Jaguar XE saloon models Parkers has tested
Jaguar XE 2.0d R-Sport AWD auto (January 2016- )
Tested September 2016
This 2.0-litre diesel offers plenty of power whenever you approach the throttle pedal thanks to 430Nm of torque and 180hp. It certainly feels adequately equipped to tackle the sort of long commutes and motorway cruises a business-class saloon like this is made for.
It comes alive on a winding road, though, thanks to its mostly rear-wheel drive set-up. You’ll only notice power being shuffled around between wheels when you really push it hard or in inclement weather, meaning it still feels predominantly rear-driven and rewarding.
While R-Sport trim is generously equipped, it’s easy to spend a lot on extras, but it’s the adaptive suspension that’s especially desirable, particularly if you have larger alloy wheels specified. It means you can tailor the car’s suspension, steering and engine responses to your preferences.
This version of the XE offers a great balance of economy, performance and sporting charisma, however most people could just opt for a rear-wheel drive XE and invest in a set of winter tyres in icy months.
Jaguar XE 3.0 V6 Supercharged S auto (May 2015-June 2017)
Tested November 2015
The Jaguar XE S isn’t an all-out sports saloon like a BMW M3 or Mercedes-AMG C63, more a faster version of regular models like an Audi S4 or BMW 340i.
This is a demonstration of what’s possible when the engineering minds at Jaguar are given almost carte blanche to raid the firm’s parts bins and come up with a driver’s car. The XE’s lightweight architecture means they’re off to a flying start, but it’s the installation of the sonorous supercharged V6 from the F-Type sports car that really makes things interesting.
Developing 340hp and 450Nm of torque, performance was always going to be strong and that’s reflected in the 5.1-second 0-62mph sprint, but it’s the way its performance is metered out that makes this engine so memorable.
You can adjust the speed the gearbox operates at using the Drive Control system, which allows Sport and Dynamic settings for the steering weighting and the aggression of the throttle mapping. There’s snow mode too, which dulls everything down and makes the XE easier to drive in slippery conditions.
Handling is terrific, with balanced cornering poise and plenty of feedback through the steering wheel – Jaguar should be proud that they’ve managed to create something that more than matches (if not beats) rival chassis from its German rivals.
The cabin isn’t as tech-laden nor as plush as its competitors though, however the driving position is low and immersive, and there’s still plenty of gadgets to keep you entertained.
It’s a fantastic sporty saloon if you can stomach the fuel and tax bills.
Tested October 2015
Tested here in fleet-friendly spec with a 163hp 2.0-litre diesel engine and a manual gearbox, the Jaguar XE is cheap to run and looks great.
Straight off the bat, though, we’d prefer the XE with its 8-speed automatic gearbox as it’s much smoother and better suited to the XE’s nature. Regardless, steering is well-weighted with plenty of feedback and sharp responses.
It also impresses when it comes to comfort, especially on the motorway where virtually no wind or road noise can be heard and the suspension effortlessly soaks up potholes and bumps.
Mid-range R-Sport trim is stylish and well-equipped, but you can add plenty of optional extras if you desire. Be careful, though, the costs can soon rack up.
Inside, the dash looks modern, but quality can’t match its rivals’ interiors and space is cramped in the rear because of that sleek sloping roofline. Boot space is good though, and it’s easy to find a comfortable driving position.
Striking and luxurious, the XE is a serious alternative to German rivals, and this diesel engine competes with the best in terms of running costs too.
Although the XE can't claim class honours for interior quality, practicality or even driving enjoyment it is however an excellent all-rounder that in the well-equipped R-Sport trim fully justifies its high rating.
Jaguar XE model history
- October 2014 – New compact executive saloon with rear-wheel drive available to order with first deliveries in June 2015. Launch specifications are SE, Prestige, Portfolio, R-Sport and S, with a choice of petrol (2.0-litre 200hp and 240hp, as well as a 3.0-litre supercharged 340hp unit for the S) and diesel (2.0-litre 163hp and 180hp) engines.
- November 2015 – All-wheel drive available in conjunction with the 180hp 2.0-litre diesel engines. Further enhancements include the optional InControl Touch Pro multimedia system with a 10.2-inch touchscreen.
- February 2017 – Revisions include the introduction of new 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engines with 200hp (rear-wheel drive only) and 250hp (rear- and all-wheel drive), as well as a 240hp twin-turbo variant of the existing 2.0-litre diesel, only available with all-wheel drive. Power for the 3.0-litre V6 in the XE S increases to 380hp. Other modifications include a Gesture Boot Lid that is opened by waving your foot under the rear bumper, a 12.3-inch TFT virtual instrument cluster and an improved autonomous emergency braking system. An upgrade to the multimedia system enables cashless payment for fuel at Shell filling stations.
Buying a new Jaguar XE saloon
- Portfolio appeals more to traditional Jag buyers
- R-Sport 20d automatic is our pick of the range
- Diesels offer best power and economy balance
Most desirable – and the most popular - Jaguar XE is the R-Sport fitted with the 20d 180hp diesel, although we’d specify the more refined automatic transmission and stick to rear-wheel drive.
It comes with plenty of kit including driver aids and safety systems as standard, delivers low running costs and looks the part. It is the version that will attract a lot of company car drivers looking for a model that delivers badge prestige and affordable ownership costs.
The entry level SE is best avoided as it comes with cloth seats rather than the more desirable leather interior, while the top end 3.0-litre V6 XE S has driving enthusiasts in its crosshairs.
Getting a discount on the XE shouldn’t be too tricky now that the launch brouhaha has subsided, but you may find that it’s easier to chip money off service packages and extra-cost options.
Buying a used Jaguar XE
- Consider petrol for best value
- V6 cars scarce on used market
- Carry out a Car History Check
Jaguar XEs are trickling onto the used car scene, but those on franchised forecourts are commanding stronger money, particularly diesels in higher trims.
If you’re looking for a comparative bargain then consider a petrol-engined model, although we’d still advise against the less-fancied entry-level SE versions.
The V6-engined XE S will be the least common on the used car market but retains its value well due to being held in high regard as a fine driver’s car.
Don’t be put off by high mileage examples, particularly if they’re ex-company cars, as servicing and maintenance will have been carried out to high standards. A wedge of paperwork documenting the XE’s provenance is more important.
Allay your fears further with a Parkers Car History Check to discover any secrets such as outstanding finance.
Selling your Jaguar XE
The XE is shaping up to be a very popular car with strong sales, so selling any version of Jaguar’s new saloon shouldn’t prove a problem.
The entry-level SE trim fitted with the lower powered petrol engine will prove the least attractive buy, while diesel powered versions will be appealing to those looking to minimise running costs.
As ever, a full service history with a stamped service book and a good clean honest car will quickly find buyers.
Valet the car thoroughly before you advertise the car and sort out any bodywork or wheel damage to prevent those factors becoming a source of bargaining for potential buyers.
Finally, spend time and effort composing a well-crafted advertisement and compliment it with an appealing folio of images.