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PG

Jag XE loan car

I’ve wanted to drive an XE ever since I went to the fleet launch last year. When the XFR went in for its brakes, I expected an XF again if it was to be a Jag loan car. And hopefully in a better colour combo than the last one I had.

But sales lent me an XE demonstrator for two days instead. In a good spec and colour combo, namely R Sport (with some added FG), dark grey metallic with black leather interior and black headlining. It had the £1000 panoramic sunroof option ticked in case that thought gives you claustrophobia. To top that off it was the 240bhp petrol auto. Apart from being given the keys to a 3.0 petrol S, that was the best it could be.

Dark grey suits the shape – as it does the new XF based on peet’s example. It ran on standard R Sport 18’s that didn’t look too small. So overall I liked how it looked. It is definitely shorter and dumpier than the XF side on, and from the rear the lack of the cross boot chrome or black strip is a give away, but front on I still find XE and XF’s hard to tell apart.






It was a good drive too. The 240 petrol engine in R sport is probably the value sweet spot in the range. Not so expensive as to be in “S” territory, yet powerful enough to feel quick when pushed and oh so much more interesting than a 4-pot diesel. The OBC said I averaged 34 mpg over two days of mixed motoring, which included proper speeds on motorways and some town work. The official stats are 0-60 6.4; 179 CO2’s; urban 27.7, combined 37.7 mpg. So where I ended up seems about right.

I did find myself using the paddles to drop down a gear or two when required, but didn’t feel the need ti use Dynamic mode very much, except for cosmetic reasons in that the red backed dials it gives you look so much nicer.

The stop start worked Ok as there was no horrible diesel start up and the engine felt nice enough to want to rev. Apparently Jag have been surprised by how many people (especially private buyers) are opting for the 2.0 petrol on the XE. Based on this test and having driven the Ingenium diesel (admittedly in it’s lowest power of 163bhp) in the XF, I’d follow them and get this over the XE 2.0 diesel every time.

The touch screen and entertainment are the same as the new XF.

So to the 64 million $ question. Well two questions really. Is this a true “compact sports saloon” and “is it better then the 3 series - or maybe C class”?

To which my answers are “yes” and “I have not driven them to compare”.  Why “yes” then? First the compact bit. I’m glad I’d driven a new XF a few weeks before hand so I had a current to current comparison. This feels smaller inside then the new XF, which actually I liked as although I like an XF sized car as it is usually comfier for distance use, I like cocoon like interiors. It almost feels as if the new XF – on which extra interior space width wise and leg room wise has been a major sell over the old one – has done that to leave room for this XE, which feels only slightly smaller in the front than my current XF (which is also all black inside).



And to the sports saloon bit, it felt good to steer and drive, the suspension was sport enough but not stupid (more Jag magic carpet voodoo at work) and it actually felt the sort of car I’d want to drive. Or even own.  

There was one disappointment that I pointed out to the sales guy when I took it back and I got the impression I may not be the only one to have said it. I mentioned it in my XF write up and peet mentioned it in his XF write up too. It is the dials. I don’t like the chromed tunnel instruments. I was not sure in the XF, but having used them twice I’d really rather they were normal dials, or the XE was available with the same TFT pack as the XF will be. It will surely come.

The dials don’t look expensive enough, well finished enough or readily viewable as they ought to be. They need to be angled differently and towards the driver. Unless you have the seat on the lowest setting (and I don’t), for anybody of my height the edges of the dials are not visible at the inward top quarters. There is a great digital speedo which I therefore used all the time, so this is hardly a critical safety feature. But it was just bloody annoying and offended my OCD. I was sure the F Type had the same dials and I could see those perfectly well when I drove an F Type. So what was different? I found out by sitting in an F Type back in the showroom. The F Type has the seats lower and I am sure the dials are better angled as visibility was not an issue with me confortable in the car. Plus the F Type uses different (way classier) dial faces and scripts. I can see the idea to copy the F Type dials to give a sporting feel, but I don;t think it has been executed well enough. Either that or all Jag test drivers are 5 foot nothing tall and can see the dials.  

The dial shots show the obscured nature quite well:

The white Normal lighting:



The red Dynamic lighting:



Daylight - come of Jag, get the TFT screen into the XE now!



PS - thanks to the mod who moved it to the right place from Read All About it (where I had put this in error last night)!
JohnC

Good read and a nice car. However it shows how the small things can become a major irritation when not done correctly. Seeing those dials I agree the TFT screen would be a massive improvement and the dynamic dials are so much nicer - they should just be like that all the time.
Twelfth Monkey

Makes the usual suspects look dull (A4, 3 series) or contrived (C class).  If I were on the lookout and there was a suitably propelled version, I'd be having a test drive.

