With great fanfare and media attention, Jaguar has released official images, specs and pricing of its new XE. This is a huge deal, because the XE is a car set to compete against the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4.
There’s one caveat to the above statement, though: So far specs and pricing are specific to the European market.
The info is enough to infer that the new “baby Jag” will be nothing like its predecessor, the X-Type. It’ll be lighter, faster, more fuel efficient and, to some people, better looking.
That, however, is debatable, and I wonder if the price of entry will send shoppers right back into the arms of the Germans.
The new XE model is the cheapest Jaguar vehicle at about $44,000 when will hit the market next year – and is the first model to use JLR’s new aluminum rear-wheel-drive architecture. The new lightweight architecture is expected to increase the sporty performance of the little sedan – as the automaker seeks to revive the sporty image of its heyday in the 1960s.
One of the goals of the XE is to bring younger people into the brand, including more females. The problem, at least with the price quoted above, is that younger people don’t want to spend $44,000 on a small sedan.
Another problem, in my humble opinion, is the car’s design. There’s a certain Volvo-esque look to the car that doesn’t make it look very distinguished. When people see a Jaguar on the road, there should be no question that it’s a Jaguar. The X-Type, at the very least, had that going for it, and I don’t think the XE has that same ability to be instantly recognized.
Even with the performance chops to scoot from 0-60 in 4.9 seconds, I’m not sure buyers will give the XE a chance, especially considering a used BMW could be had for significantly less money and would come with instant brand panache.
We will wait for more detailed info on what the U.S. XE might entail, but for now I’m thinking my money would be better spent on a quality used Bimmer.
What looks better to you at this point: a new Jaguar XE or a used BMW 3 Series?