Charming niche player

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Charming niche player

In terms of sales, the Jaguar XE hardly compares to the German competition. The test drive shows whether it is different on the road.

Jaguar XE

The automotive middle class is firmly in German hands: BMW 3 Series (1163 units as of the end of June 2020), Mercedes C-Class (1146 units), VW Passat (746 units) and Audi A4 (610 units) set the tone here.

In contrast, the Jaguar XE is a real niche product; just 36 pieces were approved in the first half of the year. The large gap can be explained above all by the fact that the British can only be bought as a sedan. Station wagons are very popular in this country, especially in the middle class, which can be seen, for example, in the sales figures for the Volvo S60 and V60, which are also vying for buyers in this class. While the S60 sedan was only registered 39 times in the first half of the year, the V60 station wagon was 557. For a great success in this country, the Jaguar XE certainly lacks a station wagon rear – because otherwise the Brit can offer almost everything in this class is common and in demand. This is already evident when selecting the drives. Here Jaguar is limited to four-cylinder engines that are available with automatic transmission, rear-wheel or all-wheel drive.

Charming niche player-niche

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Charming niche player-charming

Charming niche player-player

Charming niche player-player

Charming niche player-niche

Charming niche player-niche

Charming niche player-charming

Charming niche player-player

Charming niche player-player

Jaguar XE

Objectively no sacrifice

To test the XE occurs with the top engine – with the exception of the outrageously expensive “Project8” with V8 engine. The 2-liter four-cylinder in the “P300 AWD” delivers 300 hp and 400 Nm of torque, with an 8-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive that delivers the power safely to the road.

Just a few years ago, a V6 engine would have been used for such performance values. But thanks to modern turbo technology, the two-liter engine of the almost 1.7-ton sedan has more than grown. The drive is very consistent in the XE; it builds up pressure without any annoying delay and is hardly noticeable in everyday use due to noise and vibrations. The interaction with the automatic transmission also works perfectly, so that you hardly feel the need to change gears manually using the large shift paddles on the steering wheel.

Even the exterior view makes it clear that the British sedan wants to be more than just an inconspicuous everyday glider. Inside you will find well-contoured sports seats with a low seating position, a non-slip steering wheel and classic round instruments on the digital speedometer display. However, the four-cylinder cannot fully live up to the expectations of emotional driving pleasure that were aroused in this way. The power development is very linear and the sound is rather rough at higher speeds; this belies the fact that the XE can be quite fast on the road; the sprint to 100 km/h takes 5.7 seconds.

The tuning of the steering and chassis matches the sporty driving performance. The XE looks very well balanced and handy. It steers precisely and willingly into corners and is always controlled and safe. When it comes to driving pleasure on winding roads, the Jaguar can definitely compete with the class leader in this discipline: the 3 Series from BMW.

The XE has detention when it comes to efficiency. The factory consumption of 9.7 l/100 km is definitely too high for a car of this size and performance class. In the test with a high proportion of country roads and motorways, the turbo engine achieved an average consumption of 8.9 l/100 km, which fortunately undercuts the factory specification. Even with a very anticipatory driving style, less than 8 l/100 km is hardly possible.

Pretty and clear

The interior makes you feel at home straight away. This is not least due to the uniquely designed dashboard. It extends with an elegant arc between the A-pillars. This ensures a sporty feeling of space – and makes the sedan appear more compact. There are also easy-to-read digital instruments and the large touchscreen infotainment in the center console. The system impresses with its razor-sharp display and fast response. After a short period of getting used to, you will find your way around here; The smartphone integration via AppleCarPlay or Android Auto is particularly practical: the content of the phone is displayed over a large area so that navigation and music can be used quickly and easily. For music lovers, however, we recommend the optional Meridian sound system with 17 loudspeakers and a total output of 825 watts (surcharge depending on the equipment line 1180 or 2140 francs).

Not cheap – but good value

Of course, even the smallest Jaguar sedan is not a cheap car; Measured against the XE’s high-quality appearance, the base price of CHF 49,900 (180 hp diesel) is quite fair. The tested P300 AWD costs from 69,400 francs in the highest equipment level “R-Dynamic HSE”, but then also comes with numerous comfort features such as leather interior, keyless system or 360-degree camera. This means that the XE is by no means more expensive than the German competition – but it is definitely a touch more extravagant and much rarer on our roads, which makes the Jaguar more exclusive.

Jaguar XE P300 4WD

Engine: 4 cyl. Petrol, 1997 cm3

Power: 300 hp/400 Nm

Drive: auto 8-speed, 4×4

L×W×H: 4678×1967×1425mm

trunk volume: 410L

Weight: 1690kg

0-100km/h: 5.7 sec.

Vmax: 250km/h

Consumption factory/test: 9.7/8.9 l/100 km

Price: from 58200 francs

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