Right on the money

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - Short Cut -

Jaguar’s XE 25t R-Sport tar­gets the small pres­tige heavy­weights: BMW 3 Se­ries, Benz C-Class and Audi A4. Jaguar bench­marked the Ger­mans and matches or eclipses them on many fronts, not least style. The XE looks im­pres­sive, like a scaled-down XF. Built to a high stan­dard, it uses pre­mium ma­te­ri­als through­out. Amid the lux­ury, there are gen­er­ous driver as­sis­tance fea­tures. It’s priced in the sweet zone and is cov­ered by a three-year/un­lim­ited km war­ranty, costs $1350 to ser­vice over three years with in­ter­vals of 12 months/16,000km. Rear seat head and legroom are com­pro­mised by the coupe roofline but the XE is well en­dowed in the ride and han­dling depart­ment. Jaguar’s multi-mode drive pro­gram has set­tings from com­fort up to dy­namic. The R-Sport isn’t as plush as oth­ers but com­pen­sates with be­hind-the­wheel feel. Am­ple fea­tures in­clude sports seats, 10.2-inch InCon­trol touch­screen with voice con­trol, power front seats, 380W Merid­ian au­dio and metal/leather dash fas­cia to set off the strik­ingly styled in­te­rior. As with all XEs, the am­bi­ence is hush-hush. It adds to the five-star ANCAP rat­ing with such ad­vanced safety kit as au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing, blind spot mon­i­tor and lane keep­ing. The XE’s “hy­brid” body com­bines steel and alu­minium for su­pe­rior strength and safety and weight sav­ing. Re­spon­sive dy­nam­ics will help avoid a col­li­sion in the first place. This is the sec­ond spor­ti­est XE — the real hot rod is the su­per­charged 3.0-litre V6. The high-out­put 2.0-litre clocks 6.8 sec­onds for the 0-100kmh sprint, thanks in part to the slick shift­ing (with pad­dles) eight­speed auto driv­ing the rear wheels. It has a planted feel on the road with quick steer­ing and a neu­tral at­ti­tude through fast cor­ners. Grip is good and the large brakes have plenty of bite when ar­rest­ing the wieldy 1530kg. It’s a lux­ury fam­ily four­door but it’s not averse to some spir­ited tour­ing. BMW 320i $61,900, MercedesBenz C250 $69,400, Audi A4 2.0 qu­at­tro Sport $69,900, Lexus IS200t F-Sport $65,215 The Ger­mans had bet­ter look out. The XE 25t R-Sport is right on the money: well equipped, safe and hugely ap­peal­ing. Buy­ers should take off the blink­ers and think Jaguar again.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.