BEHIND THE WHEEL: Jaguar XE
SATURDAY APRIL 30, 2016
Magical ride quality
A different flavour
Hopeless screen control
On the pricey spectrum
0-100 km/h: 7.7s
Top speed: 237 km/h
On a sunny Saturday, what better way to maximise the day than in an all new Jaguar XE? Being in a small luxury family sedan like the Mercedes C-class and BMW 3-series, will it be up to par with those two? When I got a look on the Prestige model packed with 200PS, I was impressed by how good the car looked. Once again, Ian Callum has proven his great work here. However, whilst on the move I immediately noticed a problem. The rev counter is hard to read, leaving me to guess if the rev limit is at 6,200 rpms or 6,500 rpms.
That aside, the Jag rides extreme well on its dynamic mode, giving precision in handling and comfort at the same time. This definitely has an advantage over the BMW 330i where the German loses in comfort to the XE. Jaguar’s integral link plays a huge role here. The suspension allows the forces between the horizontal and vertical to be separated from one another. With that, it will be a car that you can drive for a very long time and distance.
Steering on the XE is different compared to its German rivals. Being electrically assisted, the steering of the Jaguar is sharper and light. This gives the agility and lightness to the drive. This contrasts with the German like Audi, where it gets heavier under dynamic which is to give the feel of stability. However, similar to the BMW 330i the transmission is smooth and quick thanks to the 8-speed ZF.
Infotainment in the Jaguar trails behind the BMW’s rather marvelous iDrive. One example would be selecting the drive modes. In the BMW, it displays different colour along with either engine or suspension change, where the Jaguar doesn’t. Despite that, selecting driving modes to suit the driving style can be easily accessed via a press of a button. In comparison to Audi’s MMI, the XE’s too lags behind since it isn’t as intuitive and quick to respond.
The XE is great to drive and will reward the driver after a good journey. However, the German rivals will win the hearts of those who loves gadgets and toys, and Jaguar mainly for its design and badge. However, just as when the XE gets so good, turbo noise was all I hear emanating from the front during acceleration. A little more engine note to that would make the drive more engaging.