Jaguar XE Review & Prices
The Jaguar XE is a sporty saloon car that’s fun to drive and comes with a premium interior but its back seats are very cramped and alternatives come with a much broader choice of engines
What's not so good
Find out more about the Jaguar XE
And while BMWs and Audis are known for sitting a foot off your rear bumper to intimidate you out of the way, the Jag will make you move over simply because it looks so angry, with frowny lights and a gaping grille.
Climb inside, and you’ll spot plenty of tweaks which set this revised car apart from earlier models. These include a new gear lever which replaces the old car’s rotary dial, lots of softer trims and a revamped infotainment system, called Pivi Pro.
There’s also a high-resolution digital driver’s display and a touch-screen with cool built-in rotary dials for the climate control. It all looks very slick but isn’t quite as intuitive to use (or come with as many features) as the iDrive system in a BMW 3 Series.
The Jaguar XE doesn’t feel quite as spacious inside as the BMW, either. Sure, there’s loads of space in the front and you get a decent amount of seat adjustment as standard, but climb into the back and you’ll struggle for head and knee room if you’re anything close to six-foot tall. Carrying three adults abreast is a definite no-no.
You’ll want to consider the Jaguar XE if you fancy a premium saloon that’s fun to drive, easy to live with and has looks that’ll get it noticed among a sea of German alternatives
At least the boot’s pretty roomy, and its wide opening makes it relatively easy to load some suitcases or a set of golf clubs. It’s a real pain that you can’t fold the back seats down to carry very long or bulky loads. Looks like the Jaguar XE has been saved from tip-duty, then.
If you plan to use your Jaguar XE for pottering around town, the petrol will be the engine to go for – it’s smoother and quieter than the 204hp diesel. Still, don’t completely write off the diesel – the addition of mild-hybrid technology has both increased its power output and made it more efficient than ever with an official average economy of 58.5mpg and CO2 emissions of 127g/km.
The Jaguar XE is pretty quiet at speed, but you’ll hear a bit more wind and tyre noise than in the likes of the super-relaxing BMW 3 Series. It’s very nearly as comfortable as the BMW though, and the standard eight-speed gearbox is smooth at low speed and responds pretty quickly to the paddles on the steering wheel.
You’ll probably find yourself using these quite a lot on quiet country roads because the Jaguar XE feels much more sporty to drive than the staid and sensible Mercedes C-Class or Audi A4. It’ll put just as big a grin on your face as the nimble BMW 3 Series and Alfa Romeo Giulia too and comes with a few driver assistance systems to make the drive home a doddle when you’ve finished having fun.
The Jaguar XE has a RRP range of £33,230 to £43,500. The price of a used Jaguar XE on Carwow starts at £24,450.
The Jaguar XE looks like good value when you run your eyes down its spec sheet next to cars like the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class. In reality, though, the XE is an old design that feels outdated compared to its key alternatives and misses out on features the others get as standard like a reversing camera and the latest infotainment technology.
The Jaguar XE is good fun to drive, but it’s let down by poor visibility and a noisy cabin at motorway speeds
The Jaguar XE’s substantial windscreen pillars create a large blind spot and make you feel claustrophobic and hemmed in. All the interior pillars are fat, which you notice when you’re pulling out on the motorway.
The back window is also more like a letterbox and the XE doesn’t come with a reversing camera as standard – you only get rear sensors. The Parking Pack adds front sensors and a rearview camera, while the Advanced Parking Pack adds auto park – which can select a space and park the car for you – and a 360-degree camera that gives you a bird’s-eye view of the car’s surroundings.
On the motorway
The Jaguar XE isn’t as quiet on the motorway as a Mercedes C-Class. The XE suffers from tyre roar at motorway speeds and diesel models also produce plenty of engine noise (although the rorty sound they produce is arguably quite sporty). All models have plenty of overtaking performance, although the XE’s automatic gearbox can be sluggish to respond when lining up an overtake.
Active cruise control is available on automatic versions of the XE and comes in combination with Queue Assist, meaning the Jaguar can accelerate and brake itself in free-flowing and queueing traffic.
On a twisty road
The Jaguar XE is one of the most fun-to-drive small saloons you can buy. Its quick steering gives plenty of feedback and the car feels balanced in bends. However, the Jaguar is also very comfortable and – unlike in a BMW 3 Series or Audi A4 – you don’t need to fork out for the expensive adjustable dampers because the standard setup does the job just fine. Having said that, R-Sport models get sports suspension that can feel a little on the firm side and is a little too jiggle over poor surfaces.
