The Jaguar XE debuted in 2014, eventually making its way to American shores in 2016 amid an honest-to-god push by Jag to compete with cars like the BMW 3 Series. It was supposed to be a huge volume seller. Everyone had such high hopes! That didn’t really work out but I like what Jaguar is considering doing next.
It would be a replacement possibly for both the XE and the XF, as both cars—a small and midsize sedan, respectively—have had about the worst timing possible when it comes to trying to catch the market, as people moved away from sedans in droves and went to SUVs. American sales for Jaguar Land Rover have been no exception, with its Land Rover unit hugely outselling the Jaguar car unit.
Both the XE and the XF kind of just got caught in the crossfire. But instead of giving up on sedans, Jaguar says it might take the opportunity to do something a little off the wall. What I’m talking about is a compact hatchback.
One option is to replace both with a single, eco-focused compact saloon, likely offering both mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains.
The other option, as hinted at by new Jaguar design chief Julian Thomson recently, would be to look at building a smaller car. Possibly about 4.5 metres long, it would be more elegant and styled in a more classical way than Germany’s aggressively machined premium cars.
“I’d love to do some smaller cars,” Thomson told Autocar, “and it feels as though the time is right. Jaguar needs a global product that could appeal to younger buyers, and more females as well.
“Our values are ideal for owners who want more efficient cars but still like design quality, luxury and cars that are nice to drive.
“But it’s a tough sector. You need big numbers, which means big factories and a big organisation to sell them. But that’s definitely where I would like us to be.”
A premium hatchback would put in the BMW 1 Series space, and Autocar says around 800,000 of those are sold in Europe every year—which would be the business case for it, though this blog is unconcerned with Jaguar’s business insofar as it is still able to stay solvent and make cars. This blog is on the other hand always extremely pro compact hatchbacks, especially from automakers like Jaguar who have even tried it before.
Will this car make it to America if Jaguar builds it? I’m going to venture a “no,” just as the 1 Series does not come here. But one can dream.