We have reached a point where countless automakers are inclined to top off their sedan ranges with upmarket offerings that emulate many characteristics of luxury performance sedans. And although you could argue, based on some of the price points, that these offerings blur the lines between economy and luxury, let’s all be honest with ourselves. There’s no real danger of that happening.
Whether we look at the obvious German contributions of BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi or the Italian sports sedans served up by Maserati and Alfa Romeo, there are a number of clear distinctions. From refinement of design and available technologies to the unparalleled performance, there is no chance of mistaking any of these with accessibly-priced domestic sedans.
And disregarding the strength of each automaker’s brand identity, there is still no mistaking one make for another. With nuanced styling and engineering, inspired (to some degree) by their roots in Deutschland or Italia, each caters to a different breed of driver.
So if we move luxury sedan enthusiasts who favor the ‘raffinesse’ of German engineering to one side of the room, and those enamored with the ‘passione’ of Italian design to the other, who is left? Those select few that are remaining might just belong to a very exclusive group; those individuals who look past the two obvious guard dogs of sedan styling, to find an often-overlooked British automaker. You’ve probably heard of them (wink, wink)…Jaguar?
An Enduring Spirit
With its centennial anniversary upon us in 2022, Jaguar’s corporate structure has taken several different forms during its life-to-date. From its roots as a Blackpool-based manufacturer of motorcycle sidecars, through several acquisitions (including that by the Ford Motor Company) the brand has endured countless struggles and its fair share of success and failure. And while some of the German and Italian automakers have thrived on reputations built on exclusivity, it could be argued that Jaguar has done so based solely on perseverance. Echoing the wartime spirit of its homeland, and the words of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”
This mindset is the foundation on which today’s Jaguar offerings are served.
Today’s Jaguar Sedans
Although first in line, the Jaguar XE remains the proverbial upstart among Jaguar’s current offerings. And despite its inspired design and engaging performance, this compact luxury sedan delivers the signature Jaguar experience albeit at a more accessible price point.
Priced to start around $35,725 MSRP the XE is available in four trim levels (base, Premium, Prestige and R-Sport) and in Rear or All-Wheel Drive. Depending on the trim level selected, you can choose almost a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, a turbodiesel four-cylinder, or a supercharged V6. The latter serves up an impressive 340 horsepower, 332 lb-ft of torque and up to 35 mpg combined (40 highway, 30 city). It’s an all-around performer.
At the heart of the Jaguar line, is the Jaguar XF, a compelling argument against some of the more established German and Italian influences we’d previously mentioned. This midsize luxury sedan is available in the same four trim levels, plus an upscale ’S’ trim.
The XF is priced to start around $47,775 MSRP and offers up two different powertrain options in a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 or the 2.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder, which is new to the 2017 model year. Either way, you can (once again) expect an mpg rating in the mid-to-high 30’s and up to 380 horsepower with well over 300 lb-ft of torque.
For those who prefer a full-size sedan, the Jaguar XJ has you covered with both regular (XJ) and long-wheelbase (XJL) variants. The latter adds an additional 5-inches, allocated solely to the rear cabin, and directly benefiting rear-seated passengers in terms of comfort. With a timeless, classic design, the XJ is available in three trim levels (R-Sport, Supercharged, and XJR) each with their own engine. The (base) R-Sport receives a 3.0-liter V6, rated for 340 horsepower and 332lb-ft of torque. The (mid-level) Supercharged gets a 5.0-liter V8 that delivers 470 hp and 424 lb-ft) and the (high-end) XJL scores and even gutsier V8 pumping out 550 hp and 502 lb-ft). Pricing for the XJ starts at around $74,400 MSRP.
More to Consider
But Jaguar’s signature sedan line isn’t all that’s deserving of attention. For those who favor the versatility of a crossover SUV, the 2018 E-Pace is a compact SUV offering priced as low as $38,600 MSRP. The more luxury-influenced F-Pace starts at around $42,065. Either way, these Jaguar crossovers offer a perfect marriage of driver-centric design with passenger and load-friendly dimensions.
And if an aggressive, sports-inspired ride is more your style, the Jaguar F-Type should serve nicely to quicken your pulse. The option of a 400 Sport Edition trims only serves to enhance this further, with its 400 hp 3.0-liter supercharged V6. Available in either fastback coupe or convertible styling, there may not be a head-on earth that the F-Type couldn’t turn.
But just as Jaguar proves that luxury isn’t limited by size, threatened by versatility, or minimized by performance, it also proves that luxury can be sustainable. Enter the I-Pace concept, an all-electric Jaguar that may set a new benchmark for eco-friendly luxury vehicles. Offering a 220-mile range (on a single 90 minute+ charge) 400 horsepower, 516 lb-ft of torque a 4-second sprint from 0-60 mph, the I-Pace has all the early indicators of a true game-changer.
Jaguar may not be the first name off your tongue in terms of luxury sport sedans, but spend some time getting to know the line, and you might find that it’s no longer among the last. Embodying style, performance and luxury in each and every model offered, you just might find that Jaguar’s ‘Art of Performance’ is undeniable in its enduring appeal.