At long last the German giants of Audi, Mercedes and BMW face a real British challenge in the compact executive class in the shape of the new Jaguar XE.
It seems that we have had to wait a long time to get behind the wheel of the XE – but it’s been worth the wait as the new XE really means business.
It is Jaguar’s first foray into the sector since it ditched the hopelessly outgunned X-Type - which was based on the old Ford Mondeo - six years ago.
The success of the newcomer will be down to its mix of stunning looks with cues taken from the F-Type sports car, frugal yet powerful diesel engines and the feeling of high-end luxury thanks to its luxury leather-clad interior. These all add up to a package that will appeal to private, fleet and company car buyers.
Pictures don’t really do the new Jag justice. The design team led by Scot Ian Callum have made sure the XE has real presence on the road. Jaguar is developing a look that will extend through the range and so the new model features wide, slim headlights, an upright grille and a low, sleek bonnet.
The J-Blade LEDS on the XE accentuate the width at the front, as do the F-Typestyle rear lights. The low roof-line at the back gives the car a coupe-like stance adding to its appeal, with big wheels pushed out to the far corners. The inside is simple yet stylish, with a wraparound fascia similar to that on the XJ, which makes the car feel comforting inside.
The top S variants add more muscular