2018 Jaguar XE

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MSRP: $35,725 - 59,410

2018 Jaguar XE Review

Thanks to its athletic handling and robust engine choices, the 2018 Jaguar XE has great overall performance. However, with a below-average predicted reliability rating and mixed reviews for its back seat, trunk, and infotainment technology, it sits near the bottom of our luxury small car rankings.

7.7

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.2
Performance: 8.8
Interior: 6.9
Safety: N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Sharp handling
  • Robust fleet of engines
  • Interior materials less luxurious than some rivals
  • Narrow trunk restricts usability
  • Terrible predicted reliability

New for 2018

  • More powerful four-cylinder engine available
  • Additional advanced safety features available
  • V6 option boosted from 340 to 380 horsepower

Is the Jaguar XE a Good Car?

The 2018 Jaguar XE is a decent luxury small car that delivers on engaging driving dynamics and robust engine power. However, the Jaguar’s interior drags down its overall appeal. A cramped rear seat and so-so cabin styling will likely turn off some shoppers. The XE also has one of the worst predicted reliability ratings in the class.

Should I Buy the Jaguar XE?

If you're willing to look past its below-average predicted reliability, the athletic Jaguar XE is a good choice. It stands out from the sea of performance-focused German competitors. Sharp handling, a balanced suspension, and a lineup of enthusiastic engines put the XE among a small group of refined yet athletic small cars. There isn't much room for back-seat passengers, though. Also, some find the XE's infotainment system frustrating to use. Those aren't concerns in higher-ranking rivals like the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4.

Compare the XE, 3 Series, and A4 »

Should I Buy a New or Used Jaguar XE?

The Jaguar XE was introduced as an all-new model for 2017, yet it sees some significant changes for 2018. Under the hood, the standard turbocharged four-cylinder engine is now rated at 247 horsepower, up from 240 in the 2017 model. Jaguar also debuts an optional 296-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder, while the optional supercharged V6 gets a boost to 380 horsepower (it had 340 in the 2017 EX). Jaguar also introduced new driver assistance features, including Forward Vehicle Guidance and Forward Traffic Detection.

If you can live without these updates, and you're open to driving a used car, consider shopping for a 2017 Jaguar XE to save some money. To research a used XE, read our review of the 2017 Jaguar XE, and check out our Used Car Deals page to find deals and incentives on used vehicles.

Compare the 2017 and 2018 Jaguar XE »

We Did the Research for You: 15 Reviews Analyzed

Our goal is to make shopping for your next car as easy as possible. You'll find everything you need to know about the Jaguar XE in our comprehensive review. It combines concrete data (like fuel economy estimates, horsepower specs, and cargo space dimensions) with 15 professional Jaguar XE reviews. This overview incorporates applicable research for the 2017 and 2018 model years. We also have in-depth reviews on stablemates like the Jaguar F-Type, Jaguar F-Pace, and Jaguar XF.

Why You Can Trust Us

The Best Cars team – a division of U.S. News & World Report – has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007. With more than 75 years of combined automotive experience, our editors, writers, and analysts rank a wide variety of new and used cars and issue three annual awards: Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands. To keep our recommendations unbiased, we decline expensive gifts from carmakers, and a third party handles our advertising.

How Much Does the Jaguar XE Cost?

The starting price of the Jaguar XE is about average for the luxury small car class, at $35,725. At the upper end of the XE spectrum is the range-topping XE Portfolio, which starts at $56,500. Other trims available for 2018 include the XE Premium ($38,325), XE R-Sport ($45,825), and XE S ($52,275). For great savings at your local Jaguar dealer, check out our U.S. News Best Price Program.

Jaguar XE Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Jaguar XE or BMW 3 Series?

On the performance front, both the Jaguar XE and BMW 3 Series fare well in our rankings. You'll find a powerful lineup of engines and nimble handling in each model. Inside, however, the BMW offers more space and an intuitive infotainment system. Additionally, it's available in Sports Wagon and Gran Turismo hatchback versions for increased utility, and it has a higher predicted reliability rating. The 3 Series is a better value and a better choice.

