It took Jaguar more than 20 years, but they've finally done it. Sensual and sporty, responsive and capable, the Jaguar XE is everything a modern Jaguar sedan should be. Yes, it's unquestionably good enough to beat its competition. I took the Jaguar XE S for a spin in Beirut. What was the outcome?
Our Lebanese roads are outstanding to do a tangible assessment on all vehicles we take for a test drive for the simple reason that you have straight highways, bumpy roads full of potholes and don't forget the amazing mountainous scenery with appealing twisty corners.
As for the XE itself, it is said that 75 percent of the chassis is aluminum. I immediately could sense it at high speed. On the contrary, I felt the weight in the twisting mountain roads around Harissa and Ghosta. Sure, it's quick, and has a nice, linear power delivery that you don't get from competing turbo engines. You can switch the XE S between Economy, Normal and Dynamic modes. Switch to Dynamic mode, and all of a sudden the throttle becomes more responsive and the steering weights up. Turn the gearshift dial into "S" mode, and the gears hold for longer.
Other than that, I personally adored the exterior styling and with no doubt, the interior British touch. One of my concerns regarding the interior seating, is that the legroom space will be limited if you're sitting behind a tall driver who needs their seat well back.
The new Jaguar InControl infotainment system is off the hook! Previously, the system used on most Jaguars and Land Rovers was not familiar or was, let's be honest, rubbish. German competitors mounted the screen as though it's an aftermarket screen. Jaguar was elegant in mounting it. It's situated in an optional, wide rectangle 10.2-inch screen, balanced by black piano plastic trim, which I was really delighted to look at!
The XE marked the return of Jaguar to the small prestige saloon class. A couple of months ago we acquired the XE 2.0T R-Sport version at home, and I can tell you it already has a fond place in my heart. If you want to be unique you must drive the XE because it will surely tick all the boxes of your requirements.
Pros: Superb exterior styling, amazing and sporty driving, well-crafted interior
Cons: Lacking headroom, poor vision from thick front pillars
Rivals: Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class, Infiniti Q50, Cadillac ATS, Alfa Romeo Giulia, Lexus IS, Volvo S60, Lincoln MKZ
one word: vibrant
3.0L supercharged V6, 340 hp @ 6,500 rpm, 450 Nm @ 4,500 rpm
RWD, 8-speed auto with manual shifting mode
0-100 km/h: 4.6 sec, top speed: 250 km/h, fuel consumption: 10.2 L/100 km
weight: 1,717 kg