- Sharp handling
- Generous equipment
- Efficient diesel engines
- Not as spacious as rivals
- Interior quality not a match for the Audi A4
- Disappointing manual gearbox
Sweet handling compact executive saloon
The Jaguar XE, first introduced in 2015, is the British manufacturer’s entry into the hotly contested compact executive saloon market. With such tough competition from the BMW 3 Series, the Audi A4, and the Mercedes C-Class, Jaguar had its work cut out to manufacturer a class-leader. Thankfully, the XE is amongst the best in the class. Few cars can match its exceptional handling, ride comfort, and generous equipment, and there’s some incredibly efficient engines on offer as well. The XE is also one of the best-looking cars in the class, so if you’re after a prestigious executive saloon car, and you want to stand out from the crowd, the Jaguar XE is one of the best offerings on the market.
Attractive design and generous equipment
When you step into a Jaguar XE you’ll be immediately struck by the attractive design of the cabin. It’s not quite as plush as its German rivals, nor is it the most spacious, but there’s more than enough kit for it to feel exceptionally good value for money.
The cabin design of the XE reflects its stylish exterior. Few people will have any complaints about the way it looks, but the quality of materials used throughout isn’t a match for the Audi A4. Nevertheless, there’s soft-touch fabrics used throughout, and controls are well-placed and easy to use, though they’re not as well-damped as in the XE’s German rivals. Build quality is surprisingly impressive for a Jaguar as well, and it really feels like it’s built to last.
One area in which the XE isn’t quite so impressive is the amount of space on offer. The rear seats don’t offer a great deal of legroom, and headroom is a little limited, especially for taller passengers. The boot space is also disappointing, as the XE has one of the smallest boots in the class. The 455 litre capacity is still big enough for a big family shop, a bulky buggy, or even a full set of golf clubs, but it’s still smaller than the BMW 3 Series (480 litres), the Mercedes C-Class (480 litres), and the Audi A4 (500 litres).
Equipment levels in the XE are generous no matter which trim you choose to go for. The entry-level SE trim comes with enough goodies to satisfy most needs, with dual-zone climate control, sat-nav, cruise control, automatic lights and wipers, and a DAB radio, though the lack of leather seats may disappoint some buyers. To get these, you’ll have to upgrade to the Prestige trim, which adds heated leather seats, and more attractive interior detailing.
All in all the inside of the XE is a bit of a mixed bag. It’s well-designed, feels relatively plush, and there’s plenty of kit on offer, even in the most basic models. Space could be an issue for some buyers however, but there’s still enough room for most buyers’ needs.
Excellent handling and comfortable ride
The compact executive saloon market is packed with cars that perform well out on the open road, but few can match the XE when it comes down to outright handling ability. The XE really is a fun car to drive, and its sharp handling, composed chassis, and grippy front wheels all contribute to making the best handling car in the class. R-Sport models feature a stiffer suspension setup that only adds to the XE’s sharpness, but you will pay for it with reduced comfort.
Suspension and Chassis
Cars that handle well usually are less comfortable to be in for longer journeys, but amazingly, the XE is exceptional at both. The XE is designed and built in Britain, and you can really tell, as the XE is well suited to uneven British roads. Loose surfaces and potholes are dealt with with relative ease, so no matter what situation you find yourself in, you won’t leave the XE with a sore bottom. Road and wind noise are also kept to a minimum, so long motorway journeys are a soothing, rather than arduous experience.
Gearbox options in the XE come in two guises. Entry-level models come as standard with a six-speed manual transmission, which does everything you’d expect, but isn’t as sharp as those you’d find in rivals. The eight-speed automatic transmission is the one to go for, as its smooth, refined gearchange is better suited to the XE’s on-road experience.
Efficient diesels, and impressively quick petrols
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your XE, you’ve got the usual two options: petrol, or diesel. The diesels are the pick of the bunch, with exceptionally low emissions and impressively high fuel efficiency, though the high-powered petrol will float a petrolhead’s boat.
If it’s power that you want from your XE, the stand-out engine in the range is the 3.0 litre, supercharged V6 petrol engine, which produces an incredible 340bhp. With that power on tap, you’ll be able to slingshot yourself from 0-62mph in just 4.9 seconds. The cheaper, 238bhp 2.0 litre petrol is also a great option, as it still flies from 0-62mph in 6.8 seconds, whilst it’s also significantly cheaper to run day-to-day.
Eco-friendly buyers will be pleasantly surprised with the engines on offer in the XE range. The low-powered 2.0 litre diesel engine is not only the pick of the XE range, it’s also one of the most impressive on offer in a compact executive saloon. XEs equipped with this engine produce just 99g/km of CO2 emissions, which is not only great for the planet, it also comes with a free road tax bill. This makes this model a great option for money-savers as well, especially when you consider the incredible 75mph that’s on offer. You’ll save yourself plenty of money at the fuel pumps each month, money which you can put towards life’s other luxuries.
Whichever engine you choose to go for in your XE, you’re going to get a clean, efficient engine, that’s engineered for British motoring. The diesels are the pick of the bunch if you want to save money, whilst the high-powered petrols are ideal picks for petrolheads.
Full marks in NCAP safety tests, with impressive safety kit
Like nearly every car in its class, the Jaguar XE easily achieved the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. With scores of 92% in adult safety, 82% in child safety, and 81% in pedestrian safety, the XE isn’t the safest car in the compact executive saloon car class, but it still scored pretty highly. The XE also comes with plenty of safety kit, even on entry-level models. You’ll get the usual array of airbags, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and traffic sign recognition, which displays speed limits on the dashboard, even on the most basic XE, so you’ll always feel safe, no matter what situation you find yourself in.
Excellent value for money, if you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation
The Jaguar XE represent excellent value for money for buyers. Not only is the XE slightly cheaper to buy than its rivals, it also offers great day-to-day value. This obviously varies between models, but if you avoid the high-powered petrols fuel efficiency is relatively high, and CO2 levels are amongst the best in the XE’s class. Diesel models offer the greatest value for money, with some of the most impressive figures on offer in a compact executive saloon.
Insurance groups for the XE again depend on which model you choose to go for. The range starts in group 22 for the entry-level 2.0d SE, and climb up towards group 35 if you’re tempted by the supremely powerful 3.0 V6 Supercharged S. Whichever model you choose to go for, you won’t be paying and more than you would for an equivalent rival.
Depreciation is a factor to consider with the XE, but only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Jaguar XE is one of the finest compact executive saloons currently on the market. It’s sharp styling, exceptional driving experience, generous equipment, and impressively efficient engines, make it a great buy for both private, and company car buyers.
Buying a used Jaguar XE online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Jaguar XE for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used XE. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Jaguar XE online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Jaguar? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Jaguar XE, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used XE, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Jaguar to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.