Potential Jaguar XE customers can test up to three XE competitors alongside the Jaguar saloon in the first weekend of September

Prospective Jaguar XE customers can test drive up to three of the compact executive saloon's main rivals under a new initiative launched by Jaguar.

Jaguar dealers across the country have taken delivery of the three main rivals to the XE – which occupies the fiercely competitive compact executive saloon class – for potential XE customers to compare with the XE.

Unsurprisingly, the other cars in the group test are the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class - the latter of which is in the UK’s top 10 best-selling cars of July 2016 and is the 10th best-selling car in the UK so far this year, with more than 25,000 units shifted. Due to availability issues, however, not all dealers offering the group tests will have all three cars available to test; some may only have one rival available. 

Jaguar claims to be the first manufacturer in the UK to allow customers to carry out the ‘magazine-style’ group tests, with JLR UK’s managing director, Jeremy Hicks, saying: “Our offer is simple: if you are interested in test driving a Jaguar XE but are uncertain about how it will compare against its key rivals, then contact your local Jaguar retailer and arrange your own personal group test.”

The ambitious scheme only runs for a brief time; the first weekend of September is the window in which customers can undertake the group tests, although Jaguar has secured more than 250 examples of the rival cars for the tests.

The XE is approaching 30,000 global sales in 2016 so far and marks a key area of business for Jaguar. Meanwhile, the brand has had a healthy start to the year in the UK, with a growth in registrations in January-July of almost 57% compared with the same period last year. UK sales totalled 19,236 cars in this period.

If you don't have time to head out to your local Jaguar dealer to try out the XE and its rivals, our sister publication, What Car?, has carried out its own comparison of the XE against the BMW 3 Series. Find out how both cars did here

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
29

31 August 2016
This seems like a brilliant idea. The convenience of being able to test drive the car you're interested in, and it's closest rivals, at the same time is surely a winner.

31 August 2016
A quick look over at AutoExpress shows that the car with the highest rating amongst consumers is the Lexus IS 300h. Perhaps wisely, Jag has decided not to include it. Or maybe they're running scared? Anyway sounds like a desperate measure to shift the cars languishing on dealer lots.

31 August 2016
Jaguar isn't running scared. It shows they believe in their product. Most XE, 3-Series and C-Class car sales will be diesel - something that Lexus simply doesn't offer. Lexus sold 13,269 cars in the UK during 2015, whilst Jaguar shifted 23,954. In 2014 Lexus sold 11,572 cars, and Jagaur sold 18,401. If Lexus offered a proper range of engines then perhaps they'd be able to sell more cars?

31 August 2016
I would guess that Lexus is very comfortable in not having a diesel in its range, particularly as they look set to be banned from inner cities in the not too distant future. Besides, the hybrid system gets rave reviews from customers whereas the diesels from Jaguar get luke-warm customer feedback.

31 August 2016
Rave reviews from customers? Yes, because the people who buy hybrid Lexus vehicles do so as a personal car, not a business car. If I'd personally splashed out £35k on a weirdly-styled car with a hybrid system, I'd be going out of my way in telling everyone how good it was too. Whereas, if I had a diesel Mercedes or Audi company car I'm not going to be so forthcoming in flashing it off or giving it rave reviews - especially after a long day at the office. Your bias towards petrol and "tree hugging" greener technology is clear and anti-JLR stance is pretty clear. What is your explanation as to why Lexus sell such few cars if they are "so good"?

31 August 2016
I think you'll find that Lexus sells far more cars than Jaguar when you move outside of the home of Jaguar.

31 August 2016
Obviously diesel is a no brainer as a company car choice, but Lexus IS offering genuine choice, not yet another product belching carcinogenic filth. As for Jaguar, outselling Lexus in its home market is not much to write home about. The XE is out sold by the 3 big German rivals in the UK, which must be galling. Jaguar is the challenger brand and doesn't even make it onto many people's shortlists. In that respect, this test drive promotion carries little risk - at least their sales team will get to speak to prospective customers!

31 August 2016
soldi wrote:

A quick look over at AutoExpress shows that the car with the highest rating amongst consumers is the Lexus IS 300h. Perhaps wisely, Jag has decided not to include it. Or maybe they're running scared? Anyway sounds like a desperate measure to shift the cars languishing on dealer lots.

Hilarious.

The reason Lexus continues to be heavily outsold by the others and not taken seriously is because their styling department seem to be obsessed with manga cartoons. Their styling is quite frankly hilarious and cannot be taken seriously.

Owners (I.e the ones who actually bought them) will rate them highly because they are dependable and clearly they like the way they look.

I want a car that is desirable, I'm not buying a white good. I certainly don't want to be embarrassed to have one on my drive. Until Lexus take European staying seriously they'll never get anywhere

31 August 2016
Its a comedy quote. If you look at the data then you will see that 25 year old Lexus outsold 90 year old Jaguar by 8 times in 2015. [Jaguar 85k, Lexus 650k]. But maybe not in dear old Blighty.

31 August 2016
I don't know if it's just me but the current C Class has been around for more or less the same time as the XE and yet I see a hell of a lot more of the Merc. And I'm starting to see more new A4s too (even if initially it was difficult to tell apart from its predecessor!).

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