What is it?
We know Jaguar’s XE is a sound overall package, and that the high-powered diesel makes a lot of sense but the company has been slightly surprised by the high proportion of early retail customers who’ve been choosing the petrol editions. It’s running at 30% - or about double the predicted amount.
So this is our chance to look at the four-cylinder petrol options in more detail. We’re testing the higher-powered of the two engines, which produces 237bhp and 215lb ft between 1750rpm and 4000rpm. Its more modest stablemate - the cheapest way into an XE - has 197bhp and 207lb ft. However, it isn’t actually any cleaner, because the CO2 emissions of both motors are the same, at 179g/km. You can’t have either engine with a manual gearbox, incidentally; it’s the ZF eight-speed automatic or nothing.
Of course, as with Land Rover Discovery Sports using old-school diesel engines while they wait for the shiny Ingenium units that are such stars in the XE, so the Jag’s petrol engines aren’t really brewed up in the firm’s shiny new plant in Wolverhampton. They’re Ford units, made in Valencia; Ingenium petrols are a further year away, allegedly.
Those CO2 emissions mean that only private buyers are going to be interested in the 2.0-litre petrol XEs; fleet customers, or a predicted 98% of them, will stick with diesel. However, if you are a private buyer standing in a dealership with a range of PCP finance deals in front of you, this could look like one of the more appealing options.