Front exterior of the Jaguar XE

Jaguar XE review

The Jaguar XE is one of the best looking saloons around. The best bit is the way it drives. It’s both sporty and agile, yet comfortable and soothing.

Pros

  • One of the best looking cars in its class
  • Comfortable on almost all types of road
  • Very efficient diesel engines

Cons

  • Quality and reliability issues remain a problem
  • Rear legroom isn't as good as rivals
  • Interior feels dated even on updated models

Summary

“The Jaguar XE combines a premium level of comfort with luxurious design and a great drive.”

The Jaguar XE is a great all rounder and is perfect if you’re looking for a medium executive car that’s comfortable, luxurious and efficient.

It also looks athletic and dynamic. There's a range of trim choices which means you can choose what level of luxury you'd like.

It has plenty of engine choices from efficient diesels to punchy petrols, plus there’s even the mighty XE SV Project 8 extreme sports saloon. 

The XE drives well with accurate steering and a firm but comfortable ride. It hasn’t matched its German rivals in terms of retaining its value but that’s a good thing if you’re buying used.

Fascia shot of the Jaguar XE

What’s the interior like?

“The interior is minimalistic and features an array of luxury details.”

Designed with a minimalist interior, it features a gear selector that rises up to give access to the controls when you start the car, although this switched to a gearstick in 2019. The centre console is neat and well laid out with good placement of all buttons so they're at your fingertips. The instrumentation is clear and simple with a screen between the dials showing a range of selectable information.

However, there are a few hard plastics that detract from the luxury image and the infotainment system isn't as easy to use as some rivals.

The front seats are luxurious and comfortable, but the back seats aren't the comfiest as legroom is slightly compromised, particularly if you have taller adults in the front seats. There's a decent amount of boot space though at 455 litres, which is capable of holding a number of suitcases.

The 2019 update included major technology changes with the inclusion of a digital instrument cluster (the information you see through the steering wheel) and an upgrade to the much better Touch Pro Duo infotainment system taken from the electric I-Pace model. Many of the switches were upgraded and the controls on the steering wheel are far less complicated.

Steering wheel shot of the Jaguar XE

What’s it like to drive?

“A brilliant all-rounder which can be as comfortable or as dynamic as you need.”

The XE provides a great drive in urban traffic and a relaxing ride over long distances. It's a great car for cruising at speed on motorways and on long A-roads. You'll appreciate its serenity while stuck in a traffic jam.

The steering is excellent and the car generally feels really well balanced, even when driving fast along a country road. The suspension is firm but it’s not uncomfortable.

The three petrol engines range from the popular 2.0-litre versions to the supercharged 3.0 V6. The diesel engines are all two litres with varying power outputs. Most are rear-wheel drive but the XE was also available with all-wheel drive and in both manual and automatic.

The exterior of a red Jaguar XE

Is it cost-efficient to buy and run?

“It's cheaper than key rivals with very efficient diesels.”

You’re likely to pay less for the XE than for its BMW or Audi counterparts. Within the XE range, diesels tend to be slightly cheaper as are models with a manual gearbox. The diesel models will deliver the best fuel consumption at up to 60 mpg making them by far the most efficient. The petrol models are smoother though and you should achieve high 30s consumption figures. 

Insurance costs are generally less than for the rival BMW 3 Series while road tax rates are similar and can be quite cheap for some diesel models. Servicing costs are also comparable to rivals and Jaguar offers fixed price rates for models over three years old.

Rear seat shot of the Jaguar XE

How reliable and safe is it?

“Safety is a strong point for the XE but reliability could be improved.”

Jaguar doesn’t generally do well in reliability surveys and the XE is no exception with lots of quality issues reported as well as electrical problems. 

The XE scores well on safety though with a five-star rating from Euro NCAP. Its aluminium construction is a bonus, although if you do have a bump it can be expensive to repair.

Plenty of driver assistance systems were standard when new including stability control. Some models will also have lane keeping assist and slippery surface acceleration control.

Engine shot of the Jaguar XE

Which one is best for you?

Best for economy - 2.0d 160hp SE

Best for family - 2.0d 180hp SE

Best for fun - 3.0 V6 S

If you’re planning on a diesel, opt for the 2.0d 180 hp as it delivers up to 55 mpg economy, which means you’ll be cruising for longer. It’s also cheaper to buy than the petrol versions. 

The 245hp 25t or P250 S petrol models are worth looking at, but both are less economic than the diesel equivalents. 

All spec levels are well finished with a good level of equipment, whether it’s an entry-level SE or sporty R-Dynamic.

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