Starting mid 2015, Mercedes C-Class will have a new strong competitor – the new Jaguar XE. Is the new Jag a real competitor for Mercedes, after Jaguar decided to use a completely new modular platform with a lot of high-tech features?
The new Jaguar XE has a footprint very similar with the C-Class. With 4,672/1,850/1,416 mm (183.94/72.784/55.75 in), new midsize Jag is 14 mm (0.55 in) shorter, 40 mm (1.57 in) wider and 26 mm (1.02 in) lower. Jaguar’s wheelbase measures 2,835 mm (111.6 inch) and is 5 mm (0.2 in) shorter than Mercedes wheelbase.
For the beginning, Jaguar presents the technical data especially for the top version XE S, powered by a V6 supercharged with mechanical compressor. According to these figures, V6 Jag delivers 340 HP at 6,500 revs and a torque of 450 Nm (332 lb ft) at 4,500 revs. Mercedes hasn’t sold yet in Europe the C 400 with the new V6 bi-turbo, but the model is available on the US market with 4Matic only. The 3 litre V6 from C 400 4Matic delivers 329 HP between 5,250 and 6,000 revs and a torque of 354 lb ft between 1,600 and 4,000 revs.
Jag promises an acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 60 mph) in 5.1, respective 4.9 seconds and a fuel consumption of 33.9 mpg (8.3 l/100 km). Mercedes announces a fuel consumption for the US version of 21 mpg in urban and 29 mpg on highway, but we have to calculate that these values are for the 4Matic version of C-Class. There is no acceleration data for C400 4Matic, but, for example, in Europe a SL 400 with the same engine does 0 to 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds.
The real achievement for Jaguar is the low kerbweight of 3,249 lb-ft (1,474 kg) for XE S with V6 meanwhile C 400 4Matic weighs 3,583 lbs. But we know that the 4Matic system adds a weight of 75 kg (165.5 lb) which means that theoretically a C 400 would weigh around 3,417.5 lbs. In the end, Jag is lighter with almost 168.5 lb (76.5 kg) which could be an advantage. Both cars use a high percentage of aluminium. Mercedes declares that the hybrid body of C-Class has 48% aluminium, while Jaguar claims that XE is the only car in the segment to use an aluminium intensive monocoque without mentioning the percentage of aluminium.
Very interesting is also the diesel engines comparison. The first member of Ingenium family made by Jaguar is a 2 litre diesel with 163 HP and a maximum torque of 380 Nm. Mercedes C 220 Bluetec with the 2.1 litre diesel engine delivers 170 HP and 400 Nm. Also the emission level of CO2 is very similar: 99 g/km for Jag and 103 g/km for Mercedes, both values with start/stop system and a 6-speed manual gearbox.
At a first glance, the interior of Mercedes looks more classy and elegant than the Jaguar interior. In fact, the interior of the new C-Class is the most elegant and refined from all midsize premium segment. Especially the central console gives an impression of higher quality with more chrome inserts and more high quality materials. We get the same impression if we look at the air vents. Also, the free standing display in C-Class looks more modern than the in dash display from Jag, which follows the idea of the former generation of BMWs.
In the US, the C 400 4Matic starts at 48,590 USD with a good standard equipment. Jaguar has not announced yet the prices for the USA because the car won’t be available until mid 2015.