Variant: P300 R-Dynamic HSE
Engine / Transmission: 2.0 litre – 8 Speed automatic
Manufacturer Claimed Fuel Economy: 7.1L/100km combined
Price: From $80,244 plus on roads
The XE currently gracing the EFTM Garage is the range topping R-Dynamic HSE. It looks fantastic – muscular and unique, especially in the red with cream seats and black trim. It’s an expensive car, but it looks expensive.
Jaguar has really pinned ‘tech’ to its chest. The all-electric I-Pace, for example, is not only a technical tour de force, but is also one of my all time favourite EVs. So too, the XE is loaded with more tech than you can poke a stick at.
Twin touch screens control all on board functions, the dash display is customisable, connectivity is complete, the Meridian branded stereo is epic and wireless charging is available (and as useless as ever without wireless CarPlay).
The Jag features advanced active and passive safety features, including high speed autonomous braking, detailed head up display, showing posted speed limit, vehicle speed, overspeed warning, ICE information on occasions and, in dynamic mode, a rev counter.
There are a couple of standout features. Firstly, the automatic high beam system; an eerie blend of near full high beam light intensity all while receiving not a single flash from oncoming drivers.
Secondly, the Clearview Rear View system; using a camera fitted to the bee sting aerial to project an uninterrupted view from the back of the car. It’s a neat party trick and with rear seat passengers on board could provide a real advantage.
Better than any amount of cutting edge technology is the scalpel-like precision of the Jaguar’s steering and the control offered by the rear drive layout of the XE platform. This is a fast car in anyone’s language and this chassis just gets sweeter the harder you push.
The trade off for this handling prowess is a sharp ride. It’s a long way from awful, but others, such a Mercedes’ C Class, find a more successful balance between comfort and handling. Still, if you’re prioritising handling over comfort, you won’t be disappointed.
Not So Impressive:
For me, the thing that is least impressive about the Jag is the very thing that many will love – the tech! I find it overwhelming. I’m just not ready to give up on buttons and knobs yet! To get me across the line manufacturers need to embrace haptic feedback, like that found in high end Audis.
Even then, I just don’t see the point. Furthermore, while the Clearview Rear View system is a tech headline for Jaguar, I found myself turning it off more often than not. It’s a clever idea, but the screen doesn’t seem to ‘refresh’ quick enough.
The edges of fast passing trees or pantec trucks, for example, are blurry. I mean, you can totally make out what is fast disappearing in your rearview mirror, but the artificial nature of the display gives me a headache. Look, I’m sure it’s just me, but make sure you really want this much tech before you sign up for the XE experience.
Ultimately, forget the touchscreens and digital displays and just drive the hell out of the thing – you’ll be much happier. Trust me.
I got the chance to drive this sexy red beast for a bit, and I have to say, I am biased because I have a deep love and passion for the Jaguar brand. So it’s a yes from me.
But I totally see Flipsy’s point about the tech. I too prefer knobs and dials, so the Air conditioning setting screen is a bit of a balance between both and also a touch of overkill.
The mirror I LOVE, but – because it’s so close, your eyes need to focus on it, so if you wear glasses for reading but not driving, I think this could be an issue (With a Mirror your eyes focus past the physical location of the mirror, onto the object).
Overall, I’m glad to see the fully digital dash, that plus a welcome sight of Apple CarPlay is enough to win me over.
WHEN ON A TEST DRIVE:
Check that you are on board with THIS MUCH TECH. For me, it’s just too much.