Which Is Better: Jaguar XE or Audi A4?

Though both cars earn praise in the performance department, the Audi A4's interior outshines the Jaguar XE's in almost every way. The A4 comes with more standard features than the XE – including smartphone integration via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay – and Audi’s MMI infotainment system is easy to use. The A4 also has enough back-seat space for adults to ride comfortably. The Audi is the better choice.

Which Is Better: Jaguar XE or Mercedes-Benz C-Class?

In this segment, it's hard to beat the Mercedes-Benz C-Class’ interior elegance. Mercedes materials are first-class, and the styling oozes opulence. The C-Class also comes with lots of standard high-tech safety features, like a driver drowsiness monitor and collision prevention assist. Unless you're sold on the XE's athleticism, go with the C-Class. Keep in mind, however, that both vehicles have low predicted reliability ratings.

Compare the XE, 3 Series, and C-Class »

XE Interior

How Many People Does the XE Seat?

Of the XE's five seats, the driver and front passenger have the best in the house. The cushions are comfy and supportive, with upgrades like sport seats, heat, and ventilation to enhance your ride. The touch screen and other buttons are easy to reach. There isn't much legroom for rear-seat passengers, though two adults can fit in the back for a short outing.

XE and Car Seats

In the back seat, the XE has lower anchors and a tether anchor mounted at each outboard seat.

XE Interior Quality

The XE has a solid build quality and a quiet ride. That said, some might question the styling and choice of materials. The somewhat subdued design doesn't create an aura of opulence, as you'll find in a Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Nor do upgraded materials like grained leather seats, carbon fiber inlays, and burl ash trim match the first-class level of Mercedes and Audi.

XE Cargo Space

The XE's 15.9-cubic-foot trunk seems impressive, topping the cargo space of rivals like the BMW 3 Series. In practice, however, its narrow shape is limiting, giving you only enough space for about four medium-sized rolling suitcases.

XE Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Reviews on Jaguar's InControl Touch infotainment interface are divided. For some, the InControl system has a sleek look and feel about it, especially when outfitted with the available 10-inch touch screen. Others report quirks that include freezing up and slow responses to inputs, noting that these issues are especially noticeable when using the available navigation system. For infotainment systems with such a wide range of assessments, it's best to try it out for yourself to see if you can live with it on a daily basis. We also recommend the upgraded InControl Touch Pro interface, which improves user experience by linking to a variety of smartphone apps.

Read more about interior »

XE Performance

XE Engine: Plenty of Power All-Around

You have your pick of four available engines with the 2018 XE, and all are good. The standard turbocharged four-cylinder is eager to launch. This engine – like the others in the lineup – comes with a refined eight-speed automatic transmission. If you're on a mission for faster takeoffs, a higher horsepower four-cylinder is available. Jaguar also offers a potent (and satisfyingly growly) supercharged V6 that can reach 60 mph from a standstill in as little as 4.9 seconds.

XE Gas Mileage: Fuel-Sipping Turbodiesel

If you want a luxury small car with low fuel costs, pick the XE's available turbodiesel engine. It gets 32 mpg in the city and 42 mpg on the highway, which is far higher than the class average. Though the gas mileage with the base four-cylinder engine is lower, it's still thriftier than most. Fuel economy ratings for this engine are 25 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway.

XE Ride and Handling: Fun to Drive

Handling is a high point for the XE. Its steering is precise, and the suspension is stiff enough to limit body roll yet soft enough to absorb bumps with grace. Every XE comes with paddle shifters on the steering wheel and torque vectoring (which adds stability when cornering). You can adjust elements like steering and throttle response through the drive mode selector, which includes Normal, Eco, Dynamic, and Rain/Ice/Snow settings. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available.

Read more about performance »

XE Reliability

Is the Jaguar XE Reliable?

The 2018 Jaguar XE has a predicted reliability rating of two out of five from J.D. Power. That's the lowest score a car can receive. Both the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 have higher ratings.

