When you hear the name Jaguar, you think of iconic British sports car, like the e-type, possibly the XK120 And this all new F-Type which is a beautiful car.
So the XE Sedan, one of the newest additions to the Jaguar lineup, might not meet your expectations.
And this sedan, while clearly carrying Jaguar design DNA, looks a little conventional, maybe too close to all the other mid size sedans in the mall parking lot.
But the XE is more than meets the eye, an aluminum body entry level luxury car that should do for Jaguar that the three series did for BMW--Open the brand for mass market acceptance.
Introduced at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, the XE model will come to the US later this year.
This example I'm driving is an R4 trim and it's not meant for the US market.
You could kind of tell because the speedometer shows my kilometers per hour, and the navigation system in the dashboard here is not what we'll get in the US I'm not gonna dwell on that stuff.
But under the hood, we goe one of my favorite Jaguar engines, a supercharged 3-liter V6 and that will be coming here as the top engine in the SC model.
That's good for 340 horsepower.
Even better, about 75% of this car's made from aluminum.
That keeps the weight down to a pulpy 3300 pounds.
I'll let you do the power-to-weight ratio math.
In the cabin, we've got some familiar Jaguar gear.
There's this dial that controls the eight-speed automatic transmission.
Now they introduced this last decade, and when you start up the car, it rises up from the console.
It's very dramatic.
So let's come back to that engine.
To really feel that 340 horsepower, I can put it in the sport mode here, turn the transmission into sport mode, and suddenly I can feel all that in the accelerator.
Now, being a super charged engine, I feel a really direct connection between the throttle and the power and I really like that.
I can also use these Paddle shifters on the steering wheel to control the gear I'm in.
These feel a little bit flimsy, I'm not crazy about them.
I'd really just like to let the car shift on its own in sport mode.
Especially, this is a car that I wouldn't necessarily wanna bring to the track.
I mean, this is more of your commute car during the weekdays, and then on the weekends you might wanna bring it on a Fun, twisty road.
And that's where this car really shines in its handling.
[SOUND] This aluminium structure makes it really Just light and stiff, and those are just two fantastic things for a sports sedan.
Now some older cars have this heavy feeling and some people prefer that, sort of that German staunch feeling in the way the car handles, but I think light and stiff really wins the day when you're taking the corners.
And I think you'll really appreciate the way this feels.
And for the everyday commute, this car has a stick suspension, which the compromise between sport tuning and comfort tuning.
And Jaguar pretty well nails it with this one.
It feels really comfortable Over your rougher roads, but then it also holds the car pretty stable in the turns.
So, I think they kinda nailed it with the suspension tuning.
Overall, this car just really comes in as a great sports sedan that's gonna be a fantastic competitor to the other compact to midsize.
Sports sedans, and it's going to stay soft in this segment.
You know, the more I drive this car, the more I like it, the more I can see myself wanting to drive it every day and enjoying taking it on windy, fun roads.
And Their philosophy here that aluminum structure is a really modern philosophy in car design.
And keeping the weight down is just so crucial and makes this car a good sports car, and also is gonna contribute to it's efficiency.
You'll find the XE's top engine is the base engine for the F-Type roadster and coupe, yet the F-type weighs a couple of hundred pounds more.
Obviously, the F-type is a much, much better looking car, but I think this XE R Sport might have the performance edge.
More importantly, the XE's base price of $35,000 puts it in line with the BMW 3 Series, and the Audi A4, while giving you something a little less common.
At cocktail parties, you can casually mention you own a Jag.
And everybody can assume it's something exotic and expensive, at least until everyone else owns one.