$21,914 - $37,268

2018 Jaguar XE Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2018 Jaguar XE was new.


Performance: 8.8

Drivers who enjoy the thrill of a sports sedan will appreciate the 2018 Jaguar XE. The standard turbocharged engine is lively and fuel-efficient. Three other engines, including a fuel-sipping turbodiesel and a brawny supercharged V6, are also available. Handling is on point and favors athleticism, though it's still composed for comfortable daily driving.

  • "Key to this success is a varied engine lineup. There's a punchy four-cylinder gas engine, a fuel-sipping diesel four-cylinder, and a supercharged V6. … Pair any of these with the XE's exemplary handling and steering, and you have a clear formula for a fun-to-drive small luxury sport sedan." -- Edmunds
  • "The XE drives like a maxi-Miata, only without so much body roll. It's rolling proof that soft cars aren't always sloppy and sporty models needn't be stiff." -- Car and Driver (2017)
  • Without question, the XE is a solid offering from Jaguar. But at least from the cars offered for testing here, in the area of pure driving fun, it isn't quite the best in the segment. On those roads in Colorado, I couldn't help but think I'd rather be in a 340i or an ATS instead." -- Jalopnik (2017)

Acceleration and Power

The standard engine in a 2018 XE is a turbocharged four-cylinder with a 247-horsepower rating. Its snappy acceleration and refined eight-speed automatic transmission (the sole gearbox for the XE) make this sports sedan enjoyable to drive. Fuel economy is slightly above average, at 25 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway.

You can save an average of $500 a year on fuel expenses with the thriftier diesel engine. This 180-horsepower, turbocharged power plant gets 32 mpg city/42 mpg highway. It isn't as brisk off the line as a gas-powered XE, but the turbodiesel has plenty of pull at higher speeds.

For more punch, Jaguar offers a turbocharged four-cylinder with 296 horsepower, but it's the supercharged V6 that will have spirited drivers salivating. This 380-horsepower engine not only has scorching acceleration but a satisfying exhaust sound as well. Its fuel economy is rated at 21 mpg city/30 mpg highway.

  • "Most buyers will be happy with the efficient turbo 4-cylinder that enables 0-60-mph sprints in just 6.5 seconds. This standard powerplant is smooth and it's paired well with Jaguar's 8-speed automatic transmission, which is one of the best, shifting precisely and quickly. This is a fun car to drive with this combination. Less exhilarating but more efficient is the 2.0-liter turbodiesel in the XE 20d. It isn't slow at 7.5 seconds to 60 mph, and the engine pulls strongly thanks to its gargantuan 318 lb-ft of torque." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The XE's … V6 engine delivers silky smooth, effortless power that is pleasantly different in character compared with its competitors. If there's one disappointment, it's the unrefined automatic stop-start system that draws too much attention to itself." -- Edmunds
  • "The power takes a second to fully kick in, but the beauty of a supercharger is that it makes the engine put out more power than it would have normally as the revs climb, so it behaves more like a naturally aspirated engine on steroids. This is a seriously fast sedan, and one that would have gotten me in a lot more trouble on twisty backroads than I was prepared for if it wasn't for an intuitive traction control system." -- New York Daily News (2017)

Handling and Braking

The XE comes standard with rear-wheel drive and includes a torque vectoring system that enhances stability when cornering. You can adjust handling with the drive mode selector, which includes Normal, Eco, Dynamic, and Rain/Ice/Snow settings. All-wheel drive and Adaptive Dynamics (a system that quickly adjusts the suspension) are available. The XE is agile and fun to drive. Its suspension not only keeps the ride relaxing, soaking up most pavement imperfections, but also does a good job controlling body movements.

  • "Jaguar knows how to tune a suspension. The XE maintains control and composure around corners, with a well-damped ride that soaks up bumps and never punishes you for its athleticism. The adaptive suspension's improvement on ride comfort and handling is well worth the extra cost." -- Edmunds
  • "The V6 feels more appropriate for this premium machine, with an eager yet refined power delivery. And it exercises the suspension more, which can soak up bumps like a limousine but still feels agile through the corners. This is really one of the XE's strengths. It feels great to drive in a relaxed manner, but there's also a sporting character just waiting to get out when the circumstances permit." -- Autotrader (2017)
  • "Hitting that Goldilocks zone, the XE is stiff, but not too stiff for an everyday comfortable ride. In Dynamic mode, the adaptive suspension retains pliability, adding to the comfort while allowing some lean in hard cornering. It strikes an important balance between an elegant weekly commute car and a satisfying weekend backroads driver." -- CNET (2017)

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