Of all the cars we’ve road tested (and it’s a lot!), I can honestly say, there aren’t many we feel sad about giving back…
But every so often, a car comes along that wows us, and we want to hang on to it! The 2016 Jaguar XE Portfolio 25t is one of those cars. A keeper.
I must also preface this review to say the Jaguar brand has a history in my family. It still strikes a chord with me as a brand of class and sophistication.
So for the XE, I had some high expectations; this car represents the first family sedan of the new Jaguar. The Jaguar that has returned the brand to its former glory, with a suite of models covering all bases.
The model we drove, the Portfolio, is its luxury flagship in the XE mid-sized sports saloon range. It features Windsor leather, a stitched leather dashboard and Herringbone perforated leather seats.
Put simply, the interior, the infotainment system (probably the best we’ve seen due to its incredible simplicity), the dash controls … All the way down to the dial driven gearbox (no gearshift here, everything is controlled from a simple, easy to use dial), looks and feels good.
Everything you’d expect to be there is there. Dual zone climate control, temperature controlled seats, a comfortable leather steering wheel and hand brake, good interior space with plenty of storage and plug-in power options – it’s all exceptional, and more significantly, there are customisation options on pretty much everything.
But it’s on the road where the XE comes into its own, with a 177kW 2-litre four-cylinder turbo engine and
eight speed automatic gearbox delivering 340Nm of torque to the rear wheels. On the surface it makes for a very nice, cruising ride that feels nothing short of comfort plus.
Add in a host of dynamic electronic driving options, full sports mode, paddle shift and some big 18-inch wheels and low profile tyres (or even better the optional 19-inch wheels) and trust us when we say, if you let the cat off its leash, it roars.
Zero to 100 in 6.8 seconds, a top speed of 250km/h, and the ride and handling is exceptional, especially when you throw it around.
It’s packed with safety features including speed limited cruise control, hill start assist, Jaguar’s unique drive control that feeds the right power at the right time, brake wear monitoring torque vectoring which is controlled by braking, speed controlled power steering and ASPC (all surface progress control) – think of it as low speed cruise control and traction control meshed together.
There’s a lot to love about the XE Portfolio. But there are some flaws. The back seat is narrow (not dissimilar to its Euro rivals). You certainly wouldn’t get three adults in the back comfortably.
Based on inclusions, it’s also pricier than its rivals, with all three of its big European opponents (the Mercedes Benz C250, the BMW 330i and the Audi A4 TFSI Quattro) coming in under the $70K mark, with the BMW and Audi delivering more power along the way.
With a 63-litre fuel tank and a combined fuel economy of 7.5l/100km (10.2 in city driving) it could be perceived as being on the thirsty side too. And some of the interior positioning is a little awkward (the armrests aren’t overly comfortable or practical).
The Jaguar XE Portfolio 25t comes in a whopping 17 exterior colours including Ultimate Black, the test car colour – think very glittery metallic black with blue fleck through the metallic. It also comes with a choice of six veneers wherever you can see paneling, and four interior leather colour choices – the Siena Tan was quite confronting when you first get in, but it grew on us.
It hits the road at a surprising $70,400 plus on-roads (thought it would be more, didn’t you?), and comes with a three year, unlimited kilometre warranty, as well as a host of fixed price servicing options should you wish to add those to your Jaguar purchase.
Our test vehicle was provided by Jaguar Australia. To find out more about the 2016 Jaguar XE Portfolio 25t, contact your local Jaguar dealer. 2016 Jaguar XE Portfolio 25t photographed by Neoklis Bloukos, Photo Automobili.