Jaguar XE 35t Challenges Mercedes-AMG C43, Loses

Jaguar XE 35t Takes on Mercedes-AMG C43 and Loses 5 photos
Photo: YouTube screenshot
Mercedes and Jaguar have been bitter rivals since forever, at least in the minds of the journalists. However, the Germans have always been killing it in the sales department, and they're taking AMG mainstream with everything from hot hatchbacks to watered down roadsters. At roughly the same time, the XE came out to rival the 3 Series and C-Class.
This week's episode of Motor Trend Head 2 Head features the XE 35t and the Mercedes-AMG C43. And about half of the review is taken up by furious... bickering about the names. You see, the 35t is not a 3.5-liter, and it's not turbocharged. The guys also believe that this isn't a real Mercedes-AMG model, even though it's a blisteringly fast car. Last year, it used to be called the C450 AMG Sport, but for some reason, they changed it.

It's been a long time since two competitors were both made to seem so flawed by the MT presenters. The Merc has understeer and a jerky transmission, plus all that marketing mumbo jumbo. The Jag' has a bad interior quality, cramped rear seats and is heavier despite not having AWD. Neither of them has great engines either. Boy, $70,000 cars aren't what they used to be!

But both of them make up for their flaws in some way. For example, the XE is the most enjoyable small premium sedan you can take on a back road while the C43 has S-Class qualities in a smaller package. So it's the winner of this competition simply because that's what most people look for in a car of this type. If only Jaguar put more redeeming features into its smallest 4-door...

This is an episode we recommend watching. It's got the old C43, which is roughly two decades old and comes with a V8 engine. Also, you might want to check out all the retro airplanes. There are a cool silver Mustang and Curtiss C-46 Commando in the background.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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