Now Jaguar hopes to be the thorn in the side for BMW, Audi and Mercedes, and on first glances, I think they do stand a fair chance. The cabin on the R-Sport model is well equipped and while feeling a little bit smaller than the 3 series, it does give you that sports saloon feeling, especially the way the cabin swoops in around the front.
Now you would be mistaken to think that this is just another Jaguar. The days of Jaguars driven by grey haired men are long gone This platform is what most of the new Jaguar and Land Rover products (size dependent) are going to be based off. From a driving point of view, it makes an excellent choice.
The XE feels light and nimble, even for a 2.0 Diesel, which usually has a heavy lump of metal in front, this kitty really has surprised me with exceptional road holding and being a rear wheel drive, means it turns in, very well.
The 132kw diesel is not only smooth but also very fuel efficient. On our eco drive, we managed 4.6l a 100km and even when things got a little bit more playful it only jumped up to mid 6’s. Something I can’t always say for other diesel vehicles. The gearbox is an 8-speed ZF unit, which means shifting is precise and smooth. There are also different driving modes, from Eco to a more sport/track focused Dynamic setting which in turn sharpens up the throttle and also expresses a little bit more urgency by turning the dials red. Performance figures are also good with a 0-100kph coming up in just over 7 seconds.
The interior of a Jaguar has always been impressive and luxurious. Though this is aimed at being sporty and hopefully capturing the younger buyer but there are some good and not so good points. The new multimedia interface is brilliant and easy to navigate. Satellite navigation is standard and also PDC with rear cameras. The biggest let down was the overall sound audio quality and personally, I thought it needed a bit more to compete with the like of BMW’s Harman Kardon systems. The space up front while being ample, will get a little cramped at the back if you are a tall driver. The boot space while being the smallest in this segment, is still a healthy 450l and will fit a pram without any trouble. The exterior is fitted with the Sports body kit, comprising of the R-Sport bumper, side sills and a boot spoiler. There are also R-Sport badges making their way around the cabin and on the outside. The car is visually just a treat to look at and appearances in this segment matter.
The jaguar has the potential to do very well in this market, especially considering the bespoke sporty styling and let’s face it, everybody loves a Jag, especially in this beautiful red.
The Jaguar XE R-Sport will set you back R677-100 big ones. For more info, check out Jaguar.co.za