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Jaguar XE – Expert review

Jaguar XE – Expert review

Snapshot: The XE sedan is the most affordable way to enter the Jaguar club, which offers luxury, comfort and a sense of royalty.

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Few carmakers can claim the same kind of lineage that Jaguar can. After all, it is the stead of choice for the British royal family, something that no amount of advertising can simply match. But that’s not the only reason you should consider the XE, which is the most affordable way to enter the Jaguar club. It is good to look at, great for comfort and plenty of opulence.

Exteriors

This is one car that you would buy for its looks alone. It looks stunning to say the least and a whole lot different from the boring and stoic looks of the German rivals. The face of the XE is typical Jaguar fare. You get a scowling look from the smallest cat in the Jag family with the big chrome lined grille and the sweeping back lamps. The front end is reminiscent of the F-type sportscar from some distance. The side profile reveals a long bonnet, which not only looks cool but also looks muscular. The back end has a simple yet characterful design for the lamps. Overall, it’s a balanced look, which looks classy yet sporty as well.

Interiors

Let’s start with the negatives first. The boot of the XE isn’t the biggest, especially when you compare it with rivals. The rear seats also don’t have the same amount of space you’d find inside the 3-series or the C-class. The sloping roofline is to blame for the limited headroom as well. Move onto the front and you will enjoy the dramatics of the swivel wheel gear knob popping out each time you switch on the car. The front passengers are cocooned by something called the ‘Riva hoop’, something inspired from a speed boat, which looks nice and classy. The quality of materials used is good as well. The front seats have good support and excellent bolstering as well. The nice front seats though are let down by the poor infotainment system. It just doesn’t have the same kind of intuitiveness that the BMW or Audi systems have to offer and the fonts look outdated as well.  Special mention has to be made about the Meridian sound system. It has very good bass and sound clarity is exceptional too. You have to hear it to believe it.

Engine, performance and gearbox

We drove the 2-litre petrol engine with 240bhp of power and 340Nm of torque. You also get an 8-speed automatic. Hustle the gearbox and you will be rewarded with quick, smooth and effortless up or downshifts. It is simply brilliant to operate. Performance is good too. 0-100kph comes up in a shade over 7 seconds. Power delivery is so strong that you have to be careful with your right leg. Flex it too much and you could be doing speeds which are illegal on most Indian highways. The Jag also does a good job of masking its speeds very well. There is hardly any tyre, engine or road noise filtering into the cabin. What you do get though, if you push the windows down is a nice sporty exhaust note at the back, which adds to the sense of drama.

Ride and handling

The Jaguar XE has exceptional ride. It seems to be hugging the road at faster speeds, yet the steering never feels overtly heavy in town. The steering has crisp feedback and there is absolutely no body lean when pushing into corners at higher speeds. It simply is a thrill to drive this car around town or on the highway. The XE can lay claim to BMW’s crown for the ‘ultimate driving machine’. The stiff suspension doesn’t mean that ride is uncomfortable at slower city speeds. The car delivers a comfortable and cushiony ride in town as well.

Summary

The XE might not offer the roomiest back seat or the biggest boot but if you want something different from the German trio, looks gorgeous and is great fun to drive, then the XE is a solid choice in the luxury market.

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