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The Auto Trader expert verdict: ★★★★★ ★★★★★ 4.0

The Jaguar XE is a refreshing alternative to the German cars that dominate this part of the market. It looks the part and is really good to drive, while all models are well equipped and have plenty of power. Some rivals are more practical, but if you’re in the market for a premium saloon the XE is well worthy of consideration.

Reasons to buy

  • Well equipped
  • Great to drive
  • Strong engines

Running costs for a Jaguar XE 3/5

Prices for the XE are on a par with key rivals such as the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Depreciation is likely to hit the Jaguar a little harder than the others, which means leasing deals that aren’t quite as competitive.

The four-cylinder engines in the XE are competitive for fuel economy and CO2 emissions and, again, a close match for those in key rivals. Most versions are usefully efficient, but it’s worth noting that Jaguar doesn’t offer a hybrid version of the XE whereas most rivals feature a low-emissions hybrid model in the range.

Reliability of a Jaguar XE 3/5

Jaguar’s recent reliability record is okay, but although it finished above both Audi and BMW in the latest JD Power owner satisfaction survey, 20th out of 24 manufacturers overall is not especially impressive. While many of the owner reviews of the current XE on Auto Trader are very positive, an average score below four out of five is below average. Warranty cover is three years, with unlimited mileage.

Safety for a Jaguar XE 5/5

The XE achieved the maximum five stars when it was tested by safety organisation Euro NCAP in 2015 and it scored better in those tests than most of its rivals. Each car comes as standard with automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist and a driver condition monitor, which notices if you’re about to fall asleep behind the wheel. However, a high-speed emergency braking feature and blind-spot monitoring system is only standard on the highest trim level, and optional for the rest. There are two Isofix child seat mounting points on the outer rear seats, and front, side and curtain airbags.

How comfortable is the Jaguar XE 3/5

Executive saloons must provide excellent long-distance comfort for drivers and in that respect the XE does the business. There’s lots of adjustment and supportive seats, and little noise in the cabin at speed. It’s one of the most rewarding cars in its class to drive, too, combining excellent ride comfort with great composure on twistier roads and steering that lets you place the car with real accuracy. Sportier versions are even more fun, without sacrificing much in the way of comfort.

The driving position is good and the controls are easy enough to use, even if the touch-screen (or pair of touch-screens in higher-spec models) aren’t quite as responsive as those in some rivals. While the cabin feels pleasingly cosy and cockpit-like up-front, the downside is that headroom is rather tight for taller drivers or passengers.

Executive saloons aren’t really bought to as roomy family cars, but the amount of space in the rear of the XE is below average. Your kids will be fine; six-foot-plus friends and family might get claustrophobic. Likewise, boot space is decent by most standards but it’s not as much as you get with some rivals and access could be better.

Features of the Jaguar XE 4/5

Equipment levels on all versions of the XE are very generous. Even the cheapest versions come as standard with LED headlights, two-zone climate-control, leather upholstery, support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and electrically adjustable front seats.

Extras on mid-spec models include a Wi-Fi hotspot and a 360-degree parking camera. Top-spec cars up the luxury, with extras including plusher leather, more front-seat adjustment and a twin touchscreen display. Options are plentiful, giving you scope to customise the XE to your personal tastes.

Power for a Jaguar XE 4/5

There are three engines to choose from when buying an XE. That’s not as much choice as you get with rivals such as the BMW 3 Series, but all of the available options in the XE are powerful and each one comes with a smooth automatic gearbox as standard.

There’s just one diesel engine, which gives you the kind of effortless acceleration an executive car should have. The two petrol engines provide ample power and swift responses, too, with the higher-powered version giving you sportscar levels of acceleration.

Rear-wheel drive is standard for diesel models and the least powerful petrol version. Four-wheel drive is an option with the diesel and standard for more powerful petrol models.