With an aluminum body, a choice rear-wheel- or all-wheel-drive, and three engine options, Jaguar's latest compact sports sedan is equally at home on freeways and back roads and holds its own against the likes of the BMW 3-Series, Mercedes C-Class, and Cadillac ATS.

Pricing and Equipment

Available in four trims – base, Premium, Prestige, and R-Sport – the 2017 Jaguar XE prices start at $35,895 (including a $995 destination charge) for a base rear-driver with the 2.0-liter, turbocharged engine (the so-called 25t) and can rise to $67,000 for an optioned-out, all-wheel-drive R-Sport trim with a supercharged, 3.0-liter V6 (the 35t). We expect most buyers will pick a RWD 25t in mid-level Premium trim with a starting price of $38,495 and standard features like:

  • Heated outside mirrors
  • Remote engine start
  • Bluetooth audio and phone capability
  • Eight-inch color touchscreen infotainment display
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • Leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob
  • Proximity key with push-button start

A rearview camera is optional on base models, but standard on all other trims. Blind spot monitoring and auto-leveling headlights are optional on Premium and Prestige trims and standard on the R-Sport, while automatic high beams are optional on Prestige models and standard on the R-Sport. Lane departure warning is standard and only offered on the R-Sport, while radar cruise control, a surround-view camera, and all-speed automatic emergency braking, are optional on the R-Sport only.

XE buyers in the US can choose from three engines. The standard for rear-wheel-drive base, Premium, and Prestige models is a turbocharged, 240-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder, while R-sport buyers get a 340-hp, supercharged 3.0-liter V6 - which is also an option on Premium and Prestige models. The third offering, a 180-hp, 2.0-liter turbodiesel is offered across the lineup. The gas-powered turbo only works with rear-wheel-drive, while Jag offers the turbodiesel and V6 alongside an optional all-wheel drive. An eight-speed automatic transmission is the only way to fly.

Performance Pros

Jaguar XE
  • Ride and handling rival the best in this class, thanks to a double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension, lighter-weight aluminum body, and excellent electric power steering.
  • The suspension is nicely damped, and the XE tracks smoothly over nearly every type of road surface.
  • The easy way you can push the limits of the XE on back roads puts it at the front of the class in its segment and price range.

Performance Cons

  • The 2.0-liter turbodiesel exhibits some noticeable lag on acceleration.
  • At idle, because of the engine's low setting, a low-pitched drumming sound filters into the cabin.
  • Although the brakes work well, they're only adequate. With future higher-performance models, upgrades are a must.

Interior Pros

  • The XE's cabin veers toward the functional, avoiding the bling found in the XJ.
  • Jaguar's eight-inch touchscreen InControl infotainment system is standard, while opting for the Pro version ups the screen to 10.2 inches and adds navigation, a mobile hotspot, and a smartphone app with remote functionality.
  • The trunk features a wide opening, and the backseats split and fold forward for added cargo-hauling versatility.

Interior Cons

Jaguar XE
  • Even considering it's a compact, interior room is hardly spacious.
  • The InControl system can be fussy and, even with the Pro upgrade, the audio system is disappointing.
  • Like many vehicles in the class, back seat headroom and knee room is tight.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

The XE's ride and handling rivals that of the best in the compact luxury sports sedan segment.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

Although average for the class, the XE's second-row legroom lags behind competitors from Audi and BMW.

The Bottom Line

With top-of-the-class ride and handling and a restrained but luxurious interior, the Jaguar XE should finally put to rest memories of the oft-maligned X-Type.