2017 Jaguar XE
The last Jaguar compact sports sedan we tested was the X-type. Don’t remember it? Well, that’s probably a good thing, as that Ford Contour based front-driver never made a serious impact here, or anywhere else for that matter. Just too much a parts bin car. Now, Jag is stepping back into that segment, and stepping up, with what may be a much more impactful car. This is the XE.
After first hitting European streets a year ago, the 2017 Jaguar XE sedan now makes its way to America’s potholes, looking to catch a ride on Jaguar’s recent Big Kahuna size wave of sales success.
And, awaiting you inside this compact sport 4-door, is the familiar Jaguar theme of late, along with plenty of the accustomed switchgear.
And that’s great. But, the drab and unappealing space it fits into is not. Much of the dash real estate goes unused. There is nothing for the passenger to look at except lots of pebbled plastic and a big airbag logo.
The XE really needs some extra trim to brighten up the space, and reinforce its upscale kinship to other Jaguars, and frankly, look competitive to other rear-drive European sport-luxury sedans.
Now that that’s out of the way, we’ll get to what we love about the XE; and there’s plenty of it. Starting with what’s under the hood.
Here, its Jaguar’s lovely 3.0-liter supercharged V6; boasting 340-horsepower and 332 lb-ft. of torque. A 2.0-liter diesel is also available. Both are equipped with an 8-speed automatic transmission, and you can get all-wheel-drive with both.
A rear-drive only, gasoline-fed 2.0-liter I4 model is offered as well.
At the track, our rear drive V6 did do some battle with wheel spin at launch, but then got off to a very nice 4.9-second 0-60. Power never deviates, with enough midrange torque for days; or at least for a 13.5–second 1/4-mile at 105 miles-per-hour. Lovely!
Automatic shifts are quick and seamless; all accompanied by a subtle exhaust note reminiscent of, but nowhere near as fierce as, the F-type.
It was easy to keep the speed up through our handling course. If we didn’t already know that steering was electric, we’d have a hard time guessing; very responsive, if down on true road feel.
Dynamic mode tightens and quickens everything up, helping to improve feel; though we found throttle response now touchy, and it was easy to initiate too much oversteer.
A 112-foot average stopping distance from 60, is quite good; as was pedal feel and overall stability.
On public roads, near posted speeds, the XE drives wonderfully. It’s a highly capable back road blaster, with a tremendously smooth and placid nature.
The ZF-sourced 8-speed transmission is well-sorted, and also well-matched to this V6; we only experienced some occasion jerkiness in stop-and-go traffic.
With every setting at its sportiest, the XE does a decent 3-series impression, but it feels more at home kept in softer settings.
Compared to rivals such as the 3-Series, C-Class, A4, and ATS; the XE is far more gorgeous to look at.
The proportions look just right, there are enough creases and angles to keep it interesting, and the coupe-like, thick C-pillar profile is certainly consistent with the segment. So, any compromise to rear visibility is a concession we can live with.
Like most recent Jag’s, there are plenty of stylish details that remind us of the now haloed F-type.
Plenty of tech features are available too, and you can activate the rear camera almost any time; which we feel is a better solution than Cadillac’s rearview mirror cam.
And while some may think we were a bit harsh in our earlier description of the XE’s overall interior environment; we have only praise for Jag’s latest InControl touch system that manages it. It’s logical, and responds quickly to your inputs. A huge step up!
A host of advanced safety systems are available for ’17, including autonomous braking; but our tester wasn’t so-equipped.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for a V6 rear driver are 21-City, 30-Highway, and 24-Combined. Our average was a better than expected 25.8 mile-per Premium gallon. That’s an Energy Impact Score of 13.7-barrels of annual oil consumption with CO2 emissions of 6.1-tons.
XE pricing starts very reasonably at $35,895 for a turbo-4 25t; and the V6 35t is not out of line either, at $42,695; with the diesel falling in between the two.
The 2017 Jaguar XE continues the brand’s streak of all-around performance winners. Plus, on the outside, it’s very easy on the eyes. But, it’s going up against a sea of excellent alternatives with a lackluster interior that is no help. Still, and very much unlike the X-type before it, there’s a lot to like and admire about the XE, and it clearly deserves to be part of any luxo-sport sedan conversation.
- Engine: 3.0 liter
- Horsepower: 340
- Torque: 332 lb-ft.
