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Old 11th March 2020, 17:00   #1
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Default Driven: Jaguar XE Facelift

The Jaguar XE is on sale in India starting at a price of Rs. 44.98 lakh (ex-showroom).

What you'll like:

• Sporty styling & sharp looks
• Excellent suspension setup. Easily the best in the segment
• Updated driver cockpit area
• Loads of new tech

What you won't:

• More cramped interiors than its rivals
• Gearbox tuning is pretty sad
• Boot is the smallest in the segment @ 410 liters
• Jaguar's after-sales service quality is a hit or miss

Driven: Jaguar XE Facelift-side-night.jpeg

Last edited by Aditya : 11th March 2020 at 17:11.
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Old 11th March 2020, 17:00   #2
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Driven: Jaguar XE Facelift-6.jpg

The XE is the compact saloon offering from Jaguar and competes with the likes of the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the Audi A4. And compete it does! The XE facelift was revealed in early 2019, and it made its way to India towards the end of the year. The car was released in 2015, and this is the first major update it received.

The exterior styling has been revised slightly, making it look a bit sharper. The interior seems to have received the majority of the facelifting, with the new steering, instrument cluster, central screen, gear shifter and console, etc. The powertrains remain the same with a 177 BHP diesel and a 247 BHP petrol on offer, both paired with an 8-speed ZF gearbox.

There are 2 variants on offer - a lower specced S variant and a higher specced SE variant which is well loaded, but still misses out on many features offered internationally such as the lower digital screen (for AC and media controls) and the digital rear view mirror.

Last edited by Aditya : 11th March 2020 at 17:12.
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Old 11th March 2020, 17:00   #3
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Exterior

Head on, the XE looks aggressive, and this is without the sporty optional body kit. The slimmer headlamps look mean, and the larger vents add to the look too. Subtle changes on their own, but together they add up well:
Driven: Jaguar XE Facelift-2.jpg

At the rear, the XE has a new rear diffuser, along with new detailing inside the tail lights. The diffuser has been extended on the sides, which look sporty with the twin tail pipes:
Driven: Jaguar XE Facelift-3.jpg

The side profile is largely unchanged and is well proportioned. The 17-inch wheels are the same design as before, except they have been finished in gunmetal now on this SE model. The gunmetal wheels are wrapped in 225/55 tyres. This car would have been great with 18-inch wheels:
Driven: Jaguar XE Facelift-5.jpg

The headlights are now full LED units. The output is good and so is the spread:
Driven: Jaguar XE Facelift-lights.jpeg

Last edited by Aditya : 11th March 2020 at 17:12.
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Old 11th March 2020, 17:00   #4
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Interior

With its sporty driver cockpit, the front of the XE is a great place to be. The seats offer enough support and are comfortable. Headroom is less than expected. Materials used are a big improvement for JLR, especially the plastics.

A close look at the driver's area, with the sporty steering wheel and the digital instrument cluster behind it. The steering wheel deserves a special mention for its look and feel:
Driven: Jaguar XE Facelift-img6572.jpg

The instrument cluster is similar to what is present on other vehicles like the XF, and Land Rovers. It has various options to display, be it a single dial, twin dial, or even just a full map. It is a nice piece of tech to use:
Driven: Jaguar XE Facelift-img6557.jpg

Driven: Jaguar XE Facelift-img6558.jpg

Light beige seats were already dirty on the media car. My preference would be a darker colour:
Driven: Jaguar XE Facelift-img6564.jpg

The driver's doorpad houses the seat and window control panels and the average sounding music system speakers. The doorpad gets a wood trim:
Driven: Jaguar XE Facelift-img6551.jpg

The centre console has had a lot of changes too - from the new infotainment screen to the new AC controls. Further down, even the gear shifter and mode switching buttons are new:
Driven: Jaguar XE Facelift-img6560.jpg

A closer look at the new gear shifter, and the mode switching button. The gear shifter is straight from the F-Type, and is very sporty. Personally, I preferred the older rotary dial. It was very unique:
Driven: Jaguar XE Facelift-img6555.jpg

Rear legroom is below average, and taller people will find it uncomfortable. The backrest angle and thigh support were good, though the headroom could have been better:
Driven: Jaguar XE Facelift-img6567.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 11th March 2020 at 17:13.
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Old 11th March 2020, 17:00   #5
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Driving the 2.0L Petrol AT

Driven: Jaguar XE Facelift-4.jpg

Jaguar is carrying forward the Ingenium 2.0L turbo petrol which was introduced on the pre-facelift XE. It makes 247 BHP and 365 Nm. This is mated to the ZF8HP45 8-speed gearbox. The same engine is also available in a 296 BHP state of tune in many other countries, and it would have been nice to have seen that introduced here. The claimed 0-100 time is 6.5 seconds, which is slower than its rivals, which is very surprising!

