Earlier this year, Jaguar gave the XE a facelift. At the same time,
they’ve updated the engine range as well. Only three engines remain. One diesel, producing 180 horsepower, and two
petrol versions. One with 250 horsepower and rear-wheel drive, and there’s a 300 horsepower four-wheel drive version.
No downsizing for Jaguar. If we take a look at the prices however, there’s a €9.300 gap
between the two petrol versions. Almost ten grand for four-wheel drive… and 50 horsepower. Are you a thief of your own wallet when you spend
that money or would it be a mistake to not spend it? When the XE was facelifted, they applied new materials to the interior.
Also, the usability has been improved as well, mostly because of the… new touchscreens on the middle console. Just like in other products by Jaguar
Land Rover, and it works fine. The biggest change in the interior… is the removal of the turning knob which operates the automatic gearbox.
Instead, you now have a regular gear lever. However, you’re able… to meddle with the selected gear if you want. Both cars are powered by a
2.0-litre 4-cylinder, with the differences being the turbo and electronics. Right now, I’m driving the 250 horsepower-version and I’ve got nothing
to complain about the drivetrain. It’s a very pleasant engine… with enough power. The only thing is, and that could be because it’s new,
that it’s not really loose yet. It’s not sparkling, if you know what I mean. I do miss that, but it could also be because of the weight of the car.
I mean, it isn’t the lightest car around. The engine works together nicely with the 8-speed automatic gearbox.
In Comfort-mode, it’s silky smooth whilst it’s very sharp in Sport-mode. However, it sometimes hesitates a little when selecting a gear. Luckily,
you’re able to influence that with the gear lever or with the flappy paddles. The steering in this car is nice and precise. It’s very informative as well,
and thus it goes smooth with the chassis. It’s a very dynamic chassis. However, without it becoming uncomfortable.
Jaguar has done a very good job. There’s lots of grip and the car is very stable on the road.
You really have to try to get the ESP-light to come on. I do have to say that the car isn’t very nimble. If you’re looking for that,
you should take a BMW 3-series or an Alfa Giulia. A drawback of the weight. Right now I’m driving the XE 300, and that means I’ve got an additional
50 horsepower and 35 Nm of torque to play with. However, it’s also 79 kg heavier because of additional drivetrain
technology, and it seems like latter kind of compromises the first. It’s a tad more of a party to drive than the XE 250,
but not by a mile. Don’t get me wrong, you won’t look like a slug in this car.
It’s nice and quick, but I did hope for a little more punch. Sure, if we look at the times, there are a few tenths of difference
between the cars, but it’s not a very big difference. Most of the time, the XE 300 is a rear-wheel drive car.
Only when the electronics think the front-wheels have to kick in, the front wheels kick into action. That goes without notice however.
You can see what’s what on the screen on the middle console. A very neat way. The chassis of this car has more than enough
reserve left to process all of the power. So maybe we have to look at things differently. Maybe the four-wheel drive
isn’t there to keep the additional horsepower at ease, maybe the additional horsepower is there to compensate for the added
weight. Because if I start swiping through the infotainment-system, I encounter Land Rover-systems. Low fricture launch for example,
a system which Land Rover uses for difficult surfaces like snow. If that’s what this car is for, I would understand it better.
However, what would be the added value of that in the Netherlands? When we look at the prices, we can see the rear-wheel drive XE 250
start a little over €57.000. The four-wheel drive XE 300 however… will set you back almost €67.000. Paying almost €10.000 more for
four-wheel drive and a little bit of extra power? In a country like ours? I know what I’d do. I’d keep that €10.000 nicely
buried in my wallet, that’s for sure…