After months of preparation and private customer viewings, the 2016 Jaguar XE is finally launched here after its global reveal back in Q3 2014. Priced slightly on the higher side of this segment from RM340k, the Jaguar XE pits directly against the Audi A4 (new B9 model to arrive here very soon), BMW 3-Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
The XE weighs from as little as 1,530 kg, making it Jaguar’s lightest, stiffest and slipperiest saloon to date. Its proportions give it a sporty outlook, while measuring at 4,672mm long, 1,415mm tall and 1,850mm wide. Comparatively, the XE is only longer than the 3-Series, followed by the C-Class and segment-longest Audi A4 B9. Its width however, leads this segment with Audi trailing behind by a scant 10mm at 1,840mm. Good numbers to boot, then.
|Name||Jaguar XE Prestige 200||Jaguar XE R-Sport 240||Jaguar XE S|
|Engine||1,999cc; turbocharged inline-4, DOHC||2,995cc; supercharged V6, DOHC|
|Transmission||8-speed ZF automatic|
|Max Power||197 hp @ 5,500 rpm||237 hp @ 5,500 rpm||335 hp @ 6,500 rpm|
|Max Torque||280 Nm @ 1,750 – 4,000 rpm||340 Nm @ 1,750 – 4,000 rpm||450 Nm @ 4,500 rpm|
|0 to 100 km/h; Top Speed||7.7 seconds; 237 km/h||6.8 seconds; 250 km/h||5.1 seconds; 250 km/h|
|Price (before taxes and insurance)||RM340,000||RM365,000||RM580,000|
Positioned as the entry-level model to the Jaguar brand, the XE certainly has big shoes to fill and a tall ladder to climb. With that, three variants have been introduced to our market – XE Prestige (200 PS), XE R-Sport (240 PS) and XE S (340 PS); each progressively more powerful than the other. Now, let’s see what they have to offer.
Visually, from the front, the XE strikes an imposing stance thanks to the large black grille, auto-levelling bi-xenon headlights with boomerang-style LED daytime running lights (the XE S gets a more advanced adaptive headlights) and a well-sculpted lower lip. Round the side, wheel sizes start from 17-inch for the base (Prestige) variant, while the R-Sport and S variants get sportier 18-inch wheels. Of course, there are plenty of design and wheel sizes for you to choose from, seeing as how the XE is labeled as the most customisable Jaguar to date.
Basic convenience features on the outside include keyless entry with Approach Illumination (LEDs around the outside of the car light up when you approach), electrically operated and folding side mirrors as well as a powered boot. Yes, it’s just as easy as pressing on a latch under the trunk lid. The rear end is finished off with a pair of LED tail lights with LED strips inspired by the F-Type.
As alluring as the exterior may be, stepping inside the cabin gave us quite a fair share of mixed impressions. The materials used in this cabin don’t feel cheap, but the manner in which it’s executed, design wise, isn’t as awe-inspiring as it could have been especially when compared to the usual German suspects. To each their own, right?
The fully-imported XE’s interior can be had in various trims and colour options. You can have your XE Prestige upholstered in black or “Latte” leather; R-Sport in black leather with three different coloured stitching while the S variant come with a red and black combination hide. Both front seats are electrically powered as well, and it’s standard across the range.
Up front, there’s an integrated 8-inch touchscreen display built into the centre dash which supports Bluetooth streaming, iPod and USB playback, Bluetooth handsfree connectivity and an SD card slot for navigation. Below it are the switches for the dual-zone climate control and push-start button which pulsates at 70 beats per minute – the resting heartbeat of a Jaguar. Look further down and you’ll find the rotating gearknob which rises up when the engine comes to life.
Overhead, you get – in Jaguar’s terms – Morzine Headliner with a large panoramic sunroof. There are no air-conditioning vents built into the B-pillars, so rear passengers can only get their share of cold air through the dual air vents built into the centre armrest. And because the roofline starts sloping downwards from the B-pillars, rear passengers as tall as 6-feet and above will have to practice contortion due to the lack of headroom space. Hey, it’s not so bad if you’ve got a 380-Watt Meridian Audio System, right? That’s if you get the range topper. The Prestige and R-Sport settles for an 80-Watt in-house sound system.
For the Malaysian market, two engines have been commissioned for duty, and they are the Ford-sourced turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine and a hotter, supercharged 3.0-litre V6. Powering the Prestige and R-Sport is the smaller engine, which makes 197 hp/280 Nm and 237 hp/340 Nm respectively. The top-of-the-line XE S gets the supercharged engine which makes a cool 335 hp and 450 Nm of torque!
Both engines are paired up to an eight-speed ZF automatic torque converter driving the rear wheels. This marriage helps the Prestige accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.7 seconds, the R-Sport in 6.8 seconds and the S in a mighty quick 5.1 seconds. The Prestige tops out at 237 km/h whereas the R-Sport and S have both their top speed electronically limited to 250 km/h.
Through JaguarDrive Control, drivers get to choose between four driving modes – Normal, Eco, Dynamic and Winter. Each setting alters throttle mapping and steering input, and how it works is pretty self explanatory, except Winter. When selected, the system will dampen acceleration and applies a more gradual traction on slippery surfaces.
The Jaguar XE packs quite a list here in this department, offering power operated child locks, front and rear parking sensors, reverse camera, Dynamic Stability Control and Traction Control, six airbags, Emergency Brake Assist and the All Surface Progress Control (ASPC). The ASPC is an intelligent system which electronically maximises low-speed traction during sticky situations, sending just the right amount of power to the rear wheels to get the car moving. Fret not, it’s not a feature you necessarily need in a tropical country, but handy to have nonetheless.
It should be known that the prices listed here (RM340k for the Prestige, RM365k for the R-Sport and RM589k for the S) don’t include insurance, road tax or even registration. In celebrating its arrival, Jaguar Land Rover Malaysia is offering an exclusive accessories package worth RM10,000 for each purchase of the new XE, regardless of variant, and for a limited time only. The accessories include illuminated sill tread plates, anodised aluminium red paddle shifters (our favourite), unique gear selector with dark leather top and rubber bezel as well as four unique metal tyre valve caps.
There is a total of nine exterior colours to choose from and plenty more intricate customisations that will be tailored to suit your style. Every Jaguar XE comes with a 5-year or 150,000km warranty package with 3-year Roadside Assist. Owners of the Prestige and R-Sport can also enjoy a 5-year or 80,000km Free Scheduled Maintenance while the 3.0-litre XE S gets a 5-year or 65,000km package, whichever occurs first.