No surprise there, you might say, because everyone knows that most cars fail to live up to the advertised figures in the long run.
I’ve been thinking, though: by how much does the XE miss its claimed figures by in the real world? To find out, I lent our car to sister magazine What Car?’s in-house team of True MPG testers, who assess the economy of cars over a variety of real-world conditions.
Jaguar says our test car — a 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel with 178bhp — should return 55.4mpg in the city and more than 76mpg on the motorway. However, our tests returned 38.4mpg and 51.6mpg respectively. That’s an average of 33% behind what Jaguar suggests.
The bottom line is that our XE will return a real-world average of 45.0mpg. That number tallies (just) with what we’ve been able to achieve. Now, enter the BMW 320d, which on the same tests returned an average of 51.7mpg — an 18% dip on what BMW claims. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class C220 d returned 51.0mpg, 26% behind its claimed figures. The Jaguar still beats the new Audi A4 2.0 TDI, which returned 44.4mpg in the True MPG tests, 32% behind what Audi claims.
So, you’ll spend more time at the pumps in the XE than you will in the BMW and Mercedes. Having driven the other two, though, I’m inclined to say you’ll have more fun driving the Jaguar than you will its German rivals. The Jaguar feels playful, even with this relatively mid-range diesel engine.
I recently opted to drive four friends home after an evening out, and although the journey started with complaints about rear legroom, it ended with everyone saying how much they enjoyed the Jaguar. The XE can still pull its weight with considerable gusto, even with all five seats filled, while keeping everyone comfortable and unflustered.
The eight-speed automatic transmission is a real gem, delivering smooth and precise changes. It’s so good that I rarely take control myself.
Its seats are comfortable and on these cold winter mornings I’ve been loving the fact they’re heated. At £435, Jaguar’s Cold Climate Package may seem expensive, but it adds heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and a heated windscreen. If I were to buy an XE, I’d tick this option first.
Talking of freezing, a few weeks ago we experienced a problem with the XE’s infotainment system crashing. After a trip back to Jaguar’s HQ for a laptop consultation though, the issue is sorted (if this were a customer car, it would mean a free trip to the dealer). It’s been running faultlessly ever since, but I have heard from another XE driver who discovered the same problem on his rental car.
Jaguar XE R-Sport 2.0 I4 180PS
Price £34,775; Price as tested £38,210; Economy 44.4mpg; Faults Infotainment system fault; Expenses None