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2018 Jaguar XE

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2018 Jaguar XE Expert Review

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The new 2018 Jaguar XE is a real-deal, rear-wheel-drive (RWD) sports sedan. It’s also the newest, smallest and least expensive model from the British luxury brand. The sophisticated XE seats five and packs premium amenities, advanced safety features and a lightweight all-aluminum structure. Five trim levels are offered with a variety of engines including a 380-horsepower supercharged V6 and a fuel-efficient turbodiesel. All-wheel drive (AWD) is also available for $2,500. Although its styling is a bit conservative for its class, this new Jaguar is classically handsome and appeals with strong performance, an impressive warranty and a starting price around $35,000. After years of sitting out the entry-level, luxury-sedan game, Jaguar finally has the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class, Audi A4 and Lexus IS in its sights.

You'll Like This Car If...

In a sea of BMW 3 Series, Audi A4s and Mercedes C-Class, the Jaguar is something your neighbors don’t have. You’ll like the XE if you want to bust out of the ordinary. It has the chops to challenge those popular Germans, but it stands on its own.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The quality of Jaguar vehicles is better than ever and continuing to improve rapidly, but it’s statistically still behind some of its German and Japanese rivals. Jaguar’s resale values also continue to lag. If ultimate reliability is your top priorities you may want to shop other vehicles.

How It Ranks
2018 Jaguar XE Low/wide front photo What's New for 2018

For 2018, the new Jaguar XE gets a more powerful standard engine, a 247-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, an improved infotainment system and increases in active safety technology. The optional Surround Camera System now includes Forward Traffic Detection, which alerts drivers when a vehicle is crossing their path.

Driving the XE
2018 Jaguar XE Front angle view photo
Driving Impressions

Most buyers will be happy with the efficient turbo 4-cylinder that enables 0-60-mph sprints in just 6.5 seconds. This standard powerplant is smooth and it’s paired well with Jaguar’s 8-speed...

... automatic transmission, which is one of the best, shifting precisely and quickly. This is a fun car to drive with this combination. Less exhilarating but more efficient is the 2.0-liter turbodiesel in the XE 20d. It isn't slow at 7.5 seconds to 60 mph, and the 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. Steering feel is overly artificial, but the response is precise and the effort is perfect. Those who opt for bigger wheels must contend with a stiff ride.

ONBOARD WI-FI
For those with phone-addicted teenagers, the new Jaguar XE is available with 4G Wi-Fi hotspot, and up to eight devices can be connected at any one time. Audi A4 and Cadillac ATS also offer onboard Wi-Fi in the entry-luxury-sedan segment, but it remains unique in the marketplace.

JAGUAR INCONTROL TOUCH PRO
After years of lagging the competition in the infotainment and connectivity wars, Jag's new InControl Touch Pro infotainment/navigation system finally measures up. Touch Pro includes a widely configurable 12.3-inch high-definition touch screen, an ultra-quick navigation system, and a 17-speaker Meridian digital surround-sound system. It is intuitive to use and quick to respond.

2018 Jaguar XE Details
2018 Jaguar XE Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

Modern, sophisticated and well-assembled, the interior of the new 2018 Jaguar XE mimics the design also used in the brand’s F-Pace SUV and XF sedan. Front passengers are treated to comfortable seats, and Jaguar uses a good mix of a touch-based screen and traditional buttons for audio and climate controls. It’s a very clean design, simple and intuitive to use. Unfortunately, the ambiance isn’t as inspired as the interior of the Mercedes C-Class or the Audi A4. Calling the 2018 Jaguar XE a family sedan is a stretch. It seats five, but snugly, and rear-seat legroom is tight.

Exterior
2018 Jaguar XE photo

Simple, stylish and a little understated, the compact XE sedan looks like a smaller iteration of the brand’s XF midsize sedan. This is hardly a bad thing; however, it may be a little too familiar. Some critics have called the XE’s design overly conservative. Some think Jaguar should have taken a few more chances with the XE’s shape. We appreciate the sedan’s long hood, downward sloping roof and curtailed tail. We also applaud Jag for not inflicting a gaping grille on the XE, when such grilles have become all the rage. We also appreciate the delicate adornment of chrome.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

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.

Optional Equipment

The 2018 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 and S 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 4G hotspot, and parallel/perpendicular park assist.

Under the Hood
2018 Jaguar XE Engine photo

Four engines are available in the new 2018 Jaguar XE. The base powerplant is a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline 4-cylinder that makes 247 horsepower and is offered with RWD. A 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbodiesel engine is optional, and can be had with traction-enhancing AWD. It makes 67 less horsepower but generates tremendous torque: 318 lb-ft. It’s also the undisputed fuel-economy king of the group with 42 mpg on the highway. Two supercharged 3.0-liter V6s are offered. Most trim levels offer a very strong 340-horsepower version of that engine, which can be paired with RWD or AWD. The new top-of-the-line, rear-drive-only S model gets a 380-horsepower version of the V6 and it’s hell bent for leather. All engines are linked to an 8-speed automatic transmission.

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
247 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
269 lb-ft of torque @ 1,200-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A

2.0-liter turbocharged diesel inline-4
180 horsepower @ 4,000 rpm
318 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-2,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 32/42 mpg (RWD), 30/40 mpg (AWD)

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)

3.0-liter supercharged V6
380 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
332 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A

The 2018 Jaguar XE sedan arrives starting around $37,000, 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 is an additional $1,500. The Premium trim starts around $39,000. Stepping up to the supercharged V6 puts you in the low-$40,000 territory. The Prestige starts around $43,000 and the R-Sport trim starts around $47,500. The new S model with the big, bad 380-horsepower engine is above $53,000. Fully loaded, an XE can easily crest $60,000. Those looking for pricing with less 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. And as a final note of good news, the XE is expected to play against Jag's historically mediocre resale values by holding its value quite well.

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