Peter Hitchener road tests and reviews the 2015 Jaguar XE S.
I need to say at the outset that the newly arrived Jaguar XE S won me over in the first 100 metres. Stylish, lithe, fast and fun. Those five words just about say it all.
But I have a review to write, so here goes…
Despite falling in love at first drive, this will be as unbiased as possible. I’m not trying to sell you anything, I’m just here to share my opinions.
There’s been so much publicity about Jaguar’s foray into the hard fought premium sports sedan segment of the market, I had no idea what to expect. Mercedes Benz C-Class, 3 Series BMWs and Audi A4 all jealously guard their turf, so to survive in this league, any newcomer will need to be good.
Time will tell, but my time with the top of the range 2015 Jaguar XE S convinced me that this car is well and truly up to the task.
The model I drove will cost you a bit over $100k, and comes equipped with that lovely 3 litre V6 power plant, the same engine that graces the mid-range 2015 Jaguar F-TYPE.
Clearly different cars with different setups and different goals, but at a pinch, you could call the XE S an F-TYPE with four doors and a boot. And about $50k cheaper than the gorgeous F-TYPE!
The XE S is no ugly duckling by the way. In fact it’s downright good looking. To me, its handsome face is purposeful, aggressive almost, and is unmistakably a Jaguar, albeit it a slightly smaller cat than we’re used to. Take a look at the profile, nicely offset by the stylish 19” alloys.
The cabin is a work of art, minimalist yet functional and well thought out. There is the usual array of safety features. It took only a moment or two to work my way through the information/entertainment programs.
The touchscreen works a treat, however I found the central display between the tachometer and speedo a bit cluttered and fussy. The steering wheel itself is decorated with the familiar Leaper motif, and another familiar touch is the rotary gear selection knob in the centre console, as found in other members of the cat family.
How does it drive? Well it was lithe, lively, and beautifully responsive no matter how I pushed it. The car feels light - probably because of the extensive use of aluminium - yet taut and supremely poised.
The acceleration in the everyday default setting is spirited, and for the daily commute, more than enough. Switch to sports mode, and there’s a snarl from the power plant, the ride firms, your pulse quickens and the fun steps up a notch or three.
It’s quite happy attracting looks around town, and takes the drudgery out of a bumper to bumper commute; on open roads or through the bends, the 2015 Jaguar XE S excels.
And it sounds pretty good too!
It’s a car with character, energy and style. Beautifully engineered with excellent build quality. How it fares in the market place, facing such stiff competition, will be keenly watched.
The 2015 Jaguar XE S rewards the driver with compelling performance, reassuring grip and seemingly effortless acceleration, and the good thing is you don’t need to be a race driver for this baby cat to put a smile on your face!
NUTS and BOLTS – 2015 Jaguar XE S
Engine: 3.0 litre supercharged V6 producing 250kW and 450Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic (only)
Safety: Not tested
Warranty: Three years
Origin: United Kingdom
Price: from $104,200