Having lived with the baby Jaguar for a few days and driven for almost half a thousand kilometres, here is the most detailed 2020 Jaguar XE review on the internet today…
You might now remember me driving the new Jaguar XE in one quick go to jot down the first drive impressions, some time back. The car had managed to impress me quite a bit on our first date. But what is it like to live with it in the real-life scenario? A tricky question to answer, here is what I have to tell you on this…
What Is The New XE All About?
Well, the Jaguar XE 2020 is all about packing more equipment, attitude and elegance to an already exciting car. A number of additions and other key changes have now been made to the XE, in an effort to make it competitive with rivals like the Mercedes C Class, Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series.
Have There Been Any Changes In The Design?
Very much! Quite a bit has changed in the overall exterior design of the 2020 Jaguar XE. The front end gets a thorough makeover in the new-gen XE. The LED headlamps are now sleeker and longer than before and boast of absolutely stunning ‘J Blade’ DRLs which double up as turn indicator lamps. I loved these more for the fact that they have ‘animated turn signal lamps’. The grille now sits wider than before and appears to have directly come in from the Jaguar I Pace electric SUV! There have been revisions in the designs of the bumper as well…
What I loved the most about the design of this car is the black treatment onboard, whereby blackened chrome bits around the car ( I mean, in places like the front grille, air dams, fender embellishments, window surrounds etc) impart a sense of sportiness and added youth to the design.
The profile seems quite fair indeed. The wheels now get a new satin grey paint scheme and look stunning altogether. However, as opposed to the segment’s conventions, the Jaguar XE gets comparatively tall-walled tyres, which sort of beefs-up the ride quality by a fair bit.
The rear gets longer-yet-sleeker LED tail lamps, which extend fair bits onto the sides. The rear bumper, now boasting of a slightly revised styling, gets black embellishments, housing chrome-clad dual exhaust pipes on either end.
The XE had been much applauded for having a design that reminded one of the XF, the larger cat, when it was first launched in 2015. The new car sees no escape from this comment either. In fact, the resemblance has now been strengthened further by the changes that have come into being.
What Is So New On The Inside?
The cabin has seen a DRASTIC change in the new car. If there was anything that the previous generation XE had been scorned for, it would have been for the pronounced compromises made on the luxury and equipment fronts. Jaguar seems to have had its lesson already and has put in much luxury and equipment in the new car.
The overall layout of the cabin is eye-pleasing and familiar to a great extent. Finished in a dual-tone paint scheme comprising black and beige, our test car ended up making me long for an all-black cabin! (Trust me, an all-black cabin with red contrast stitching for the leather would have been a killer here! Also, note that the Caldera Red coloured variant has a black treatment for the cabin) The dashboard still hosts the ‘Riva Loop’ theme, that tends to stretch along its breadth and kinda cocoon the front seat occupants.
Thoughts On The Infotainment System?
Occupying the central stage of the all new Jaguar XE is a massive 10 inch touchscreen, making for an efficient interface between the driver and a phenomenal infotainment system that has all, I tell you, ALL connectivity solutions you would wish to have in a car of this class. Talking about the previous generation XE, I had had absolute nightmares with its infotainment system, trying to connect my Apple iPhone to it. The Apple Carplay of the vehicle used to malfunction every now and then and many a time used to ‘forget’ my device on its own.
Sensing trouble, Jag had taken the CarPlay off for a while and had let in the ‘In Control Apps’ for the time being. However, with the latest update, the Apple Carplay has made a glorious comeback and functions absolutely perfect. There are also Android Auto and the familiar InControl Apps on offer as well. The touchscreen interface, I feel, has been simplified and made more responsive. The 10-inch Jaguar In control Touch Pro Duo unit seems to have come straight from the I pace SUV.
YES! The Jaguar XE has now gotten the much sought after ‘connected mobility’ tech that lets you get roadside assistance and make emergency calls with the tap of a button.
The Gear Selector Tale?
The gear selection mechanism has had a revolutionary change in the new XE. All the previous Jaguar cars, as you might remember, had been using a rotary gear selector for years, which by the way, was no short of Shakespeare when it comes to instilling drama! This dial, which used to pop up on starting the engine, with an elegance, so dramatic as to almost hold the driver spellbound, is now gone! Replacing it is a more conventional joystick type shifter that reminds one of the ones found in BMW models.
I personally feel this new shifter to be more user-friendly and convenient. It is true that we miss the drama and sway of the rotary knob, but good things come for a price, thus zero regrets …
Changes In The Climate Control Unit?
The Jaguar XE facelift gets a dual-zone climate control that lets you set separate temperatures for the driver and the co-driver. The controls for this are arranged in an elegant and novel fashion. The temperature control gets a rotary selection mechanism and the fan speed gets a set of physical buttons, all laid out beautifully on a piano black surface. All the other controls are touch operable backlit units. Even the essential keys like AUTO and SYNC follow this fashion. These are quite stylish indeed but their touch-sensitive nature does demand the driver to take his eyes off the road at times.
The climate control of this car also urged me quite a bit to wish for a slightly faster cooling. I ain’t telling that this unit is snail-paced, but I would have definitely preferred a slightly faster cooling from a car of this class.
The fronts seats are quite comfortable to be in and offer ample support. Both of them are electrically operated and the driver seat gets a memory function as well. There are ample thigh and adjustable lumbar supports too.
