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Dear all,

This is a translation of a message I posted on a french discussion board after having two test-drives with the XE R-Sport 180PS (first was in Quartzite, second in Bluefire - both on 19 inches rims).

I'm looking to replace a company car which is now too small (a Volvo V40) by something bigger, yet classy. I took a look at Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Volvo and Jaguar. Honestly, I almost signed for a Mercedes C Class (which I liked a lot) a few weeks ago, when I saw the Jaguar XE.

To sum up, I didn't like the Audi's (A4 is too old, A5 is too uncomfortable), and didn't really like the external design of the S60 and V60 from Volvo (and it's worth mentionning that they both have a very small trunk). The Mercedes C Class was really enjoyable, but very expensive. The BMW 4 series Gran Coupe is indeed a nice car to drive, but the interior (without the all-leather options that costs way too much) looks like it's from the early 2000's. Also, the exterior, as much as it's prettier than on the 3 series, still remains a classic BMW without anything really special.

Then I saw the XE. First reaction was "nah, that'll be too expensive". And I was pretty wrong, since the XE would cost me less than the Mercedes I wanted to buy in the first place.

I had the chance to test-drive (two times) the R-Sport 180 version (19 inches alloy rims, sport suspension, panoramic roof, auto gearbox, artificial leather and fabric sports seats, navigation functionnalities, etc) once in Quartzite, once in Bluefire colours.

Good :
+ excellent dynamic drive
+ exclusivity (there aren't a lot of Jaguar's here in Belgium - less than 1% of all cars)
+ secondary screen is nice and clear (less fancy, but also less cheap-looking than on the C Class)
+ Meridian audio system seems nice (however it seems like the medium frequencies aren't as well rendered as the rest of the frequencies)
+ ZF auto gearbox (very nice, I'd say as good as on the BMW)
+ the diesel 180PS engine is actually quite fun the drive and has enough power
+ the sound insulation is rather good (I'd say maybe a bit better than on the C Class, or at least on par)
+ warranty is 3 years (BMW and Merc only offer 2 years warranty here)
+ services are every two years (instead of every year with the Mercedes)
+ seats are pretty confortable (more than on the C Class)
+ the navigation system is rather good for its price
+ the touchscreen is a very nice idea
+ sport suspensions, even on 19" wheels are very confortable, which is excellent. Might be even more confortable with 18" wheels or with the Adpative Dynamics option, but I couldn't try those.

Not good, not bad :
+/- engine sound (not bad for a diesel, but that certainly doesn't sound as good as a petrol engine)
+/- trunk size (not bad neither, but less than in a C Class or in a BMW 4 Gran Coupe)
+/- interior finish and quality (quality seems to be there, but there are a few materials and a few details that are not perfectly finished / fitted and that makes the interior of the XE less attractive than on the C Class - it's much prettier and modern than on the BMW though)

Not as good as the rest :
- wipers and headlamps commands are a bit too far from the hands (this isn't really a problem, but takes a moment to get used to it)
- may I say Jaguar didn't use enough LEDs ? (LED headlamps unavailable, direction indicators in the front and rear lights are bulbs instead of LEDs, etc)
- not-really-nice exhausts tailpipes
- petrol engines available now are old and should definitely be replaced by something more efficient (this is my only real grief I think - I'm used to petrol engines for years now, and I just can't go for a petrol if I'm buying an XE, taxes would be way too high here with those engines)
- no finish on the trunk "roof" part (this is exactly like in the C Class, and I find it quite odd for such "luxury" vehicules)
- the space below the trunk floor is unusable because the car's battery lies there

Issues during the test-drives :
- didn't have the problem during the first test drive, but during the second one I had issues with the audio streaming from a USB stick (music was dropping out for a few seconds every once in a while)
- same problem with the navigation system : only during the second test-drive, the GPS signal was sometimes dropping for a second, then recovered (weather was beautiful, no clouds, no tunnels, ...)
 

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Axel said:
Dear all,

- no finish on the trunk "roof" part (this is exactly like in the C Class, and I find it quite odd for such "luxury" vehicules)
First saw the bare boot roof in the Autogefühl video review of the XE S vs 2.0d Portfolio, and saw it again in one of the first demonstrators I saw. However, in my XE the boot roof aluminium frame is now painted the same colour as the car. Looks a bit better. Seat release handles are still the same though!
 

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Agree on engines although I think diesel is a little behind compared to some others that are about to arrive.

Battery in boot is common although it's normally in beneath boot floor against a wing so it doesn't take up storage space. E36 3 series had first aid kit warning triangle etc stored over the battery.
 
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