The Jaguar XE has plenty of room up front but its back seats and boot aren’t as roomy as you’ll find in German alternatives
The Jaguar XE has a sporty driving position that has enough adjustment to make it feel like the seat has been tailored specifically to your body contours. All models have seat height adjustment so it’s easy to sit higher if you want to, but lumbar adjustment is optional and requires that you also specify the expensive 10-way adjustable electric seats.
Basic models get eight-way manual seat adjustment, while mid-range models add leather upholstery and heated front seats and top-of-the-range versions have 10-way adjustable electric seats as standard.
Storage isn’t the best in class but it’s not bad. You get a space under the front centre armrest that has USB plugs and a 12V socket, two cup holders, and a storage space in the centre console that will swallow all sizes of mobile phones. However, the door pockets struggle to swallow a one-litre bottle of water.
Space in the back seats
Anyone over six feet tall is going to struggle in the back of the Jaguar XE. Headroom is tight for tall adults and knee room isn’t brilliant either. Even if you’re not tall, you’ll find the footwells are small and oddly positioned for your feet. With three in the back, those footwells seem even smaller and your middle-seat passenger is going to feel short of hip and elbow room.
In better news, clear ISOFIX points make it easy to fit a baby’s seat’s base but narrow doors mean it's more of a squeeze getting the top half of the seat into position. On balance, it’s an easier job in a Mercedes C-Class.
The Jaguar XE’s 370-litre boot is significantly smaller than you’ll find in the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class, and the boots' awkward shape makes it hard to make the most of the space that you do get. We could only get one large suitcase in the back of the Jaguar, while its German rivals swallowed two. Want to carry longer items? Then you’ll need to specify the 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats that you’ll find on the options list.
The Jaguar is stylish enough looking and has decent infotainment, but it’s starting to feel dated next to alternatives like the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class
The Jaguar XE’s interior features a ‘Riva hoop’ design that’s been inspired by an Italian speedboat, but while it looked great back in 2015 when the car launched, it's starting to show its age despite a recent facelift. Another area the XE lags on is interior build quality which doesn’t have the solid feel you get in the BMW 3 Series or Audi A4.
Infotainment has been regularly revamped over the years and the latest XE models now come with stacked centre touchscreens. The lower screen is used to control the car’s ventilation system, while the top screen deals with infotainment. The overall look isn’t as slick as the huge tablet-style display you get in the Mercedes C-Class.
Jaguar’s top-of-the-line Touch Pro Duo infotainment is slick to use, features connected navigation, a head-up display, digital TV and adds a digital dashboard display. All versions of the Jaguar XE also come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Want to upgrade the standard sound system? Then consider the optional 380W Meridian stereo with 10 speakers and two subwoofers.
The Jaguar XE used to be available with a wider range of engines – including a 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol – but the range has since been paired back to one petrol and one diesel that come with an automatic gearbox as standard. There are no plug-in hybrid models to compete with the alternatives you’ll find in the Mercedes C-Class and BMW 3 Series line-up.
The entry point to the Jaguar XE range is the 204bhp D200 which has a 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel that produces 204hp, gets the XE from 0-62mph in 6.9 seconds and gives it a top speed of 146mph. The D200 returns fuel economy of 57.7mpg and produces CO2 emissions of 128g/km meaning it costs £190 to tax in your first year of ownership.
The P300, by contrast, is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol that produces 300hp to get the XE from 0-62mph in 5.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 155mph. Unfortunately, it’ll struggle to return fuel economy of 30mpg, and CO2 emissions of 197g/km mean that road tax in the first year is expensive.
The Jaguar XE was awarded a five-star safety rating in 2015, but that Euro NCAP score has since expired and as a result, you can expect the XE wouldn’t perform as well as the newer BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class in the latest tests. Having said that, the Jaguar XE does come as standard with automatic emergency brakes and multiple airbags. All XEs also come as standard with a 12-month tracker subscription.
The Jaguar XE tends to turn in a below-average performance in customer satisfaction surveys although it does come with a three-year unlimited-mileage warranty that’s a match for the cover you get with the BMW 3 Series. The Jaguar has been subject to a long list of recalls covering everything from faulty infotainment screens to fuel leaks, faulty seatbelt pretensioners and stalling engines. If you’re buying second-hand, it makes sense to ensure these issues have already been resolved free of charge by Jaguar.