We highlight the Jaguar XE's chief competition in the compact executive segment
28 January 2015

The all-new Jaguar XE will have a fierce battle on its hands in the executive car class when the saloon goes on sale in May.

Armed with a new range of fuel-efficient, lightweight Ingenium engines and the latest infotainment technology from Jaguar Land Rover, the XE is expected to be a serious front-runner in the hotly contested class. We run down the Jaguar XE’s chief rivals.

Audi A4

An all-new A4 saloon is due from the German car firm in the second half of this year. The new A4’s dimensions should be close to the current car, with marginal increases to the width and wheelbase to house a new chassis based on the second-generation MLB platform.

The outgoing Audi A4 was dynamically inferior to the BMW 3-series, but the next A4 could be sharper to drive thanks to the MLB platform’s mixture of aluminium, steel and lightweight composite materials, thus reducing the overall kerb weight.

Updated engine technology is planned, featuring cylinder shutdown technology and possibly a plug-in hybrid model, using the same powertrain from the A3 e-tron. Brake energy recuperation and automatic engine stop-start technology should also feature. The latest version of Audi’s MMI infotainment system should also be available, as seen on the new Audi TT.

BMW 3-series

The outgoing sixth-generation 3 Series is still a consummate performer, having ruled the executive car class since its launch in 2012. However, newly launched rivals have closed the gap significantly and BMW aims to fight back with a facelifted variant this summer.

A new range of turbocharged three-cylinder petrol and diesel engines will join the range, replacing the existing entry-level four-cylinder units. BMW says they will reduce overall kerb weight and increase fuel efficiency by up to 10 per cent.

The facelifted model also gets mild exterior tweaks and an improved interior with new multimedia features.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

While the new C-Class is not the most dynamically capable saloon in the segment, it does have a sumptuous, class-leading interior. It’s an area where the Jaguar XE will do well to match, let alone beat.

The engines are highly efficient, too, offering up to 72.4mpg and 102g/km in C200 Bluetec guise. Jaguar claims the base 161bhp 2.0-litre diesel Ingenium motor is capable of 75mpg and CO2 emissions of 99g/km.

Lexus IS

The premium Japanese car firm takes a different approach from its key rivals, offering the IS saloon in petrol or petrol-electric hybrid form only. It’s by no means the best in class to drive, but in hybrid form the IS300h is incredibly refined and its ultra-low emissions make it a tempting company car option.

The IS250 petrol lacks the power and flexibility of chief rivals, but some buyers may like its smooth, naturally aspirated delivery.

Read the full Jaguar XE first drive review

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Our Verdict

Jaguar XE

Jaguar's first attempt at a compact exec saloon is good - very good. But can the XE hold off the BMW 3 Series and Alfa Romeo Guilia to retain its crown?

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Comments
4

A34

28 January 2015
If I was in the market for a junior exec I'd want the option of a Mondeo, DS5, Passat, Superb too. Pretty sure not everyone is a badge snob these days!

28 January 2015
I'm tempted by the XE. I've always preferred the alternative option from the default A4, 3 Series etc. But having priced one up with the options I deemed necessary I found it was out of my price range, so I'll have to stick with a fully spec'd Mazda6 2.2d 175.

"Why is http://www.nanoflowcell.com not getting more media attention? It could be the future... Now!"

28 January 2015
I would buy the XE on its exclusivity alone albeit I have a soft corner for the C-Class and the very talented 3-Series.

28 January 2015
Nice looking, It's only when seeing it next to the others that you appreciate what a good job they have done. The Audi and Merc looks quite dated in comparison. It is still too heavy for a car designed to be a lightweight.1450 kg for a four pot would have been nice.

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