Jaguar is a brand synonymous with luxury. express’ car reviewer Martin Todd checks out the company’s latest model.
The Jaguar XE 2.0 T R-Sport is the new pin-up child in the resurgent Jaguar range.
Unlike Europe and the UK where these mid-size executive sedans are the bread and butter offerings for sales executives racking up huge miles. New Zealand is a vastly different sales landscape.
So with the ever image-conscious society here, where would this vehicle position itself amongst this highly competitive sector of the mid-size executive sedan? If looks alone are all we care about in life, it may depend on which part we are looking at. So much of the styling echoes the rest of the models on offer, rakish, moody, athletic, edgy, yet fresh. For me the front and front three quarters are just superb and something to behold.
I’m thinking that in the right colours, perhaps black with the black pack option which blacks out the shiny chrome parts it would look just stunning. Ok, once ones hands have been all over the body, does what’s on the inside really count?
Absolutely! Thankfully this platform (read chassis) is brand spanking new, made virtually all from aluminium with only a little steel where required for higher strength. This allows for a lighter, stiffer chassis and the weight to be more appropriately positioned. In human body comparison, think of this as of having what matters in all the right places.
For the XE, this allows the engineers to provide the suspension system that ensures the ride is at the absolute top of the field. Double wishbones in the front for optimal wheel hence body control with the multi-link rear end specific to the XE. In essence, this means that those understanding Jaguars typically smooth ride will feel right at home. Super smooth riding, utterly comfortable and gentle across bumps and road defects.
Thanks to the use of the aluminium chassis the vehicle’s weight is split 50 per cent onto the front wheels and 50 per cent to the rear. This is considered in the industry as the perfect weight balance.
What the driver will notice is a wonderful loading up of the front wheels followed by a smooth weight transfer to the rear wheels. No electronic trickery or band-aids can fix these basic architectural issues with so many vehicles on offer today. This is excellent news to me; I can have the best of both worlds, the combination of a smooth ride and great handling. The Teutonic beasts known as Mercedes Benz and BMW have a disproportion of one or the other, but both lack cohesion to bring both forward to the public. Top marks here Jaguar, as without doubt, this is the new benchmark.
All great news so far, but what about the cockpit? Simplicity is becoming much more the norm, past are the days of scratching your head in front of mission control, cabins are moving toward less buttons and confusion in operation. A large touch screen operates the majority of requirements like AC, navigation, media/music etc, all rather logical and straight-forward to use. This sits centre with the sort of floating wrap around dash that extends right around the front doors. I still love the sexy rising gear selector, with the auto parking brake making life a touch quicker in setting-off and parking-up.
With baby boomers now heading slowly towards their unthinkable rest homes, the target audience are their kids, all grown-up; but not entirely – they are seeking something special, to show off in, feel young-at-heart, but also to reflect their growing maturity in life. I’m sold.
Review: Martin Todd