Facelifted Jaguar XE delivers the Audi, BMW and Mercedes competitor it should have been all along
LET’S not waste time here. The first XE was a bit lame.
Peachy to drive, great shape, but let down by a bang-average interior. Jag wanted a car under 30 grand to take on the 3 series/C-Class/A4 and kept costs down by using hard plastics and very little tech.
That was a mistake.
Simply putting a Jaguar badge on it was never going to be enough to go toe to toe with the Germans.
Even design boss Ian Callum admitted: “We left it a little short. But we’ve gone to town with it now.” He’s right. And they have. This facelifted XE is the car it should have been all along. More luxury. Soft-touch materials and premium veneers.
More tech. Twin central touchscreen and 12.3in digital driver’s display (nicked off the electric I-PACE).
More standard kit. Electric leather seats and rear camera. More storage space.
But also a little more money.
As I said earlier, there is nothing wrong with the way the XE drives, whether you go rear-wheel drive or all-wheel-drive, petrol or diesel. They’re all fast, well-balanced and will eat up the miles.
Special praise too for the chunky paddle shifts and new gearshift selector (nicked off the F-Type).
But it’s worth noting the 180hp 2-litre RWD diesel is the first in the class to be compliant with stringent RDE2 NOx emissions tests due in 2021.
For company car buyers, that means it doesn’t attract a four per cent supplement to the Benefit-in-Kind tax, saving around £40 a month.
So would I buy an XE? Probably not. The 3 Series is still top dog in my book.
And if I wanted something different, something not German, I’d go Volvo S60 for the interior alone.
KEY FACTS: JAGUAR XE
Engine: 2-litre turbo petrol
Power: 250hp, 365Nm
0-62mph: 6.5 secs
Top speed: 155mph
READ MORE FROM ROB GILL’S SUN MOTORS COLUMN
LET’S hear it for the very orange Fiesta ST Ford Performance Edition.
The Sun’s 2018 Car of the Year but now blessed with a coilover suspension pack (16 settings), blue springs and special 18in alloys. And that’s on top of a Quaife limited-slip differential, launch control and drifty Track mode.
You will be a god at Halfords. Out September, priced around £25,000.
Win: £199 Tamiya Ford Mustang
To enter my free draw for this £199 Tamiya radio- control Ford Mustang, follow me on Instagram @robgilluk and tag a friend by midnight on Wednesday. Note. This is a beginner-friendly assembly kit for ages 10+.
Winner chosen at random. Thank you, Tamiya. Another prize next week.
Reader’s car of the week
TODAY’S little stunner was sent in by Mark Mansfield, from Newport, who tells me: “This is my Mazda MX-5, photographed during a recent tour of the Lake District.
“It’s my second MX-5 and it’s a 2-litre Sport Tech Nav model with the electric steel folding roof. Every mile puts a smile on my face.” Good on yer, Mark. Nice car.
- Send me pictures of your own beloved motor, with details, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ASK ALFIE: USED CAR Q&A
SHOULD I go for a Fiesta or a Corsa? They’re both 2016 cars and are up for similar money.
Sobia, Milton Keynes
The Fiesta’s the better car, so unless the Corsa is higher spec or much lower mileage, I’d recommend you go for the Ford.
ARE there any budget used cars which can fit three child seats across one row?
There are a few but three Isofix fittings across one row is a reasonably new thing – meaning that used examples are still steep on the old readies – so the one I’d recommend you seek out is the Mk 1 Peugeot 5008 (2009-2016).
I’ve seen a nice 2012 Honda Civic 1.8 i-VTEC ES up for sale locally. Can you tell me what road tax I’d pay on it?
That car falls under the old VED laws (valid on cars that were registered from March 1, 2001, until March 31, 2017) and with a quoted 143g/km of CO², it falls into Band F – which will cost you 155 nicker a year if you go for it.
What’s a DPF? I keep being told to look out for problems with them on used cars.
It’s a diesel particulate filter, something that is fitted into the exhaust systems of modern turbodiesels to trap soot and help cut tailpipe emissions. They can clog up if the car regularly does short, slow journeys and that leads to very costly repairs. Watch for rough running/idling or a loss of power during acceleration – these are key signs of a blocked DPF.
- Send your questions to email@example.com
What I could have bought this week
2006 Audi A4 2.0 TFSI S line, £2,150, private seller (via autotrader.co.uk): Oh yes. This looks like a shedload of car for the money. A 197bhp Audi A4 in decent nick for about two large. The seller looks honest and lists the condition as good for the age, citing kerbed alloys. A reliable, luxurious barge for peanuts.
2009 Mercedes CLK 280 Avantgarde, £4,500, wesellanyvans.co.uk: Summer’s just around the corner and it might be a scorcher like last year’s bake-a-thon, so why not have a punt on this racy Merc cabriolet? A big, lusty V6 petrol up front plays all the right notes and it’s ridiculously cheap for such a prestige posing pouch.
2013 BMW 320d Luxury, £10,000, essexcarsalesltd. com: This would have been 40 grand and more new. It’s got tan leather. It’ll feel rapid like a BMW should and yet is so easy on the black stuff that its emissions mean you’ll only pay 30 notes a year to tax it. Yeah, the mileage is a bit on the high side, but for a premium all-rounder it’s not a lot of dosh.
MOST READ IN MOTORS
VAUXHALL has registered its first profit in 20 years under the new ownership of France’s PSA Group, also parent of Peugeot and Citroen.
Now PSA is interested in buying Jaguar Land Rover. JLR isn’t for sale (at least officially) but under Indian owner Tata it has fallen on hard times with huge losses and job cuts. PSA boss Carlos Tavares said it would be good to have a luxury maker on its books but insisted there have been no talks. Yet.
BENTLEY is applying the finishing touches to a new Flying Spur that it promises will push the “boundaries of performance, refinement and luxury”. We’re told the model, the four-door equivalent of the Continental GT, will get its own distinctive look. It will also be expensive . . . very expensive.
lIF affordable, speedy city cars are more your bag, we’ve got just the thing. The VW Up GTI had a queue around the block when it landed last year. There’s still a wait, but now you can get hold of a nearly new one for even less. A mini hot hatch with trusty VW engineering can be yours for just £12,490.
THE coming week sees major motor shows in Shanghai and New York so expect loads of new metal in Autocar and Thursday’s Sun. Mercedes has gone early and revealed one of its models set for NY, the AMG CLA 35. It promises a 0-62mph time of 4.9secs, three tenths quicker than the Audi S3 saloon. Over to you, Audi.
By Rachel Burgess, deputy editor at Autocar magazine.
Source: The Sun Motors – Facelifted Jaguar XE delivers the Audi, BMW and Mercedes competitor it should have been all along