Jaguar XE 2.0 SE R-Dynamic Review

Words and Photos by Clifford Chow
24 Sep 2020

On the run, the XE does however display its positive traits. Slick handling, which is very impressive...

As far as compact-sized Executive sedans go, the Germans have mostly been locked in a 3-way battle. Mercedes-Benz with its C-Class, BMW with the 3 Series and Audi with the A4.

Across the pond, British manufacturer, Jaguar has more-not-than-often, supplied some healthy competition. The first time they had gotten their feet wet in this segment, was with the successful X-Type. Jaguar had seemed to have taken their inspiration from Mercedes-Benz, where both the flagship and entry sedan would resemble each other, while the middle-child (the E-Type), would be very different. The X-Type was based on their then-parent company’s bread-and-butter Ford Mondeo, and was offered with either AWD or FWD.

It took a while before Jaguar (under new ownership) introduced its current Compact Executive Sedan, the XE. Their new architecture, shared with the larger XF sibling, and award-winning Range Rover Velar, allows for a North-south mounted engine with rear-wheel drive. 

After about five years in the market, the XE gets a much-needed neatening up. The new car sports ‘J’ blade signature LED DRLs up front, paired with sportier front bumpers which have larger intakes. At the rear, the tail lamps, just like the I-Pace, have on them a chicane-inspired theme to them. 

Our test car which was in R-Dynamic trim also features dark mesh detailing, and same-sized but staggered 19” rims.


The biggest change improvement I should say, is the replacing of that retractable rotary gear selector, in-favour of the conventional gear shift lever and JaguarDrive Control interface, lifted right out of the sporty F-Type.

The InControl infotainment system has also been replaced by their Touch Pro Duo, which offers users both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and also improved navigation. The dashboard redesign also sees the previous push-button style air-conditioning controls making way for a new rotary dial unit, which was first introduced in their I-Pace EV. There is also a slot located at the base of the dashboard’s centre stack which houses the wireless mobile charger, a plus for those who are heavily mobile-reliant during the day.

The R-Dynamic trim XE gets Taurus Perforated Leather Sports Seats, which have contrast stitching. Quality of the seats is undeniably good, and both front seats are electrically adjustable 14 ways. Rear left and right average-sized passengers will find a decent amount of leg space, though the large side bolsters which hide those rear wheel wells, would mean a narrow rear, and less shoulder space for middle passengers. Since the air-conditioning is a dual-zone unit, those at the rear will also not be able to adjust their cooling.

In the driver’s seat, you get a 12.3” Interactive Driver Display, and a new steering wheel, also from the I-Pace.

The XE is the first sedan that gets the new ClearSight interior rear view mirror (first seen on the Range Rover Evoque), and works in tandem with a rear-facing camera which features a hydrophobic lens, neatly tucked away in the roof-mounted fin antenna. The mirror functions like a conventional rear view unit, but can be switched to the ClearSight view, with a flip of a switch at its base. This gives the driver an unobstructed 50 degree view what is going on behind; great when there you have three seated abreast at the rear, or when you are in the middle of a nasty thunderstorm where rear vision is impaired; or when your view is blocked by the bikes you insist on carrying on a boot-mounted rack, while having three seated abreast at the rear… while still insisting in going through that nasty thunderstorm.

Cargo space at 410 litres is decent, and you do get a space saver tyre underneath the boot board. In contrast, the equivalent BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 both boast a 480 litre boot. Jaguar has also finally included folding rear 40:20:40 seats with the facelift, with the tabs to unhook them sited in the boot, adding greater carrying flexibility.

The Drive

One of the biggest changes is Jaguar’s ditching of one of their remaining clues of an alliance with their former Ford parent. The previous 2.0 Ford EcoBoost makes way for their very own Ingenium 2.0 turbocharged four-cylinder. The new AJ200 engine produces 250PS and 365Nm from a broad 1,300 to 4,500rpm. The ZF 8HP eight-speed transmission has been retained, providing drive to the rear.

While the numbers certainly are impressive on paper with the XE clocking 100km/h in a respectable 6.5 seconds, low speed delivery is rather lumpy, and the car jerks between early gearshifts. Coupled with the suspension that leans slightly more for sporty handling, and the R-Dynamic’s 19” rims with less sidewall, there is quite little comfort that those lovely seats can make up for when you are travelling in start-stop town traffic.

On the run, the XE does however display its positive traits. Slick handling, which is very impressive; coupled with an expansive band of torque that allows you to exploit the Ingenium’s 365Nm from almost anywhere that virtual rev-counter needle is pointed. There is also what I can best describe as a fitting sulking-burble up in-front during overtaking maneuvers, though the engine does seem slightly restricted.

At cruising speeds the XE feels relaxed. The interior is well insulated, and the driver’s seat is a pleasant place to be in. Steering is accurate, and brake feel is quite excellent. That said, Jaguar’s attempt is a good one, and even more so after their facelift, but the Germans are still better at the luxury sedan game.

Our Thoughts

For a few extra Ks slipped out of your wallet, there is also the Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce if you like something non-German, and perhaps a little left-of-field; while the technologically-advanced BMW 330i is even more costly. Both cars do offer more grunt, though the Jag wins with its competitive pricing.

In Summary

We Like

Excellent handling. Pleasant engine note. Good interior quality. Handsome styling.

We Don't

Annoyingly lumpy at low revs.


Jaguar has done a lot of good with their facelifted XE, some of which, like their collapsible rear seats should have instead been already included at launch. The unfortunate biggest letdown is how the car behaves during lower rpm driving, which will form a good fraction of what a driver will experience during the ownership experience. It is however less costly than most of the competition.

Car Loan Calculator - Jaguar XE 2.0 SE R-Dynamic

SGD 263,999 (14 Jan 2022)

Based on OMV, this car is eligible for minimum 40% down payment

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Engine Capacity 1997cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 4
Compression Ratio 10:1
Bore x Stroke (83 x 92.3)mm
Power 247bhp @ 5500rpm
Torque 365Nm @ 1300rpm
Power to Weight 153.4 bhp per ton


Acceleration 5.7s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 250 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 13.5 km/L
Drag Coefficient 0.300

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 8 -speed Auto
Drive Type FR
Steering Electric


Body Type Sedan
(L x W x H)
(4678 x 1967 x 1416) mm
Wheelbase 2835 mm
Turning Circle 11.2 metres
Kerb Weight 1610 kg
Boot Capacity 410 L
Fuel Tank Capacity 63 L


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Ventilated Discs