Jaguar XE Warranty

The XE has a five-year/60,000-mile warranty, which is longer than the coverage for an Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series.

Read more about reliability »

XE Safety

XE Crash Test Results

Like many luxury vehicles, the XE doesn't undergo crash testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

XE Safety Features

The XE comes standard with rain-sensing windshield wipers and an adaptive speed limiter, the latter of which can be set manually or can use information from the navigation system or traffic sign recognition system (both optional) to prevent you from speeding. Jaguar also offers a rearview camera, a surround-view camera system, emergency braking, lane departure warning, active lane keep assist, a driver condition monitor, active park assist for both parallel and perpendicular parking, blind spot monitoring with active blind spot assist, rear cross traffic monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, a head-up display, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality.

Read more about safety »

Which Jaguar XE Model Is Right for Me?

Jaguar suggests that the best way to narrow your XE search is to start by picking your engine. For 2018, there are four available engines, all of which come with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The main engine is a turbocharged four-cylinder, available in 247-horsepower and 296-horsepower versions. A turbodiesel engine can be added to most trim levels, while only the XE S comes with a supercharged V6. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available.

Once you've settled on an engine, select the trim outfitted with the amenities you want. Available trim levels include XE, Premium, Prestige, R-Sport, S, and Portfolio (see below for more details on each trim). For the best value, we recommend the entry-level XE. It comes with a nice arrangement of standard features, and you can add options like a $410 rearview camera or a $1,020 Cold Climate package for less money than upgrading to the Premium trim level.

Jaguar XE

The Jaguar XE comes standard with synthetic leather seats, 10-way power-adjustable front seats, an 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system, HD Radio, a USB port, Bluetooth, a six-speaker audio system, dual-zone automatic climate control, a moonroof, push-button start, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. Jaguar XE prices start at $35,725.

Jaguar XE Premium

Added features of the XE Premium ($38,325) include a rearview camera, an 11-speaker Meridian sound system, a memory function for the driver's settings, and auto-dimming power-fold exterior mirrors.

Jaguar XE Prestige

The XE Prestige ($42,225) adds grained leather seats, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, keyless entry, navigation, front power lumbar support, and interior mood lighting.

Sport Editions

Jaguar lists three models that lean toward the sportier side, all of which include most Prestige trim features. The R-Sport ($45,825) comes with sport seats and uses unique styling elements to brandish its sportier side. The XE S ($52,275), the most powerful trim in the lineup, comes with a 380-horsepower supercharged V6 engine. The range-topping XE Portfolio ($56,500) has a more powerful version of the base four-cylinder engine – tuned to 296 horsepower – and a rich array of tech and safety features.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Jaguar dealer.

See 2018 Jaguar XE specs and trims »

The Final Call

The Jaguar XE is a good pick for those who enjoy driving, want an extra boost for their commute, and will rarely have rear-seat passengers. Its performance is on par with sports sedans like the Cadillac ATS, BMW 3 Series, and Audi A4. As a relatively new addition to the class, the XE is also a good option for those who want something a little less commonplace parked in their driveway. However, if you want to stand out with sharp exterior styling or an overly posh interior, you're out of luck; the XE doesn't quite hang with some of its German counterparts. And not only does the XE have one of the lowest predicted reliability ratings in the class, but it also comes up short on back-seat and trunk space.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "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 (sic) you may want to shop other vehicles." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "I may start telling people that Jaguar does German sport luxury better than the Germans after driving this XE. That may be a small overstatement. BMW has the sport down, Mercedes definitely has the luxury, and Audi's somewhere in the middle, but this new sedan does almost everything right." -- Autoweek (2017)
  • "If the infotainment system and trunk are the XE's greatest weaknesses, well, we can live with that. The F-type proposed a Jaguar that was more aggressive than we'd previously known. The XE preserves the F-type's intent, putting driving dynamics at the top of luxury-car priorities, while also lowering the brand to a more accessible place. You might get lost if the XE's nav system is leading the way, but at least you'll be in a car that makes getting lost fun." -- Car and Driver
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