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New Jaguar XE OFFICIALLY launched – price from £27,000

Tue, 09 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0700

The new Jaguar XE arrives

After months of teasing, years of planning and huge sums of money spent, it’s here – the new Jaguar XE. Looking like a slightly smaller version of the XF, with an upright nose, longish bonnet, coupe-like profile and stubby tail, the XE is clearly a Jaguar – and a fairly conservative one at that – which is probably sensible when  entering such a competitive sector as the ‘Premium’ compact saloon market.

But the new XE isn’t just a punt for a few sales in a new sector for Jaguar, but a car that could take Jaguar from an interesting maker of relatively low volume cars to a global ‘Premium’ car maker; nose to nose in a very competitive sector with, principally, Audi and the A4, BMW and the 3 Series and Mercedes and the C-Class. So does the new Jaguar XE have what it takes?

Jaguar have purposely decided to follow the lead of the premium sector by making the XE a smaller version of the XF; no radical departures (like the XJ) but a convincing, if conservative, take on the family design with the XE instantly presenting itself as a ‘new’ Jaguar.

There’s a short front overhang and long rear overhang, the bonnet it long and sculptures, the cabin sits back, there’s a rising waistline and stubby tail and the whole car looks purposeful and cohesive.

Interior design seems to have created a fairly spacious cabin with clear influences from the XJ, with the door cappings sweeping in to the bottom of the windscreen, a big centre console with rising gear knob and a new infotainment screen.

The dials are a simple pair – and look influenced by the F-Type – and there are plenty of direct access buttons – despite the new Infotainment centre – for easy functionality and the driving position looks to keep the familiar Jaguar cocooned feel.

It’s a convincing cabin – although we’re not sure it’s up there with the interior of the new C-Class – and compliments the conservative exterior styling. It will sit well with the rep world, which is where most of Jaguar’s ‘cooking’ versions of the XE will find a home.

The new Jaguar XE gets an interior influenced by the F-Type and XJ

Unlike the new Discovery Sport, the new Jaguar XE gets the new Ingenium engines from launch.

The first Ingenium engines are a pair of 2.0 litre four-cylinder diesels – which are Euro 6 compliant – with variable exhaust valve timing and exhaust gas aftertreatment and emissions as low as 99g/km with the 161 bhp version (which will do 75mpg) which will undoubtedly be the big sellers.

There are also a pair of Ingenium petrol engines with different outputs on the horizon as well as a, for now, range-topping 3.0 litre V6 Supercharged petrol engine from the F-Type capable of getting the XE S to 60mph in just 4.9 seconds.

The new XE will also be available with a new six-speed manual gearbox – something Jaguar has ignored for a long time – as well as a revised version of the excellent 8-Speed ZF auto ‘box.

The XE also comes with Jaguar’s All Surface Programme control to make the XE far more manageable on slippery surfaces and, when the XE launches in the US in 2016, there will be the option of four-wheel-drive.

Jaguar has also gone to great lengths to keep fleet users happy, with the new XE only needing a service every 21k miles, made parts easier to fit and fitted autonomous braking for better NCAP results and lower insurance grouping.

The new XE is an all new car, and it gets plenty of new technology to make it more capable.

Stuff like Lane Departure Warning, Traffic Sign Recognition, the aforementioned All Surface Programme, Self-Parking, Adaptive Cruise and Heads-Up Display will all make the XE more appealing, and the new Infotainment centre – long overdue – will get InControl Apps for Apple and Android with a wi-fi hotspot and access to Internet radio, News, Nav and Traffic Info.

Harmon Kardon sound will come as standard and there’s a Meridian system on higher-spec models.

The new Jaguar XE will debut at the Paris Motor Show in a few weeks – when we’ll get more information – with Jaguar dealers getting cars early in 2015. First deliveries of the new XE are expected in May 2015 and Jaguar say the starting point will be £27,000 – a price very much in line with BMW’s 3-Series entry point but for an XE that will be much better specced.

Has the new Jaguar XE got what it takes to challenge the might of the German trio? It looks like it could.

 


By Cars UK