Jaguar, creator of some of history's most revered race cars, style icons, and symbols of luxury, has bitten the bullet and built not one, but two completely new vehicles for segments in which it's never been competitive -- and in which it never seriously tried, either. Charging head-first into the entry-level luxury market for both sedans and crossovers, the 2017 Jaguar F-PACE crossover -- Jag's first-ever SUV -- and the XE sedan represent an affordable way for buyers to get into Jaguar.
It's an enormous investment for any company to develop one new vehicle... to do two simultaneously, especially for a company of Jaguar's size, is beyond huge. Add to that the critical market space at stake: the brand is now squaring up against the BMW 3-Series, Mercedes C-Class, Audi A3, and Cadillac ATS with the XE, and the Audi Q5, Mercedes GL300, and BMW X3 with the F-PACE. That makes this pair of vehicles the single most important one-two punch Jaguar has launched in at least 20 years, if not since its inception.
I traveled to Aspen, Colorado to see if the XE's emotional side would show while being tested on the sweeping, unfamiliar countryside, and if Jaguar's first-ever SUV was up to snuff.