It has been quite a while since Jaguar produced a car of XE’s features (2009, to be precise). Now that Portfolio XE is here, it deserves a closer look. Jaguar’s new compact executive has a hard task ahead of it, since its competition include the German big guns in Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. To beat such a formidable competition, Jaguar really had to make something special. Let’s see whether the new Jaguar has what it takes to dominate the market.
We’ll have to wait until the next year for all of the XE models to be powered by the shiny Ingenium diesel engines. For the time being, and due to the high customer demand, Jaguar XE also comes packed with two different types of Ford-sourced 2.0-liter i4 gasoline engine – one with a 197 bhp (brake horsepower) output and the other with 237 bhp. Contrary to what might be sensible to assume, both of these variants have the same, unremarkable fuel economy figures and CO2 emission rate – the former being 37,7 mpg, while the latter is in the 179 g/km range.
A sight to behold
Going for a more conservative look, Jaguar have built a car that breathes real presence. With aluminum-dominated bodywork, wide headlights, and a rather low and sleek bonnet, XE is a real beauty.
The overall drive impression Jaguar XE gives is just a little bit shy of impressive. It handles all the road conditions well. The only downside to it is the sound produced by the initial handshake. Although it is fairly decent when high speeds are concerned, the sound is a bit trashy at the start. Speaking of high speed, the new Jaguar XE is not a car to race the winds with, but it is still a reasonably fast vehicle. Where the car truly shines is the handling, which even at higher speeds leaves the competition far behind.
Notice the Portfolio in the car name? That’s the name of the new trim Jaguar have devised. There are the standard DAB, satellite navigation system, automatic emergency braking, and cruise control. Yet, if you consider the luxurious, expensive and leather interior a must, Portfolio is worth the extra cash.
Jaguar XE, despite being marketed as a compact sedan, has a bit bulkier feel than most sedan, something you’ll notice upon first parking attempt. Also, if you prefer a manual transmission, look for other options because XE features only an 8-speed automatic paddle. One more thing to keep in mind is that although this might only be a matter of preference, having to tap the touchscreen in order to zoom in and out of satellite navigation display can be less pleasant than the simplicity of a rotary dial. Other than this, the multimedia touchscreen on XE isn’t all that different from the ones on the other models.
Is the new Jaguar XE Portfolio worth its price? Yes, definitely. For the price of $70,400 you get a brand new, premium-looking compact executive car that handles well and is packed with advanced safety options. If provided with a choice, go for one with the Ingenium diesel engine as it has the edge over petrol i4.
Image credit: autoexpress.co.uk