There are some brands that strike a cord deep within some ones soul and I must admit Jaguar is one of the handfuls of brands that does that for me personally. I recently had the opportunity to sample for a full week the Jaguar XE. It is newest, smallest and least expensive sedan from the British automaker. It s been a while since the X Type Jaguar which had its share of fans and foes who were just plain upset that the AWD small sedan shared underpinnings with an European Ford. it was during this period 2000-2009 Jaguar was in Ford’s brand portfolio.

After being out of the entry-level, luxury-sedan game, the Jaguar XE arrives with the usual suspects in its sights including the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C- Class, Audi A4 and Lexus IS. The new XE Jaguar sports sedan offers a host of premium amenities, advanced safety features and a variety of engines that range from a fuel-efficient diesel to a supercharged V6. The Jag stands out with classic yet contemporary looks, an impressive warranty. The 2017 Jaguar XE is all new. Along with the F-Pace compact SUV, it represents Jaguar’s aim to attract new buyers to the famous British brand via entry-level luxury cars. In this case, the XE hits that mark with a price starting under $36,000.

Not unlike the others in entry-level sports sedan lineup. The Jag XE’s road manners vary depending what’s under the hood and even whether you opt for all-wheel drive (AWD) vs. the standard rear-wheel drive (RWD). My test vehicle had the first ever for U.S. market 2.0-liter diesel engine coupled with an impressive all wheel drive system. It shouldn’t be a surprise the compact XE sedan looks like a smaller iteration of the XF midsize sedan. This is hardly a bad thing. We appreciate the XE’s classic yet beautiful sports-sedan lines: the long hood, downward sloping roof and curtailed tail.

This is perhaps contemporary design at its best. We also applaud Jag for not foisting a gaping grille on the XE. Not seen but also appreciated is Jaguar’s broad use of light-yet-strong aluminum, which makes for a vehicle that’s literally lighter on its feet.

Step into the least expensive Jaguar XE compact sports sedan and standard equipment includes dual-zone climate control, rear-passenger vents, 17-inch alloy wheels and moon roof. The standard infotainment system consists of Jaguar’s In Control 8-inch touch-screen display and 6-speaker, 80-watt audio system with HD Radio, USB inputs and Bluetooth wireless connectivity. Surprisingly, a rearview camera still costs extra. All new XE sedans come with a 5-year/60,000-mile warranty and complimentary maintenance/roadside assistance. My test vehicle came with the 2017 Prestige package. Models equipped with this option get navigation, leather interior with heated front seats and heated steering wheel, keyless entry and power-adjustable steering column

The compact XE sedan looks like a smaller iteration of the second generation XF midsize sedan. This is hardly a bad thing. We appreciate the XE’s classic yet beautiful sports-sedan lines: the long hood, downward sloping roof and curtailed tail. We also applaud Jag for not sporting a gaping grille on the XE. Not seen but also appreciated is Jaguar’s broad use of light-yet-strong aluminum, which makes for a vehicle that’s literally lighter on its feet.

On the road the heavy AWD system coupled with the turbocharged inline-4 diesel feels kind of sluggish at times. Horsepower is rated a 180 horsepower @ 4,000 rpm. Like all modern diesels great torque numbers the XE 2.0d putting out massive 318 lb-ft of torque.

The interior has cockpit like feel with the driver and front seat passenger sitting low in the vehicle. The wraparound style of the dash reminds me of the old Porsche 928 and has an inviting enveloping feel. This small Jaguar sedan uses a good mix of a touch-based screen and traditional buttons for audio and climate controls.

The new XE turned heads wherever it went and was reasonable a priced at around $ 44,000 with some decent options including the excellent Meridian sound system.

The 2017 EX is a great new entrant in the tough entry-level marketplace but one that deserves looking at if you in the market for a cool sexy small sedan.

The Long Drive Rankings

Front Engine-AWD 8 speed automatic

Highlights

Styling

Performance

Fuel economy

Lowlights

Diesel delivers great mileage but feels sluggish at times

Snug interior for some

Rankings 1 Low 10 High

Exterior Styling 8
Interior styling and quality 8

Handling 8

Braking 6
Fuel Economy 9
Stereo System 6

Performance 6
Trunk-Cargo Capacity 8

Navigation 8
Audio System 8

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