10 Jaguar XER b

It costs: $76,992.

It has: A 177-kilowatt turbocharged two-litre with an eight-speed auto.

We got: 11 litres per 100 km in the city, 7 in the country. The official combined figure is 7.5.

Consensus: Great car, good value.


He says:
10 Jaguar XER aYou won’t find it in the official statistics but there’s a growing buyer demographic well-known to luxury car salespeople; the folk who want something other than a Mercedes, a BMW or an Audi. If you’re one of these we have the car for you; an XE Jaguar. Jaguars are no longer a reliability lottery, the company finally learned about quality control under Ford’s decade of ownership and maintains the discipline. It’s now owned by India’s biggest car maker, Ratan Tata, but still manufactures in England.

The XE is a terrific thing. The size of a 3-series BMW it has similarly limited, but acceptable, rear seat room and a good boot, but the overriding point is how low it is. You must duck your head getting in and your bum is very close to the road. But the low centre of gravity gives it handling that is truly delightful; direct, immediate, supple and athletic with prodigious grip. So the excellent ride quality is a surprise and makes this is a great touring car.

The turbocharged two-litre feels like a six and has the heft of one. Overtaking is fast and efficient, acceleration is hard and there’s always something in reserve. The fuel economy is, therefore, another delightful surprise.

One gripe: It has the most embarrassing space saver spare wheel I’ve ever seen.

Rod’s verdict:
A rewarding drive and first class value.

She says:
There’s a touchy-feely thing going on in here that’s weird. The ‘start’ button pulses like a heartbeat and there’s a low hum – maybe it’s supposed to be purring. Hit ‘start’ and the big rotary gear selector rises grandly from the console like Excalibur from the lake. It’s all a bit OTT but get past it and this is a nice place. The seats are comfy and supportive, remaining so for hours on end. The fit and finish is excellent and the surfaces are complementary and highly tactile. The steering wheel feels exactly right and the steering is beautifully weighted.

10 Jaguar XER cThe generous centre touch screen gives easy control and very clear navigation, and the audio is among the best in class. I didn’t like the rotary selector for the automatic gearbox; one should be able to swap between reverse and drive without looking but I kept going the wrong way. I guess I’d get used to it. And do watch your head when getting in, especially in the rear. Those rear seats fold down in a 60/40 split for long loads.

There’s no shortage of equipment in here making this a good value package against the German rivals, and there is always lots of power on tap. Most of all it feels beautifully solid to drive, always very reassuring.

Sheryl’s verdict:
A powerful argument for looking beyond a BMW.

Published April 2016


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