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Finally a rival to the established German competition, expert car reviewer Andrew Frankel says the XE delivers in spades

Jaguar XE 2.0D SE 163PS

This model from £29,775
 

Jaguar knew that to take on BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz on their established compact saloon territory, a car that was merely competitive would never be enough. So it designed an all new aluminium-intensive architecture to make the new Jaguar XE one of the lightest cars in the class and a brand new range of ‘Ingenium’ 2-litre petrol and diesel engines to provide world-class performance, economy and emissions. Indeed, the diesel Ingenium XE was the first such car in the world to offer a sub 100g/km CO2 output.

But it had to be a Jaguar too, which meant a blend of ride comfort and handling response both true to the brand’s heritage and also at least as good as anything else on the market. And Jaguar has risen to the occasion and done exactly that. The XE isn’t just a car to appeal to the heart with its lithe good looks, it has the firepower beneath to make it not just a car you’d like to own, but one that makes great sense to own too.

Performance

  • Engine: 1999cc, 163bhp
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual
  • Top speed: 132mph
  • 0-60mph acceleration: 8.4sec

Costs

  • Claimed economy: 74.3mpg
  • VED: Group A
  • Insurance Group: 22 (1=low, 50=high)

RAC Drive Verdict

Practicality
5 / 5
Affordability
3 / 5
Safety
5 / 5
Fun
4 / 5