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Mercedes E-Class vs Jaguar XF: Which is the better executive saloon car?

March 23, 2022 by

If you spend a lot of time slogging up and down the motorway, you may be considering buying an executive saloon car. So, let’s focus on two in particular — would you rather have the Mercedes E-Class and the Jaguar XF?

It can be a tough choice to make. Both these cars are comfortable and classy commuters, however, they both have their pros and cons. Keep reading for all you need to know about these models.

Mercedes E-Class Jaguar XF
Engines Petrol:
2.0-litre: 197hp
3.0-litre: 367hp
3.0-litre: 435hpDiesel:
2.0-litre: 200hp
2.0-litre: 265hp
3.0-litre: 330hpHybrid:
2.0-litre plug-in: 306hp
2.0-litre plug-in: 320hp
2.0-litre: 250hp
2.0-litre: 300hpDiesel:
2.0-litre: 204hp
Gearboxes Nine-speed automatic Eight-speed automatic
Boot space 540-litres 540-litres
Dimensions Length: 4,841mm
Width: 1,860mm
Height: 1,420mm
Length: 4,954mm
Width: 2,091mm
Height: 1,457mm
Euro NCAP rating Five stars Five stars
Trims and equipment highlights Sport: 10.25-inch touchscreen and driver display, cruise control,
heated seats, leather upholstery, keyless entry and startAMG Line: 19-imch alloy wheels, leather dashboard, wood trim,
reversing camera with automatic parking, LED front and rear lightsAMG Line Edition: 19-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, metal
sports pedals

AMG Line Night Edition: 20-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass,
360-degree parking camera, wireless phone charging

AMG: sports bumpers, diamond grille inserts, red seat belts,
Nappa leather upholstery

R-Dynamic S: 18-inch alloy wheels, heated power-folded door mirrors,
11.4-inch infotainment screen, cruise control, lane-keeping assistR-Dynamic SE: 19-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, electric leather
sports seats, digital drivers displayR-Dynamic Black: Gloss black trim, glass sunroof, automatic wipers,
heated windscreen, LED headlights

R-Dynamic HSE: 20-inch alloy wheels, premium sound system,
3D surround-view camera, electric leather memory seats.

Drive and performance

Neither of these cars will disappoint out on the road. They are both comfortable and refined, however, the Jaguar XF proves more fun to drive. It’s just that bit more engaging, though this comes at the price of comfort and the Mercedes E-Class is quieter in the cabin.

The Mercedes has a wider range of engines as well. You can have a plug-in hybrid if you want to get company car tax down and there are the AMG models if it’s performance you’re after.

The Jaguar is only available with either a 2.0-litre petrol or a 2.0-litre diesel engine. Both are refined and punchy, however, the petrol is quite thirsty.

Overall, the Mercedes is the best all-rounder. It’s the more comfortable car of the two, however, if it’s fun you’re after then definitely take a look at the Jaguar.

Style and size

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but the Jaguar definitely stands out on the road. It’s the more aggressive-looking car here thanks to the large air intakes and angular lights.

The Mercedes E-Class is the more subtle of the pair, and that may suit you. You can upgrade it with aggressive bumpers on the AMG version if you want to stand out more, and the badge snobs out there won’t be able to resist having a three-pointed star on the nose.

The Jaguar is slightly wider and longer than the Mercedes E-Class, however, this doesn’t make much difference in terms of manoeuvrability. Both cars get decent parking assistance systems and offer good visibility for navigating tighter streets.

Interior and tech

When it comes to interior design, Mercedes leads the way in this segment. The E-Class looks like the larger Mercedes S-Class has shrunk in the wash. You get two huge screens behind a swish looking panel as standard and all the materials look and feel upmarket.

You can choose between open-pore wood, piano black and carbon fibre trim to liven things up, and the standard tech on board is generous too. All cars get blind-spot monitoring, heated leather seats, dual-zone climate control and keyless entry.

The Jaguar isn’t exactly spartan inside though, and it’s been lifted by a recent update. Quality is good overall, despite a few scratchy plastics, and the technology onboard is good too. Some of the switchgear is a bit fiddly, but on the whole, it’s a well thought out cabin.

Standard equipment includes an 11.4-inch infotainment system, cruise control and lane-keeping assist. Overall, it’s not as well equipped as the Mercedes, or quite as well built.

Boot space and practicality

In terms of size, there’s not much in it between these cars. The Jaguar is slightly wider and longer, however, the boot capacities for these cars are exactly the same at 540-litres.

The Mercedes’ boot may be the same size, however the shape of the opening makes it more awkward to load

It’s a similar story in the back seats. Both the Mercedes and the Jaguar will seat four adults comfortably, although the Mercedes is slightly better for carrying a fifth passenger in the middle seat.

Cubby spaces are plentiful in the Mercedes. There’s a large centre console, large cupholders and decent-sized door bins. The Jaguar isn’t lacking in this department either, and both cars offer great practicality for day to day life. Overall, while there isn’t much in it between these cars, the Mercedes is marginally more practical thanks to a slightly roomier third row.

Safety and reliability

Both the Jaguar XF and the Mercedes E-Class scored the maximum five stars in their latest Euro NCAP crash tests, so you can rest assured on the safety front.

As for reliability, the latest Mercedes E-Class hasn’t been on sale that long, so there are no horror stories to report. All Mercedes models come with a three-year warranty from new for added peace of mind.

It’s a similar story for the Jaguar XF. Since it was updated in 2020 there haven’t really been any reported common faults and, like the Mercedes, it comes with a three-year warranty too.

Price and running costs

The Mercedes E-Class starts from £41,650. However, you can save an average of £2,111 off one through carwow*.

The Jaguar XF is considerably cheaper than this, with a starting price of £33,975. Plus, there’s an average discount through carwow of £378*.

Both of these cars fall into similar insurance groups, falling between 26 and 40, so they’ll cost around the same to cover. As for fuel economy, the Mercedes offers a more efficient range of engines, as well as a plug-in hybrid, so it’ll be lighter on the wallet in this respect.

Which is better? The Mercedes E-Class or the Jaguar XF

Both of these cars are excellent long-distance cruisers and you wouldn’t be disappointed with either of them. That said, the Mercedes E-Class is slightly more refined overall and it’s got the best cabin.

The Jaguar XF however is more fun to drive, and it’s considerably cheaper to buy in the first place. It still has a very nice cabin, despite a few fiddly buttons and some cheaper plastics, and you wouldn’t call it uncomfortable either.

If you’ve got the additional budget, the Mercedes E-Class is the better car of the two. However, if saving money is key, then the Jaguar XF is still a great choice.

*Prices correct at the time of writing

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