While its competitors are admired for their high-tech competence and precision engineering, Jaguar holds fort with a unique blend of exuberant performance and panache. Beautiful design, great handling and loud, growly engines that threaten to bite the head off anything that dares go up against them – Jaguar sports cars are a work of art. And so it is with the new XE sports sedan, revamped to look as contemporary as it can get for 2020. On the styling front, it gets new front and rear bumpers, full LED headlights, DRLs and LED tail lights with animated directional indicators that look pretty cool when switched on. The slimmer headlamps and tail lamps, bigger front grille and handsome 17-inch alloy wheels, makes the low-slung XE look every inch the hot sports sedan its maker intended it to be. Engine options include a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol unit that produces 247 horsepower and 365Nm of torque, and a more economical 2.0-litre turbo-diesel that makes 177bhp and 430Nm of torque. Both four-cylinder ‘Ingenium’ engines are, of course, BS6 compliant and an 8-speed automatic (sourced from ZF) is standard with both.
The updated XE features many new bits inside its cabin, including an F-Typederived gear selector, leather-clad steering wheel with controls for various functions, a 10-inch full-colour touchscreen that displays 3D maps, vehicle settings, contacts and media options, and full compatibility with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. With its sumptuous leather-clad seats (the front seats are 10-way power-adjustable), electric rear-window sun blinds, powerful 6-speaker sound system, and a very effective dual-zone climate control system, the XE’s cabin is definitely not a bad place to spend some extra time. Personally, I miss the earlier model’s rotary gear selector that used to rise up from the centre console when you switched on the ignition and tall passengers (anyone over 6ft) may find that legroom and headroom are a bit limited. Also, the wide transmission tunnel makes seating awkward for the middle seat passenger in the back, but that’s about it in terms of gripes.
Where the rear-wheel-drive XE really shines is the driving experience itself. Both the available engines are adequately powerful and responsive (we would love to have had an even more powerful petrol V6 on the options list), though enthusiasts will probably prefer the higher-revving, better sounding petrol unit. The XE’s aluminum-intensive construction makes it relatively light and nimble, while the double-wishbone front and integral link rear suspension has been tuned very well, providing a brilliant mix of ride comfort and high-speed handling. Jaguar says the petrol XE will get from zero to 100kph in 6.5 seconds and hit a top speed of 250kph. These numbers, for the diesel XE, are 8.1 seconds and 228kph.
Jaguar has also given the XE a full complement of safety features, including dynamic stability control, traction control, ABS with emergency brake assist, and front and side airbags. So, overall, the Jaguar XE seems to have all bases covered. It’s not just competent and luxurious, it’s also dynamic and exciting to drive. It’s perfect for the driving enthusiast who loves to take control of the wheel and it’s also well suited for small families that may be looking for their first premium car from a European manufacturer.
Inline-four 2.0-litre turbo-petrol / Inline-four 2.0-litre turbo-diesel
Rs 44.98 to Rs 46.33 lakh (ex-showroom)
10.2-inch Touch Pro Duo infotainment system, Wireless Device Charging, ambient lighting, Smart Settings with AI, Lane Keep Assist and Driver Condition Monitor, Air Quality Sensor