Jaguar XE Facelift First Drive

Jaguar XE Overview

The new Jaguar XE sports saloon has been officially launched in India at the 2016 Auto Expo. The most attainable offering from the car maker rivals the likes of Mercedes C-Class, BMW 3-Series as well as the Audi A4 in the segment offering the highly appreciated styling coupled with frugal yet powerful engines on board.

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The new version of Jaguar’s most affordable offering, the XE saloon was launched in Indian market at the 13th edition of Auto Expo earlier in 2016. With significant changes made to the saloon both on cosmetic and mechanical front, the new XE surpasses its predecessor in terms of performance, looks and fuel efficiency. Apart from the all-new monocoque platform composed of lightweight aluminium, the saloon uses newly developed engine from Jaguar’s Ingenium family of engines, claimed to be fuel-efficient in nature. The saloon is currently available with a petrol engine and the diesel variant is expected to launch shortly. Book a test dive for Jaguar XE in Tryaldrive.

Jaguar XE Exterior & Look

The XE looks typically Jaguar, which by default means it is good looking. My only grouse is it looks way too similar to the XF, especially from the front. As compared to its German rivals like the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class the XE is a lot more beautiful to look at and makes you want to soak in the details for a longer while. The bulges on the hood, trademark grille with the feline logo and shapely air vents below the headlights give it a muscular stance.

The ‘J’ shaped LED DRLs look unique, and go well with the ‘Blue Fire’ shade of the car. The XE looks a lot leaner from the sides than it does from either end, sitting low and reminds somewhat of the 3 Series. The chrome finished exit vents behind the front wheel add to the premium feel. F-Type inspired tail lights looks nice, while the slightly pronounced rear lip-like spoiler adds a hint of sportiness to the rear along with dual exhausts. The design is fresher and more attractive as compared to the Germans, which endows it with better head turning abilities.

Jaguar XE Interior & Space

Jaguar has tried to emulate BMW’s sportily designed, low-set cabin in the XE. The driver’s seat feels nice to be in as you get a good view of the road despite sitting low. What caught my attention first was the layer of trim that runs across from the end of one door, onto the back of the dashboard and ends on the other door. It gives the dashboard a very unique, wider feel, while making two ‘level’s on the doors. The top level holds window buttons and the door lever while the lower level has the grab handle to pull the door shut. This takes getting used to as I would place my fingers on the lower rung to operate the windows only to realise the switches are on the upper rung.

The steering is similar to sportier Jaguars with a large, circular centre pad for the horn and adds to the sporty feel, as do the clocks. Worth mentioning is the colourful, high resolution touchscreen which looks brilliant. The tiny screen between the clocks also gets a nice, colourful display and offers a lot of information. Seats are shaped nicely and offer a comfortable, snug fit. The centre console looks clutter free, also thanks to the trademark hockey pock gear selector that comes out when ignition is turned on. There’s an upmarket feel to the cabin typical to Jaguars, and admittedly the XE does feel more premium than the German cars. Back seat comfort and kneeroom are decent, though boot space isn’t the most generous. While the XE does seem to better its German rivals in terms of design, I suspect that won’t quite be the case in terms of space.

Jaguar XE Engine & Transmission

India gets two variants of the Jaguar XE, the top Portfolio and the base Pure. Both use the same engine, a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol but the Pure is in a lower state of tune, with 200PS and 320Nm. The car we have here is the Jaguar XE Portfolio variant that makes 240PS and 340Nm. Both the Pure and Portfolio use an 8-speed automatic. The engine is superlatively refined and you can barely hear or feel it at low speeds. Throttle response is sharp and the engine has a very punchy midrange that builds strongly above 2,000rpm. The surge continues till just over 5,500rpm before it starts to tapers off. 0-100kmph takes a brisk 7.2s but it still cant match the now discontinued BMW 328i’s 6.53s 0-100kmph time Nevertheless, the Jaguar XE feels very fast but is also happy to settle into a cruise and feels completely stress free even at 160kmph with the engine just below 3,000rpm in 8th gear. Efficiency is pretty good as well given the performance and with some careful driving we got 8.9kmpl in the city and 17.8kmpl on the highway.For Jaguar XE check isc2013.in

Technical aid equipped in the new XE for improved performance includes intelligent stop/start, cruise control with automatic speed limiter, torque vectoring by braking & all surface progress control, hill start assist, jaguar drive control, electronic power assisted steering, dynamic stability control & traction control. In terms of mileage, XE saloon is claimed to return 13.5 km/l.

Jaguar XE Driving Dynamics

Making up for the cramped cabin is the fact that the driver is going to have a big smile on his face. The Jaguar XE has a sharp chassis with a quick and direct electrically assisted steering that actually offers a decent amount of feedback. On a twisting road, the Jaguar XE keeps the driver entertained with good front end grip and a rear that isn’t shy to move around a little on corner exits if you turn off the traction control. There isn’t quite enough power to make it drift at will but if you throw it into a corner aggressively it will willing slide. Understeer is well controlled and only comes up when the pace gets very high. Braking performance is strong and consistent and the pedal has a lovely firm feel.

The Jaguar XE has a taut feeling chassis but the good news is that it is not too stiff for our roads. It feels a little firm but remains supple throughout. Even when it hits a pothole there’s never that thud that makes you cringe with the fear that something may have broken. The fat tyres on those small 17-inch wheels are definitely helping here but if you don’t like the look, Jaguar will sell you an optional 18- or even 19-inch wheels. Ground clearance is decent too and we didn’t have any issues with speedbreaker scraping. Overall, the XE rides quite well and also has excellent noise isolation.

Jaguar XE Braking & Safety

Among the various safety equipment armed in the new XE pedestrian contact sensing, interior door handle with separate locking switch, emergency brake assist, power operated child locks, multiple airbags, passive head restraints, ventilated disc units etc are included. On the outside, XE gets a pair of power-folding ORVMs that can be adjusted electrically. Besides, the ORVMs come with integrated clear lens indicators along with puddle lamps and get heated, electrochromic and memory functions. Rain sensing wipers, heated rear screen, panoramic sunroof with electric blinds are some of the other vital external features. The snug interior gets leather upholstered seats, 10 way adjustable electric front seats, driver’s seat with memory function, multi-function power adjustable steering wheel and fixed rear seat with rear armrest including cup-holders among several others.

Jaguar XE Price in Bangalore

Jaguar Xe On-Road Price in Bangalore ranges from 44,73,089 to 55,80,134 for variants XE Pure and XE Portfolio Diesel respectively. Jaguar Xe is available in 6 variants and 7 colours. Below are details of Jaguar Xe variants price in Bangalore. Check for XE price in Bangalore at Carzprice.

Jaguar XE Final Thought

There certainly is an air of exclusivity to the XE unlike its German rivals. It is a car that will help you stand out from your peers with its sporty design, tastefully designed, rich interiors and brilliant handling without sacrificing passenger comfort. Only a full comparison test will help us assess its credentials as compared to its well-established German rivals but on its own the XE is a likeable car with what it offers. Look no further if you enjoy driving, don’t mind the relatively lesser space at the back and of course the price tag. Good things certainly come at a price, and the XE clearly is one of them. As the gentleman said, “It’s a Jag”.

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