However, things are not on the finer side at the rear. The rear seats on the XE do every bit in earning the title of being CRAMPED! There are JUST ENOUGH leg, knee and head rooms for two well-built adults at the rear. Do not even think of stuffing a third occupant in the middle, the high central tunnel would not let you anyways! The space at the rear could definitely have been improved. The rear bench falls short on thigh support as well.
I also felt the rear door cavity to be quite narrow, thus making the ingress and egress slightly cumbersome.
The XE definitely seems to be a decently practical daily driver. There is decent amount of storage available inside the cabin. The front armrest can afford a reasonable chunk of things, so can the chilled glove box. There are a number of cubby holes and 12V charging ports spread across the cabin. You also get a number of USB ports inside. There is even a wireless charging bay in the central tunnel, for handsets supporting the same. The boot too can accommodate two decently sized suitcases without any complaining.
Is It A ‘jaguar’ Or A ‘JAGUAR’ In Quality?
Well, thankfully enough, the all-new XE stays true to the Jaguar standards when it comes to build and material qualities. There are no pronounced frantic tries of cost-cutting anywhere, big enough to impart a shade of ‘being less premium’ in the cabin. You really do not feel like being in a ‘baby Jaguar’ in most places except for the rear seats. So, it is definitely a JAGUAR by quality standards!
Isn’t That A New Steering Wheel Up There?
Yes! The new XE gets a flamboyant multi-function steering wheel that looks as if inspired too much by that of the Jaguar I Pace and the F Type. The wheel here, does not have a flat bottom though. It houses controls for Audio/telephony and cruise control. Apart from these, it also has the toggle switch for the ‘Lane departure Warning System’ that, if activated, would warn you against any involuntary shifting off the lanes by applying a mild counter torque to the steering wheel.
The Jaguar XE facelift gets two engine options in India- a 2.0 L Ingenium diesel and a 2.0L Ingenium turbo petrol, both BS6 compliant. The diesel mill is good to let out 180 hp while the turbo petrol gives out a whopping 250hp and 365Nm! Thus we opted to go on with the P250 SE petrol for the drive! The mill comes mated to an 8-speed auto box from ZF.
I drove the Jaguar XE P250 SE for around three days and a total of half a thousand kilometres. I must say this engine is a midrange maniac! The throttle demands a slight prod to get off the line, probably due to time taken by the turbo in spooling up. Once you are past say 1700 rpm, there comes the BEEFY mid-range! The car then surprises you with its meaty performance. However, the top end is quite flat and blunt.
Zero to hundred comes in a claimed 6.5 seconds. Jaguar says the top speed to be 250 kmph. We managed to attain 150kmph with pronounced ease. The petrol mill is quite refined in lower rpms and while idling. However, spin it faster and there comes a strong whine, into the cabin…
A Bit More On The Gearbox?
The 8-speed automatic transmission from ZF has seen quite a number of upgrades in the new XE. It is definitely faster and better than the one in the car it replaces. However, the smoothness and refinement levels are still not on par with its German rivals. You could feel the shifts happening if you are fairly attentive, thus being seamless is the last thing I would say about it. It still isn’t as quick as its rivals either.
A Bunch Of Drive Modes To Choose From?
The XE gets a set of 4 different drive modes, viz- Snow and Ice, Eco, Comfort, and Dynamic. The ‘Ice and Snow’ mode provides for an apt tuning for low traction launches. The Drive modes alter the shift points and throttle response to suit various driving behaviours. The Dynamic is the most ferocious of them all. It unleashes the beast that the 4 cylinder mill hides within. The shifts are sharp and fast in ‘Dynamic’ and the throttle response keen. The Eco mode takes a heavy toll on the performance but gives a better fuel economy figure.
Absolutely, ride and handling is one area where the new Jaguar XE excels. The steering is super precise and you really feel connected to the road. The Jaguar XE 2020 is one car you can slam into corners and still come out fast. The overall handling and dynamics seem to be on par with the German rivals.
I would say the suspension is well-tuned. The car definitely feels planted at speeds and in corners. But this does not come at the cost of ride quality. The XE feels very comfortable to be in. The suspension gulps almost every undulation on the roads without much effort. The overall ride is comfy and butter smooth. I think the tall walled tyres have contributed a fair share into the overall ride comfort.
The XE bears no compromise on safety and has all essential safety tech of the modern times, like a bunch of airbags, ABS, EBS, Traction control (or the Dynamic Stability Control as Jaguar calls it), etc alongside some other interesting tech like a lane departure warning and Snow and Ice Mode…
Let me now tell you something that might cause many a buyer of the XE to frown, the fuel economy figures. We managed to get an average fuel economy of 7-ish kmpl on the highways, in ECO mode and with the best driving practices engaged. The numbers dropped to as low as 6.2 kmpl under enthusiastic driving behaviours and 6-ish amidst the hectic city traffic. The XE P250 SE falls short of decent efficiency figures, apparently due to the large turbo petrol engine onboard and the 8-speed gearbox.
I would have liked this car more if it were to have a conventional fuel efficiency display in units of ‘kpl’ instead of the current ‘l/100km’ fashion, strictly personal opinion though!
The 2020 Jaguar XE price in India sees no big dips and stands at 45-ish lakh (ex.showroom) for the petrol S trim. The SE however, comes for about 47 lakhs, ex.showroom.
Have more queries on the car? Drop your questions in the comment box and we will get back soon…