The Jaguar XE Smaller but a True Cat
From luxurious to high-performance, the XE range offers a model perfectly suited to every driver and every taste.
The above statement will probably not be agreed upon by a number of BMW and Audi fans and some Mercedes Benz owners will also just shake their heads. The fact is that this Jaguar XE needs to be driven before the potential, energy and real value can be experienced.
Looking back at the marketing programme of the Jaguar XE, I must say I was looking forward to experiencing the car. So much was said and I, like a number of my colleagues wondered if the new Cat would be able to live up to the hype. In short it does.
Each XE is designed to offer an unrivalled combination of pure luxury, Luxtec seats, high quality finishing, and as per the Jaguar XJ the “Riva Hoop” sweeping around the instrument panel creating an effect of even more space. Add to that the R-sport package of Taurus leather, edged aluminium, sports steering wheel and R Sport branding and your XE’s interior is transformed into the prowling cat that it is supposed to be. The exterior is also very modern and is resembling its bigger brothers. Road holding and steering response is great and with the optional R Sport equipped front suspension it delivers even better handling. Ride comfort is very good and a bit harsh with the stiffer sports suspension but this is quickly forgotten when the XE is put through its paces around tight corners and uneven roads. Refinement and performance is attributes of this sleek, perfectly proportioned car.
The most performance-orientated XE model features a race-inspired interior. The seats are finished in Taurus leather, while the tread plates and leather sports steering wheel carry the S logo. Dark hex aluminium graces the door finishers and the ‘Riva Hoop’, while the centre console is gloss black. The front bumper’s enlarged air intakes hint at the performance potential of the supercharged V6. Side sill extensions, rear spoiler, gloss black rear valance, red brake callipers and optional forged, 20-inch ‘Propeller’ alloy wheels complete the package.
The most luxurious XE model, Portfolio features a wide range of colour options for the premium Windsor leather with herringbone perforations. The instrument panel features split upper and lower coverings in two colours, complete with colour-keyed twin-needle stitching for a truly bespoke feel. The aluminium trim has an embossed surface finish.
Jaguar pitched the XE in the global mid-size sedan prestige segment and its main rivals as far as I am concerned will be the 3 Series BMW, the C Class Mercedes Benz and the Audi A4.Competition will be tough and the XE’s price will probably be its biggest draw back.
Although most of the other models mentioned is at the fore front of technology I do believe that Jaguar with its first in class aluminium intensive monocoque technology, with its stiffer and lighter body will set the pace for future development. The XE with a drag coefficient of0.26 is the most aerodynamic Jaguar to date. The ride still remains supple even with the stiffer body and all of the power trains is highly sufficient to propel the XE forward at a fast pace.
The following power trains are available and are coupled to the smoothest six speed manual or 8 speed automatic transmissions:
Jaguar is launching the new XE with an equally new engine family – Ingenium. This advanced modular design will provide petrol and diesel derivatives and was started from a clean sheet, to deliver performance, efficiency and refinement without compromise.
The first Ingenium engine in the Jaguar XE is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel with an output of 132kW and 430Nm. It is the most fuel-efficient engine ever fitted to a Jaguar, and has CO2 emissions of just 109g/km.
The petrol engine range begins with the turbocharged, direct-injection, 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit, which made its debut in the Jaguar XF and XJ sedans. Further refined for the new XE, this refined, lightweight power plant delivers 177kW and 340Nm.
Supercharged 3.0-litre V6: 250kW and 450Nm; 0-100km/h: 5.1s
For those of us that demands superior performance and an exhilarating engine note from idle right up to the redline there’s the XE S, which shares its supercharged 3.0-litre V6 with the lightweight F-TYPE sports car. This all-aluminium engine is a modular design from Jaguar’s acclaimed 5.0-litre V8. Rated at 250kW and 450Nm, this engine provides the XE S with truly exceptional acceleration, driveability and performance: 0-100km/h takes just 5.1 seconds, and top speed is electronically-limited to 250km/h.
