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Review: Jaguar XE 20d

Driven February 2018

Review: Jaguar XE 20d

The Jaguar XE was only available with a petrol engine for the longest time in India, and we got one with a diesel engine mid last year. So this isn’t a new car, but it is an important one – you see, the diesels are really what rake in the moolah in this segment. Is this new engine enough to take on the German favourites?

Under the hood of this Jaguar XE 20d is a familiar motor – JLR’s 2-litre Ingenium diesel that we have also seen in the XF, the Land Rover Discovery Sport and the Range Rover Evoque. The Ingenium family of engines is designed to bring in efficiency in manufacturing. Parts can be shared between petrol and diesel Ingenium engines, and they are even equipped to be hybridised in the future. But that’s not all, they are supposed to be more fuel efficient, while being lighter (courtesy their all-aluminium construction) while offering more performance.

This motor is available in multiple states of tune on other cars, but it is only available with 179bhp and 430Nm in the XE, and its outputs match its rivals. First impressions of the motor? It’s got a shove, and that shove is extremely accessible. Peak torque kicks in as low as 1750rpm, and it keeps pulling urgently until 4000rpm. The eight-speed torque converter automatic is quick and shifts nicely, and it works even better in Dynamic mode. Dynamic mode also makes the throttle more sensitive, while weighing up the steering to make the car feel more erm… dynamic. The engine has a meaty powerband, it doesn’t mind being given the beans and this sits well with the XE’s sporty positioning. It accelerates eagerly and though we didn’t verify it, Jaguar claims a 0-100kmph time of 7.8 seconds.  As for its efficiency, we managed 12.6kmpl in the city and 16.6kmpl on the highway.

Refinement levels are acceptable, but there is a fair bit of noise that enters the cabin at speed. The suspension set up remains untouched, and it offers really good ride quality with only really sharp bumps sending uncomfortable judders through the cabin. The XE has always been dynamically superb and this hasn’t changed one bit. It gets top marks for having a predictable steering, and good body control. Even in terms of equipment, everything on the XE remains the same. In the mid-spec Prestige trim that we drove, you get the 20.32cm touchscreen along with the 380W Meridian sound system, ambient lighting, and memory seats. The front seats are extremely comfortable though rear seat space is limited. There are no real visual differences between the petrol and the diesel cars, save for the badging at the rear.

The XE diesel retains the driver-focussed appeal of the petrol, but offers a more practical and efficient alternative. At Rs 40.53 lakhs (the Portfolio costs Rs 44.7 lakh, ex-showroom), the XE remains competitively priced. It doesn’t come at too much of a premium over the petrol variants either – less than a lakh rupees, variant for  variant. Overall, if you’re the type to prefer the driver’s seat to the others, and are hell-bent on getting an oil-burner, the XE is a car worth considering.

Rating: 8/10

Specs: 1999cc, 179bhp @ 4000rpm, 430Nm @ 1740-2500rpm, 0-100kmph in 7.8 seconds (claimed), Top Speed 228kmph (claimed)

Verdict: Retains its sporty intentions, with a more efficient, practical diesel mill under the hood

Aatish Mishra


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