Published on May 5th, 2021 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Jaguar XE R-Dynamic 300PS Test Drive Review
Yes, this is a new Jaguar XE and there are a number of changes underneath.
You probably can’t tell the difference between this Jaguar XE and the first ever XE which arrived in Malaysian showrooms somewhere around 2016 in two variants. A 2.0L version good for 200PS was priced at RM340,000 and a 3.0L Supercharged version good for 340PS was priced at RM580,000. Only a few Malaysian customers decided to ignore the German rivals for this British luxury sports sedan over the last 4 years.
For 2021 there is a new version of the XE in Malaysia and we get behind its stylish new steering wheel. This latest version of the XE is actually very different in many small ways.
We saw it first in January 2020 when it was unveiled at the Singapore Motor Show and a year later in January 2021 this all new XE arrived at the Malaysian Jaguar showrooms. Priced at RM395,831 there was very little media noise to be heard (Price is inclusive of the current sales tax exemption) and only the XE R-Dynamic variant is available in showrooms nationwide. Yes, there is more than one Jaguar showroom and there are already happy customers driving this rather exclusive sports sedan.
Yes, the immediate eye brow raising reaction will be towards the selling price which is almost RM400k. At this price point Mercedes, BMW and Audi have rather special models in their lineup also.
At RM423k you can buy a local assembled BMW M340i xDrive which will deliver a 4.4 seconds 0-100km/h acceleration time.
Then there is the local assembled Mercedes-AMG C43 which will do the 0-100km/h run in 4.7 seconds and cost much lower at RM386k.
Lets not forget the latest and fully imported Audi A5 Sportback which retails at RM376k and does the 0-100km/h run in 5.6 seconds. All three above sports sedans are fun to drive with good build quality and loads of quality materials used around the cabin. So, can the snobbish Jaguar compete head on with this German crowd?
Well, it looks like we almost forgot the Swedish offering. The local assembled Volvo S60 T8 which retails at RM295k and does the 0-100km/h run in just 4.4 seconds. So, it looks like the Jaguar XE has a tough fight on its hands with its 0-100km/h acceleration time of 5.7 seconds, but is it worried?
Well, lets take a closer look at this British made and fully imported luxury sports sedan.
This latest Jaguar XE appears wider and lower than before, with a larger bolder and muscular form. New all-LED headlights with a striking ‘J’ blade daytime running light signature create a more purposeful look. The rear of the car also features a new bumper design and slender all-LED tail-lights with updated signature graphics which accentuate the visual width of the car, giving this XE a more planted appearance. The R-Dynamic signature can be seen around this XE.
Open the door and the low slung coupe like interior continues with sports-style seats, Satin Chrome gearshift paddles and R-Dynamic tread-plates.
The beautifully-crafted all-new interior features extensive use of soft-touch materials, premium materials and all-new door trims that improve usability and practicality. This XE’s luxurious and technology-packed interior delivers more comfort, quality and connectivity.
The influence of Jaguar’s F-Type two-seater sports-car is evident as both the SportShift gear selector and JaguarDrive Control switch shared with the F-Type are on the revised centre console.
A new steering wheel, shared with the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE crossover, features hidden- graphics and tactile switches for intuitive control of key functions.
The new Jaguar XE is also the smartest and most connected yet. Jaguar’s Touch Pro Duo infotainment system, shared with I-PACE, is also available for the first time, delivering instinctive control through a pair of seamlessly integrated high-resolution touchscreens. Wireless device charging is included.
This XE weighs in at 1523kg. Jaguar XE’s lightweight aluminium intensive body structure continues to play a major role in the car’s agile handling, exceptional safety and efficiency. Aluminium makes up 75 per cent of the body and combines with proven rear wheel drive systems, double wishbone front and integral link rear suspension, plus Jaguar’s most advanced engine, for dynamic handling and performance.
You get a drive mode system for 4 different styles. ‘Dynamic’ mode amplifies the car’s sporting character, with faster gear shifts, sharper throttle response and increased steering weighting. There is also ‘Comfort’, ‘ECO’ and ‘Rain’ modes.
To start, you don’t really get much space in the XE. Front occupants sit low and have a very good outward view, but rear passengers, two is best, three is a real crowd are in a tight space. The driver gets a 16-way electric seat.
The 410L boot is longer than it looks because of the way the car is shaped, but it does have a rather high floor. A couple of sets of golf clubs should fit in no problem at all.
It is immediately clear that the XE is primarily a driver’s car. A huge amount of power is delivered smoothly throughout the rev range in ‘Dynamic mode’. This is a sedan full of emotion, full of imperfection that forces you into the drive rather than letting a computer do the work.
The XE Drive
So, what makes this XE so interesting? This Jaguar XE Is Badged P300 so it all starts when you sit behind the wheel. The seating position is close to perfect and you sit in comfortable figure hugging seat. The pedal placement is perfect and all controls are in good reach. Machine milled paddle shifters sit behind the beautifully designed sports steering wheel and they enhance the ‘driving’ experience.
In dry conditions we can’t think of any situation that would unsettle this XE. It is one of the most neutral and pure handling sedans to touch our palms in a long time. Yes, it will demand your full attention, but this is what ‘real drivers want. Not a car managed by a variety of small computers behind the dashboard.
Still, it has a level of composure, balance and inherent grip that inspires confidence whatever the road ahead throws at the driver.
Meet a tight corner? Just chuck it in, as hard as you like, and marvel at how a car with 400Nm can do exactly what you ask of it. Even better if you have a series of fast flowing corners. Its engine response is immediate and this comes thanks to the engineers at Jaguar motorsports who have gifted this car with a sublime suspension tune. The ride quality is very good even on the rather unsettling roads around Petaling Jaya.
No matter the road surface; there was no skipping when it got a little unsettled in mid-corner. The combination of a quick and direct steering and well defined suspension means you are getting all the feedback you could ask for. Take it for a test drive, do not drive slow, do not play with the touch screen and do not waste your time testing the audio delivery. Just drive it and drive it hard.
Jaguar XE R-Dynamic Specifications
Engine: 4-Cylinder Supercharged
Power: 300PS @ 5500rpm
Torque: 400Nm @ 1500rpm – 4500rpm
Transmission: 8-speed auto with manual sports
0-100km/h: 5.7 seconds
Top speed: 195km/h