The Nissan Cube era of my life has finally reached its conclusion. I have leapt back into British(-ish) vehicle ownership.
It’s a 2017 Jaguar XE R-Sport. RWD, with the supercharged 3.0 V6. And of course, in British Racing Green. It’s got black leather interior and pretty much all the optional equipment, including the 20" rims.
As for initial driving impressions... it’s a good car. Totally civil when you’re just tottering along. But put it in Dynamic mode, step on the gas, and you can feel all 340 horses. Turn off traction control, and you can definitely have some fun kicking out the rear end. Since it’s been more than 12 years since I’ve owned an automatic vehicle (and that one was a 2003 model year Land Rover), the ZF 8-speed really surprised me. Buttery smooth shifts on its own, while using the flappy paddles is surprisingly gratifying.
The exhaust note is a little subdued, but you definitely get a bit of the Jag V6 growl. The Meridian sound system is fantastic, and the infotainment unit is actually workable. I don’t have much experience with them, so I can’t exactly compare it to others out there. But it’s been responsive and intuitive to me.
So, here’s the interesting thing. It makes nearly as much power as my Corvette. While signing the paperwork at the dealer, I started to worry that the C5 would begin to feel unnecessary to me, and that it would just sit under its cover, hardly used. But having spent a little more than 24 hours with the XE, I don’t think it will be a problem. If you drive both cars with gusto, the Corvette requires a little more attention to keep it going in the right direction, while the Jag will maintain a level of composure through the whole thing. Beyond that, the Corvette is a much more visceral experience. The engine noise, wind noise, the feeling like you’re 3 inches off the ground. I accidentally did 90+ mph today in there Jaguar, and it felt more or less the same as 55mph.
So in other words, I’m satisfied with my current fleet of two RWD, sporty cars. But the next problem, what to do for my custom license plates? I mean, “JAAAAAG” is already taken.