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The 2018 Jaguar XE compact sedan improves on last year’s new car with a new engine and technology.

After a full model year in the U.S., the 2018 Jaguar XE gets incremental improvements to the range. Jaguar introduced a new turbo-4 this year, good for 247 horsepower and bumped the XE S model from 340 hp to 380 hp with the supercharged V-6.

The XE is still gunning for the BMW 3-Series, and hits the target in many respects, falling just short in others. Jaguar’s promise of a true sport sedan is fulfilled by the XE’s rear-wheel drive, lightweight body, and newly available 380 hp in the S line’s supercharged V-6.

Review continues below

This all adds up to a package that works well, mostly. We rate it 7.4 out of 10, for solid ride quality and handling. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Jaguar XE Styling and Performance

The XE brings a sense of subdued style with an exterior form that draws on its Bavarian rival while smoothing the overall silhouette and profile. There isn’t much flash to the XE’s trim, though top models get a mesh grille, chrome fender vents and big front air intakes. R-Sport models get their own body kit and wheels.

Inside, the story is the same, with function taking the front seat. Avoiding some of the glitz that past Jaguars (and even the current XJ) have scattered throughout their cabins, the XE’s interior is adorned with plenty of gloss-black trim and just enough soft-touch material to feel expensive. As the centerpiece of its interior landscape, the XE features a responsive 8.0-inch touchscreen, which can be expanded to 10.2 inches with a full 12.3-inch virtual gauge cluster as a new option for 2018.

The 2018 XE is a performance high-achiever in all trims, with acceleration that ranges from good to mental, and with refined road manners.

The base model is fitted with the brand’s new 2.0-liter turbo-4, good for 247 hp and a 0-60 mph run in less than 6-seconds. Jaguar’s plucky turbodiesel returns this year, with 180 hp and accelerates to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds. The gruff but powerful 3.0 liter supercharged V-6 engine is also back, still sporting 340 hp, which will push the XE to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds.

New for 2018, the XE is available in S trim, which bumps the already adequate power of the V6 to 380 hp. All models are available with all-wheel drive, and all powerplants come connected to a smooth-shifting 8-speed paddle-shifted automatic transmission

The XE’s Adaptive Dynamics, which allows driver customization of engine and suspension settings, is available on all trims and standard on the S. The car is stable and poised at highway speeds and happily chews up miles when the roads get curvy—the XE is a dream on the road.

Jaguar XE comfort, safety, and features

The XE measures 183.9 inches long, and rides  on a 111.6-inch wheelbase. Those numbers work well for a sporty ride but won’t win over back seat passengers. Seating up front is supportive and comfortable, and it’s available in synthetic or full-leather wrappers depending on trim level. The XE suffers from a common affliction in this class, it lacks a reasonably sized back seat. Many passengers, even smaller sized ones, will find head and knee room lacking and awkwardly shaped door sills that make for difficult entry and exit.

The base model 2018 XE comes in at ,720 with destination fee. Options and trim level additions quickly drive the price well over ,000. Tack on another ,500 for all-wheel drive on any model. All cars come with plenty of standard equipment and a good warranty/service plan combo.Upgraded trims add navigation, larger wheels, a host of safety and driver-assist tech, and more powerful audio systems, to name a few.

Jaguar’s InControl infotainment system returns in all XEs this year, with the standard version measuring 8.0 inches corner to corner. Bluetooth audio and USB connectivity are standard as well. The Pro model steps up to 10.2 inches this year, adding a 12.3-inch virtual gauge cluster with the ability to display full-screen navigation and other detail. SD card navigation, mobile hotspot, remote start and locking/unlocking are included in the Pro upgrade.




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