Proof that our good friend, and regular ESM contributor, the Tame Geek will test stuff that isn’t made in Germany! Tonight he gives his thoughts on the new ‘baby Jag’ offering.
Now usually, most car reviews come with a plethora of clichés and when it comes to a review of the first actually baby Jaguar, it’s clear this is going to be a minefield of them. There’s also going to be a lot of comparisons talk but really, that’s what this car has always been about. How does it compare to class leader and the rest of the class?
Well, this is a TG review, so we shall use the tried and tested formula; what it is, then what it’s like to drive. The Jaguar XE in review here is the 180PS (178bhp) diesel with 8-speed gearbox in R-Sport trim. From what the Jaguar contact said, the Prestige trim is likely to be the most popular model for private buyers.
When you first clap eyes on the XE from the front, it is a bit tricky to tell it apart from its big sister, the XF. It’s really only when you move slightly round to the side and see the flanks of the car does its individual styling come to light. It’s even clearer from the back that the XE is its own car. In this segment of the market (are these really D-segment saloons now?) it’s typical that the lower price models can often look a bit cheap. Big tyres with small alloys, tacky trim and more blank button spaces than actual buttons.
The XE is brand-new and, right now, Jaguar doesn’t need to make a basic version. With that the XE makes many statements, the first of which is that it’s no cut-down car. The styling on the basic model is good and the Prestige just adds a bit more too that. The R-Sport adds on this with a little tail spoiler and some bolder arches. Honestly, unless you really wanted the R-Sport’s sharp skirts, there’s no real reason to go for it. This car looks great in all its trims. It really goes to show just how much work has gone in to Jaguar design. The XE is not the XF, but they share DNA and unlike the Audis and BMWs of this world, the Jaguars are cars in their own right. I’ve been considering for some time since driving the car and spending time with the new XF, that really, I would be happy with either. It’s not like you get an A4 because you don’t make enough for the A6. If you chose the XE, pulling up in the car park and placing it next to an XF will not make you feel like an underachiever.
To sum up the external looks of the XE, it’s easily the best looking car in its class and were it not for the older sibling, would be the best looking car in the segment above. Really, I think the only thing that will beat the XE on looks will be the new Alfa Romeo Giulia, but that’s a hard call until I’ve seen it in the metal.