Jaguar’s mid-size saloon the all-new XE arrived in Ireland during 2015, prior to the year-end we took the XE for an extended test drive. Jaguar has thrilled its fans in recent times with the arrival of the all-new F-TYPE Coupé and convertible, a thoroughbred sports car that has the fantastic driving credentials to back up its sublime appearance. The XE is a sleek saloon that has all the quality hallmarks you would expect from the luxury car manufacturer. It’s clearly aimed at taking a sizeable chunk out of Audi and BMW sales, with looks like this it’s off to a noble start.
The XE is sensibly priced for a luxury saloon, with pricing commencing from €37,995 for the 2.0-litre diesel-powered model with 163hp. That said, when you add some choice options the price can rise swiftly. Our test car was the higher-powered 2.0-litre turbodiesel variant that produces 180hp and 430Nm of torque. This engine is one of Jaguar’s new diesel Ingenium engines that offer increased performance with improved fuel consumption. With these performance figures our test car is comparable to BMW’s 320d. Like its German competitor the Jaguar XE has a rear-wheel-drive setup. Its engine is mated to an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission and like its larger sibling the XF it includes the chic aluminium gear selector that raises automatically from the centre console on start-up.
On the road the XE is enjoyable to drive, its rear-wheel-drive setup and accurate steering weight are notable. Challenge the car to some twisty roads and it will reward the keenest of drivers. Customers can choose from five trim levels, SE, Prestige, Portfolio, R-Sport and S. Standard equipment on the entry-level SE model includes, satellite navigation, cruise control, 17-inch alloy wheels, a multi-function leather steering wheel, 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system (named InControl) and a host of safety features that includes lane departure warning and emergency braking. Our test car was the R-Sport variant, it benefits from some additional equipment this includes, heated leather sports seats, sports steering wheel, rear spoiler, sports suspensions, chrome vents, Bi-Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, 18” alloy wheels, and gloss black window surrounds. Its sports body kit gives the XE an athletic appearance, it’s our choice model.
There is a sense of luxury inside the cabin with quality switchgear throughout. The driver’s instrument cluster houses large easy to view dials. When you select sports mode these dials are illuminated in red to highlight the car’s sporting potential. Jaguar’s InControl infotainment system is functional and intuitive to use. We paired our mobile phone in a matter of seconds, always a good test of a car’s infotainment system when changing cars on a weekly basis.
This new Jaguar XE is a striking car from all angles, complemented by a luxurious interior and proficient engine and chassis. It’s certainly able to live up to the ever-popular BMW 3-Series, we will be testing Audi’s all-new A4 in the coming weeks which we look forward to making a comparison too. Jaguar is currently at the top of its game producing desirable cars that are both enjoyable to admire and drive.
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