Always at the forefront of innovation, and another world debut of Jaguar is the “All Surface Progress Control” (ASPC). It is a really revolutionary system that maximise low-speed traction in adverse weather conditions will give the XE unrivalled all-weather capability among rear-drive cars in the segment. Jaguar also fitted the “Jaguar Drive Control” with ECO, Normal, Winter and Dynamic modes which we did try but due to good conditions only ECO and Dynamic Drive were of use.
“Jaguars have always been renowned for a balance of precise handling and a high-quality ride. The XE is the culmination of everything the company has learned over the years, providing a combination of supple ride and crisp handlingthat is unmatched in this segment.”
Mike Cross, Chief Engineer of Vehicle Integrity, Jaguar
Some other new features in the new XE includes the following:
Another first for Jaguar and for the industry, the XE’s laser head-up display (HUD) projects high-contrast colour images directly in the driver’s line of sight and is smaller and almost a third lighter than existing TFT systems.
The virtual images appear to ‘float’ two metres in front of the driver. Displaying information such as speed and cruise control settings in this way means that the driver’s eyes remain focused where they’re needed most: the road ahead.
The new XE is one of the first vehicles in the segment to feature a stereo camera. This state-of-the-art sensor provides a 3D view of the road ahead.
The advanced stereo camera ‘sees’ road markings, and is used by the XE’s lane departure warning system. If the system determines that the vehicle will unintentionally leave its lane, the driver receives haptic feedback through the steering wheel rim.
The stereo camera can also help the driver to see more clearly: intelligent control of the headlights enables greater use of high beam, making night driving safer. By networking the headlight modules to the camera’s image processing algorithms, the high beam assist function will automatically dip the beams when oncoming traffic is detected.
The new XE’s adaptive cruise control (ACC) makes motorway journeys even more comfortable. A long-range 77GHz scanning radar monitors the road ahead, enabling the car to maintain a pre-set distance from vehicles in front. The ACC system can also initiate emergency braking if it detects an impending collision.
The new XE can also be equipped with a system to monitor the area behind the car, making overtaking safer. Medium-range 24GHz radar sensors detect vehicles approaching fast from behind: a flashing icon in the mirrors alerts the driver of the potential hazard. Once the vehicle enters the blind spot, the icon is shown as a solid.
The effort of trying to park in tight spots has become a thing of the past. The new XE can be specified with two semi-automated park-assist functions, which do the hard work for you. The ultrasonic sensors measure the space and, if suitable, will enable the car to steer itself during both parallel and bay parking manoeuvres – the driver only has to control the brakes and accelerator. An exit-assist function will guide the XE out again.
Backing out of parking spaces can be made even safer with the reverse traffic detection system. The sensors used in the blind spot monitoring system will detect approaching vehicles which may be unseen by the driver and can trigger an alert.
“In-car technologies in this ever-more connected and fast-paced world are an integral part of your driving experience. With the all-new XE we’re introducing an entire suite of cutting-edge driver aids and entertainment systems. Designed and developed from scratch, they will ensure that every journey you take is simpler, more relaxing, safer, and effortlessly enjoyable.”
Dr Mike Bell, Jaguar’s Global Connected Car Director
Pricing for the Jaguar XE is as follows:
2.0 Diesel Pure R534 800.00
2.0 Diesel Prestige R590 400.00
2.0 Diesel Portfolio R654 000.00
2.0 Diesel R-Sport R614 000.00
2.0 Petrol Prestige R638 900.00
2.0 Petrol Portfolio R703 200.00
2.0 Petrol R-Sport R662 600.00
3.0 S/C S R908 100.00
Prices are all inclusive.
5 year/100 000km (whichever occurs first) Care Plan consists of three components: Warranty (3 years/100 000km);
Service (5 year/100 000km); Maintenance Plan (5 year/100 000km); Jaguar Assist (24-hour roadside assistance)
Half day Jaguar Experience course; 1 driver & 1 passenger
Optional extras, as always are available to individualise as per their hearts content.
The Jaguar XE is a very refined, capable and enjoyable car and will have its place in the market for the discerned buyer that is looking for a very competent and competitive vehicle but not selling high numbers.
OUT OF OFFICE | CAR REVIEW
by Carl Wepener
* Prices as at date of publishing