05-03-2020

Jaguar XE 2020 Driven

REVIEWS

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The Jaguar is a compact and well-muscled animal. It is the largest cat native to the Americas and the third largest in the world, exceeded in size by the tiger and the lion. The word 'jaguar' comes from the indigenous word 'Yaguar', which means 'he who kills with one leap'

Now hold on why am I even saying this to you and how does it resonate to the car that I am reviewing now?

Well, apart from the fact, that this brand borrows its name from this wild cat, the Jaguar, it also borrows its characteristic of hunting, in the form of handling. And the car that I have for review the XE, shines outright when it comes to handling, or did you hear hunting down its prey on the expressways with certain agility and pace. Dare I say, amongst the entire line-up of Jaguar’s the XE is the best when it comes to handling.

I remember saying this when I reviewed the earlier generation XE, that the car then was a benchmark in handling, I can easily say, this XE takes the torch further high up. So if “Junglee Billiyaan” is what you always liked, then this Junglee Billi, will not disappoint you.

Wait a minute, probably in last 4 paragraphs, you must have heard the word “handling”, almost like zillion times now. So is this 2020 Jaguar XE only good, just because of it’s handling, or is there more mettle to it, read on further as I find it out for you.

Design Language - Exteriors

The Jaguar XE is one such car that you simply can't stop drooling at it. Not only adults, but even kids have special interests in the Jaguar XE, and it simply boils down to how it looks. It’s an Uber cool example of being sophisticated, civilised, understated, and menacing, all at the same time.

It’s quite interesting to note that most of the body parts of this Jaguar are made from Aluminium, keeping the weight of the car down. If the earlier generation XE was handsome, this one is outright SEXY.

Good thing here, is that Jaguar has not changed the overall silhouette of the car, it has simply gone ahead and given it few nips, and few tucks here and there, to make it look-Fab

Upfront now, the XE gets, what’s a benchmark for segment, full LED Headlights with turn indicators induced LED DRL’s. The front grille has become sharper and now has gone full black, making the front look fabulous menacing and sporty. And to add to the overall sporty appeal, the skirting in the bumper housing now sport a chiseled look.

Moving to the side, the overall stance of the car is largely the same, from a distance you can tell, that this is the XE. The car now sports 17 inch alloys, which do the job of filling the wheel arches well. The design of alloys is probably the only bland thing in the entire scheme of things. Another big change that you will notice now is the fact that, the XE now comes with a panoramic sunroof, which my opinion is a welcome addition over the earlier XE.

At rear, for an untrained eye, not much has changed. But if you are an auto enthusiast, you will definitely notice that, while the design of the taillights has remained the same, but they have become sharper, a bit smaller and are now again, just like the headlights, all LED. The dual exhaust note towards the bumper, further accentuate the sportiness of the XE.

If I had to nitpick, just from the sake of fault finding exercise, I would say, the bulky shark-fin antenna for the radio reception, definitely out of place. I would have loved smaller and compact antennas, ala VW style.

Overall, this Jaguar XE looks and means business, business of pouncing on anyone who tries to, what we say in Hindi- “Ungli”while on the road. Shall we see, if there are any major changes in the interior.

Design Language- Interiors

Open the door, and the first thing that you notice is that the build quality is typical European, and it instantly reminds you of the dialogue from an undergarments brand, which goes by- “dum hai boss”

Move over the build quality, what immediately comes to your notice is how well the interiors is screwed and put together. In the last generation XE, there were some hits and misses, this one though nails it.

Overall design language has not changed, it has remained the same,however, there are some important changes that the Jaguar XE now comes with, to keep it in-line with the competition. For starters, the central console touch screen is bigger, and physical buttons get replaced by semi haptic screen which controls the HVAC unit.

Another bigger change on the front is the all digital driver display, which can be customised and personalised to individual tastes. The highlight of the cabin once again has to be the wrap around hood called the river-hood which was inspired by the Italian Speed Boats.

The steering wheel is absolutely chunky to hold and has a lovely thumb recesses, to give it a more sportier feel. What is segment first here is the electronic adjustment for the reach and rake, which nobody in the competition offers. That makes it so easy to find a perfect steering position.

The seats are super comfortable and good place to be for your long drives. They provide adequate lumbar support and thigh support, with various electronic adjustments to get that perfect driving position.

Step into the rear seat, and you realise, nothing much has changed. The Jaguar XE still remains a compact luxury sedan. Sloping roofline ensures, that if you are 6 foot and above, your head will brush against the roof. The foot wells are quite small, so with a larger person sitting in the front, the rear passenger is going to have extremely limited leg space. Owing to the bigger centre tunnel, three people abreast on the rear seat are going to be a complete no no.