- 0-60 mph: 4.9 seconds
- 1/4 mile: 13.5 seconds @ 105 mph
- EPA: 21 mpg city / 30 mpg highway
- Energy Impact: 13.7 barrels of oil/yr
- CO2 Emissions: 6.1 tons/yr
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Bringing Supercar Performance To The Street…American Style
What happens when you let enthusiasts and engineers worry less about tradition and allow them to do what they do best? You get cars like this Chevrolet Corvette Z06. What happens when GM let’s us borrow one for a few days? That’s what we’re about to find out!
While the Z06 package first became an option for the Chevrolet Corvette back in 1963, it wasn’t until the C5 that it describe the ultimate track-focused ‘Vette. And while since then every Z06 has gotten more extreme, if we were plotting things out on a graph, this is where the line of performance progression goes from a steady incline to almost vertical. Yes, the latest C8 Z06 is all that.
It starts with a brand new LT6 5.5-liter DOHC V8 that outputs 670-horsepower and delivers 460 lb-ft. of torque. It sounds great too, the very aggressive nature of its flat-plane crank design has it sounding, and feeling like it’s trying to shake its way out of the engine bay unless you unleash some of its furry.
This dual-cammer featured a dry-sump design from the get-go and is more racing engine than souped-up small block, being developed originally for the C8.R race car.
It made short work of Roebling Road Raceway’s long front straight, able to reach 160 by the end of it. With Hellcats no longer rolling off the assembly line, this is easily our new favorite V8.
But, as you can imagine, Chevy has done much more than just plop a bigger motor into its rear-midship engine bay, which was easier to do since they didn’t have to worry about anyone seeing over it. They’ve addressed just about every part of the car to ensure it puts that power to best use for coming out of corners like few other cars on the street.
That includes upgrades for the short/long arm double wishbone suspension setup that can be further enhanced with an available Z07 Performance Package that adds more aggressive tuning for Magnetic Ride Control, and Michelin Sport Cup 2R tires. Which can be mounted on 20 and 21-inch carbon fiber wheels with carbon ceramic brakes nestled behind.
It all translated into more grip than a semi’s worth of industrial strength Velcro through Roebling’s 9-turns.
With Hellcats no longer rolling off the assembly line, this is easily our new favorite V8.
Like most Corvettes, the Z06 can be as wild or mild of an experience as you care to make it but will most likely be the fastest car to show up at most track days. Yet, the same magnetic dampers that void all body roll on the track, provide an almost plush ride quality for the drive home, though not quite as plush as the standard Corvette.
We’re struggling to find something non-fan boy to say; sure the 8-speed dual-clutch gearbox doesn’t deliver shifts with the brutality of some exotics, but really, they’re just as fast, and the shifts are much smoother.
Believe it or not, almost all the body is unique. So, rather than just tacking on some fender flares, Chevy made the entire car wider to cover the 345 rear tires, yet keep the same uniform look in place.
The optional Carbon Fiber Aero Package adds a front splitter, rocker extensions, front dive planes, and a huge rear wing. We’re not sure if the multi-level nature of that rear wing was done for functional or aesthetic reasons, but it doesn’t block your rearview, and that is much appreciated.
We always talk about torque being more important than horsepower when it comes to acceleration, and the Z06 works with almost 200 fewer lb-ft. of torque than horsepower, but you sure wouldn’t know it when you mash the throttle.
Easy to use programmable launch control allows you to dial in your preferred RPM for launching; we found 4,500 was just about perfect for Roebling’s front straight, allowing for just a tiny bit of slip before rocketing us to 60 on a 40 degree day in just 2.6-seconds.
Power continues to pour on hard as the engine quickly hits its 8,600 RPM redline, and gear changes happen often. The sound inside the cabin in intense, and when the ¼-mile came to an end in 10.7-seconds at 130 miles-per-hour, it felt like it was just getting started.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are a low 12-City, 19-Highway, and 14-Combined.
For the Z06 there are 3 LZ pricing points to land on, starting at $114,395; but you can go with the top-of-the-line Z06, add 50-grand worth of options, and still come out half the price of anything you can compare it to.
Call us home teamers all you want, but America’s only exotic does it yet again, not only is it the best Corvette ever, but it is also easily one of the greatest American cars of all time, arriving at a particularly poignant time culturally as we mourn the potential loss of internal combustion engines altogether. So, come for the spectacular engine and stay for the complete performance package, and experience, that is the Chevrolet Corvette Z06.
- Engine: 5.5-liter V8
- Horsepower: 670
- 0-60 mph: 2.6 seconds
- EPA: 12 City | 19 Highway | 14 Combined
- Transmission: 8-speed dual clutch auto
- Torque: 460 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 10.7-seconds at 130 mph