I must admit I was rather excited when I found out that we were going to have the new Jaguar XE in the office. I was looking forward to the opportunity to give this premium company sports saloon a good going over. Having driven countless BMW 3 series and Mercedes-Benz C-classes it is no doubt a tough market for the Jaguar XE.
What catches me with this XE is the overall looks. No longer is it just a tarted up Ford Mondeo but instead it has followed Jaguar design evolution over the last decade producing a crisp and aggressive looking saloon with an amazing grille up front. The bulges in the bonnet add a distinct look to the XE with a muscular feel. The clean and crisp lines flow down the side of the car giving a great view to the low roof line.
Although available in a 335bhp supercharged 3.0litre we had the bread and butter of the Jaguar XE range, the 2.0litre 178bhp diesel. Power delivery was fantastic with 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds and when switched to eco mode 75mpg is highly achievable with us managing high 50mpg on a varied run. The Jaguar XE has a 75% aluminium chassis which is completely unique within the this market segment, aluminium suspension with double wishbones at the front and ‘integral link’ at the rear giving this ferocious cat superb handling. When I managed to give the Jaguar XE a blast the handling was precise making maintaining those high speeds easily achievable.
Sitting inside the Jaguar there is the usual amount of leather adorned on the seats and dash, however the XE does have a great touchscreen multimedia system. The media system is very functional with easy to use controls thanks to an amazing interface. However, the Jaguar is let down with the claustrophobic feel inside the XE. AT 5ft 7 I am no giant but constantly when entering the car I managed to crack my head. This has to be the achilles heal of the XE it ticks every box bar the actually functionality of the vehicle over a week with small quirks such as lack of space inside becoming an annoyance.
Overall the Jaguar XE is an amazing car with fantastic performance and wonderful handling. On long runs the XE performed really well being smooth and economical. However, being let down by the lack of space inside and the smallness of the boot struggling to carry 2 suitcases. I loved the time I got to spend with the XE but given the choice between this and the 3 series, I would choose the BMW because ultimately the less claustrophobic cockpit of the German marque. However, if you are looking for something different in a compact saloon this is a great choice.
Author Matthew Pearson