Currently reading: Autocar magazine 22 July preview
Jaguar XE versus BMW 3 Series; McLaren 675LT and new Audi A4 driven; Mazda CX-3 road test; Audi's all-electric SUV

It's the twin test we've all been waiting for: Autocar has the first verdict as Jaguar's Jaguar XE takes on the facelifted BMW 3 Series in our latest issue, dated 22 July.

The XE is Jaguar's new saloon and the car with which the British manufacturer will take on its premium German rivals in the compact executive class. The Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and BMW 3 Series are all firmly in Jaguar's sights, but as Matt Saunders finds out, the XE is more than a match for the class leader.

Also driven in this issue:

McLaren 675LT - we test the harder, faster 650S variant, which gets 666bhp from its twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre V8 engine

Audi A4 - an early drive in a pre-production A4 shows that Audi has still got what it takes to challenge the best compact executive cars around

Renault Clio RS 220 Trophy - it's quicker and faster than the regular Clio RS but is it any better to drive?

BMW X1 - BMW looks to win back the compact SUV crown with its new rival to the Audi Q3, Mercedes-Benz GLA and Lexus NX 

Volkswagen Passat GTE - VW's new petrol-electric hybrid offers CO2 emissions of 37g/km and a 30-mile electric range

In the news section we've got the full scoop on the Audi electric SUV concept that is heading to September's Frankfurt motor show, plus our first look at the hot SQ5 SUV. We also lift the lid on the next Renault Megane, which will aim to offer more mature looks and a higher-quality interior when it goes on sale next year.

Elsewhere, we've got the latest spy pictures of Mercedes' open-top S63 AMG, our first ride in the new C-Class Coupé and the full story on McLaren's latest new model plans.

The new Mazda CX-3 gets the full eight-page road test treatment this week at the hands of our experienced testers. The Mazda CX-3 has already met with approval, offering a genuinely likeable rival to other compact crossovers like the Nissan Juke - but will its high starting price harm the verdict?

We welcome the BMW M4 to our long-term test fleet in the 'Our Cars' section, while we also have updates on the Porsche Panamera S E-hybrid, Skoda Fabia and Mercedes-Benz E Class Estate.

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