My friend Joel doesn't seem to care for the turbocharged 2.0-liter diesel engine in our long-term 2017 Jaguar XE 20d. That's fine. He's entitled to his opinion. But he does not speak for the entire Autoblog staff. I, for one, am a big fan of this oil burner. I said so months ago after I returned from a 2,000-mile road trip. The intervening months have done nothing to sway my opinion. It's smooth, efficient, and all the engine you need in a non-performance application.

It may not have the raw power or full range torque of the XE's gasoline engines, but it's a fine fit in this car. Not everyone who buys a sports sedan like the XE or BMW 3 Series does so because they want a sharp canyon carver. Some just want a handsome car that will get them from point A to B in relative comfort. The Jaguar XE diesel does just that, and it does so while achieving some pretty astounding fuel economy numbers. We met the 30 mpg city rating and eclipsed the 40 mpg highway rating with ease.

It's not like the XE diesel is slow. Sure, a 0-60 mph time of 7.5 seconds isn't blistering, but it's far from what anyone should consider slow or lethargic. That time is right on par with the BMW 328d. Sure, it runs out of breath at peak revs, but so does every other diesel. If you care about wringing it out, buy a gas version. By Joel's own admission, the engine's 180 horsepower and 318 pound-feet of torque are available when needed for highway passing or city driving. That's all most people really need. So what if it falls on its face at high revs.

I will concede that this isn't the most refined diesel on the market. At idle, it shimmies like an unbalanced washing machine. Jaguar has tuned a lot of that out, but it isn't nearly as calm as the competition (though it's miles better than diesels of old). It revs quickly for a diesel, but the exhaust note is one to forget. The engine sounds like a muffled foghorn mixed with a jar of nails. Not good. Once you get moving, it settles down. Highway cruising is a breeze. You forget you have a compression ignition engine under the hood. Even around town, turn the radio on and you'll be fine.

Joel is right about the ride and handling totally outclassing the diesel engine. The car is comfortable on highways and city streets but sharpens up on a curvy backroad. The steering and suspension communicate to the driver what the car is doing at all times. The brakes inspire confidence with a firm pedal and sharp bite. The diesel engine just doesn't have the grunt to keep up with the chassis through a few tight corners. The thing is, Jaguar offers a number of engines in the XE that work brilliantly in those situations.

This isn't a bad engine. It may not be as refined as some more modern diesels, but it's far from terrible. I would have no problem suggesting an XE diesel to someone who doesn't care about performance. You still get the looks and the comfortable chassis. If hooning isn't your thing, you might as well get the amazing fuel economy that comes along with this diesel.

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