Jaguar XE 2.0 SE R-Dynamic Review
Catphrase

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.

Inside

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The InControl infotainment system has also been replaced by their Touch Pro Duo, which offers users both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and also improved navigation.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.

Verdict

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 299,999 (13 Jun 2022)

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

Sell Fast With Ease - Oneshift

With Oneshift, you get:
  Best value for your car    A peace of mind when selling    Fast sale from start to end

HIGHEST PRICE FOR YOUR CAR

Best offer with no obligations.
Start Now!

I agree to the collection, use and disclosure of my personal data by Carousell and/or such other third party (as may be necessary) and to be contacted (via email, phone call and/or text message) for any purposes in connection with the application of and transaction of the vehicle, in accordance with the Personal Data Protection Act 2012 and Carousell's Privacy Policy.

Prompt and Fast. Service officer Muhd Yazid was very helpful in guiding the sales, and when urgent assistance is required! Kudos to officer for being able to address all queries.

Arof Bin Yaacob - 5 months ago

It was very smooth and fast deal. Definitely will use one shift again to buy or sell car.

Lorrin - 5 months ago

Great and prompt service as always!

Nair - 6 months ago

Very satisfied by the service and convenience. Ii sold my car in 2 days.

Tan Wee Ann - 6 months ago

Very happy with the ease and smooth experience!

Minarni - 6 months ago

Excellent service. No hassle. Fast and reliable. Absolutely recommended.

Radzaly Bin Mohd Noor - 6 months ago

Excellent. It gives me better money for my scrap vehicle. Thank you guys

Jefri Sidik Soerdi - 6 months ago

The entire experience from registering my car on OneShift to the handing over to the dealer was very pleasant. The process at OneShift was efficient and transparent. Special thanks to RenAi from OneShift who was very detailed and helpful.

Charmaine Ang - 6 months ago

Great experience. Mr Pan the car dealer from Car Enthusiast is very helpful and friendly. Attitude towards client is awesome..

YEO CHOON WEI - 6 months ago

Good response and support from Angie at One Shift when I wanted to sell off my old Camry which was due to be scrapped in early February. Would recommend this platform for those wanting to buy or sell their cars.

Bahl Alok - 6 months ago