December 12, 2017

JAGUAR XE

It’s been a long time coming, but Jaguar’s X-Type replacement has finally arrived. But does it have what it takes to compete with the small executive class champions from BMW Audi and Mercedes?

Well, the Jaguar XE certainly boasts distinctive looks, thanks to styling cues from the F-Type sports car. The sleek and muscular exterior is coupled with a mix of frugal and powerful engines, comprising 161bhp and 178 bhp 2.0 diesels. There’s also more powerful options in the form of a 198bhp or 237bhp 2.0 litre turbocharged petrol, or the flagship 335 bhp 3.0-litre supercharged V6.

 

 

The XE range comprises five different trim levels: SE, Prestige, R-Sport and Portfolio, with XE S sitting at the top.

On the road the new XE proves to be a highly capable performer, with a responsive taught chassis that remains flat and composed around corners, along with communicative steering, which rewards keener drivers. Yet despite the impressive dynamic performance, all XEs (with the exception of the R-Sport) also offer an exceptionally comfortable ride – the latter being decidedly firmer due to its stiffer suspension.

This 177bhp 2.0-litre diesel feels strong and punchy and when worked hard produces a throaty roar. The eight-speed automatic goes about its business efficiently and without fuss, making the small Jag an easy car to waft along in.

Step inside and you’re greeted by an exceptionally classy cabin featuring a wraparound dashboard similar to that in the bigger XJ model. The driver gets a good view of the road, too, although less so out the rear screen. Thankfully all models come with rear parking sensors.

True, it’s not the biggest cabin in its class, with the BMW 3 Series having a larger boot. The rear accommodation is also less spacious than that in the bigger Jaguar XF, so this XE probably isn’t the best choice if you’ll be regularly carrying adult rear passengers. Still, those up front are treated to plenty of head and legroom and comfortable, supportive and highly adjustable seats.

In-car technology has taken a big leap in the new XE. Jaguar’s new InControl infotainment system takes centre stage: its 8-inch touchscreen brings easy access to all features and functions – and iOS and Android smartphone apps.

The XE also has some of the most advanced driver assistance systems available. All Surface Progress Control (ASPC), can electronically gain traction in seconds and is ideal for use on low-grip surfaces, such as snow-covered roads. Another key feature is a forward facing stereo camera that’s mounted behind the front windscreen to give the XE a 3D view of the road ahead: this data is used for functions including autonomous emergency braking and a lane departure warning system.

As far as other equipment goes, all XE models get sat-nav, climate and cruise control, DAB radio and 17’inch alloy wheels, auto lights/wipers as standard. Prestige spec adds leather upholstery, while Portfolio brings a better audio system and fully electric adjustable front seats.

 

Verdict:

The Jaguar XE is a big leap on from the old X-type and offers a good balance between performance, efficiency and luxury. It certainly looks the part, too.

 

Tech spec:

Jaguar XE Prestige 2.0D 180PS 8-speed automatic
Price £33,025
Engine 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbodiesel
Power 180 PS (178 bhp)
0-62mph 7.8 seconds
Top speed 140 mph
Combined economy 67.3 mpg
CO2 109g/km
Insurance Group: 25E

 

 

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