Around the entire world within the Jaguar XE
Source : Around the entire world within the Jaguar XE
For our latest UK taste of the fleet-friendly, diesel-powered Jaguar XE, we needed to cover some serious miles
fresh York, Melbourne, Bermuda… there’s nothing like an exotic road trip. along with This particular can be nothing like an exotic road trip, because we’re talking about fresh York in Lincolnshire, Melbourne in Derbyshire along with Bermuda in Warwickshire.
These three internationally renowned place names appear as waypoints on the 330-mile itinerary we’re tracing around the heart of England to see how the box-fresh Jaguar XE – in benefit-in-kind-beating 2.0 diesel form – fares when faced which has a long day within the life of a company car. along with although we’re no Phileas Foggs, photographer Will Williams along with I are hoping to uncover some of the exoticism hidden among these green along with pleasant lands.
8.53am Northampton services, M1
Although neither green nor pleasant, Northampton services at junction 15a of the M1 can be a handy place to meet Williams along with our Polaris White XE. your vehicle can be in Portfolio spec, which can be the plushest of the four trim levels available on cooking types along with, at £35,425, splits the difference between the cheapest XE – the cloth-upholstered, £26,990, 197bhp petrol four-pot SE – along with the range-topping, £44,865 XE S in which packs the 335bhp supercharged V6 through the F-Type.
A stack of extras adds around £10k to our car’s cost – unrepresentative of the norm nevertheless worthy in terms of letting us trial features such as adaptive suspension (£800), head-up display (£1000) along with driving position memory pack with folding door mirrors (£935). Adaptive cruise control (£1500) can be the only omission in which frequent trips like This particular might justify.
After brimming the fuel tank, there’s a moment to appreciate the cabin before we depart. Leather along with soft-touch finishes abound – you have to reach down to the door bins to find anything more brittle – along with there’s a definite feeling of luxury, although the dark tones in our car conspire with the chunky, high-set centre console to make the cabin seem cosy more than airy.
The sweeping top of the dashboard crowns a handsome, interesting environment, though, along with the rotary selector for our car’s eight-speed automatic gearbox complements the design where a manual gearlever might interrupt in which. A poke around the rear cabin reveals enough knee room for one 6ft 2in-tall person to sit behind another, although head along with shoulder room are tight. With my driving position stored (easy) along with the sat-nav, standard across the range, set (equally simple, subject to a little software latency), we’re off.
11.03am Boston, Lincolnshire – 80.1 miles
Unlike many of our waypoints, This particular one did actually give its name to its more famous counterpart. Puritans through This particular Lincolnshire town named Boston, Massachusetts in 1630, 143 years before all in which tea was wasted along with things got awkward with the homeland.
Our route to Boston takes us on a succession of wide, benign A-roads, including the A1139 Frank Perkins Parkway through Peterborough, which, aptly for us, can be named for the local engineer who made waves in industry along with agriculture with his diesel engine designs.
nevertheless in which’s not to reflect on our XE’s powerplant, which, at 178bhp, can be the more powerful of the two all-fresh, home-grown 2.0-litre four-pot turbodiesel Ingenium engines available. (The different produces 161bhp along which has a tax-dodging 99g/km of CO2 in manual form.)
Indeed, while agricultural aspersions are sometimes cast at its classmates, the XE’s engine can be blessedly smooth. in which becomes vocal within the upper reaches nevertheless not coarse. On a steady throttle at 70mph (1500rpm in eighth gear), in which’s silent. Gently flex the right ankle along with nothing more than a deep hum comes back.
The electric steering can be very settled at a cruise, along with the easy-going ride impresses, too. On a smooth surface, the notability of a little wind noise speaks of refinement elsewhere, although the big, optional 19in wheels roar a bit over rougher blacktop as we approach Boston. nevertheless with the mighty ‘Broken Stump’ of St Botolph’s Church towering above its centre, we barely graze the town before the need to make early headway pushes us on.
11.50am fresh York, Lincolnshire – 92.1 miles
The 15-minute amble through Boston to the tiny, crossroad-hugging hamlet of fresh York throws up a pair of apposite opposites within a mile. St Gilbert’s Church at Brothertoft couldn’t look more English or quaint if in which was built on a sound stage at Pinewood.
Then, just over the River Witham, we come across the ‘Witham along with Blues fresh York Bar along with Grill’, guarded by a yellow cab, a police cruiser along with an oversized Uncle Sam. We’d planned to find a ‘fresh York’ road sign to mark our visit, nevertheless This particular place – as native to Lincolnshire as crampons along with carabiners – ticks the box better than we could have hoped for.
Then we take a series of arrow-straight lanes linked by right-angled corners. Raised above horizonless fields of swaying grain, they zig-zag through The Fens. Heavy subsidence makes these among the bumpiest roads I’ve ever driven – not in terms of potholes along with seams, nevertheless lumps along with humps in which befuddle the concept of camber.
To give the XE’s adaptive dampers a workout in which no engineering rig could match, I stick to 60mph where a more natural pace would likely be 40mph, tops. in which’s a proper helter-skelter, nevertheless with on-board processors pulsing away like Alan Turing’s brain, the chassis feels entirely stable along with the helm remains confidence-inspiring. in which such suppleness can be punctuated by pointy, nose-led incisiveness through those corners can be impressive.
