Jaguar XE 20d R-Sport Aut. (2015)

With its classy design, the Jaguar XE sedan is a serious alternative to the cars of the upper German middle class. The new Baby-Jag offers dynamic driving characteristics at a fair price.

More than a decade after the X-Type model, the English brand is now launching a Baby Jag again. But it has nothing to do with the vehicle of yore, which was based on a Ford Mondeo. The “small” - 4.69 meter long - Jaguar is back and puts the typical British characteristics of the brand in the foreground. So this sedan is now back to rear-wheel drive and clearly shows the will to be dynamic. As with Porsche, the technology takes precedence over the perceived quality and equipment. The result, however, is impressive: this discreetly classy vehicle shows excellent road handling on winding roads. The chassis, which is almost neutral in all conditions, allows a very natural driving experience,

The wildcat makes a comeback

In addition, the Jaguar XE has a steering system that communicates with the driver and a braking system that does justice to a really sporty vehicle. The adaptive chassis does its part and guarantees a good dose of driving comfort on the motorway. Admittedly, these capabilities could certainly be savored better with a more powerful petrol engine than with the tested diesel version, which falls somewhat behind due to its considerable weight (1.7 tons). However, this is compensated for by the powerful torque of the 180 hp motor, which ensures a lot of momentum. All of this is enhanced by an efficient, eight-speed automatic transmission that allows it to travel at 1500 rpm on the highway. This also explains the economical consumption in this test (6.6 l / 100 km), who, however, exposes the factory data as illusory. In addition, the diesel could run a little smoother. The start-stop system is also a bit bumpy.

potential for improvement

A jaguar is also characterized by its interior atmosphere. But here you miss a bit of class - apart from the elegant leather seats and the inlays in piano lacquer and aluminum. Points cannot be scored here compared to the Audi A4 series or the BMW 3 series. If you put the modest price of CHF 47,300 in relation to the unparalleled dynamic driving qualities, the customer gets their money's worth. In addition, the large touchscreen is supplied as standard. In addition, the correct equipment can be expanded with a wide range of options at relatively affordable prices. If you want a premium limousine equipped according to your status, you have to invest another CHF 10,000.

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Still: The XE is a perfect touring sedan. In the front area, the comfortable sports seats invite you to cover many kilometers, especially since the noise level is low. However, the space available on the back seat is mediocre. The recessed backrests of the front seats, however, allow adequate legroom, and the spacious seats promise a comfortable journey - at least for people who are not too tall. Because of the medium-high roofline and the third seat raised by the transmission tunnel, there is not much space left.

The same applies to the trunk, the capacity of which is 450 liters. The elegant vehicle certainly lives up to the demands of its time.

The assistance systems, such as the display at eye level (HUD), the adaptive cruise control, and the intelligent headlights, work quite well. This does not apply to the navigation system, which is disturbed by interruptions. But that didn't hurt our appreciation of the very British style of the XE.

Text: Marc-Olivier Herren