Once you slide into the driver's seat, it definitely feels modern, full of tech and the sporty steering just completes the driver's area. It shows Jaguar is trying hard to improve its interior quality, and the plastics on this XE felt a lot better than the cars from a few years ago. What one will notice though is that this Jaguar is a bit cramped. The headroom is surprisingly low, and I could feel my hair brushing against the roof sometimes. The interior overall does feel familiar thanks to the same instrument cluster and infotainment being used across the JLR model range (I believe).

Driving normally, sedately, the XE feels peppy, and the transmission is tuned perfectly for this. There are no jerks, and the shifts happen seamlessly, without any confusion from the gearbox. The XE is well suited to city traffic, and the throttle response is good without much perceptible turbo lag, so closing gaps in traffic is an easy affair too. But its when one starts to demand more from the car that it leaves you wondering where all the horsepower has gone. The gearbox calibration is simply not suited for enthusiastic driving. Not one bit. It takes far too long to kick down, and it just seems confused, always in the wrong gear. And this is a pity, because of all the sporty pretensions the XE has. Even going flat out, while its not slow by any means, the 330i will leave it in the dust. And this is with the same gearbox, and similar power and torque figures. Switching the mode to Dynamic doesn't help much either, but it does weigh up the steering and make the throttle more responsive.

The suspension is what truly stands out in the XE. It is a very mature setup, with the ride quality of larger cars. Smaller and medium-sized bumps are dissipated completely, and even the larger ones don't elicit a large thud from the suspension, but just a slight noise. And it gets even better as one picks up speed, the ride flattens even more. Stability at high speeds is excellent. The handling too is well managed, without any body roll and with the XE being able to hold some serious speeds into corners. The tall sidewalls of the tyres are the only let down in an otherwise excellent handling vehicle.

Steering response is accurate, and spot on. While the feel may not be as good as BMW, the Jaguar steering is definitely a pleasure to use. It weighs up nicely with speed, and one will always know what is happening with the tyres. Braking too is strong and is capable of bringing the Jaguar down from silly speeds without any fuss. The brake feel is also predictable, and not spongy.

All in all, the Jaguar XE is a bit of a mixed bag. It has many things going for it, and few against. But it is definitely stylish, sporty looking, with well built modern interiors. What goes against it is the gearbox calibration and the interior cabin space.

Driven: Jaguar XE Facelift-night-1.jpeg

Driven: Jaguar XE Facelift-night-2.jpeg

Last edited by Aditya : 11th March 2020 at 17:13.
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Old 11th March 2020, 17:16   #6
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Default re: Driven: Jaguar XE Facelift

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Test-Drives Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 11th March 2020, 18:37   #7
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Default Re: Driven: Jaguar XE Facelift

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akshay1234 View Post
Driving the 2.0L Petrol AT

But its when one starts to demand more from the car that it leaves you wondering where all the horsepower has gone. The gearbox calibration is simply not suited for enthusiastic driving. Not one bit. It takes far too long to kick down, and it just seems confused, always in the wrong gear. And this is a pity, because of all the sporty pretensions the XE has. Even going flat out, while its not slow by any means, the 330i will leave it in the dust. And this is with the same gearbox, and similar power and torque figures. Switching the mode to Dynamic doesn't help much either, but it does weigh up the steering and make the throttle more responsive.
Really sad to read that the ZF8 is still not programmed well in XE. The same gearbox works like a charm in the 330i. When I bought the 330i last year, XE 25t was the only other car I seriously considered (250BHP turbo-petrol AT was my minimum requirement). During my research, I had read about how lousy the F30 steering was and experienced it first hand in the test drive. I also read how XE steering is razor sharp and XE is the new king of handling, so I tried to buy the XE (25t) - just for the steering. But got a much better deal on the 330i so dropped the XE.

BTW, a side-note: Both BMW and Jaguar only had diesel versions for TD, and both were noisy and rattly - very unbecoming of the luxury brands that the two companies claim to be. The XE diesel was even more agricultural than 320d and had massive turbo lag.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akshay1234 View Post
The tall sidewalls of the tyres are the only let down in an otherwise excellent handling vehicle.
This was again one big dilemma during my purchase - XE uses regular high profile tyres which are relatively easily available in the market and light on pocket compared to low profile RFTs of 330i. But after more than a year of driving the 330i, I am really happy with the RFTs. The low profiles look smashing too, which is an added bonus. There is a price to pay for this though and the current devaluation of my mutual fund portfolio keeps bringing back the thought of that Jag running on regular tyres

Last edited by SDP : 12th March 2020 at 07:09. Reason: Typo.
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Old 11th March 2020, 20:55   #8
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Default Re: Driven: Jaguar XE Facelift

That is one badass looking car! Love the deep blue paint job which strikes a great contrast with the black grille and rims, rather than all-black.

The image below stands out and makes the car look absolutely menacing!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Akshay1234 View Post
The headlights are now full LED units. The output is good and so is the spread:
Attachment 1976458
I think “cat-like reflexes” also includes quick responses from the gearbox under any condition, right Jaguar?

