When FQ takes the wheel: Review of Jaguar XE 20t R-Sport

Jaguar XE 20t R-Sport

Here’s what happened when Fashion Quarterly editor Sally-Ann Mullin traded in her mom-wagon for some fancy new wheels…

Who’s that girl?
That girl is the Jaguar XE 20t R-Sport.

Very nice, how much?
$87,800 including GST and options.

Looks matter. What first impression does this make?
It’s 2016 and we’re all about the booty, so what strikes me first is the car’s unmissable rear-end. It’s shapely, it’s quintessentially Jag, it’s love at first sight. Alas, the relationship is destined to be hard and fast, so with the objective of being seen behind the wheel as much as possible over the next four days – preferably by ex-boyfriends, high school nemeses, and future husbands – I carefully consider my route to-and-from work as well as the optimal drive time. Oops, did I remember to turn off my old-gen hair straightener that definitely doesn’t have a sleep-mode function? Better drive home immediately and check.

If this car was a person, who would it be?
Poppy Delevingne, the embodiment of British, luxury, class and style.

Jaguar XE 20t R-Sport

Most importantly, how are the cup holders/lipstick mirrors?
The driver and passenger seat mirrors are perfection for that last minute touch-up, and the cup-holders are completely adequate with enough room to hold my water bottle, tall macchiato, and the 17 lip-glosses, lipsticks and lip balms on rotation that week. Let’s be real though – we’re not buying this car for the cup holders.

What can this car do? Any fancy gizmos or tech?
We’ve known each other for less than a day but I feel like this car can read my mind. From the entertainment system that starts automatically as soon as I open the door (and by that I mean, welcomes me and launches straight into my Spotify playlist, resuming play from wherever I last left off) to the parking camera that does all the hard work for me (excuse me while I cancel my recurring shiatsu neck massage), nothing is too much trouble for the Jaguar XE.

Anything you wish it had or could do?
Apart from finding a park outside Ponsonby Central at 7:30pm on a Friday, or regularly attending my Les Mills spin class on my behalf (so I can don the second-skin leather pants and stilettos ensemble this sexy machine deserves, obv), then no. This car completes me.

Jaguar XE 20t R-Sport

Parking difficulty level/how many attempts did it take?
I like to think of parking as one of my special skills so I don’t think the Jaguar XE can take all the credit for the fact that I nailed a right backing, parallel park on Auckland’s High Street in one go, but the car’s parking assistant and backing camera did eliminate all of the guesswork.

Is it one you’d drive for yourself or for the attention of other women or men?
No-one is immune to the Jaguar’s charms, but it’s a particular hit with young men (who give me what can only be described as the ‘hey girl’ look), and really young men, like my three-year old son,  who works the room at kindy talking about Mummy’s new “race car”. Older men are also visibly impressed, but the most impressed is me. Sorry for missing all those green lights, people, but it’s hard to tear your eyes away from your reflection in a shop window when you look so God damn expensive *painted nails emoji*

Things that matter to car geeks:
The Jaguar XE is the most advanced, efficient and refined sports saloon car that Jaguar has ever produced. The 20t R-Sport has an 8-speed automatic transition, 18-inch Star 5 Spoke alloy wheels, electronic power assisted steering, torque vectoring by braking, sports suspension, intelligent start/stop, and Jaguar All Surface Progress Control, Drive Control, and Sequential Shift with Steering Wheel Mounted Paddles. Safety features include lane departure warning and pedestrian contact sensing, and for your comfort there’s dual-zone climate control, JaguarSense overhead lighting, sports seats and an SD card navigation system. Your entertainment needs are catered to with an 8-inch touch screen, Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming, and Jaguar’s 80W, six speaker sound system.

Jaguar XE 20t R-Sport

Best feature
An honourable mention goes to the buttery leather perforated sports seats and the R-sport leather steering wheel. I’m a huge fan of neoprene but not in the car, thanks.

A wardrobe full of Prada, Chanel, Balenciaga, Lanvin, Celine, Stella McCartney, Givenchy, Dior, Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Tom Ford or this car?
This is a troubling question considering my love of fashion. Can I take both? But shucks, seasons come and go – I’ll take the car. Hopefully I’ll have just enough cash left over for a driving moccasin and a pair of leather driving gloves.

Words: Sally-Ann Mullin
Photos: Supplied