The Jaguar XE is here: Should BMW be scared?Jaguar has thrown its hat into the ring to face up against the BMW 3 series with the new XE. The marque's re-birth is now complete but can it convince buyers to give up the 3 Series?
Jaguar had something of a renaissance in the mid-90s. Its cars before then were pretty good, but the world was moving quicker than Jaguar. And eyes were drawn over to Germany. Then the new XK, XS and XJ appeared and kick-started a Jag revolution Soon the [UNKNOWN] in C-X75 came as well, ensuring Jaguar had a place on bedroom walls all over the world. But until now, there's been something missing. And that's a car that normal people Can buy. You see, the XF, although pretty and pretty damn good, is a bit big for some people. The XJ even more so. The F type, well that can't seat a family of four now can it? And the CX75 isn't really a real car. You see the problem, what Jaguar needs is a small family exec saloon. Something to really hammer home to the Germans just how good Jags can be. And it hopes the XC is the car for the job. [MUSIC] It's something Jaguar used to be really very good at. Take the Mark 2 for example. It was sensibly sized and favored by criminals. Good for the bad, if you will. Trickery aside, he was very good at what it did and is still much loved today. Now, Jaguar's last concerted effort at a car in this segment. It didn't go down quite as well as the mark two. It was called the x type, and put it like this. In the long run up to the XE I saw precious little if any reference to it from Jaguar So Jag's really proud of that one, then. Really proud. I've often wondered why Jag's taken so long to take on the 3-series, C-class, and all that. What can be so hard about distilling what's happened up to this point and making it a little bit smaller? [NOISE] Well, that's simple because while everything that's come before has been unmistakably jugular, it's also been suited to the area it works in. The F-type, for example, isn't overly comfortable, and cossetting, and squidgy, and lovely. It's a performance car. It goes very, very quickly very, very well. The XJ is a man's bomb. Is giant and luxurious. The XF, it's smooth and quiet and perfect for its segment, but if Jaguar is going to make successful car in a smaller segment, well, it has to have a mix of everything that makes Jaguar, Jaguar, little bits from all over the range. But, because it's in this particular segment, It has to be described as a word I'm loathed to use. It has to be sporty. Because this has to out three series the three series while also being a jag. It's job is to keep me happy so when I finish my day job at a small but promising accountancy firm I don't want to kill myself. On the way home. My Mum has to like it too, so it can't be too hard to ride in. And it's got to stay fresh, so I still like it after three years. So, is the XE one of those? Thankfully, yes it is. [MUSIC] [MUSIC] Now let's start off with the car we're in. This is the current range topping XES. It's got a three liter V6 with 340 horsepower and 332 pounds-foot. naught to 62 takes 5.1, but naught to 60 takes 4.9. It's top speed is limited to a 155 miles per hour, and the engine is the same one you get in the F-Type sports car, which means that this thing is bloody quick. And the engine, well it's awesome. It's a great engine. I loved it in the F-Type, I really did, and in this, it's got a slightly different character But it still feels good. In an S type it bangs and pops and crackles and makes an enormous cacophony and it sounds bloody brilliant. In this it's less vocal. It's not quite as shouty. There's no pops and cracks and bangs, but you do get a lovely supercharger whine when you're hammering it down the road. And you get that V6 rumble as well. It's, it just sounds good, it sounds right. [MUSIC] [NOISE] I like the look of it. The front is very striking. The rear, isn't quite as impactful. Though it does have a little hint in the rear lights, from the F Type. The little detail in there, and that is, that's a nice touch. But it isn't quite as exciting as it probably could be. Handling wise, steering is wonderful, you can place the car With ease. You know where it is. You know what it's doing. You get great feedback. The visibility is good. The rear window is a little small. But the wing mirrors more than make up for that. They're massive. The gear box, an HD [UNKNOWN] unit, is lovely It's an utter joy to use, quick flip of the petal, gears change. Wonderful thing. Jag really knows what it's doing when it comes to its auto gearbox. Now, haven't driven a manual gearbox yet, because they don't do a manual gearbox on the S, I suspect that's a yet, because they'd be stupid not to. But they do do it on a smaller [UNKNOWN] sports car are that, it's rather good, once it goes to 0 to 60 in 4.9 seconds, you do need to stop with brakes, and again, Jaguar has done a really bloody good job. They feel really nice and really smooth and linear. They work incredibly well. But it's just how quiet Very smooth, very quiet ride. It just feels, right. This is something Jaguar should have been doing for a very long time. But I'm glad it's taking its time, it's waited, it's waited to make sure the product it turned out is [UNKNOWN]. And it, it really, really It really is. It really really is. [LAUGH] This is a real new leaf for Jaguar. It's all new, it's all super shiny, but it's got nice little touches from the Jaguar range. So, this one, for example has the F-Type's engine. It's also got the Stop/Start button that you'd get in one of those, and It pulses like the one you get in the F-type. It's got F-type dials on it. You can have dials and an engine from an F-type, in your everyday family saloon! And it's comfortable, but, press the right button and you can zoom to your heart's content. When you've had a crap day [MUSIC] You want to take the long route home, slip it into dynamic, and let the three liter V-6, well, let it make the supercharger scream. Now the S may be the top of the range at launch, but I have a sneaking suspicion that is not going to be the top of the range forever. I end up talking to some people from Jag who may have hinted possibly, maybe, the engine bay. With a V6 it fits in there really, really well. But there might be some room for a V8. And when you think it, say a 500 horsepower V8. Well that would show the BMW M3 where to go. It would certainly make a C63 feel. A bit silly. And I imagine that the next generation of Audi RS4 might get a little bit scared as well. And considering, I've see what this thing can do on a track, and its hilarious as is, a potential XER, or even XERX [MUSIC] Would be something else. The XE is an incredibly important car for Jaguar. I also think it's an important car for the British automotive industry. This is gonna be the company car one. It's gonna be the entry-level Jag. It's gonna be the car that a lot of people want. And this is a car that deserves to make that happen. It deserves to actually start that shift. Into a, a wider global stage. Let Jaguar be great, not just in name only, but also actually because the car is pretty stonkly brilliant. In all, the XE has been a long time coming. But its been worth the wait, this thing is Bang on. This may be, probably is, a national bias, but I've always found German cars a little cold. Technically brilliant, of course, but somehow lacking a little soul. Yes, the 3-Series is the current king of the small exec saloons but I get the impression that moving on from one. [MUSIC] Might just be an easy job. Whereas, setting this bad boy [UNKNOWN]. Well, that might just sting a little. You see, Jaguar's created quite an emotional machine, and a very capable one, at that. It's taken all its best bits, and put them right where the Germans can see them. Now, two questions remain. Is it worthy of wearing a Jaguar badge? And should the Germans be afraid? You can answer both of those with one word. Yes.