Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Jaguar XE

I mentioned earlier that my loaner from the Jaguar dealer was a new XE.  The last loaner was an older S-type, which is pretty much an X-type with rear drive only, a bit quicker than an X-type because of less weight for AWD.

The XE is a slightly shorter and lighter version of the XF.  (More aluminum body panels.)  It looks much like it:

The controls are similar, but less similar than I would expect.  The increasing iconification of displays and controls makes sense in a world without a common language.
I really do not like the new dash display.  In between round speedometer and tachometer dials is something so unclear that I could not at first tell what information it was supposed to be showing me.

One advantage of the XE is that you can press the end of the left stalk to display not only date/time, elapsed miles, average fuel economy, average speed, and remaining miles on this tank, as on the XF, but also instantaneous mpg, which the Corvette had and which I miss.  It is nice to get an idea what a particular speed and gear is actually consuming.

The XF steering wheel controls were obvious at first glace.  The XE, not so much:

The XF uses a rolling wheel for cruise control accelerate/decelerate which always felt like it wasn't very durable, but the X-type uses them and has no problems.  The + and - buttons work the same but don't feel quite as obvious to me.

The Mode button for changing stereo settings does not seem to step through all possible selections, perhaps because this loaner did not have SiriusXM enabled.  I need to read up on the Lim button; it works the same as the ASL button on my XF, which is to say, I do not quite see its function.  It looks like you press it to indicate the highest speed to go to; like the speed alarm on my parent's 1967 Pontiac Ventura which made a sound like a violated duck when you reached the speed to which it was set.  Or is it something that slows you when cruise control is set to 65 and you are going down a long hill?  Or a maximum speed for your teenaged son to drive when you let him take it to the prom?  None of those.   You get a dash message you are going too fast, but I don't see how telling you this helps.  No sounds.  Mystifying.  

The controls for Dynamic Stability Control, EcoStart, AWD mode (the snowflake symbol), and yraction control are no different generally from the XF, but less obviously binary choices.

They really aren't binary on the XF; if you select AWD you don't get Dynamic Stability Mode (which I will explain another day).  This sort of makes sense, once I explain them.

This particular XE was a 2.5L turbocharged 4 cylinder.  I believe the same 2.5L used in some X-types.  Comparing this to my supercharged 3.0L V6, I can't imagine why you would pick this engine.  The low torque of the 2.5L until the turbo starts means a very light push from the light.  At 3000 rpm, the turbo screams, "I'm here, it's time to fly!"  Poof: the engine is zooming and the car flies.  But it doesn't seem even as quick as the supercharged 3.0 in my several hundred pound heavier XF.  And in the 500 miles before I received it, it had averaged 21.5 mpg, much worse than my XF.  Of course a demo car gets driven like a bat out of hell, so perhaps that's why.

While the speedometer goes to 180, there is no V8 offered, although apparently that may happen in the future.

Except that the back seat is even more intended for midgets than the XF, it is quite similar inside.  AWD is apparently offered and was in this one I drove.  Perhaps the lower price is the argument for the XE.  Lower weight would make the supercharged V8 or V6 a bit faster than the XF.  Handling is similar although I think the steering is lighter and less precise than my XF.

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