You emerge from the foliage like a rabid badger, hot on the scent of a hare. Up ahead a break in the trees reveals a sloping hill and you prepare to strike. Every ounce of sinew and muscle flexes and heaves, as you propel yourself forward with more exertion than ever imagined. Your game is in sight, and you are gaining ground. One small hill remains before your quarry can bridge the gap and charge uphill, and at that moment all seems lost. But suddenly the hare stops, and so do you. For an automobile is puttering past, and while you gaze at its glorious green shell, the hare turns to you and says “Oh, I say old chap. Was that a Jag?”
It used to be that this was a common occurrence in the English countryside, where even Mother Nature itself would stop to watch a smoking piece of British engineering blast past on its way to the dealership for some much needed servicing. These were expensive cars, for people with discerning taste and portly pocketbooks, who could afford the staggeringly expensive repair costs that occurred ritualistically ever so often.
Fortunately for us, those days are now long gone. A new, more approachable Jaguar prowls the parking lot threatening the likes of many other automakers by announcing that it would be slicing prices, improving the amount of standard equipment, and issuing free scheduled maintenance in America to improve sales in an already overly-competitive market. With a goal of eliminating the two to three top complaints car buyers have about the brand, the British manufacturer hopes to pull ahead while sedan sales continue to plummet.
But if it does indeed prove to generate a refreshed interest in the feline-badged brand, are there going to be some exciting new models to go along with all those low price tags? There can be a lot of wiggle room within a program like this, and anyone wanting a bargain on a Jag next year might be able to get the deal of a lifetime thanks to a program that company CEO, Joe Eberhardt says makes “all models significantly more affordable.”
For too long has Jaguar been labeled as an overtly expensive, unreliable line of automobiles. The days of finicky fuel injection and ridiculous recalls is long gone, and out of the shadows emerges a new beast, with the refinement of the all-new 2015 XJ and the ferocity of the F-Pace leading the hunt.
But new models alone aren’t going to cut the mustard: A recent buyer surveyor showed that price was still the primary reason people shied away from the luxury automaker. So with the new pricing guide in place, Eberhardt says that “Directionally, we are below all the Germans and we are par or slightly above the Asia or domestic competitors,” courtesy of an average cut of $1,500 to $3,000 on models being achieved by either lowering base prices or increasing the amount of standard amenities.
In an effort to streamline the sales floor while making themselves even more distinguishable, Jaguar will also be offering a trifecta of package levels — Premium, Prestige, and R-Sport — in order to make brand recognition both precise and powerful. This will come in handy when attracting customers to the aforementioned F-Pace midsize crossover next May, and the moderately priced XE compact sedan in April. According to Automotive News, these two vehicles alone will represent 60% of its U.S. sales. Pricing starts at just $35,895 for the most basic XE, and goes all the way up to $75,395 for the full-size XJ sedan we reviewed. Meanwhile, pricing for the F-Pace crossover will have to wait until it gets unveiled later this month at the Frankfurt Auto Show.
Eberhardt stresses that by cutting the base price of the redesigned XF midsize sedan by 9%, or $5,275, it was now priced far lower than any comparable V6 Audi A6, BMW 5-series, Cadillac CTS, or Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Meanwhile standard equipment levels have jumped 10 to 20% on most models, and while prices on the F-Type coupe or convertible may remain the same, both vehicles have around $4,000 to $12,000 of added tech, performance, and opulence added to them.
Meanwhile, the free EliteCare five-year/60,000-mile scheduled maintenance warranty and new pricing is ready to pounce with the 2016 model year. This free scheduled maintenance program will include roadside assistance, along with Jaguar’s new InControl Protect and Remote system, which allows the driver to monitor the car and perform a wide array of functions using a smartphone app. Jaguar has a leg up on the competition here as well, since its complementary service length is both 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than those offered by BMW and Cadillac, and the automaker even allows the warranty to be transferred to a second owner.
The brand also plans on launching a nationwide marketing campaign to promote its pricing and new warranty via a test drive program, in seven major U.S. cities. Eberhardt predicts that this road tour will attract at least 10,000 visitors, all in the hopes of showing America that buying a Jag today might be one of the best decisions someone could make in the luxury car game.
“The Jaguar brand is on the eve of a major transformation that will see it dramatically increase its presence in the United States luxury marketplace with an expanded lineup, pricing focused on the core of the luxury market and an all-new ownership package with best-in-class coverage.”