Subtle moves from a snarling new Jaguar

Jaguar XE

The car maker’s XE range needed spicing up – the 300 Sport has given it some pep. Sarah Moore reports.

Jaguar has long needed a high-performance halo model to give the XE a push from the top, and to sprinkle some sex appeal across the rest of the range, says Steve Sutcliffe on Evo. That’s where the 300 Sport comes in.

The XE may be outgunned by less powerful rivals, but the 2.0-litre motor is still impressive, says Christofer Lloyd on Car. “It feels strong, offers a broad spread of power and proves particularly refined when cruising while producing a satisfying snarl when worked harder in dynamic mode.” The steering has a “lovely smooth accuracy to it and suffers from seemingly zero kickback, even over the Jaguar XE interiorroughest surfaces; and the way the adaptive suspension breathes so cleanly with the road is also a delightful thing to experience, as is the almost magical absence of tyre and road noise generally,” says Sutcliffe.

But is it quick? asks Ollie Kew in Top Gear. “Not compared to the Germans – they all go from 0-62mph comfortably under five seconds, while the XE 300 Sport needs 5.7. It’s brisk, but doesn’t pin you back in the seat with its fury.” The gearbox, after a slightly vague getaway, where the biting point feels a bit indistinct, goes about its business subtly. “The reactions to tugging the paddles are obedient. It’s very grown up, very sincere.”

The new model boasts unique badging and trim, violent yellow stitching across practically every surface inside, plus more sober grey wheels, says Lloyd. The entire range also now gets the ten-inch Touch Pro media system, along with a higher-quality feel courtesy of new trim. Jaguar has really nailed the refinement of the 300 Sport, says Sutcliffe, “and it feels quietly majestic on the move as a result”.

Price: £45,640; Top speed: 155mph; 0-62mph: 5.7 seconds; Engine: 1,997cc turbo, four cylinder; Torque: 295 lb/ft