The Jaguar XE is sold with one of three different engine choices, determining trim. Each of those can be broken down into three or four sub-trims. The base engine available on the 25t trim is a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder making 240 hp. Power is sent to the rear wheels via an 8-speed automatic. Jaguar claims that the base engine is able to hustle the car to 60 mph in around 6.5 seconds.
Though Jaguar have not released fuel economy estimates yet, the 20d trim should feature the most efficient engine in the XE Lineup. It's a 2.0L 4-cylinder turbo, but this time it runs off of diesel, rather than gasoline, which should boost mileage considerably. It is once again mated to an 8-speed automatic, but unlike the 25t, the 20d is available with all-wheel drive. Power is rated at 180 hp and 318 lb-ft of torque.
At the top of the lineup is the 35t, featuring a 3.0L supercharged V6 that is shared with the F-Type sports car. The engine makes 340 hp, enough to get the XE to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds, while power is once again sent to the rear wheels via an 8 speed automatic. Like the 20d, all-wheel drive in an option on the 35t.
25t models are available in Base XE, Premium and Prestige sub-trims, while the 35t is available in Premium, Prestige and R-Sport flavors. The 20d can be had at any of the four available trim levels.
The base XE trim may be spartan compared to the rest, but being a luxury car, it still features items such as rain sensing wipers, power exterior mirrors, a large power operated sunroof, dual-zone climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a 10-way power adjustable driver's seat and Bluetooth connectivity.
The Premium trim adds nicer alloy wheels, a memory function for the front seats, a rearview camera, a Meridian 11-speaker sound system, an automatic garage door opener, power folding and dimming side mirrors and a 40:20:40 split folding rear seat.
Prestige trim ups the ante with heated front seats, taurus leather seating surfaces, a heated steering wheel, additional adjustments for the front seats, navigation, keyless entry and additional interior lighting.
The top of the line R-Sport includes upgraded leather seats with contrasting stitching, an R-Sport body kit, vastly increasing the aggressiveness of the exterior styling, adaptive xenon headlights, a blind spot monitoring system, a lane keep assist function, rear cross traffic detection, as well as various front and rear parking sensors. The R-Sport also comes with SiriusXM satellite radio and a 3-month subscription.
Options include a 14-speaker Meridian sound system, heated rear seats, a rear sunshade, a power trunk lid, a 10.2-inch screen in the center console to house the navigation system, in car Wi-Fi and a heads-up display.
Next to the gorgeous F-Type, the new Jaguar XE looks conventional. It's a small sedan that wouldn't be out of place in the company parking lot next to the legions of BMW 3-Series and Audi A4s that tend to be the favorite of the up-and-coming executive class.
However, the XE is a far more important car to Jaguar than the F-Type, as its base price of $35,000 potentially brings far more buyers to the brand.
More importantly, it is a really good car, relying on advances in automotive engineering to keep it light while maintaining safety and handling. Jaguar calls the construction of the XE "aluminum intensive," meaning aluminum makes up about 75 percent of its structure. Curb weight comes in at a paltry 3,670 pounds, a minimal amount by today's standards.
The Good The 2017 Jaguar XE's aluminum construction makes for light and stiff handling, while the all-wheel-drive really digs into the corners. An attractive look and comfortable ride add to the allure of this British sport sedan.
The Bad Neither Apple CarPlay nor Android Auto feature in the infotainment system, and searching destinations in navigation requires drilling down through menus. Orange and green for head-up display colors look lurid.
The Bottom Line The 2017 Jaguar XE brings excellent driving dynamics to the compact sport sedan segment, making it a first generation hit, although its serviceable infotainment offerings lack the wow factor of some of the competition.
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