British institution Jaguar have built on their stellar reputation for modern luxury with the XE range. We took the 20t Prestige model out for a spin for the week to see how it fares for its $60,400 price tag and to see whether it’s the latest benchmark in its category.
In addition to its good looks, it’s clear that the XE 20t places safety at the forefront with a number of features to minimise any potential dangers when you’re on the road. Included is the All Surface Progress Control (available in all XE models), which is a low speed cruise control, helping the car cope with low traction situations in different weather conditions so all you have to worry about is steering. I found the Blind Spot Monitor to be a pretty useful feature – this one manifested as an orange warning light in the side mirror if a car is in or approaching the blind spot. This feature made changing lanes on busy roads easier, though I was still in the habit of turning my head to check the blind spot anyway. I imagine it would always work best as a secondary layer of protection in case you happen to miss something. Another interesting safety feature of the car is the Autonomous Emergency Braking. This one gives you audible and visual warnings if a potential collision is detected while driving, and applies the brakes to reduce the severity of the impact. While I fortunately didn’t have to experience this one first-hand, I imagine that it would come in very handy when it’s most needed.The XE 20t manages to make driving almost fool-proof with its Lane Departure Warning feature, and parking has never been easier thanks to the Advanced Park Assistant. I managed to squeeze into a bunch of tight parking spots around the city without too much trouble at all. The luxury elements of the car are apparent before you even step in, with keyless entry unlocking the doors automatically on approach. The exterior of the XE 20t was a sight to behold with a slick coat of white paint and 18-inch alloy wheels. Heads turned when I took it out thanks to the unique and impressive design. Sitting inside the car felt as luxurious as the outside of it looked. I found the Tauras leather seats super comfortable thanks in part to the lumbar adjustment feature. Jaguar offers three colour schemes and seven veneers and finishes, giving you options to personalise to taste.I found the 8-inch touch screen made it easy to utilise the multitude of features of the car; the menu was simple and intuitive to use. The 380-watt, 11-speaker Meridan sound system with subwoofer played crisp, high-quality sound.One drawback for me was when driving through the city, I almost felt it was a little tame and too well-behaved. Where I think the XE 20t Prestige comes into its own though is when you have some space to play with and can go a bit harder; this is where it feels most powerful.In conclusion, I think this car is ideal if you have the space to drive it to its full potential, which I wasn’t able to in high traffic and city streets but did get a chance on a trip out into a more suburban area which was fun. Having said that though, for all the features included in the price, the XE 20t Prestige is definitely worthy competition in the luxury car market and weighs in as a tough one to beat.