quid gets you a base model 2.2d luxury spec. The models brought here are the premium luxury trim, which cost in excess of 45k quid.

          when you compare the prices of CBU mercedes in relation to CBU jaguars, the jaguars do seem much cheaper. dont forget most of the other makes in the similar cars are CKD’s and priced almost the same if not more; engine for engine and spec for spec.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1
    • superbird #43 on Jan 11, 2014 at 12:39 am

      correct. i remember bringing in 250ci 1970 pontiac firebird which cost US$8,500 in the States, but ended up costing RM115,000 in M’sia.
      the higher the mileage, the less the AP kings demand from u and the lower the tax u neec to pay.
      now, that car sleeps in my garage most of the time. why? petrol so expensive.

      Anyway, cheers…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
  • heybadigol on Jan 10, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    I agree that whenever this car goes past or even if I go past it when its parked, i’d usually come back to have another look. Its like the more you see it, the more details you will see. Amazing design.

    Im surprised this extra long wheelbase version has good handling. Makes a normal wheelbase XJ kinda pointless, eh? How much does the car weigh? And whats the fuel consumption like?

    Nice to see a premium carmaker giving an actual spare wheel (and a bright red one too!!). BMW should take note that run flat tires, though nice to have and makes life easier when punctured (which is not all the time), arent as comfortable as normal tyres.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1
    • smeagol on Jan 10, 2014 at 5:05 pm

      i suppose the short wheelbase is cheaper.

      w221 s-class has FULL SIZE spare wheel btw.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2
    • alldisc on Jan 12, 2014 at 1:40 pm

      jaguar made extensive use of aluminium in this X351 XJ and the entry level 2.0 turbo with 8 speed gearbox weighs in at no less than 1600kg – about the same with 5 series/E-class segment XF.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • SpongeWai on Jan 10, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    last time i saw the Jaguar showroom at Pavilion suddenly closed and no more.

    I dun exactly know what is going on. does anyone know?

    i often go there and see

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4
    • Irene Chong on Jan 10, 2014 at 6:57 pm

      Dear Mr Sponge Wai,
      The Pavilion showroom will be relocating to Menara Worldwide in Jalan Raja Chulan early this year as it has better space and accessibility from the main Raja Chulan road. It is just a few hundred meters away from Pavilion and guests can park right in front the new Jaguar showroom. For more details or to view the latest models, visit Jaguar Showroom in Glenmarie or call tel : 03 55693311.

      Have a great weekend.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 43 Thumb down 2
  • tHe^CuLpRit on Jan 10, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    pretty good idea, but maybe if they sold it in short wheel base it would appeal more to owners that prefer to drive it instead.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2
    • alldisc on Jan 12, 2014 at 1:43 pm

      the differences in price is not that much between SWB and LWB, and at that kind of price (600K and above) research shows that prospect buyers prefer the extra room they get at the back since most of them are chauffered driven.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Maserati on Jan 10, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Absolutely not worth it at all. 600k + for a car which has a 2L engine. Ridicolous!

    For that kinda money, u can get a Porsche which is much better respected in terms of badge value.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 21
    • Johnny on Jan 10, 2014 at 5:47 pm

      note the base model porsche panamera costs 720k new….and that is before you start factoring in all the options that comes standard in this car (heated and ventilated seats all around, panoramic sunroof, keyless entry, 4 zone climate control – all of which are extra cost options in a porsche). before you know it, the price will sky-rocket.

      also, you don’t get anywhere near enough leg-room in a panamera.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 3
      • Maserati on Jan 11, 2014 at 8:32 am

        If I am gonna spend so much for a car, I would rather top up more to get a bigger CC car.

        Downsizing to a 2.0 turbo ,yes you get the power upfront . But top speed and cruising will never be able to challenge a NA engine Porsche.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6
        • Johnny on Jan 11, 2014 at 1:09 pm

          I do see your point about a larger CC and a naturally aspirated engine. However, do realize that a naturally aspirated engine has a rev range for peak horsepower and torque and in order to achieve maximum performance, you need to be in that rev range. With a supercharger (like the 3.0XJL) you get pretty much relentless power throughout the rev range. True, there is also a peak range, but if you’re looking at figures alone; 5.5+ seconds in the 3L Jag vs 6 seconds (with sport plus which is a very expensive option) in the panamera? Then when you factor engine to engine and spec for spec price, the price of the panamera does seem rather ridiculous for what you’re getting.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
    • keluangman on Jan 11, 2014 at 12:38 pm

      test drive dulu brader baru cerita. You’ll be surpised how powerful these small pot turbocharged engine is. The mercedes C250 cgi definitely changed my perspective, with its 1.8 litre capacity.

      So good it’s been in my driveway for the past 1 year lol

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1
    • drCoorper on Jan 12, 2014 at 3:38 pm

      You absolutely underestimating the wonders of turbocharging…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • sudonano on Jan 10, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    The 730Li has more features, yes. But it is rather silly to keep the old NA 6 cyl. engine still, when the N20 4 cylinder as used in the 328i/528i can match the same performance. And you can save a lot on road tax too.

    But yea, this car does look very good. Better than even the 7 series, and the now outdated S class. (The newer S class is nice).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3
  • Contender on Jan 11, 2014 at 12:35 am

    For those who can afford 638,000 for a car would not be worried about the road tax mind you …. But I have been seeing alot of luxury cars bearing Labuan or Sabah/Sarawak registration plates which their road tax is way way cheaper than KL and the Labuan plates are tax free but they are on KL roads …. as usual the connected ones benefits while the normal guys pays tax for their cars …. sigh

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3
    • keluangman on Jan 11, 2014 at 12:44 pm

      Good 2.0 litre capacity not only saves on roadtax(why da heck I am paying roadtax when all the roads I am using have to pay toll?) but also fuel consumption. Try owning a 5.0 supercharged car and come back to me on how it cost to fill up weekly boss!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1
  • This car look majestic, could be better if place two flags with poles at each corner at the front during merdeka day. An S class somehow look boring with it typical lines. Just my personal thinking.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4
  • nabill on Jan 11, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    how much is a 7 series 730 d???

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • seancorr on Jan 11, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    Saw this on the road a few times and the rear end is so long and huge that it really makes it’s presence felt. However I’m inclined to the upcoming S Class with its gorgeous interior and the super soft suspension setup it has.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Majuperak on Jan 12, 2014 at 10:08 am

    Where is Sam Loo comments ? He will say get Lexus ES250 ….

    Nice looking car and now has gone the downsizing of engine to 2.0 four pot but as powerful but price has not yet been downsize yet …. only savings is road tax and perhaps fuel but for those owners, these are not their concern anyway. Beautiful car with it’s huge presence

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

Add a comment