We dive into Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre. What a find. Formerly RAF East Kirkby, the site hosted Bomber Command Squadrons 57 along with 630 between 1943 along with 1945, its Avro Lancasters pelting targets through Berlin to Berchtesgaden. at This particular point a museum, in which holds Lancaster NX611, ‘Just Jane’, which operates passenger taxi rides during its continuing restoration.
As wartime music drifts across the sun-drenched airfield along with its pristine outbuildings, there’s an Arcadian charm to the place, nevertheless the memorial chapel soberingly recalls the sacrifice of 848 air crew during the conflict. If you’re tempted to visit, keep the August bank holiday free; a ‘Props along with Pistons’ event promises period aircraft displays along with myriad exotic cars.
2.00pm Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire – 129.1 miles
Gibraltar Point coastal reserve stretches through Skegness to The Wash, nevertheless our hopes of a seaside snap are quashed by a thick band of salt marsh along with dunes, so we turn tail into Skegness. On one of the hottest days of the year, the resort town can be bustling along with traffic forces staccato progress. Trundling about, sharp lateral ridges ring out a bit – the only fly within the ice-cream we discover when in which comes to the XE’s otherwise excellent suspension set-up.
The engine stop-start system could also be better, because in which can restart unexpectedly, sometimes which has a bit of a jolt. Otherwise, your vehicle makes a relaxed companion in town. The gearbox shuffles gently along with the steering can be usefully light at low speed, while the rear-view camera (through £530) along with big door mirrors make up for the rear window’s relative slightness.
5.47pm California, Derbyshire – 232.0 miles
‘Skegness to California’ could be a reality show about thirsty English 20-somethings transplanted to America’s west coast, nevertheless there can be no Butlins-to-Baywatch adventure for us; our California can be a suburb of Derby. The 100-mile stint can be the day’s longest along with lets us stretch the XE’s legs.
in which has been said in which the ZF gearbox can be a mite slow to kick down, nevertheless for the swift yet steady driving style called for by This particular moderately busy route, in which responds quickly enough. Take control via the paddles along with responses are sharp along with the shifts rapid, although the mapping seems harsh during full-throttle upshifts, which jolt a little in a way you’d associate with more powerful drivetrains.
On which note, This particular being the beefier diesel, I’d expected more pace. Our car’s 7.4sec to 60mph can be respectable nevertheless no more, along with there’s little drama to the acceleration. in which picks up well through 2000rpm along with pulls strongly all the way to the 4750rpm limiter, along with there’s scant lag, nevertheless in which’s a different experience through the XE’s boostier Bavarian counterpart. On This particular kind of trip, the Ingenium can be fitter for purpose, nevertheless in which won’t slingshot you between corners if you break away for some back-road fun. You pays your money…
6.49pm Melbourne, Derbyshire – 251.5 miles
The short hop to the pretty market town of Melbourne crosses the incredible 17-arch, 13th-century Swarkestone Bridge over the River Trent. At nearly a mile end to end, in which’s the longest stone bridge in England. Its narrowness requires several three-pointers as I drive back along with forth for photos, manoeuvres made simple by the rotary gear selector.
Whichever Jaguar Land Rover car in which’s in, I still find in which unequalled for convenience. We pause briefly to snap Melbourne Post Office, whose namesake Down Under opened in 1837 to mark the naming of Australia’s second city.
7.58pm Bermuda, Warwickshire – 283.3 miles
The British Bermuda can be a disappointingly drab industrial zone just outside Nuneaton, nevertheless there’s exotica of sorts here as we happen across a modified car meet. Among the vehicles present can be a most unlikely Jaguar X-Type; Jag-mad (or just plain mad) Perry’s car features a hydraulic lift system.
On arrival, he drops the chassis to ensure the rolled-out wheel arches smother the 19in, 255mm-section XF rear wheels he has stuffed into each corner. in which’s barmy, nevertheless entertaining. He loves the XE, too, although we whisk in which away before he tries to fit in which with Range Rover rims.
9.02pm Jaguar HQ, Coventry – 297.4 miles
We couldn’t pass Coventry without stopping at Jaguar’s head office within the suburb of Whitley. Our XE’s powerplant was built at the fresh engine factory near Wolverhampton along with its Centeng was assembled in Solihull, nevertheless the research along with development happened here. Although the sun can be setting on the deserted site’s pyramid-like frontage, the company hopes in which your vehicle we’re driving will herald a fresh dawn of profitability.
10.10pm Northampton services – 326.7 miles
Returning to our starting point on the M1, we enter our 14th hour. Refuelling lets us calculate a 41.1mpg average – close to the trip computer’s 41.5mpg nevertheless somewhat disappointing after 326.7 miles of mixed driving in which has erred more towards gentle than vigorous.
nevertheless despite seating bugbears (Williams feels the headrest pushes his bonce forward along with I find the backrest does the same to my shoulders), we’re both feeling remarkably fresh. The XE’s versatile chassis along with steering, easy-going engine, slick gearbox along with plush, high-tech cabin are manna through heavenfor high-mileage drivers.
So, anyone fancy driving to Moscow, Ayrshire?
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