The Jaguar XE is the British brand’s first full-fledged attempt to compete with the major German three in the compact luxury sedan segment, which is currently dominated by the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series. The Jaguar XE is positioned as the most driver-focused car in this class, designed by Ian Callum and supported by an all-new aluminium intensive modular chassis. As a result, the sedan on test here is a 200bhp+ petrol variant. How is it going? We discover the truth.
The horse shoe grille and red emblem dominate the front of the Jaguar XE, while the power bulges on the hood give muscle to the design. When viewed from the front, the L-shaped LED DRLs emphasise crispness. The tall bonnet and stubby boot suggest a forward leaning attitude when viewed from the side. The XE’s premium appeal has been reinforced by the addition of chrome to the side vents and the entire window section’s outlines. The tail lamps, on the other hand, have a semi-circle lighting that recalls the F-type. While the XE shares a lot of its older siblings’ design cues, there’s no doubting that it’s a stunning vehicle. And we believe that its distinct and appealing appearance will help it stand out from its more established competitors.
If the Italians are recognised for their flamboyant flair and the Germans for their form purity, the British should be known for their class and refinement in design. The XE’s cabin is an example of this. The colour scheme is two-tone, with black on the dashboard and brown on the leather trim. A cowl stretches from window to window on the dashboard, and chrome is used liberally across the centre console. And it’s all done tastefully, with scarcely any glitter. The trademark Jaguar pop-up gear knob adds a touch of theatrics to the mix. Jaguar has finally upgraded its touchscreen infotainment system, which is one of the most crucial upgrades. It has more functionality, nicer graphics, and is easier to use than the previous version.
The front seats are electrically adjustable and have substantial side bolstering. However, because the cabin is narrow, you will have limited shoulder room. The NVH insulation does a good job of isolating the cabin from most outside noises. However, not everything is ideal. Due to the air conditioning vents and transmission tunnel intruding into the space of the middle passenger, the back seats are only suitable for two persons. Because of the slanting roofline, headroom in the back is also limited.
Driven by Results
In India, the Jaguar XE is only available with one engine option. The XE is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine that delivers 237bhp and 340Nm of torque. A ZF eight-speed gearbox transmits power to the rear wheels. When you hammer the throttle to the floor, the torque delivery is linear and consistent. When driven with a light throttle, the ‘box prefers to be in the highest available gear, but it does go down the ratios fast in kickdown to provide instant acceleration for swift overtakes. However, if you’re driving aggressively, it’s still advisable to utilise the paddle shifters. The throttle responsiveness improves in Sport mode, and the transmission holds onto gears for a little longer; it’s a good choice for handling twisty roads.
In addition, four driving modes are available: Eco, Normal, Dynamic, and Winter. Each mode includes a separate map that alters the steering and throttle response. Jaguar has also included a start-stop feature in the XE to help with fuel saving.
The XE’s chassis arrangement is outstanding, as Jaguar has achieved a good combination of ride and agility. It absorbs the majority of potholes, bumps, and irregularities and transfers only minor thuds into the cabin. The XE’s good combination of ride and handling also allows it to run flat through curves at highway speeds. It also corners with a ferocity that would make a golf kart proud. This is also the first Jaguar to use electric power steering, and Jaguar has done a fantastic job with it. It gets heavier as you go faster and gives you solid feedback along the way.
Is the Jaguar XE the first car to use a volume spinner? From a driving standpoint, we would certainly want to believe so. Every time you get behind the wheel, it has the capacity to put a grin on your face. There’s also a reasonable amount of equipment available, albeit the rear seat comfort may be improved.
However, the version we tried (25t Portfolio) is substantially more expensive than its competitors, costing Rs 46.50 lakh (Ex-showroom Delhi). If driving enjoyment is not a concern, the 20tPure trim variation, priced at Rs 39.90 lakh, is also available, but it lacks much of the equipment and has less power. In the future, the XE will also be available in diesel versions, which are projected to account for the majority of sales. However, considering the XE’s dynamic ability, both diesels should be enjoyable to drive as well.