2020 Jaguar XE facelift first drive review
Jaguar India has just introduced a new version of its small sports sedan, the XE. The current generation is facing some stiff competition from Mercedes and BMW and a few design revisions intend to refresh it to enhance its appeal.
The revisions are comprehensive though they restrict themselves to just exterior and interior details changes. Mechanically this package stays the same, so the engine, suspension, brakes and other mechanical components haven't been touched. This means Jaguar India will continue to offer the 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines from the Ingenium family. The AJ20D4M (diesel) delivering 180PS of max power and the AJ20P4M (petrol) with 250PS on tap haven't been touched at all. So the cars aren't any different to drive. The styling revisions though do give it a mild but insignificant makeover, especially where the exteriors are concerned. The headlamps are slimmer and wrap themselves around more aggressively, the grille has grown larger by adding more width and the bumper has been redesigned to look sleeker with larger apertures to vent air. The Jaguar badge in the centre of the grille is new, incorporating Jaguars new ethos leaning towards sustainability and safety. The headlamps are now full LED. They also have a new LED graphic element that gets animated when the indicators are switched on.
At the rear, the taillights have also grown slimmer and have a new graphic element incorporated, with redesigned bumpers enveloping scooped out lower air dams. One new inclusion is that al Jaguar cars will have a new nomenclature system, indicating the engine type and power output in it. So the car I drove was the D180 with a smaller badge below it indicating the trim level. There are new alloy wheels options available as well sized at 17 inches.
Move inside the car and the changes are a bit more evident. There were three areas that were critically touched upon. These were the steering wheel, the centre stack and the wraparound dashboard. Starting from the steering wheel, it's now got slimmer redesigned arms that house similar control buttons as before, except they are more stylized than before. The instrument binnacle behind the steering wheel now sports an interactive display.
The principal area of interest to the brand team was the centre stack and the area immediately around the climate control. With a lot of feedback coming back to the previous generation XE and its touch screen that made selections difficult without taking your eyes off the road, the new XE has rotary knobs to select the temperature for both driver and passenger zones. The India spec will also come with a more user-friendly climate control panel that has buttons to select the blower speed, unlike the European or British spec cars that have a high definition touch screen. Some of the other functions will continue to have touch facilities.
Move a little lower and you'd notice the new gear selector that's been derived from the F-Type. It's sleeker, sportier and replaces the animated selector knob that rose out of the centre console when the car was switched on. The drive modes are still available and still selectable by a simple flick of a rotary knob positioned right next to the gear lever. It allows you to switch between sports, normal and eco mode. It makes alterations to the shift points alone thus providing better efficiency or stronger and quicker acceleration. Slightly below the gear shift lever are the redesigned cup holders unit which can now house larger cups.
The wrap-around dashboard has increased veneer coverage and the speakers have new etched frets. The variant I drove was the S, this is available to Indian consumers and had the black upholstered interiors which I thought looked pretty impressive especially with all the chrome highlights. Indian consumers would, however, get higher trims with brighter upholstery and dashboard elements. Even the storage spaces have increased with more ergonomically designed bottle holders in the door pads which are now capable of holding 1-litre bottles comfortably. Overall the grade of leather and fabrics inside the cabin has also improved in a bid to enhance the luxury quotient.
Jaguar India will be introducing this refreshed sedan here on December 4, priced starting at Rs 44.98 lakh ex-showroom, simply to keep consumer interest in this sedan alive. Though I suppose attention will soon get diverted entirely to the forthcoming Defender SUV and that could easily distract sales of the XE.
Also see: 2020 Jaguar XE | Design, features, specifications and price
Starts Rs 44.98 Lakhs