Touring UK in a very British motor car
By Cathy Parker
What could be better that cruising some great English highways and byways in such a quintessentially British car as a Jaguar – and so it was recently when were provided with an XE R-Sport for several days driving around London, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk.
Starting the journey in London’s West Kensington on a Friday afternoon heading for Cambridge was a bit of a baptism by fire, but the creature comforts – especially the eight inch touchscreen GPS system and the comfy sports seats, helped make it a more relaxed experience, and the XE was ideally sized for the heavy UK traffic.
The 2-litre diesel engine, with 120kW and 380Nm of torque, backed by a 6-speed automatic and AWD (RWD is also available) gave plenty of performance round town, on the motorway or on the A and B roads, and 3.8 L/100km combined fuel consumption meant it was a fuel sipper rather than a hog.
Ride was pleasant and the handling generally sharp, although mid-corner bumps did seem to fluster it more than expected. The interior was well sound proofed, as you would expect, and a good 80W sound system made driving pleasant. We particularly liked the heads-up display which showed the speed in an easy to see location, and also showed the GPS turn arrows (handy when you are not used to the roads and are focussing more on the traffic than the dash).
It was a sleek and elegant car that got very favourable comments from the several people I visited along the way, and the sporty R-Sport embellishments (sports bumper, painted side sills and a rear spoiler plus the interior sports seats and sports interior) lifted the presentation further.
Fortunately I didn’t need to test the safety equipment which includes autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist, torque vectoring and all the usual airbags .
Overall, an ideal car for tripping round the UK, and one which would be just as at home in New Zealand; interestingly the Jaguar UK website is big on pushing the XE’s business credentials.
The R-Sport 2.0D is available in New Zealand with a base list price of $81,900, although some of the features such as HUD are optional extras here.