The mid size luxury sedan market in Australia is growing every month with many choices spread out over wide range of prices there is a car available to suit every bodies tastes.
Most people look to Germany when looking for a car of this type but the Jaguar XE gives you another alternative and says that if you are after luxury mid size sports sedan then you should forget about the Germans and look to the British instead.
To say the Jaguar XE looks good is an understatement the XE looks great from any angle, the aggressive front end styling with its wide mouth gloss black with satin chrome surround grille. A sloping coupe like styling complete with satin chrome side vents, aggressive rear end styling complete with rear rear spoiler and twin exhausts all combine to make the XE one of the best looking cars around.
Not just in my opinion either I lost count of the comments on how good the car looked during the week I had it.
Stepping inside and its an assault on all your senses the 10 way power adjustable front seats are trimed in Taurus grain leather with suede cloth are only comfortable but extremely supportive something important in a car that excels at going around corners, the soft grain leather sports steering wheel was not only the perfect thickness for me but one of the nicest feeling wheels I’ve had the pleasure of holding.
The elegant looking instrument panel is well lit, well set out and easy to read in any light the front seats trimmed in Taurus leather and suedecloth are not only comfortable but are very supportive.
The sculptured leather trimmed dash doesn’t only look good but adds to the embience and gives the cabin that luxurious feel that you would expect from a Jaguar.
The centre stack is home to 8in touch screen for the InControl multimedia system which comes with full Bluetooth connectivity, CD player, Aux and USB input, sat Nav which works extremely good and the amazing 11 speaker Meridian audio and to say the sound was good would be an understatement.
While the all is well in the front seat things aren’t as rosey in the back seat while the back seat is well shaped and comfortable the sloping roof Line means head room is at a premium I’m 176cm tall and my head was closer to the roof then I would have liked so anybody taller would have issues.
Legroom is not much better and again taller people might find it restrictive my eldest daughter is nearly alas tall as me and she complained about the legroom.
We also found while you can fit 3 people in the back its not particularly comfortable for them I had 3 teenagers in three and they said it was a tad squishy.
One of the things my wife pointed out was that the seat base seems to be raised up a little bit so perhaps if it was a touch lower it would improve the head room.
The lack of head room also meant that I had issues getting I and out of the backseat.
Under the bonnet the XE S is powered by a supercharged V6 engine and to say this is one of the best engines I’ve sampled for a long time would be a huge understatement.
With 250kW and 450Nm available the XE S is more then up for anything you throw at it, whether its tooling around the suburbs, commuting in peak hour traffic or enjoying your favourite bit of open road the supercharged V6 just laps it up and asks for more.
The best thing about it is being supercharged there is no turbo lag to worry about put your foot down the XE S gets down to business from the get go, all you get is that intoxicating exhaust note, the whine of the supercharger the rush of acceleration and moments of sheer bliss until you reach the speed limit and have to lift off. I don’t emphasize moments because the XE S can go from zero to no licence in a matter of seconds.
Point the XE towards some open road and you are treated to one of the best open road cruising cars I’ve driven and will effortlessly cruise on the speed limit using bugger all revs to do it.
While I didn’t really test the fuel economy properly the XE S comes with an intelligent start/stop system which does help keep fuel costs under control specially in heavy traffic.
On the road and the XE S handles superbly the ride is a smooth as you would expect from a Jaguar and despite it’s sporting bias handled the bumps and imperfections that are a common thing on Sydney’s roads without transmitting any harshness into the cabin and the XE was one of the best cars I’d driven in the wet thanks to its All Surface Progress Control.
The XE S also comes with Jaguar’s JaguarDrive Control which allows you choose between Normal, Eco, Dynamic or Rain Ice Snow modes, which changes the steering and throttle mapping and allows you choose the mode depending on your mode.
Eco mode as it suggests helps maximise fuel economy, while Rain Ice Snow mode dampens acceleration and applies more gradual traction for slippery conditions. Dynamic mode is where things really exciting the instrument panel lights change to an ominous red glow and the throttle response and steering weight is increased.
Point it at some corners and that’s where the XE really comes to life the electric power steering is the best I’ve tried it is sharp and perfectly weighed which ensures it goes where you point it each and every time.
The car rides unbelievably flat in corners and the grip is amazing for car of its nature, the only way you could ever really find it’s true limits would be to put it on a race track.
Safety wise as you would expect the XE has achieved a 5 star ANCAP safety rating and comes with a massive amount of safety features as standard fit including Airbags – driver and front passenger with seat occupant detector for passenger, Full length side window curtain airbags, Front side airbags.
Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Adaptive Dynamics, Cruise Control and Speed Limiter, Hill Launch Assist, JaguarDrive Control, Brake pad wear indicator, Electric Parking Brake (EPB), Torque Vectoring by Braking (TVbB), All Surface Progress Control (ASPC), Lane Departure Warning, Emergency Brake Assist, Dynamic Stability Control & Traction Control.
The XE S not only scores full points but bonus points as well thanks to the Front and Rear Parking Aid, 360° Parking Aid, Park Assist, Rear View Camera, Pedestrian Contact Sensing.
So after spending a week with the Jaguar XE S I couldn’t come away more impressed its a superb mix of sporting dynamics, safety, luxury and comfort oh and in my opinion one of best looking prestige cars on the market.
It does have some draw backs such as the rear seat room is limited specially for tall people and some of the accessories can be quite expensive but if you can resist the long list of add ons there shouldn’t be an issue.
So while the mid size luxury market has been dominated by German made cars over the years the British are coming and one drive in the XE and you will know why the Germans should be looking over their shoulders.
If your after a mid size luxury car the XE S should definately be at the top of your list of cars to test drive to find out more details on the XE S check Jaguars website http://www.jaguar.com.au and definately get down to your Jaguar dealer and check one out in the flesh.
2016 Jaguar XE S
Price: from $104,200
Price as Tested: $106,630
Options fitted: Sliding Panoramic Roof $1800, Advanced Parking Assist Pack (360 Park Distance Control Perpendicular Parking System) $1580, Powered Tailgate/Bootlid Opening- $850.
Engine: 3.0L V6 Supercharged 250kW, 450Nm
8-speed electronic auto transmission with Sequential Shift, Sports suspension, Adaptive Dynamics, Cruise Control with Automatic Speed Limiter (ASL), Intelligent Stop/Start, Torque Vectoring by Braking, ‘S’ Bodykit (‘S’ Front Bumper, ‘S’ body coloured and Gloss Black Side Sills, ‘S’ Gloss Black rear valance and Bootlid Spoiler), Radiator Grille (Gloss Black with Satin Chrome surround and ‘S’, badge, Gloss Black Side Window, Surround Satin Chrome Side Power Vents, 19″ Venom 5 Twin Spoke Silver/Diamond Turned alloy wheels, Red Brake Calipers, Bi-function HID Xenon headlamps, Auto dimming rear view mirror, Rain sensing windscreen wipers and automatic headlamps, Taurus grain leather faced Sports seats with Suede cloth inserts and contrast stitch, Sports seats with 10×10 way electric adjustment
Metal sill finishers with Jaguar ‘S’ branding, Bright stainless steel pedal covers, Jet headlining, ‘S’ Branded Soft grain leather Sports Steering Wheel, Ambient Interior Lighting (Phosphor Blue Meshed Aluminium finisher with Gloss Black centre console), Jaguar Voice.