However, having said that, the rear seat is a comfortable seat to be, you sit in with the cushioning ensuring you remain fresh and comfortable even after being hours behind in the rear seat. What also aids is the rear AC vents which we found were effective enough in this summer. No complains what so ever.

In Car Entertainment

One of the biggest update from the audio perspective has to be a bigger screen. Where the earlier XE had 8 inch centre console, the current XE gets 10.25 inch console, which has become crisper and sharper than the outgoing car.

While the outgoing XE got phenomenal sounding 380 watts audio setup from Meridian, the incoming XE misses on the Meridian Audio Setup, but still has sounds phenomenal. Am I saying you won’t miss the Meridian? Well, what Meridian bought on the table for deeper notes married to clarity in lower notes. The current setup in the XE is tuned to be on the heavier side for Bass.

The car has usual connectivity modules, like Bluetooth, USB, and not gets Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Performance- Engine & Gearbox

Jaguar offers the XE in two engine options, both being BS6 compliant now. Both petrol and diesel come with 2.0 litre 4 cylinder engines. The Diesel produces 177 HP and generates430 NM of torque, while the petrol produces 246 HP and generates 365 NM of torque. The power figures are identical to the outgoing car. Both the engines come mated to 8 speed sequential gearbox from ZF. More on that later.

Last time we reviewed the diesel variant of the XE, and this time we had the petrol with us for the review. Fire up the engine, and the car settles into an in audible rumble. Now that’s a great improvement. Last time when we were driving the petrol from Jaguar, in the XF, the engine growl was far more audible then its diesel counterpart.

8 speed gearbox has been pretty much the norm in the segment, save for the C Class which comes with 9 G Tronic. While this gearbox may not be the quickest in the segment, but it pretty much does a good job of helping the car build up the pace quickly. However, there was one peculiar problem that I saw with the car, it may be a problem with this particular media car that I had for the review. While driving in the manual mode, by using the paddle shifters, while auto downshifting, even if the car comes to a complete stop, the gear display indicator would show 2nd gear being selected in the MID. That made the progress from standstill, pretty lack lustre.

However, barring this, rest of the time, the gearbox pretty much selected the right gear at the right time.

Performance- Ride, Handling & Drivability

You know in a special car, moment you fire engine by pressing the start stop button.With the engine fired up, gear selector on D, the car makes progress. And the progress is intense. It is definitely the most fun car to drive in its class, it has got the best steering, paired with one of the best chassis balance.

The steering weighs up very well. It’s direct and you exactly know what the tires are up to. The steering is very progressive, very precise and gives you lot more control while you are driving. No wonder I said, it sets the new benchmark in the handling department.

The Jaguar XE rides also well. The suspension is well tuned and is able to mute most of the undulations on the road. You don’t feel the need to have an adaptive suspension setup in this car, as the standard setup ensures that the car is sharp enough to react to your steering inputs. However sharply you turn in or turn out, the car keeps the occupants in place without tossing them much. The ride quality is absolutely comfortable.

The XE comes with 4 different driving modes, Eco, Normal, Dynamic and Rain. While the Eco Mode auto activates the auto start-stop and the makes the responses lethargic on one hand, the Dynamic mode brings in the beast in this car. Put the car in Dynamic Mode, and the chequered flag appears in the MID, hinting at you to push the car harder and harder. The fun part is, harder you go, the XE becomes more alive and agile. The car attacks the corner like nobody’s business and plasters a wide grin on your face. You can continue with your momentum even in traffic. Aah don’t worry about the traffic, as other people on the road, end up giving you way, moment they notice a wild cat coming their way. Probably in their rear view mirrors, they must be seeing a Jaguar hunting down on them, which may be leading them to give way quickly without much of a haggle.

Overall, this Jaguar XE is a fun car to drive, is finely balanced, whether you are looking at a car which rides well, handles well and has power from the word go.

The Verdict

Why do you really buy a Jaguar? Well, this car loves to be pushed, and you love to push your car, this car loves to attack the corners, and you love to attack them as well, this car has stellar audio setup, and you love your music library too, exclusive is the second word to this car, and so are you, and lastly ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, she’s a wild cat, and so are you.

Did this paragraph resonate with you? If it did, then the Jaguar XE is the perfect car for you. While it has its lows, lows of being extremely cramped at the rear, lows of having totally boring alloys, lows of having relatively smaller boot space, but then hey, who cares of these things, when you are enjoying behind the wheel, pushing the car at every corner that you see and coming out laughing as if you just hunted something down.

That’s the Jaguar in the car coming alive at every turn and every corner to hunt its prey down. A big wild cat, who kills in one big leap.

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About Author
Nilesh Sawant
Nilesh Sawant

With an experience of over 3 lac kms of driving across the continents and with extensive experience of driving on the tracks, and passion for technical things around anything on wheels, reviews written by Nilesh are crisp and to the point.  



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