Jaguar XE 2016: Reviews and specs

'None can match the baby big cat's beguiling mix of talents', says Auto Express

Jaguar XE

The Jaguar XE is the British marque's entry into the fiercely competitive compact executive saloon car market, going up against the familar German trio of the BMW 3-Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and Audi A4.

Jaguar's baby saloon was introduced last year and during its short time on the market, it has established itself as a serious rival for its more established alternatives. Auto Express certainly thinks the Jag is worth a look – the magazine has named it compact executive car of the year two years running.

"Other upmarket small saloons are more efficient, roomier or better equipped, but none can match the baby big cat's beguiling mix of talents," says the magazine.

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Here's why the XE has been such a hit and what the critics make of it:


There's nothing unconventional about the way the XE looks. It blends in neatly with Jaguar's range and has a design that's pitched close to the firm's larger XF and XJ saloons.

The XE has Jaguar's trademark face – a large rectangular grille flanked by long, slim headlights with a low nose. It's a compact saloon that is "very recognisably a Jaguar", says Autocar.

The low, swooping roofline gives the car a coupe-like silhouette. At the back the XE has large LED tail lights. You can spec the XE to look understated and classy, while sportier styling options on R-Sport and S variants include aggressive looking bumpers, spoilers, and bigger alloy wheels.

Interior and practicality

Inside, the XE's cabin is "simple and stylish", says Auto Express. It has a wraparound fascia similar to the one on the XJ, but overall it's a plainer interior and some of the plastics aren't as high quality as they are on the bigger Jaguar saloon. All the buttons and technology are fairly intuitive to use, though, and it's a cabin that will "probably age very well". Leather is standard on all-but the basic model.

The car's infotainment system is also excellent. The XE comes with an 8ins colour touchscreen interface mounted in the centre console, with satellite navigation as standard. A larger 10.2ins screen can be fitted as an optional extra, with Apple CarPlay and a wifi hotspot.

Up front, passenger and driver have plenty of space, but the XE doesn't have any noticeable advantages over its rivals when it comes to passenger space in the back. The low roofline means that taller adults – especially any who have to sit in the middle seat, which has the transmission tunnel running underneath it – may find the XE a little cramped.

Bootspace comes in at 455-litres and given this is a saloon the rear seats don't fold flat, so that's all you'll get. Main rivals like the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class both have larger 480-litre boots.

Engines and performance

The XE's engine range is dominated by Jaguar Land Rover's new set of Ingenium engines, though the supercharged performance variant sits at the top of the range.

The entry level diesel model uses a 2.0-litre Ingenium engine with 161bhp. When mated to a manual gearbox, it's capable of sub 100g/km CO2 emission figures, meaning you'll pay no road tax on this model. It still delivers decent performance, with 280lb-ft torque from just 1,750rpm and a 0-62mph time of 8.4 seconds.

The other diesel is the same 2.0-litre engine but with slightly more power. It gets 178bhp and 317Nm torque. Auto Express says it's the one to go for as it feel much quicker and when paired with the eight speed automatic gearbox it's very smooth.

There are three petrol options – two 2.0-litres as well as a supercharged 3.0-litre V6. The entry level 2.0-litre has 197bhp, with a 237bhp version sitting above it. Auto Express says these engines are the ones to go for if running costs aren't a concern, with more pace on tap and a smoother, more refined experience compared to the diesels.

The 3.0-litre V6 is plucked straight from the company's F-Type sports car. With 335bhp, it's the quickest car by some margin. 0-62mph is dealt with in 5.1 seconds and top speed is clocked at 155mph. It will be the most expensive car to run by some way, though.


CarBuyer is a fan, calling the XE "good to drive, great to look at and cheap to run" and adding that it's an excellent alternative to its German rivals if you're looking for a new company car.

In terms of how the XE feels on the road, Evo says the Jaguar impresses. There's "a kind of imperious 'bring it on' resolve to grip with grace", says the site, which feels the XE is more poised when the drive gets "down and dirty".

In the mag's opinion, this is the best compact executive saloon you can buy - the XE "thunders straight to the top of the class", it proclaims.

Auto Express also approves of the entry level Jaguar saloon, calling the XE "beautiful, comfortable, great to drive" and with "a certain x-factor that the usual German suspects – BMW 3-Series, Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4 – just don't equal".

Passenger space in the back isn't all too impressive, it adds, but as an overall package, the XE is a "fine ownership prospect, with efficient engines making it very cost effective". The magazine's recommends potential buyers go for the 178bhp diesel in R-Sport trim.


Prices for the XE start at £26,990 for the car in basic SE trim with the 197bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine. For the entry level diesel, you'll have to pay at least £29,775, while the 178bhp version comes in at £30,275.

The more powerful 237bhp petrol engine is only available on R-Sport trim level cars and starts at £33,090. The range-topping Jaguar XE S with its supercharged 3.0-litre V6 costs a hefty £44,995.

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