Jaguar XE
jag front
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  • P11D Value, £42,835
  • 4-door saloon
  • Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel
  • Power/torque: 180ps/430Nm
  • Economy: 34.6mpg (on test)
  • CO2: 138 g/km
  • Performance: 0-62/mph, 8.4 secs/140mph

What is it?

It’s a Jaguar saloon, the sort of car many SME bosses aspire to even though the market is being flooded by ever increasing numbers of SUVs.

Much praised at launch almost five years ago, the XE has not quite managed to cut the mustard against the German premiums though.

This may be down to the tightening of belts while some of the gloss has come off the JLR success story as sales have dwindled globally, and most notably in China.

Nothing that won’t buff out I’m sure, particularly as the XE has been given a recent refresh to sharpen it up against rivals from BMW, Mercedes and Audi – not to mention Volvo and Alfa Romeo these days.

Price start at £42,895 although the options fitted to our test vehicle:

  • Eiger Grey colour
  • Light Oyster, Ebony Interior
  • Ebony Headlining
  • Gloss Black Veneer
  • Sliding Panoramic Roof
  • Matrix LED headlights with signature DRL
  • Privacy Glass
  • 16-Way heated electric driver memory front seats with 2 way manual headrests
  • Technology Pack – Solar attenuating windscreen
  • ClearSight interior rear view mirror,
  • Touch Pro Duo,
  • Wireless device charging
  • Head-up Display
  • Interactive Driver Display
  • Cold Climate Pack Heated Windscreen
  • Headlight Power Wash
  • Heated Steering Wheel
  • Electric Deployable Tow Bar

All of which bumped the price up to £49,275

Jaguar XEWhy would you want a Jaguar XE?

  • Sharper styling, the latest versions are much better looking than the 2015 original
  • Plush interiors. Should be a given for a Jag, but not always the case
  • Easy to navigate infotainment system
  • Easy to follow engine and trim line-up
  • Great ride and handling
  • Pretty good BiK rates for a car in this class

jag xe interiorWhat might put you off a Jaguar XE?

  • A rather recalcitrant auto gear shift that is easy to knock from drive to neutral
  • Small boot for the size of car
  • Rear seat room
  • No estate version
  • The diesel is not the quietest in what should be a near silent luxury ride

jag xe bootOur Verdict

A classy vehicle in this vehicle class. Although we didn’t put as many miles as we hoped onto the clock, the XE did what most Jaguars, past and present, have done – gave a fine and comfortable ride, town country or motorway.

Exterior looks tend to be a given with Jaguar, although when first launched the XE did give the impression of being a squatter XJ. Not so with the latest version, it’s a looker.

However, inside is where you really want to be, letting those outside admire the view. Seating is undeniable plush and comfortable for those in the front although something more of a squeeze in the rear.

That boot could be larger and easier to access as well. To my eye this has always been a failing with Jaguar models – although not to the extent of some past American barges which managed to marry vast exteriors with tiny interiors.

Instrumentation is nicely laid out with bags of technology. There’s an option of up to four screens inside and you can scroll easily between such things as navigation, phone, media and climate control.

Our car was equipped with a 2-litre, four cylinder diesel – the range only features four cylinder engines, petrol or diesel which are never going to be as silky smooth as the six-pots.

The diesel performs with calm efficiency although it does get a bit intrusive once you start working the engine.

One advantage of the four cylinder engines is competitive tax and BiK rates with a good balance between power output and CO2 emissions.

Along with the 180hp diesel we tried, there’s also a choice of either 247 or 296hp petrols. All of them come with an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddleshifters and a central gear selector.

I found that it was easy to knock the gear selector from drive into neutral even with a fairly light touch – probably just me, I need to keep both hands on the wheel!

The range offers the choice of rear- and all-wheel drive depending on how much you want to spend.

What we did enjoy was the ride and this is where Jaguar scores highly against it rivals. There’s a good balance between ride and handling and the XE remains unflustered and comfortable no matter how you treat it.

The smooth auto box is also a delight which is just as well as there is no longer a manual option. If you want to play around, the paddles behind the steering wheel can provide hours of fun.

Jaguar XE
jag rear


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Chris Wright has been covering the automotive industry nationally and internationally for 30 years. Following spells with consumer titles he became News Editor of Automotive Management (AM), Editor of Automotive International, International Editor for Detroit-based Automotive News, and Editor of Dealer Update. He has also co-authored several FT Management Reports and contributes regularly to Justauto.com

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