Skip advert
Advertisement
In-depth reviews

Jaguar XE saloon - Engines, drive & performance

Comfortable yet sporty drive is aided by the smooth engines of the Jaguar XE

Carbuyer Rating

4.3 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.2 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Engines, drive & performance Rating

4.5 out of 5

You won't be disappointed with the way the Jaguar XE drives, as it strikes a good balance between the often-conflicting priorities of comfort and driving fun. It’s not quite as sharp and driver-focused as the BMW 3 Series or Alfa Romeo Giulia, but it’s still great to drive and offers a better balance between involvement and comfort. As a result, Jaguar largely left the chassis untouched during the car’s 2019 facelift, instead streamlining the engine range.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The steering is weighty, precise and fast to react to your inputs, with a nicer feel than the BMW 3 Series. The XE feels agile too, although it's not quite as sharp as the BMW in that regard. The eight-speed automatic gearbox is particularly nice to operate, allowing you to shift gears quickly and smoothly, either by selecting 'Drive' from the new F-Type inspired gear selector (replacing the puck design), or by skipping up and down the gears using tactile metal paddles mounted behind the steering wheel.

While some fans may rue the fact there's no longer a manual gearbox, Jaguar’s automatic gearbox is smoother than many of its rivals’. However, in manual mode, it doesn’t change gear as quickly as the S tronic gearbox in the Audi A4.

All models get something called the 'JaguarDrive' system, which allows you to select Standard, Eco, Dynamic or Winter modes; each tweaking how the steering feels and how the accelerator pedal responds when you press it.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

If you go for four-wheel drive, apart from the extra purchase price and higher running costs, you won't notice much of a change. The system keeps the XE rear-wheel drive most of the time, with power only being sent to the front wheels when the rear tyres begin to lose grip. You can feel it shuffling power around in very wet conditions, but other than that, it doesn't make a whole heap of difference, apart from offering extra sure-footedness in extreme weather conditions.

Jaguar XE diesel engine

Jaguar decided to withdraw all its lower-powered diesels, so the only option is the D200 version with 201bhp, which will do 0-60mph in a sprightly 6.9 seconds. If you’re considering one of the older lower-powered diesels, such as the 178bhp D180, our tests revealed it to be both smooth and responsive during acceleration, with a 0-62mph time of 7.9 seconds. Adding four-wheel drive (AWD) will add three tenths of a second to this time, however, thanks to the extra weight of the system. There’s no AWD option with the current D200.

Petrol engines

There are two versions of the same 2.0-litre petrol – the P250 produces 247bhp and the P300 has a power figure of 297bhp. The 247bhp version has rear-wheel drive and the 297bhp XE is four-wheel drive. The former has a 0-60mph time of 6.4 seconds while the latter takes 5.6 seconds. It's not a particularly tuneful engine, but you can't complain about the punch on offer - it suffers barely any lag as you press the accelerator, and feels very quick as the revs rise.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Andy is Carbuyer's managing editor, with more than a decade of experience helping consumers find their perfect car. He has an MA in automotive journalism and has tested hundreds of vehicles.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

Porsche Macan Electric now £2,600 cheaper thanks to new entry-level model
Porsche Macan 4S Electric front quarter
News
16 Jul 2024

Porsche Macan Electric now £2,600 cheaper thanks to new entry-level model

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s best PCP finance offers
Carbuyer best new car deals hero
Deals
19 Jul 2024

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s best PCP finance offers

Kia Sorento review – a great SUV now made even better
2024 Kia Sorento UK drive
In-depth reviews
19 Jul 2024

Kia Sorento review – a great SUV now made even better

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
26 Mar 2024

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: public networks, charger types, apps and maps
Charging station
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2024

Electric car charging stations: public networks, charger types, apps and maps

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
21 Mar 2024

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors

Top 10 best electric cars 2024
Best electric cars
Best cars
16 May 2024

Top 10 best electric cars 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024
The best cheap-to-run cars 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024
Fastest hot hatchbacks hero
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024