Does the diesel engine live up to the XE’s sporty persona?
Under the hood
The XE diesel fills the gap in Jaguar’s India line-up – this is a segment where diesels still reign supreme. The XE 20d will take on the likes of the diesel A4, 3-series and C-class. This car has Jaguar Land Rover’s four-cylinder, 2.0-litre Ingenium, turbo-diesel engine under the hood, and it makes 180hp and 430Nm here.
On the inside, the rear seat is this car’s weak point when compared to its rivals - the seat itself is really comfortable but legroom and headroom are not the best. The best seat, however, is right behind the steering wheel. How much you like the cabin will vary based on the trim you opt for – the Base Pure and mid-spec Prestige versions have staid all-black interiors, while the fully-loaded Portfolio trim’s dual-tone combo looks far more upmarket. The lower trims have a smaller infotainment screen, different audio system and a few comfort features that are missing.
From behind the wheel
When you get behind the wheel, the engine feels quick. It takes around 9 seconds to hit the 100kph mark. This car accelerates really well, and you can hold onto gears in manual mode for some time. The eight-speed gearbox is really responsive, in fact, you’ll rarely ever feel the need to switch to manual. In Dynamic drive mode, the gearbox gets the best out of the engine – there’s no delay in the build of power and the XE leaps forward whenever you put your foot down. Even when you want to drive it in a relaxed manner, it’s great. Engine revs and noise levels stay low. But this isn’t the quietest engine, nor is the cabin as well insulated as some of its rivals.
This car is more geared to the driver than for someone who likes to be driven around. Like its petrol siblings, the XE diesel is a joy to drive on straight and curvy roads. Ride quality, like its petrol counterparts, is really good too. Body movement is kept in check and the suspension setup ensures that the ride is supple, and only on rare occasions will you feel the XE thud and thump on our roads.
Is it worth the money?
If this is the car you choose to buy, then it makes sense to splurge on the Portfolio trim, which at Rs 43.21 lakh (ex-showroom, India), costs as much as some of its rivals. The 2.0-litre turbo-petrol-powered XE 25t Portfolio however, costs about ₹1 lakh less and, since the diesel will end up being more expensive to run, you might want to also consider the 25t’s 240hp petrol.