Jaguar XE 2.0T – 200hp

An appropriate contestant rather than a charming one

"Jaguar returns to luxury's product class with a vehicle that's above mediocre" said Issam

"The XE will compliment young drivers to the brand"

"The XE's cabin is a bright and pleasant place to be in"

For the second time, I am testing out the new XE from Jaguar. The first time was in May, 2015, over in Spain on the Navarra Circuit. This time, I got it from the official distributor of Jaguar in Lebanon, Saad & Trad.

My test car was equipped with 2.0L turbocharged, 200hp. It is, in fact, the entry-level trim and engine of the XE. The XE is a genuinely clean sheet piece of design and engineering. There's nothing recooked, restarted or even facelifted; there's an all new platform that's 75 percent aluminium, new engines, and a new multi-link rear suspension that can absorb vertical and lateral loads without getting slightly agitated. I was surprised by the car's performance, particularly on mountainous roads in Lebanon. With a 200 hp engine, I expect it might lose its run. But, no, though the 40hp extra on the second engine offering is a bit dull. If I were to acquire an XE, I would choose the 200hp engine or jump directly to the 3.0L supercharged.

Since ownership has moved from Ford to Tata Motors' hands,  we can say that Tata Motors is an impeccable parent, always willing to give its children a loan yet never so snoopy as to command how the money is spent. The Brits are focusing on design, engineering, engines, chassis, technology and infotainment. I'm sure from now until 2020, Jaguar will be a successful story to tell your children!

Pure:
The entry-level to the XE range, the Pure* model features high quality cloth seats and a gloss black treatment for the door trim finishers and the signature 'Riva Hoop' sweeping around the instrument panel.

R-Sport:
Seats are trimmed with Taurus leather with unique technical mesh fabric inserts. The 'Riva Hoop' and door finishers are in etched aluminium, and the tread plates and sports steering wheel feature R-Sport branding. The exterior is enhanced by a subtle rear spoiler and a noble chrome treatment for the side power vents sports suspension delivers even better handling.

S:
The most performance-orientated XE model features a race-inspired interior. The Taurus leather seats have suede cloth panels and the tread plates and leather sports steering wheel carry the S logo. Dark hex aluminium graces the door finishers and the 'Riva Hoop', while the center console is gloss black. The front bumper's enlarged air intakes hint at the performance potential of the supercharged V6. Side sill extensions, rear spoiler, gloss black rear valance, red brake calipers and optional forged, 20 inch 'Propeller' alloy wheels complete the package.

Prestige:
Taurus leather upholstery with contrasting stitching delivers a modern, progressive luxury interior, complete with phosphor blue ambient lighting. Inserts on the air-conditioned seat option are perforated and the 'Riva Hoop' and door finishers are finished in brushed aluminium.

Portfolio:
The most luxurious XE model, Portfolio features a wide range of color options for the premium Windsor leather with herringbone perforations. The instrument panel features split upper and lower coverings in two colors, complete with color-keyed twin-needle stitching for a truly bespoke feel. The aluminium trim has an embossed surface finish.

Verdict
The XE is a quality vehicle for sure. With an amazing handling and masterful chassis, it should be now on your shortlist. Two choices of power are available on the 2.0L turbocharged (200 hp and 240 hp) which give future customers a variety to enter the British brand without paying extra bucks. 
Rivals: BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Mercedes C-Class, Lexus IS, Cadillac ATS, Infiniti Q50
Pros: superb ride/handling balance, attractive exterior design, powerful engines' offerings
Cons: limited rear legroom space, small luggage capacity, not-friendly infotainment system
4 stars

Specs
2.0L turbocharged, i4 cylinders, 200hp @ 5500 rpm, 320 Nm @ 1750-4000
8 speed automatic, RWD
0-100 kph: 7.7 secs, top speed: 237 kph, fuel consumption: 7.5L/ 100 km
Weight: 1530 kg

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