The exhaust pipes don't look quite right to me.  Far from a deal-breaker, but I can't decide whether they look just a tiny bit apologetic, or whether they shouldn't be further apart.

Either way, good-looking car, right colour and it sounds like a great drive.
Martin

Agree with you on the dials, even at their best (at night in sport mode) they don't look good, the Fisher Price size rev counter font size in particular.

I really liked the XE when it first came out, but the more I see on the road the less I like it.  I don't know what the term is for the opposite of a grower?

The front and side (with decent wheels) looks great, but the rear end is awful, which is mainly down to the rear lights.   Lesser models don't have visible exhaust pipes which looks a bit basic, but the one you had needs slightly larger diameter pipes moved further apart.  On a positive, at least they're round.

It does sound good to drive though, maybe enough to wipe out the negatives.
Nice Guy Eddie

It does look a bit sorry for itself which you can't say of, I assume, identical spec M sport 3 Series or Amg line C-class.

Should I worry for JLR? They were the kings of styling a few years ago but now the XE, XF and Disco Sport are all very meh and from the F-paces I've seen I'm not holding out great hope for those either.
Michael

The only examples I tend to see are maroon or pale blue on basic wheels driven by coffin dodgers. I don't think I like them either but the XF is growing on which is weird as they're so similar looking. I'd like to see a wagon version of both cars.
Chip Butty

I don't like those standard R-Sport wheels at all, they are too small and they don't do the car any justice. However - this is not just a Jaguar issue - albeit the difference is more noticeable as XE has a 20 inch factory option.

In my opinion, the default wheel for XE would be the 19 inch silver star spoke, they look fantastic and work well with the R-Sport trim




The 20 inch wheel available on the S is ok and fills the arch perfectly - but it would look better still with a 20 inch silver star spoke.



XE is no different from 3 series, C class or A4 in the respect that it doesn't look as well proportioned as it's bigger brothers that essentially use the same design languages. There will always be a compromise of form in the smaller cars as they shrink wrap the design to fit the foot print (weird hunch on the C Class, stumpy rear end of the XE and the slightly dumpy look of the A4).
PG

I thought the 18 inch R sport standard ones are OK. But I agree with you that the star amongst the wheels is the 19 inch silver star spoke.
Twelfth Monkey

Wheels on the blue one are definitely best.  Looks good in that colour too.  Most of the ones I've seen have been red, and it's not the best colour for it.
Andy C

Saw this today and it looked great

Right colour, right wheels, no privacy glass.. Perfect

Bryan M

That looks lovely, wish they did a wagon
gooner

Bryan M wrote:
That looks lovely, wish they did a wagon


Sales of the X Type took off when they offered an estate and the XF wagon was pretty popular so you'd think it'd be a no-brainer.
JohnC

Blue really is the colour of the moment. That's lovely.
Martin

JohnC wrote:
Blue really is the colour of the moment. That's lovely.


+1 Best looking XE I've seen.
PhilD

gooner wrote:
Bryan M wrote:
That looks lovely, wish they did a wagon


the XF wagon was pretty popular


Is it? reckon I see one for every 20 saloons.
Giant

PhilD wrote:
gooner wrote:
Bryan M wrote:
That looks lovely, wish they did a wagon


the XF wagon was pretty popular


Is it? reckon I see one for every 20 saloons.


Bear in mind the saloon had a life span double that of the estate.
Roadsterstu

gooner wrote:
Bryan M wrote:
That looks lovely, wish they did a wagon


Sales of the X Type took off when they offered an estate and the XF wagon was pretty popular so you'd think it'd be a no-brainer.


I think factory capacity is the issue, which is also why the old XF wagon soldiers on for now.

Looks VG to me, that XE, PG. IMO. LOL. (sorry...)
PG

That blue looks really good. And the wheels too.
gooner

PhilD wrote:
gooner wrote:
Bryan M wrote:
That looks lovely, wish they did a wagon


the XF wagon was pretty popular


Is it? reckon I see one for every 20 saloons.


I've seen quite a few pounding the M1 and M6 Phil, so either they're selling well or I keep seeing the same ones!
PhilD

gooner wrote:
PhilD wrote:
gooner wrote:
Bryan M wrote:
That looks lovely, wish they did a wagon


the XF wagon was pretty popular


Is it? reckon I see one for every 20 saloons.


I've seen quite a few pounding the M1 and M6 Phil, so either they're selling well or I keep seeing the same ones!


Interesting, maybe they are posh rep cars not family wagons.
Frank Bullitt

Seen too many XE's on shirt buttons, they look tragic.
Roadsterstu

Plenty of 3 Series on tiny wheels.
Racing Teatray

Sat in an XE in Prestige spec yesterday. It was nice without being amazing.
Frank Bullitt

Roadsterstu wrote:
Plenty of 3 Series on tiny wheels.


Yes, but they don't look so tragic

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