By Matt Degen
KBB Expert Rating: 8.0
The 2017 Jaguar XE is the newest, smallest and least expensive sedan from the British automaker. After years of sitting out the entry-level, luxury-sedan game, the Jaguar XE arrives with the usual suspects in its sights: the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4 and Lexus IS. Like those rivals, this new Jaguar sports sedan offers a host of premium amenities, advanced safety features and a variety of engines that range from a fuel-efficient diesel to a supercharged V6. The Jag stands out with classic yet contemporary looks, an impressive warranty and its sheer freshness, every trait of which it needs to fight its more well-known -- and sometimes better-performing -- competition.
If you've been pining for the sophisticated looks, power and prestige of a Jaguar sedan but in a smaller, more affordable form, the XE is the rightful younger sibling of the XF and XJ mid- and full-size Jags. Because of its newness, you'll also differentiate yourself from a sea of sameness.
Jag's newest sedan doesn't necessarily stand out in any one area. The BMW 3 Series has better acceleration, the Mercedes C-Class's interior is inspiring, and the all-new Audi A4 has a strong suite of safety and semi-autonomous driving aids. If you want CarPlay or Android Auto, you'll have to look elsewhere.
KBB Expert Ratings
The 2017 Jaguar XE is all-new. Along with the F-Pace compact SUV, it represents Jaguar's aim to attract new buyers to the stately British brand via entry-level luxury cars. In this case, the XE hits that mark with a price starting under $36,000.
Like its competitors, the Jag XE's road manners vary depending what's under the hood and even whether you opt for all-wheel drive (AWD) vs. the standard rear-wheel drive (RWD). At...
... the least exhilarating but most efficient end is the 2.0-liter diesel in the XE 20d, which isn't slow at 7.5 seconds to 60 mph, but isn't a rocket. Still we've found this engine pulls strongly thanks to its gargantuan 318 lb-ft of torque. The XE 35t, with a 340-horsepower supercharged V6, records 0-60-mph blasts of five seconds. That engine is glorious in sound and performance, and pairs well with both the XE's excellent AWD system or in traditional rear-drive form. Most buyers will choose and be happy with the efficient turbo 4-cylinder that enables 0-60-mph sprints in a swift 6.5 seconds. Steering feel is overly artificial, and those who opt for bigger wheels must contend with a stiff and loud ride.
CLEAN, CLASSY DESIGN
Jaguars have long stood out with exterior styling that is sleek yet classic, contemporary yet classy. The newest sedan from the British luxury automaker carries that forward, as the 2017 XE makes an elegant and powerful statement wherever it goes.
EFFICIENT AND EXHILARATING ENGINES
We laud not only Jag's stout and efficient diesel engine, but the fact that the automaker is sticking with it. For drivers seeking speed over efficiency, the XE is also available with the exhilarating supercharged V6 used in the F-Type sports car.
The XE has what we'll politely call a snug 5-passenger interior that's made even snugger due to some design elements inside and out. The panels below the front side windows, for example, curl up toward the driver and passenger, which can make the cabin feel like it's creeping in. Between the not-so-wide opening doors and low roof, rear passengers will have to do some acrobatics to get inside. Once situated, legroom is just-decent to tight. Front passengers are treated to comfortable seats. This small Jaguar sedan uses a good mix of a touch-based screen and traditional buttons for audio and climate controls.
It shouldn't be a surprise the compact XE sedan looks like a smaller iteration of the XF midsize sedan. This is hardly a bad thing. We appreciate the XE's classic yet beautiful sports-sedan lines: the long hood, downward sloping roof and curtailed tail. This is perhaps contemporary design at its best. We also applaud Jag for not foisting a gaping grille on the XE. Not seen but also appreciated is Jaguar's broad use of light-yet-strong aluminum, which makes for a vehicle that's literally lighter on its feet.
Step into the least expensive Jaguar XE compact sports sedan, and you'll get Luxtec faux leather in black, tan or gray, dual-zone climate control, rear-passenger vents, 17-inch alloy wheels and moonroof. The standard infotainment system consists of Jaguar's InControl 8-inch touch-screen display and 6-speaker, 80-watt audio system with HD Radio, USB inputs and Bluetooth wireless connectivity. Surprisingly, a rearview camera still costs extra. We recommend the XE Premium, which adds a folding rear seat, auto-dimming and folding side mirrors, an upscale 11-speaker Meridian audio system and HomeLink garage-door opener. All new XE sedans come with a 5-year/60,000-mile warranty and complimentary maintenance/roadside assistance.
The 2017 Jag XE offers a wide array of extras, many of which are bundled into higher trims. Prestige models, for instance, include navigation, leather interior with heated front seats and heated steering wheel, keyless entry and power-adjustable steering column. Top-line Jaguar XE R-Sport trims ladle on a slew of otherwise optional safety features that include blind-spot monitoring, front and rear parking aids, autonomous emergency braking and lane-departure warning. Additional options vary by trim and include cooled front seats, power-operated trunk, power rear sunshade, CD/DVD player, in-car Wi-Fi 3G hotspot, and parallel/perpendicular park assist.
Three engines are available for the 2017 Jaguar. The base powerplant is a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline 4-cylinder that makes 240 horsepower and is offered in RWD. A 2.0-liter 4-cylinder diesel engine is optional, and can be had with traction-enhancing AWD. It makes 60 less horsepower but generates tremendous torque: 318 lb-ft. The top performer for the 2017 model year is the XE 35t, which features a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 of 340 horsepower. Like the diesel, it can be had with RWD or AWD. Interestingly, a RWD V6 Jaguar XE has the same fuel economy ratings as a 4-cylinder gasoline model, but we found that the more powerful engine encouraged vigorous driving -- and thus diminished fuel economy. All engines are linked to an 8-speed automatic transmission.
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
240 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
251 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/30 mpg (automatic)
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 diesel
180 horsepower @ 4,000 rpm
318 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-2,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A
3.0-liter supercharged V6
340 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
332 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/30 mpg (RWD), 20/29 mpg (AWD)
The all-new Jaguar XE sedan arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just under $36,000, which is just on top of the starting point of a base BMW 3 Series and just below a Mercedes C-Class, Lexus IS and Audi A4. Opting for the diesel Jaguar XE is an additional $1,500. Stepping up to the supercharged V6 Jaguar XE puts you in the low-$40,000 territory. Fully loaded, an XE can crest $60,000. These figures may raise eyebrows for what's called an "entry-level" luxury sedan, but they're not that unusual. Those looking for pricing with lesser sting can find it in the Infiniti Q50, Acura TLX and Cadillac ATS. Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying. As the Jaguar XE is all-new, our number crunchers have yet to predict its resale value.