Photo of 2017 Jaguar XE by Paul Clinton.

Photo of 2017 Jaguar XE by Paul Clinton.

Jaguar has been updating its lineup by revamping established models and adding new vehicles in higher-volume segments to better compete with BMW and Mercedes-Benz. The Tata Motors-owned British brand has also taken a more aggressive approach to fleet sales by bringing back incentives.

When Jaguar's 2017 XE arrives in 2016, it will enter an extremely competitive automotive segment to compete with the C-Class, 3 Series, Lexus IS, and Cadillac ATS.

Aside from its cat-like reflexes, this new Jag is offering something less expected — competitive pricing (starting at $35,895). The XE should land on a few selector lists for executives and sales associates.

We drove the XE in the West Hollywood area for a driving event preceding its North American debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Nov. 18, and we were impressed by the vehicle's sure-footed handling, easy power delivery, and attractive body style that's more reassuring than snazzy.

We drove a Mexican-market XE S with left-hand drive that will be equivalent to the 35t R-Sport model Jaguar will offer in the U.S. Jaguar will offer three XE models, including the 20d, 25t, and 35t with respective engine choices of a 2.0L Intenium diesel (180 hp), turbocharged 2.0L V-6 gasoline engine (240 hp), and a supercharged 3.0L V-6 (340 hp). Trim grades include the XE, XE Premium, XE Prestige, and XE R-Sport.

Jaguar delivers the power via an 8-speed automatic transmission to a standard rear-wheel drivetrain. Optional all-wheel drive will be available on the 20d and 35t. Jaguar uses a torque-vectoring system that comes from the F-Type called Intelligent Driveline Dynamics that collects data from the yaw rate, lateral acceleration and steering wheel angle sensors and estimates friction between the tires and road to determine how much torque to deliver.

The XE uses extensive aluminum alloy as part of its body structure. Without an earlier, non-aluminum model, it's difficult to gauge the impact of this decision, but the vehicle handled very responsively on congested Los Angeles streets and deftly handled an autocross course set up at a surface parking lot.

Photo of 2017 Jaguar XE by Paul Clinton.

Photo of 2017 Jaguar XE by Paul Clinton.

The XE includes plenty of driver-assistance technologies, including a new traction-control system known as All-Surface Progress Control. The system, which can be activated via several buttons behind the shift dial works like a low-speed cruise control. Between 2 mph and 19 mph, the system precisely controls brake and powertrain systems to deliver optimal traction in various road conditions.

An optional laser head-up display shows the driver speed and navigation instructions using amber characters projected onto the windshield.

Safety technologies abound. An available Automatic Emergency Braking system uses sensors to calculate the speed and distance of objects on the road ahead. The system can slow the car or initiate full braking at lower speeds. The new Adaptive Speed Limiter can increase or decrease the vehicle's speed to retain a pre-set following distance. Lane keep assist guides the vehicle back into the lane by applying a small amount of counter-steering.

Two cameras mounted inside the headliner support traffic sign recognition and lane departure warning systems.

Jaguar is introducing its InControl Touch and InControl Touch Pro infotainment systems with the XE. The latter is paired with a 10.2-inch touchscreen. Both support Bluetooth audio streaming. Jaguar will offer an app for the Apple Watch.

Jaguar is also rolling out EliteCare that includes complimentary scheduled maintenance, a limited warranty, 24/7 roadside assistance, and the InControl Remote & Protect connectivity package for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Jaguar will offer EliteCare with all of its 2017 model-year vehicles, including the F-Pace luxury SUV.

Jaguar has aggressively priced the vehicle, which moves to $37,395 for the 20d and $42,695 for the 35t.

About the author
Paul Clinton

Paul Clinton

Former Senior Web Editor

Paul Clinton covered an array of fleet and automotive topics for Automotive Fleet, Government Fleet, Mobile Electronics, Police Magazine, and other Bobit Business Media publications.

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