Jaguar XE S vs BMW M3 – which is best?


For a long time, the BMW M3 has been the go-to choice if you’re in the market for a classy, fast saloon, mostly because it’s as brilliant as a standard BMW 3 Series – and a lot quicker. But there is a British option – it’s called the Jaguar XE S and here are five reasons why you should choose it over the BMW M3.

Price

And where better to start than with price? Because, as lovely as the BMW M3 is, it’ll set you back £58,580 – a hair-raising £10,000 more than you’ll pay for a Jaguar XE S. And, if you want an automatic gearbox (which most M3 customers do) you’ll have to cough up another £2,645 – that isn’t cricket when the Jaguar gets one as standard…

Driveability

Admittedly the BMW’s higher price does buy you extra performance – it produces 431hp and gets from 0-62mph in 4.3 seconds compared to the Jaguar’s 380hp and 5.0 second 0-62mph time. But although it’s quicker, getting the BMW’s extra power onto the road can be a buttock-clenching experience because its twin-turbocharged engine spins up the rear wheels when you least expect it. Throw some rain into the mix and it all becomes a little too hair-raising for comfort. Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise to find the Jaguar is a much more poised affair – its supercharged power delivery building progressively in a way that makes it a much less intimidating car to get the best from.

Ride and comfort

Even if the M3 doesn’t throw you backwards into a hedge, you’ll probably wish it had once you’ve sampled its take on long-distance comfort. Even in the suspension’s softest setting – amusingly called Comfort – the BMW can be a bruising experience as it crashes over surfaces that barely register when you pass over them in the Jaguar. And, if that isn’t enough to dampen your enthusiasm for M Power, then the M3’s noisy cabin might be – you’d choose an hour-long chat with your mother-in-law over a motorway drive in the M3’s droney interior.

Engine noise

If only the BMW could block out some of that noise with tuneful engine note but alas, while purposeful, the current M3 never sounds that appealing. And its exhaust – a riot of noise to those standing outside – never sounds as interesting for the poor sod who’s actually paying to fuel it. No, if you want proper aural pleasure you’ll want the Jaguar XE S – its engine roar transforms into a screaming crescendo as the revs rise and the pops and bangs from the exhaust (clearly audible from inside) will have you giggling like a schoolgirl at the mere sniff of a tunnel.

Looks

The XE S sounds great then, but you’ll have an even bigger smile on your face every time you park up and have one last look at the Jaguar before heading indoors. The standard model is a handsome-looking machine but the S – with its 19-inch alloy wheels (this car has the huge optional 20-inch items) and R Sport body kit – is an XE turned up to 11. The muscular BMW meanwhile, has bulges in all the right places but it’s hard not to think it’s become a victim of its own success – it’s not easy to get excited about a car the streets are literally littered with them.

If this sound reasoning has whetted your appetite for a Jaguar XE S then head to our Jaguar XE deals page where you stand to make a healthy saving on the top-of-the-range S. Or, if none of this has convinced you that the M3’s not the way to go, you can also save a wad of cash buying a BMW M3 on our BMW deals page. Happy shopping.

BMW M3

Powerful engine squeezed into a practical saloon car
8/10
£59,905 - £65,550
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