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Jaguar XE Petrol India Review, First Drive

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Jaguar XE Petrol ticks all the right boxes for the enthusiast by being highly rewarding to drive. It also offers luxury and efficient mannerism at the same time.

Enchanting –

  • One of a kind aesthetics and exhaust note
  • Superlative brakes, engine and gearbox
  • Ride and handling balance is impeccable
  • Feature loaded interior

Unsatisfying –

  • Priced a bit higher
  • Low boot and rear bench space

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When you talk about luxury cars in the Indian market, for majority, it is the German trio that comes to the mind. Though there are other brands in the same market segment as well, but the makers from other countries don’t come to the mind so often. To be precise, there are ‘Other Two’ luxury car makers in the segment offering equally sumptuous products and one of them is Jaguar.

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The name doesn’t strike as hard as the German holy-trinity because until recently the Jaguar brand hasn’t done much in Indian context at least. Their saloons and the sports car were age old and did not have the flair to grab attention much not so long ago. Then being combined in a package with Land Rover and under Tata in earnest,  Jaguar brand decided to have a through re-haul along with their off-roading Land Rover brethren.

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Jaguar started by refreshing the XJ thoroughly, launching the all new XF in the country and only recently at the Auto Expo came the Jaguar XE along with the very new F-Pace. Referred as the baby Jag, the XE has been in talk indirectly since 2012 in the media worldwide. The car came finally came to India in late 2016 and we much further wait later, we have finally laid our hands on the Portfolio variant of the XE. We had the company of the petrol motor for this first drive since the diesel motor has just been launched last week.

How is the petrol though? Is the hype worth it? We spend some time with the car to tell you what its like.

Design

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Exterior design is of a well proportioned saloon, an art tastefully mastered by Jaguar. Ian Callum as we know is doing a spectacular job of making Jaguar’s more special. This also means that the XE truly looks like a baby Jag. The long hood, the stubby and substantial rear along with a side profile which is long enough to depict that it is a luxury saloon. The chunky tail-lamps look edgy too and are straight from the stunning F-Type, and reckon that is a pretty good thing to start off with.

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The headlights in particular, sit cocooned below the bonnet and have dual barrel approach to the LED Lights along with DRL’s, all this definitely make the XE stand out among the crop of German saloons on offer. The wheel design and the large profile tyre don’t match the thrust under the bonnet that the car. The overall design then, it is of a saloon which looks purposeful, especially for our test car which came in a right blue color option. We think it would look just right in the British green as well.

Interior and Features

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Interior is also a standard luxury car affair. Soft touch materials in major areas add to the feel good factor. The tan color along with black color on offer makes it stand out in the category where we see the use of beige or pure black. However, you can still find hard plastics around the cabin and build quality isn’t rock solid like its rivals. The design of the interior isn’t sharp enough but is rather old-school to an certain extent.

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Features list is pretty big and that is what sets it apart from rivals. There are steering mounted controls, sunroof, cruise control, dual zone climate control, 360 degree camera, fully electric mirrors, auto dimming and heated ORVM and IRVM, HID lights, rear a/c vents. There is also an 8-inch touch screen on offer which displays all the options as quick to respond to demands.

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There is navigation, AUX, USB, Bluetooth and SD card option which is used to display navigation and not music. A Meridian sound system on offer is superb all the way till the end in terms of sound quality. The in-control apps feature allows you connect your apps in the smartphone on the touch screen of the car. There are enough 12V sockets in the car. Leather seats are offered on all variants, lockable glovebox, engine start-stop, keyless entry and much more is on offer.

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Safety kit includes 8 airbags, ESC, ABS, EBD, All Surface Progress Control (ASPC) and much more is on offer. Ergonomics are spot on and seem to derived from the sports cars of the world. Low seating position, near excellent visibility all around with fabulous seats make it a joy to spend time in the car. Space in the rear and boot space is just about adequate and the XE is for the driver who loves going for drives rather than being chauffeured around.

Engine and Gearbox

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When it comes to performance, Jaguar has given it full attention. The 2.0l four-cylinder motor makes 240 PS of power and 340 Nm of torque. Those are almost diesel like numbers and it shows. The driveability in the city is manageable, but not excellent as there is turbo lag under 3000 RPM. However, at the mid range and top-end, power is in abundance and the baby cat pounces in huge leaps every time you floor the throttle. Speeds like 200 km/hr is an easily attainable on open roads. Power to weight ratio is intense! All of this plus a soundtrack that is inspired from the F-type makes thing so much more fun and exotic when it comes to driving it hard and fast.

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Engine is a very lively unit and isn’t out-rightly linear or boring like other units seen in its rivals. There are four driving modes which include Dynamic, Normal, Eco and Winter. The button on the left stalk controls which display you get to choose in various modes. Torque Vectoring, All Surface Progress Control (ASPC) keeps things in check with the car when going gets twisty and fast.

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Gearbox is an 8-speed unit which shifts up and down fast enough and in sports mode it is even quicker. There are paddle shifters as well and they come into action the moment you double tap them. That engages manual mode but it shifts at redline for you.

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While in sports mode for the gearbox, you have to shift up on your own. We wished that the manual mode that comes into play should detect that once the paddles are not being used, it should go back into automatic mode which other luxury cars offer. Expect this motor to deliver 7-8 km/l. Top speed is 250 km/hr and it does 0-100 km.hr in 6.8 seconds.

Ride and Handling

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Dynamically, the XE has a completely brilliant setup for ride and handling on our roads. The car corners flat, the steering is super quick, although it lacks feedback by subtle margin. Ride quality is very good at any given speed, which is great. However, the composure in a straight line or in the corners isn’t exactly top notch and the car doesn’t feel secure.

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We wish it had a lower profile and higher sized alloys to match the poke under the bonnet. The agility in the corners thanks to the lightness makes thing even better. This also ends up adding nimble city driving manners to the XE. This is due to a very sophisticated setup of suspension which is a link unit not a strut unit seen on its rivals, especially seen in the 3-Series. Brakes are brilliant with good bite and enough progressive power to stop even at its top-speed right on time.

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Jaguar XE Petrol India Review, Verdict

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Jaguar XE is a kitten in the stable, but given the credentials of 2017, where younger siblings overpower the elder siblings or else stay neck and neck in various way, XE also manages exactly the same. The Jaguar XE with this petrol motor, excellent dynamics, sports car aura around it make it a special car to live with it . It should be the ideal choice for the enthusiast in India who are looking for old school fun yet luxurious enough to keep all kind of customers and owners happy. And now, Jaguar, start working on the SVR version please!

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Price: Rs.45.3 Lakhs ex-showroom Delhi

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Jaguar XE Petrol India Review
  • Design
  • Performance
  • Features
  • Value
  • Space
  • Interior
4.6

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