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Company Car & Van April 2018

ON TEST: JAGUAR XE More

ON TEST: JAGUAR XE More road reports at www.companycarandvan.co.uk Hey, good-looking! Andrew Walker revels in the stunning lines of the gorgeous Jaguar XE R-Sport 180PS Auto AWD The Jaguar brand means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Growing up in the 1970s it was the weapon of choice for almost all the British crooks portrayed on TV, a car that in reality, when new anyway, was driven by senior management and company directors. Only the used versions were in reach of pub landlords and second-hand garage owners across the land, often in mustard yellow or British racing green. I can remember a school friend’s dad being given a white XJ as his company car in 1981. White with red leather seats. It was gorgeous and six of us travelled up to Wimbledon in it, to watch the tennis there that year. It wasn’t until the late 1990s that Jaguar, then owned by Ford, decided to build a smaller model, one that would appeal to middle-management. Hey presto, in 2001, the X-Type appeared and although it looked like a Jag, was equipped like a Jag, underneath, it was really a Ford and despite the Jaguar looks it didn’t sell particularly well. Fast-forward to 2015 and Jaguar, now owned by Tata, launched the XE, a baby brother for the supremely excellent XF. First of all the good points, for there are lots of them. The XE looks fabulous, even better then the larger XF. Inside, the cabin offers the best of modern design and comes very well equipped. I was lucky enough to be driving the R-Sport model and standard equipment included, cruise control, DAB, emergency brake assist EBA, stability and traction control, rear parking aid and autonomous emergency braking. Best of all, the XE drives superbly. Whatever Jaguar’s engineers have done to the XE’s chassis should be patented. It offers the right balance of road-holding fun with a touch of firmness that is just right, making it a comfortable car to drive either around town or on the motorway. In fact, it’s as much fun and as comfortable as the 3 Series and is an all-round better performer than the over-firm A4, high praise indeed. Powered by the 2 -litre 180PS engine, my test car came with an eight-speed auto gear box which didn’t reduce my enjoyment of the XE in any way. This model feels fast, actually hitting 60 mph in 7.5 seconds and will go onto reach a top speed of 140mph. Business customers will be more interested in its tax implications and these don’t disappoint either, with the combined fuel economy claimed at 60.6 mpg on the combined cycle and emissions of 123g/ km. As usual, we kept an eye on our fuel economy over the seven days we had it and in the 300+ miles we drove in the XE we averaged 41.3mpg, on a mix of urban, extra urban and motorway driving. There are other models in the range that will get you much closer to the claimed combined fuel figure and has lower emissions. Using Jaguar’s advanced Lightweight Aluminium Architecture and hightech Ingenium engines, the XE is the most efficient non-hybrid car in its class with fuel economy of up to 75mpg and CO 2 emissions as low as 99g/km. As well as its businessfriendly emissions the XE also boasts the highest three-year/60,000-mile residual value in the sector, so if your business outright purchases its cars, this is more good news. The entry level XE SE starts at a competitive £28,295 and comes with emissions of 106g/km a combined fuel 12 | April 2018 | Company Car & Van www.companycarandvan.co.uk

economy of 68.9mpg. Inside the cabin, the XE doesn’t disappoint. All fixtures and fittings are high quality and fit together seamlessly. The modern Jag is the equal of the German marques in this respect, but clearly has its own identity, with the cylindrical pop-up auto gear changer and an easier to use and understand dashboard than its German rivals. While the XE may have a great deal going for it, it is most definitely lacking in rear passenger and boot space. Unlike the larger XF, which is excellent in this respect, the XE feels a little cramped in the rear. To be fair, headroom is okay, but if there is a tall driver sitting in front of you and you are a six-footer, there isn’t a lot of room for your legs and compared to the 3 Series, A4 and even the C-Class, it does feel tight in there. Similarly, the boot is narrow from left to right and shallow from back to front with just 455 litres on offer compared to its competitors, which all have at least 480 litres or more. I am being picky, because this lack of rear legroom and smallish boot space, are the only draw backs in what is a really excellent car from Jaguar. In conclusion, the XE is THE best looking car in the class and drives as well as the 3 Series and is better to drive than both the A4 and C-Class. What’s not to like? CC&V What’s not to VERDICT like? Oh, you handsome devil. Just a head-turning beauty that is backed up by superb engineering and driving dynamics. If you want to pick holes, rear room and boot space are limited but when you look and drive this well, who cares about space? Rating: Model tested: Jaguar XE R-Sport 2.0 180PS AWD Auto Prices from £37,085 Combined economy: 60.6mpg CO 2 emissions: From 99g/km Jaguar XE Standard Spec 8-Speed Automatic Transmission Torque Vectoring by Braking (TVBB) Jaguar Drive Control Cruise Control with Automatic Speed Limiter (ASL) Brake Pad Wear Indicator Approach Illumination Dynamic Stability Control & Traction Control Autonomous Emergency Braking Approach illumination Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) Jaguar Tyre Repair System DAB Radio 2-Zone Climate Control. Traffic Sign Recognition & Intelligent Speed Limiter Electric Parking Brake Auto high Beam Assist www.companycarandvan.co.uk Company Car & Van | April 2018 |13

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