We recently discussed how the Jaguar XE is a very serious contender to the BMW 3 Series. In a recent Motor Trend review, the XE actually took victory over the 335i, as it was deemed more entertaining to drive. It was a big shock, as the 3 Series has always been the pinnacle of sports sedan performance, so the XE’s victory is impressive. However, a new review of the XE has come out by CarScoops, and it sheds some light on some of the Jaguar XE’s negatives.
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In the video, the reviewer clearly states, first and foremost, that the Jaguar XE is excellent to drive. It has really nice handling and a fantastic ride, even on rough British roads. The interior is also quite nice as well, and comes very well equipped. Jaguar has even put much thought into its new infotainment system, which seems to work far better than the old unit. But where the Jag XE starts to fall down is in the ergonomics and practicality departments, two places the Germans always get right.
At first, the reviewer complains about an air vent next to the steering wheel which blows too much air onto your hand while driving. This is an extremely minor quibble, one that can be solved by either turning the vent off or just adjusting it to a different direction. Though, it is an ergonomic mistake that BMW or Mercedes would have never made. Then comes the rear seat, which is on the smallish side. It isn’t as laughably bad as the rear seat in a Cadillac ATS or Lexus IS, but it isn’t as good as an Audi A4’s or BMW 3 Series’. Also, the rear door openings aren’t very large, meaning ingress could become difficult, especially when putting a child in a car seat. The trunk isn’t very large either.
These might sound like minor complaints, especially when talking about a car that has a supercharged V6 under the hood and looks as good as the XE does. But these are fundamental things that sports sedans need to get right. After All, it’s your average family man or woman that will be buying these cars. A single person who wants a sports car could just go buy a coupe, but these are sports sedans, so they’re meant to be practical as well. That’s the whole appeal, to be sports car when you want it to be and family car too.
So while Motor Trend might declare the XE the superior car to the 3 Series, dynamically, the 3er seems to be the more practical. And ultimately, that balance between sports car and family sedan is the most important part of a sports sedan. So which would you have, the more practical but also incredibly enjoyable sports sedan, or the ultra exciting but practically flawed sports sedan?