The long-awaited little Jaguar XE starts in June. He competes against the 3er-BMW and the other two German mid-size sedans and, above all, wants to excel with his pronounced sportiness. Incidentally, the XE lowers the entry fee for the Jaguar world by around 10.000 euros. The basic model is available from 36.450 euros.
Jaguar has not had a model in the coveted middle class for over six years. The X-Type, at that time still based on a Ford Mondeo, is only remembered by iron fans. “We started on the famous white sheet four years ago,” designer Adam Hatton recalls when the new XE was born. But can it really keep up with the perfection of a C-Class, the sportiness of a 3-series BMW or the elegance of an Audi A 4?
"95 percent will choose one of the two diesel versions of the XE," says German Jaguar boss Peter Modelhardt. So the snow-white Test-XE with the two-liter diesel and 132 kW / 180 PS is the focus of curiosity about the newcomers from the island. It comes with an eight-speed automatic from exactly 39.000 Euro in the price list, which is about the same as a BMW 320 d or a C 220d from Mercedes.
The diesel cat purrs comfortably, but is acoustically sustainable. Thanks to its consistent lightweight construction (75 percent of the body-in-white consists of aluminum), the XE offers a mixture of light-footedness and full presence on the road. The latter is due to the rigidity of the body, which Jaguar engineers are particularly proud of. In addition, there is also a new electromechanical steering system, which guarantees precise tracking in every experienced situation.
The eight-speed machine is already known from other Jaguar models and quickly adapts to the driver's mood. The seating position behind the steering wheel from the F-Type sports car appears as if the designer had built the driver into the car. The fittings are in deep caves, invisible to the passenger. The silver rotary knob on the console makes the selection of the gears, the comparatively small touchscreen monitor in the middle at eye level is also available to the co-pilot. Nobody feels cramped, but embedded perfectly.
However, this does not apply to backbenchers: as with the German trio, business class is at the front, only economy at the rear. The knee space is limited, tall rear passengers always have to bow their heads a little, the three next to each other also get really cozy. The trunk is also only mediocre with its 450 liters.
A big plus for the diesel. Thanks to the pulling power of 430 Newton meters, the XE quickly changes from confident, relaxed gliding to attack mode, extends its claws and makes overtaking child's play. He does not make excessive use of the 56 liter tank. The on-board consumption calculator reports seven liters per 100 kilometer. Of course, more than the standard consumption (4,2 liters), but quite acceptable.
Big tremors in Munich, Ingolstadt or Stuttgart? Certainly not, because the XE is the first serious rival, but Jaguar is (still) too small to endanger the power of the Big Three.
Author: Peter Maahn / SP-X