2018 XE New Car Test Drive
The Jaguar XE is a compact sports sedan challenging the BMW 3 Series. It was all new for 2017, and for 2018 brings a new engine into the lineup, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making a strong 296 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.
Jaguar's chief engineer, Nick Rogers, says the new engine is cleaner and more efficient, using “state-of-the-art exhaust technology and pioneering valve train design.” Called the 30t, it uses twin-scroll turbos with ceramic ball bearings to reduce friction, and a high-flow compressor wheel for performance. Paired with a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission, it can zoom from zero to sixty in a brief 5.2 seconds, and is rated at 28 combined miles per gallon.
The hottest engine in the XE line, a supercharged V6 in the S model, gets a boost in horsepower to 380. Other improvements to the 2018 XE include an available Gesture Controlled Trunk Lid, and the latest driver assistance systems, such as the optional Forward Vehicle Guidance and Forward Traffic Detection3.
The XE's rigid aluminum chassis comes from the superb Jaguar F-Type sports car, while other architecture is taken from the new Jaguar F-Pace crossover. The aluminum body contributes to light weight and agility. Its excellent handling brings a sports-car-like connection with the driver. This Jaguar is quick on its feet, as either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
The new turbo four is called the 30t, and joins the existing engines: the 20d, a 2.0-liter turbodiesel making 180 horsepower with 318 pound-feet of torque; the 25t, a more modest 2.0-liter turbocharged four making 247 horsepower; and the S, a fast supercharged 3.0-liter V6 making 380 horsepower with 332 pound-feet. The other engines use an 8-speed automatic as well.
The styling is clean and conservative, with sporty proportions. The lack of body frills helps aerodynamic efficiency that helps bring a quiet cabin.
The new turbo-four engine is EPA-rated at 25 mpg city, 34 highway, and 28 combined. The diesel, all about torque and fuel mileage, raises it to 30/40/34 mpg. The supercharged V6 brings 20/29/23 mpg to go with its silky speed.
Because the XE competes against luxury sedans, there are many available infotainment and safety features: blind-spot monitors, parking assist, head-up display, adaptive cruise, and forward collision warnings with automatic emergency braking.
The 2018 Jaguar XE comes in no less than 34 models on the Jaguar price sheet. Base, Premium, Prestige, R-Sport, Portfolio and the new S model, with a mix of the engines.
The Jaguar XE 25t ($38,225) comes standard with all-wheel drive and the 2.0-liter turbo four engine. The XE 30t with the more powerful engine starts with Premium trim ($44,625). The rear-wheel-drive S model sports 380 horsepower ($52,275). The XE 30t Portfolio Limited ($60,000) is the most luxurious version.