The Jaguar XE featured here in R-Sport trim certainly looks the part; understated yet racy but that’s as far as the performance goes. You see, this model is a diesel and is not designed for high speed travel; it is designed for comfort with matching economy and on that score it delivers.
You can get this car with a six-speed manual gearbox but if that idea takes your fancy then you can knock it off right now. It’s simply not right for this car. What you need is the smooth eight-speed auto as tested here. Six ratios are not as good as eight. With this 2.0L diesel the auto box simply lets the XE ride the wave of low-end torque (430Nm/317lb-ft) that this turbocharged engine churns out.
The Right Engine For Business
Especially when loaded, the 177bhp (180PS) XE is not quick. The car takes a lengthy 7.4 seconds to reach 62mph from rest. The Jaguar XE does of course come in more powerful versions (including the recently introduced and astonishing limited edition Project 8 version with a supercharged V8 under the bonnet). As a salve to a very busy day on the road though this is the car to soothe the fevered brow with a leisurely and super-comfy cruise home.
As is usual with Jaguar the XE can be set up in various modes, Comfort, Normal and the like to suit the driver. By all means use the Dynamic mode for a sportier ride but putting the 4-cylinder turbo-diesel engine into sport mode serves no real purpose. It’s like shouting into the wind: even if you keep shouting louder they still can’t hear you. Leave the efficient Ingenium engine to do its own thing and all will be fine.
How It Feels
The Jaguar XE R-Sport with its aluminium chassis displays all the same delightfully responsive and expertly weighted steering feel that we have come to expect from this model. In my view the car feels more agile than, say, a Mercedes-C-Class and more comfortable than the equivalent BMW 3 Series. That said, those other cars also have attributes that beat the XE. The interior is a case in point. It is, dare I say it, starting to look a tad dated for these modern funky times.
Emitting 111g/km of the nasty stuff the BIK rate for 2017/8 is 24% for the diesel version as tested here. The basic price for this motor is £34,775 but in the manner of press evaluation vehicles, the tested version came fitted with every conceivable extra known to man. Far too numerous mention here, the options include very desirable but probably unnecessary 19” Venom alloys (£2195 extra!), heat insulation glass and pointless ‘mood’ lighting although when you see that the final bill is £48,152 it might just help to calm you down.
The Jaguar XE R-Sport 2.0L diesel is beautiful, graceful and good to drive although it’s a little cramped in the back. Overall though, especially with all-wheel drive, it’s a fine long-distance choice with an efficient engine (50mpg plus) making it very cost effective for the business user.