Let’s face it, for those of us who no longer have young families, or who never had kids to begin with, and don’t need/or want an SUV, a sedan is normally the vehicle we choose as the transport of our life. We want those sedans to be capable, comfortable and good looking. Most of us would be happy with a nice small luxury sedan, a C-Class maybe or a 3-Series. Well there’s a new player in that class, one that I just had a second go-round with, the new for 2017 Jaguar XE.
My first week with the XE came last summer, and I was smitten. It looked good, drove good and left me wanting to put one in my driveway.
Flash forward nearly a year and Jaguar sent me another one to try for a week. Would I still be as smitten as the first time? Would that pure joy behind the wheel still be the same?
The answer is yes, and yes.
For this latest week, I had the diesel Prestige variant again, but this time it was a rear wheel drive version as opposed to the all-wheel drive.
As a reminder, Jaguar introduced the XE as a 2015 model, and for 2017 America gets this “baby” Jaguar. It’s smaller than the XF, and is available in a base, Premium, Prestige and R-Sport variant.
The base model has remote keyless entry, push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and three selectable drive modes (Normal, Eco and Dynamic). There’s also a leather-wrapped steering wheel, eight-way power front seats and a six-speaker audio system with HD radio and an 8-inch central touchscreen. You can option in a navigation system with InControl Apps, all atop 17-inch wheels.
Moving up to the Premium, adds driver memory settings, a rearview camera, power-folding auto-dimming side mirrors, and an 11-speaker Meridian audio system with a subwoofer. There are also 18-inch wheels available.
The Prestige adds a power-adjustable and heated steering wheel, heated front seats with four-way power lumber, a navigation system with InControl Apps, ambient interior lighting and upgraded leather upholstery. 18-inch wheels are standard, 19-inch available.
The top of the line R-Sport has unique 18 and 19-inch wheels, a rear spoiler, distinctive exterior trim details, sport front seats, and a leatherette-wrapped instrument panel, and satellite radio. These is also adaptive xenon headlights with washers, LED running lights, and automatic high beams, along with safety features like lane assist, autonomous emergency braking, and blind spot monitoring.
You can get some of the upper range features as options on the lower models, and on the upper models (Prestige and R-Sport) you can add a Black Design package with gloss-black exterior trim, a Comfort and Convenience package with ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, power rear sunshade, and a power trunk lid. There’s also Jaguar’s Adaptive Dynamics with adaptive suspension dampers and adjustable drive settings, and the Driver Assistance package with adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with advanced automatic emergency braking, surround-view parking camera, and the autonomous emergency braking. You can even get a parking system, traffic-sign recognition system and the Technology Pack with mobile 3G Wi-Fi hotspot, CD/DVD player, 10.2-inch touchscreen and 17-speaker Meridian audio system.
Under the hood, the XE gets either a gas or diesel engine. Each level can have one or the other. There are three types, a 4-cylinder gas (25t), a 4-cylinder diesel (20d), and a 6-cylinder gas engine (35t). The base can get the 25t or 20d, while the Premium and Prestige can have all three engines, and the R-Sport comes in 20d or 35t. The turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder has 240 horsepower, and 251 pound-feet of torque, the XE 20d is a turbodiesel 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 180 hp, and 318 lb-ft torque and the XE 35t is a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 with 340 hp, and 332 lb-ft torque.
All engines are paired with the standard eight-speed automatic transmission; a six-speed manual is available, just not in the US.
I again had the Prestige 20d with the Vision Package that included the Xenon headlights, blind spot monitor and rear traffic detection. While I fell in love with the exterior in a glacier white color, I absolutely swooned when I got in. As is typical in the Jaguar line the interior is no-nonsense with a nice clean functional look. The dash isn’t cluttered and the gauges easy to read. The 8-inch touchscreen (an upgraded 10.2 inch can be had) is easy to reach and Jaguar’s InControl Apps system was easy to use. Jaguar’s signature rotary gear selector sits at the bottom of the stack. One thing I have always liked about Jaguar is the simplicity of their interior, it doesn’t seem as pretentious as its German counterparts, and that carries over to the XE.
I didn’t think there would a noticeable difference between the rear wheel for this latest test and all-wheel drive I had last time, but there was. The rear wheel drive seemed to actually have a bit crisper steering thanks in large part to the different tuning of the steering rack; it was more direct it seemed than the all-wheel drive.
My final verdict would be this: I would have last year’s color (Glacier White), over the latest ( Bluefire). However, the rear wheel drive from this latest test would be underneath. The diesel engine is fine, but I suspect the supercharged 3.0 liter V6 would be awesome.
In this small luxury class, I have tried all but the Alfa Romeo Giulia. Among the C-Class, the A4, 3 and 4-Series and the Q50, this new Jaguar XE is my fav. The Giulia might change my mind, but Alfa Romeo has yet to send me one (hint, hint).
For now, the new 2017 Jaguar XE still has me smitten and wanting to out one in my driveway.
The 2016 Jaguar XE Prestige 2.0d
MSRP (as tested, $995 destination, delivery fee): $43,895
Engine (as tested) 2.0-liter turbo charged diesel 180 hp @4000 rpm, 318 lb-ft torque @1750 rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic w/paddle shifters
Fuel Mileage (EPA): 32 city, 42 highway, 36 combined
Fuel Mileage as tested (mixed conditions): 30 mpg
Base Curb Weight: 3320 lbs
Height: 4 ft. 7.7 in. (55.7 in.)
Length: 15 ft. 3.9 in. (183.9 in.)
Wheel base: 9 ft. 3.6 in. (111.6 in.)
Width: 6 ft. 5.4 in. (77.4 in.)
Maximum cargo capacity: 15.9 cu.ft.
Basic: 5 yr./ 60000 mi.
Drivetrain: 5 yr./ 60000 mi.
Free maintenance: 5 yr./ 60000 mi.
Roadside: 5 yr./ 60000 mi.
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