Review Jaguar XE 2019May 2, 2019
150 995, 112 484, 106 991 are the figures for European sales of the Mercedes C-Class, Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series last year. The result of the Jaguar XE is 10,877. Amid the big German trio of the English sedan, consider it out of the market. Neither they nor us. And it seems that, despite the restyling, it will only get worse. Why?
Jaguar pathologically no luck with compact sedans. First, under the auspices of Ford, the plain-looking X-Type with the Mondeo filling failed, and now, in the era of the Indian masters of the Tata Group, the handsome XE with the classic rear-wheel drive layout is also in decline. But how ambitious it all began in 2015! Modern aluminum platform, sophisticated sporty design, new Ingenium engines and a new hope for more than one hundred thousand customers a year, which, alas, never came to fruition.
In fact, the XE was in the plus only once, in 2016, when the world circulation of the model was a modest 45 thousand cars. After that, sales fell to the bottom, and much deeper than the segment itself, which is already experiencing hard times due to the invasion of crossovers. In Europe, over the past couple of years, the demand for such sedans has fallen by almost 20%, while in the USA almost all market players are in the red, with the exception of Tesla Model 3.
Needless to say, it is not only market metamorphosis that is to blame for these problems. Suffice it to recall that the debut “modern” XE with a small 8-inch screen of the multimedia system and a meager set of versions, two of which were with the old Ford Motor EcoBoost.
Four-wheel drive and a 10-inch touchscreen appeared only in 2016, and a year later, EcoBoost was finally replaced with its own Ingenium engine, a 240-horsepower diesel engine, virtual dashboard, current active safety systems and the ability to open the trunk with a wave bumper. However, even with this set to the car left a lot of questions.
It is difficult to become a hit and be sold as a BMW 3 Series, when you are inferior in the quality and capacity of the interior, you irritate with the clumsy setting of the automatic transmission and the brooding “multimedia”, you go slower with similar power and you are more expensive. It turned out that gambling controllability is needed only for a handful of fans (unexpectedly, right?), And you cannot go too far on one bright Yaguar exterior.
However, the updated XE has become even more beautiful. The headlights narrowed their eyes gracefully and replaced the xenon lamps with LEDs, the front bumper was grinning with large air intakes, well, and most importantly, it was elegant taillights instead of the old dull and bulky rectangles.
The interior, at first glance, is also prettier. Convenient handrails grew on the doors, which were not enough before, the power window unit moved to its usual place on the door armrest, the new steering wheel was decorated with chic metal gearshift paddles, and the climate button in the expensive trim levels turned into a touchscreen with two large revolving handles as on the Jaguar I-Pace electrocross.
The brand washer of the automatic transmission was changed to an unfixed joystick from the F-Type sports car, Apple CarPlay / Android Auto interfaces, wireless charging and a rear-view mirror, to which you can display an image from a special camera located in the fin on the roof, appeared. But really, hell, the project leaders do not check the result of the work of designers, engineers and suppliers for pre-production samples? Otherwise, I just can not understand how this can be released on the conveyor.
The volume wheel on the left spoke steering wheel backlash, as if the detail in the Chinese copy of Lego, unpretentious handles of “climate” rotate with vague efforts, in the glove compartment there was plastic with a rough burr, and the interior itself still crunches.
Jaguar against the background of German competitors XE risks to make just such an impression, especially if you choose a modest version with a simple analog dashboard and the base unit “climate”.
Surprisingly, instead of correcting all the above, amid falling demand, the concern simply cut the engine range from seven to three in the hope of cutting costs and did not change anything in setting up the remaining power units! But now they are easier to understand. Least impressed with the XE with a 180-hp turbodiesel.
He still has catastrophic delays in gas responses, the bad nature of the eight-stage ZF and modest dynamics. I am even afraid to imagine what the new BMW 3 Series will do with this Jaguar in version 320d with a 190-horsepower twin-turbo engine and a jewelery-tuned box. By the dry digits alone, up to a hundred, the difference is more than a second: 8.1 and 6.8.
Versions with a gasoline two-liter turbomachine with a capacity of 250 or 300 forces are also on their minds, but it is easier to find a common language with them, and they go faster and faster. I ask the engineers why for five years it has not been possible to make friends with the Ingenuim engines with a gun that works perfectly on BMW, but in response only exclamations of surprise.
Best of all, with this box, by the way, the three-liter V6 compressor engine (340 or 380 forces) worked, but now you can forget about it. Apparently, as well as about more charged versions. The unique 600-strong track XE SV Project 8 with a circulation of 300 copies and a price of 174 thousand euros – does not count.
The chassis remained unchanged, and if, after the whole range of conflicting emotions, you somehow miraculously held out until the first turn, then the XE is either yours or, most likely, it will be now. Because I can not remember another car that combines such a lively, playful, transparent and precise handling with a noble smoothness. On the winding road, XE causes euphoria, and in the limit it makes you regret that, unlike the new BMW 3 Series, you still cannot order a differential lock here. But on this occasion, the engineers are also silent.
It turns out that nothing has changed, and, strictly speaking, the XE asset is still only appearance and a balanced chassis. Upgrade exclusively to loyal customers? Or maybe in the Jaguar they want to sell off a small amount and after three years close the project called “XE” or completely reformat it? For example, in the electric car. After all, it is already known that the next generation XJ will be electric. In any case, the compact Jaguar sedan has already lived for a reason. He presented the platform to the successful F-Pace crossover, which, in turn, turned into an electric I-Pace, which had just won the title “European Car of the Year 2019”. And it was precisely on the XE that a cunning rear suspension appeared with an integral lever, thanks to which all the latest Jaguars possess classy handling. The moor has done his work, the moor can leave.
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