After much deliberating between the XE and Audi A6, I opted for the Jaguar due to style and compactness. Prior to making my decision, I tested two versions: 25t and 20d. The 25t petrol definitely provided more 'oomph' and less lag, but the diesel seemed like a frugal choice given the high mileage commuting required by my work. Nevertheless the 20d is not a slug and its power feels sufficient.
The styling of the XE instantly captures attention. Since the release of the model in 2015, I have desired one. The only criticism I could give is that there are too many 'Jaguar' logos with the leaper on the body and all around the cabin. The boot lid should be a bit less lanky given that this is a luxury vehicle. Also, the boot space is a limiting factor - do not expect much room. The most pleasant surprise, on the other hand, is the great paint quality.
Moving into the cabin, the XE received criticism regarding the lack of latest tech compared to what was available at the time. Not from me, though - I really enjoy the simplicity and the feel of the materials used, particularly the leather seats. The wrap-around presentation of the cabin is phenomenal and overall feels quite comfortable for a stylish mobile office. The USB port and 12V are, for some reason, located the centre console and thus not easily accessible.
The entertainment unit connects easily and can have two devices connected at time. I found it particularly convenient that the user can, for example, stream music from one device, and use the other one for phone calls. Moreover, once the car comes to a full stop, the unit has a feature available to both read and send SMS.
Having picked diesel due to perceived frugality, my fingers were crossed that it would perform accordingly - and it delivered. Despite not being able to always replicate the claimed 4.2 litres per 100 kilometres (which JLR revised later in 2018), I manage to achieve 5-5.5L/100km regularly. However, it must be noted that I drive almost exclusively in 'Dynamic' mode with the 'Stop/Start' feature off. On a highway, expect the economy to be around 3L/100km.
Reverting back to the driving mode, the only fraction of exhilaration can be achieved in 'Dynamic'. Otherwise, it is just a cruiser. The 8-speed auto is quite smooth, always finds the right gear, and some people would not think it's a diesel from inside the cabin.
At almost 70,000km, the car has been quite reliable. There were some minor software issues rectified during the service. By the way, the service intervals are every 2 years or 34,000km, and the cost is, at worst, $900 - pretty solid for a luxury brand. Note, though, that it drinks a lot of AdBlue, so expect to refill it several times before scheduled service.
Safety features are quite responsive and adequate for a luxury car. Forward Collision Warning and Adaptive Cuise Control would also be appropriate additions; however, JLR made a brand out of their perception of what constitutes an 'option' as opposed to what should be standard fitment.
Luckily, I bought a well-built demo, so the automotive luxuries, such as collapsible back seats were included in the vehicle. Otherwise, I may not have been able to fit anything larger than a medium-sized suitcase in it. Upon learning how fortunate I was, I even wondered about the cup holders.
My sarcasm aside, Jaguar really need to address this practise along with the dispositions of their dealers, particularly because they have a great lineup of cars at the moment, yet are not occupying the share of the market accordingly.
If this were a 25t, it'd make an even more exciting car and I would give it a higher score. Despite that, it fits my circumstances really well, it is an absolute pleasure to drive and I wish to keep it for the years to come.