Get kicks in com­fort

Warwickshire Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - By Peter Keenan

As a com­pact ex­ec­u­tive sa­loon this big cat is al­most purr-fect, of­fer­ing a tasty recipe whose ingredients in­clude thrills and more than a splash of lux­ury. The Jaguar XE is also gor­geous to look at – mes­meris­ing all who come into the or­bit of this beau­ti­ful mo­tor.

Launched in 2015 the XE filled the gap left by the X-Type which hit the buf­fers six years ear­lier.

Jaguar started from the ground up so the all-new model ben­e­fits from an alu­minium chas­sis and the In­ge­nium petrol and diesel en­gines.

The 2.0-litre turbo petrol power unit be­neath the bon­net of my car was a joy, es­pe­cially linked to a su­per slick eight-speed au­to­matic gear­box with a ro­tary gear se­lec­tor dial ris­ing James Bond-like from the cen­tre con­sole when you fire up the beast.

Ac­cel­er­at­ing to 60mph from a stand­ing start in 6.5 sec­onds is im­pres­sive, but even more note­wor­thy is the fact the rear-wheel-pro­pelled mo­tor does this while leav­ing the driver feel­ing in to­tal con­trol of pro­ceed­ings.

And here we come to the real sell­ing point for the XE – the great driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. It pulls off the neat trick of be­ing ex­cit­ing as well as com­fort­able thanks to the chas­sis and a bril­liant sus­pen­sion that copes eas­ily with the many humps and hol­lows lit­ter­ing our high­ways while keep­ing the 18-inch al­loy wheels glued to the road.

The steer­ing of­fers light­ning quick re­ac­tions and there’s a con­fi­den­cein­spir­ing amount of grip that al­lows cor­ners to be at­tacked with gusto as the car ex­hibits the bal­ance of a ballerina.

JaguarDrive Con­trol al­lows you to se­lect Nor­mal, Eco, Dy­namic or Rain Ice Snow modes, each chang­ing the steer­ing and throt­tle re­sponses and the au­to­matic trans­mis­sion’s shift pat­tern. Put it in Dy­namic mode and it also turns the colour of the dials to a natty red.

So if you want some­thing that com­bines the qual­i­ties of a sports car with a com­fort of a re­fined cruiser the XE’s your man.

Other en­gines avail­able in­clude a less pow­er­ful 2.0-litre petrol en­gine as well as a pair of 2.0-litre diesels with ei­ther 200PS or 240PS and a 3.0-litre su­per­charged V6 for the top of the range model.

The XE is rammed with the lat­est hi-tech gad­gets and devices de­signed to make a mod­ern ex­ec­u­tive feel pam­pered and con­nected to the busi­ness world.

It is of­fered only as a four-door sa­loon with the en­try-level SE model kick­ing things off be­fore the range moves up through Pres­tige, R-Sport and Port­fo­lio trims, end­ing with the flag­ship XE S model.

All are well equipped with cli­mate con­trol, park­ing sen­sors and a touch­screen in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem in­cluded.

By the time you reach the R-Sport model I drove things have got truly pala­tial with metal R-Sport sill fin­ish­ers, heated seats, leather up­hol­stery and brushed alu­minium in the cabin.

There are plenty of giz­mos to de­light in­clud­ing cruise con­trol with au­to­matic speed lim­iter, hill start as­sist, sat nav, as well as rain sens­ing wipers and au­to­matic head­lights.

My only slight quib­ble with the XE comes with the amount of space avail­able in both cabin and boot.

The car won me over after a less than aus­pi­cious start as hav­ing clam­bered in I found the top of my head brushing the ceiling. Low­er­ing the seat just about gained me enough room – but I’m no gi­ant and in truth space both front and back is not as plen­ti­ful as you might ex­pect for a mo­tor cost­ing in ex­cess of £30,000. Boot space is okay rather than ex­cep­tional and the open­ing is nar­row.

These are some of the costs of a coupe-like de­sign, but in fair­ness they are not pro­hib­i­tive and con­sid­er­ing the drop-dead gor­geous ex­te­rior, I’m more than will­ing to pay.


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