Can Jaguar Topple Mercedes In This Head 2 Head?
The Jaguar is easily the best driver’s car, but it’s horsepower deficit is a major weakness compared to its Germanic rivals.
Time for another Motor Trend Head 2 Head featuring our favorite compact sports sedan. The last time Motor Trend rolled out the Jaguar XE 35t, it handily trumped the BMW 3-Series as the best to buy. Now Mercedes has shown up with a new AMG-badged C-Class and the boys at MT decided it was time for another on-road battle. It’s the 2017 Jaguar XE 35t against the Mercedes-AMG C43.
Right off the bat, the boys start going at it about the names. On one hand we have a barely AMG, and on the on the other we have a 3.0-liter supercharged car with a badge that says 35t. We’ll call it a draw. Once they quit complaining about badges and names, we get into the real action. Things start off with a quick autocross jaunt, which ends up not going so well for the Jaguar. With less power and more weight, the Jag was already on the back foot for this test, but Jonny gets in a hurry and mows down enough course cones to build a replica Eiffel tower with. Even if you don’t count the cone penalties, the Jag wasn’t taking this one home.
Then we finally hit the canyon roads of California where the Jaguar can shine. Immediately, the boys are all smiles. The chassis, suspension, handling and overall fun are off the charts. “Best driving car in the class,” are the words from their mouths. It isn’t all sunshine and rainbows though. We all know that the cabin is the weakest point of the Jaguar XE, and when you compare it against the Mercedes, it looks a step behind. The Mercedes gets basically the opposite remarks. It’s a better commuter, and has a nicer interior. It just doesn’t feel very good on the twisty back roads.
This is the toughest comparison yet for the littlest Jaguar sedan, but you have to watch to see who wins. There is a lot of great info and impressions in the video, so sit back and enjoy. Be sure to let us know what you think about the verdict in the forum.