Jaguar XE 2.0 Prestige vs 2.0D Prestige: Battle of the Sexy Cats

The battle between petrol and diesel has been ongoing for the longest time. We always felt that it was unfortunate that the local market has yet to fully embrace the cleanliness of diesel technology nowadays.

Such mindsets are particularly disappointing when buyers are presented with an option of diesel and petrol of the same make and model – and chances are that they’ll head for the petrol car almost immediately.

But a diesel plant’s cons don’t always necessarily outweigh its pros – as exemplified by the new Jaguar XE 2.0D. We took a drive in both the diesel and petrol variant to find out which of these cats is ultimately the more attractive one.

Exterior

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Jaguar’s newest baby looks strikingly similar to its elder sibling – the XF, especially if you’re not a petrol-head like us. Adopting a fresh look yet retaining the marque’s signature designs, the XE presents a sexy and composed façade, but leaves you with the knowledge that it can sprint like its namesake animal if it really wanted to.

Up front, Jaguar has introduced its new single-lined daytime running lights across its headlight assembly, exuding a tinge of sleekness, complimented by its traditional grille wearing the Jaguar badge.

From the side profile, the XE stands only at 1,416 m tall. Its contours run smoothly from the bonnet up across the pillars to the boot, with no visible break or abrupt angles.

Interior

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We’ve always found Jaguar’s interior fascinating. Yes, partly because of its unique rotary gear selector that rises up from the (ground) console the moment you start the engine. It never fails to impress us, and the XE is no different.

If we were to summarise the XE’s interior, we would say it’s clean, yet sophisticated. It doesn’t look as attractive as the Mercedes’ C-Class, but you have to admit it has its own appeal in terms of styling and a very tidy and arranged outlook.

The XE feels spacious at the front, and even more so at the rear. With a lower transmission tunnel (unlike some of its entry-level luxury sedan rivals), we successfully fitted three adults at the rear – though we recommend two for maximum comfort on long distance drives.

Out at the rear, the XE offers up to 450 litres of boot space. It’s not the best in its class, but decent enough for an entry level luxury sedan, sufficient for two huge luggages and a couple of backpacks.

The Drive

While the diesel and petrol variants of the XE may be similar aesthetically, their hearts differ by quite a bit when it comes to popping the hood.

With both housing 2-litre engines, the petrol variant of the XE puts out 197 bhp and 280 Nm of torque. The diesel variant presents a brand new plant featuring Jaguar’s latest Ingenium technology. It, however, gives you a little lesser at 177 bhp, but is punched with 430 Nm of torque.

Now before you jump to any conclusions on acceleration and power, it might be good for us to carry on. Although the engine noise was slightly louder than expected, the petrol cat impressed us with its refined acceleration and comfortable power delivery. Unfortunately, the diesel variant proved to be a little more sluggish – like you needed to prod it awake before it roars. But get it up to speed and it could jolly well match, if not surpass its petrol brother.

Both cars remain gripped to the tarmac when you push it into hard corners, allowing for a more comfortable ride for your rear passengers. The steering for both cars was extremely responsive, exactly just like any other cat waiting to pounce on its prey.

For the economically-saavy driver, the diesel variant might prove to be a better choice, with an acclaimed 23.8 km/l consumption figure – the best in any Jaguar till date. The petrol XE clocks up to a maximum of 13.3 km/l, although we averaged 12 on our test drive.

It is also comforting to note that for bringing home that diesel cat, you save $20,000 as compared to when you sign the cheque for a petrol XE. But rebates aside, beware of the higher diesel tax which totals up to almost $1,000 more than that of the petrol variant.

Conclusion

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Jaguar has done a great job in the engineering of its entry-level luxury sedan. It may not be able to surpass some of the continental competitors, but it does appeal to the younger generation.

The Jaguar XE appeals to those who want something different from the usual BMWs, Audis, and Mercedes, but yet wish to enjoy the power and comfort of a continental brand.

Between the petrol and diesel variants, it might be important to ask yourself what you are looking for ultimately. The petrol XE offers you the refinement that rightfully belong to a luxury marque, but if you’re one who focuses more on being environmentally friendly and is going the economical way, the diesel variant might work well for you.

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