So, I took the plunge. Bought my first Jag, just to leave my wallet in when I go to the pub, and spec'ed it to be good.
I've always liked a nice loud sound system and my days of putting MDF with massive speakers in my car are long gone, so upgraded sound system... check. Toys.... lots of.... check.... no chrome.... check..... wheels.... four please... check.... 12 weeks later she arrived.
After a few cups of coffee and a tour of the infotainment system, I was off out of the dealership. A quick blip of the accelerator, a lovely exhaust note and then stop. Rush hour traffic. Brilliant. I picked the wrong time to pick it up. Never mind. Music on, turn it up and take in the view from the drivers seat.
After what seemed like, well, not long at all really I was home. My son who helped me pick the car colour and spec greeted me with the biggest smile. Almost a big as mine. When can we go out in it? NOW!!!
Taking it out for the first time on twisty roads it proved to be quiet and sedate, no fuss, easy steering, comfortable seats and a ride that ironed out ever pot hole and bump. Very relaxing and just a fantastic place to be. Turning the 'infotainment' system up with it connected to iTunes sounded crisp and weighty. For a car stereo its as good as sitting at home and loud enough to drown out my warbles I loosely call singing.
Quiet driving over it was time, time to let the cat show her power. So I changed the setup to dynamic, the gearbox to sport and the cabin doors to manual. Foot down and...... it was like something out of star wars, street lights turned into long beams flying past the windows and we entered light speed....
Well, OK, it wasn't the millennium falcon but it was swift. Dropping down the gears aren't the quickest for whatever reason, but changing up every gear hit the power band. Supercharger noise was almost drowned out by the exhaust note. Somehow a quiet relaxing car had suddenly become a Saturn 5 rocket. The exhaust doesn't sound like a Vauxhall Nova with an aftermarket paint tin strapped to it either, the note is obviously tuned for sound and performance.
Handling while in this mode is very positive, you can feel the shocks have stiffened but not to the point your teeth fall out whenever you go over a small stone in the road. Going around a corner you can feel changes being made to the suspension setup, very subtle but noticeable if you know what your looking for.
The steering firms up in dynamic mode as does the engine response. And feels great. The only problem with this is a low speed, the slightest lightest touch of the accelerator pedal and your off immediately, tires trying to get any grip they can until they hook up, next thing you know your half way around the sun and you've forgotten your shades.
With all the drama it gives you, your not in some cut down car that resembles a roller-skate of the 70's, your not exposed to the elements your in a really nice place. And get her onto the motorway and the 'Road Technology pack' really pays for itself. Adaptive cruse safely slows you down in traffic, the HUD means you don't take your eye's off the road and this along with the traffic speed sign indicator all adds up to a safe drive.
So, after trumpeting everything I like about the car, what's wrong with it. Well, as I've said before the downshift could be a little quicker, this could be a software update from Jag or it might need some mechanical tinkering in the transmission department for future designs. The paddle switches seem to feel cheap, as if they've taken them off a washing machine. Its a little niggle but if your promoting quality don't skimp on the small stuff and...... and...... you know I can't think of anything else that needs to be changed
So, the XE platform, you read the spec.... blaa blaa aluminium.... blaa blaa new suspension.... blaa blaa, but altogether it adds up to a fantastic car. Comfortable, quick (when you want it to be), relaxing, filled with technology and nice to look at too. Overall. Win.