The 2017 Jaguar XE has some heavy burdens to shoulder. As the company’s first entry-level luxury car in a decade, expectations were high. Long delays bringing the car to the U.S. — reportedly, U.S. brass didn’t want to offer it until AWD was available — meant frustration for drivers, and all of us here at Jaguar Peabody.

We’ve been waiting with bated breath, hoping the car wouldn’t be a letdown after the likes of the Jaguar F-TYPE and Jaguar F-PACE. It turns out we need not have worried. Even under all that “weight,” the Jaguar XE manages 0-60 in 5.1 seconds, and is as fun as it is capable on the blacktop.

The 2017 Jaguar XE looks lovely inside and out thanks to an unfussy design that focuses on proportion rather than a profusion of character lines and fussy design elements. It comes in XE, XE Premium, XE Prestige and XE-R Sport trim levels.

Among features that can be mixed and matched: the car has FWD standard, with AWD optional. The same transmission is standard on all trims right now. It’s an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. Engine choices include 240hp turbocharged gas, 180hp turbocharged diesel four-cylinder engines or a 340hp Supercharged V6 gas engine. An updated version of Jaguar InControl is available, and each trim level gets its own set of option packages. A manual transmission is also available.

Car and Driver called the Jaguar XE one of its “25 Cars Worth Waiting For from 2015–2018.” Here’s what they had to say once the wait was over: “Jaguar returns to luxury’s commodity class with a car that’s anything but average.” For their part, Edmunds called it “a well-mannered upstart with a distinctly sporting edge,” and even the notoriously fussy folks at Top Gear found a lot to love, saying, “The whole thing exudes a pleasing sense of mindfulness. We’ll take that over pointless gimmickry.”

In a couple of respects — not least of them a long absence from the entry-level luxury segment and delays in bringing the car to America — the 2017 Jaguar XE seemed to be a bit late. In other ways, especially the attention to detail and a car that hasn’t got an ounce of fat on it, the Jaguar XE is right on time. If a Jaguar car has always seemed tantalizingly out of reach, your Jaguar dealer can finally say with certainty that it isn’t any more.

Now, if you’re wondering, “Where’s a Jaguar dealership near me?” come to Jaguar Peabody at 247 Newbury St. in Peabody, MA, or call (877) 248-0579 to schedule a test drive today.