BEHIND THE WHEEL: Jaguar XE
SATURDAY APRIL 30, 2016
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 at the Prestige model that packs 200PS, I was impressed by how good the car looked in the skin. Once again, Ian Callum has proven his talent 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.
Magical ride quality
A different flavour
Hopeless screen control
On the pricey spectrum
0-100 km/h: 7.7s
Top speed: 237 km/h
That aside, the Jag rides extreme well on its sportiest setting, 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. The usual double wishbone in front and Jag's integral link behind 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. Although being electrically assisted, the steering of the Jaguar is tuned to be light weighted yet precise. This gives the car more athleticism in contrast to Audi where the wheel gets heavier in dynamic and nothing more. 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 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 in every taken journey. On the one hand, German rivals will win the hearts of those who love gadgets and on the other, Jaguars for its design. As soon as the XE and I become one, turbo noise was all I hear emanating from the engine which spoils it a little. Thus a more tuneful engine note would make the atmosphere a lot better.