Also, great review! Short and to the point.
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Old 12th March 2020, 03:03   #9
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Default Re: Driven: Jaguar XE Facelift

Before buying the 320D, I truly wanted a XE and I literally ate the head of the JLR dealer in Bangalore to give me a good deal on the same but he couldn't. I was getting the XF albeit a little older right in my budget (Pre-Owned) but I just didn't find the XF appealing enough. I feel Jaguars in terms of driving has lost the edge and character which it initially offered, now it leaves a lot to be desired in terms of Packaging as well as mechanically. After booking the 3er, I had received a call from JLR regarding the TD of XE and I am glad I picked the 20d.
Yes! The interiors were much better of the XE along with the equipment list and well it looked absolutely smashing. The moment we talk about performance, F30 LCi took the cake away, be it outright acceleration or the seamless gearshifts, or the way steering weighed up in Sports mode. The XE just wasn't good enough except the braking which I felt was tad too better in Jag, BMWs really need to work on their braking! It's just not good enough for spirited driving but if performance is what one is looking for BMW still takes the cake away eyes closed. Especially the way 20d is tuned, it just feels perfect.

Now, looking at the facelift, I would pick the G20 or C300 eyes closed. In the pictures itself, this car fails to wow me. I am sure it just won't be good enough in terms of performance as well.

Last edited by YashD : 12th March 2020 at 03:05. Reason: Typo
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Old 12th March 2020, 04:57   #10
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Default Re: Driven: Jaguar XE Facelift

The car looks sharp. It is unfortunate that Jaguar did not spend enough time on tuning the gearbox. Hopefully; this can be corrected over time with a software update.

The dashboard can benefit from an update in look and materials. Also; the HVAC stack is different to the car sold in New Zealand. We get some graphics along side the physical controls. You can see this here:

https://www.jaguar.co.nz/jaguar-range-xe

I second your opinion on the gearbox shift stick. I quite liked the rotary dial that popped out each time. Looked super cool.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 12th March 2020, 10:25   #11
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Default Re: Driven: Jaguar XE Facelift

Driven: Jaguar XE Facelift-3.jpg

Thank you for a great review, Akshay. Jags are never low on the oomph quotient, and the XE Facelift is no exception. The slimmer headlights are a bit too aggressive for my liking though. But what I am unable to un-see is how the inner and outer halves of the rear taillight units are misaligned. I wouldn't want to see that after spending more than 50 big ones.

Last edited by TheLizardKing : 12th March 2020 at 10:28.
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Old 12th March 2020, 14:08   #12
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Default Re: Driven: Jaguar XE Facelift

Jaguar has really nailed it on the styling front . She has beautiful, timeless lines. I also loved the suspension tuning. It's easily among the best setups in the segment, and that's saying a lot considering who its competition is.

Sadly, the ZF gearbox in this car feels dimwitted. I can live with the cramped rear seat, but the gearbox would be a deal-breaker for me. Sure, the AT is fine for a calm cruiser...the enthusiast in me found it terribly annoying when driven hard.
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Old 12th March 2020, 14:59   #13
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Default Re: Driven: Jaguar XE Facelift

This review is partial. Team-BHP review doesn't feel complete without www.TEAM-BHP.com number plates!
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Old 13th March 2020, 10:52   #14
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Default Re: Driven: Jaguar XE Facelift

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLizardKing View Post

the inner and outer halves of the rear taillight units are misaligned.
Actually this is something I too noticed during my test drive. The sales associate opened the boot and then closed it with a very gentle push. I immediately noticed that the tail lights are mis aligned. So I opened the boot again and closed it with some force and that did the trick, the lights were aligned. Its something most won't even notice in a dark shade of the XE like in this Portofino Blue. It'll be much more noticeable in lighter shades. One more thing I noticed was that the speed alert at 80 kph and 120 kph were extremely subtle. I could barely hear it even with the AC off. Completely non-intrusive and very muted single tone. So kudos to Jaguar to care for our enthusiasts hyper sensitive ears. The exhaust note is something very distinctive and loved every pop and burble from it! Yes the gearbox is a big let down. The car I was driving had barely 300 km on the odo. Felt too bad to stretch its legs even. I feel the gearbox might improve over time with software updates from the factory, but in my spirited TD of about 30 kms, it felt very jerky and slow to respond. Autocar India proves this fact by drag racing the 330i and the XE P250 where the XE loses of course in the quarter mile run. It can be seen here https://www.autocarindia.com/auto-fe...ace-day-416376

Last edited by adi_petrolhead : 13th March 2020 at 10:57.
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Old 13th March 2020, 14:26   #15
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Default Re: Driven: Jaguar XE Facelift

Amazing review and rated 5 stars!

I love the rear design of the XE and this new version looks even better. I have sat in the rear seats of the previous version of this car and personally felt there is very little leg room (as observed in this review). It is not cramped but I felt that the car of this stature could do with a few more millimeters at the rear.
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