Jaguar XE Saloon Leasing
Leasing the Jaguar XE
The XE - Jaguar’s highly praised compact executive car - offers the perfect combination of performance, luxury, and efficiency. The car is comfortable, delivers a fantastic drive, and has great looks to boot. All this aside, the XE possesses a certain something that sets it apart from a host of German rivals including the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4. What’s more, its efficient engines make it a highly cost-effective car to drive.
Driving the XE
The XE is both thrilling and comfortable to drive, and whilst there may not be a huge range of engine choices to pick from, there’s something on the menu for all drivers.
What’s likely to strike you first when entering the vehicle is its holy grail of key qualities: luxury, comfort, and dynamism. Manufacturers have a hard time combining the three, so to find them all here in equal measure is testament to Jaguar’s abilities to surprise and deliver. How they’ve done it begins with the use of a relatively lightweight aluminium chassis and a highly sophisticated suspension system that evens out knocks from the road whilst ensuring the wheels stay firmly on solid ground and deliver on sensation. On cornering, the XE may not be first around the bend but it certainly stacks up nicely against competition such as the Alfa Giulia.
Steering the XE is a joy; control behind the wheel is both quick and accurate, and there’s a good level of grip. Switch into Dynamic mode and the car’s auto shift pattern, steering weighting, and throttle response all alter automatically, and on the inside the dials glow a sporty red. In typical Jaguar style, this car is comfy, refined, and smooth to drive even on the worst of road surfaces.
Making the XE feel even more fun to ride as you accelerate, the rear-wheel drive chassis feels firmly stuck to the road at all times, and delivers a definite feeling of being pushed along from behind rather than dragged from in front. Its balance is on very good form.
Back towards the end of 2015, Jaguar launched an intelligent all-wheel drive variety of the XE, letting go of a little on-limit balance to get hold of additional grip and security. The car undoubtedly feels confident on the road, and builds this up even in poor driving conditions. However, here in the UK where heavy snowfall is perhaps a twice-in-a-decade occurrence, the standard car fitted with a proper set of winter tyres will more than likely suffice.
What is undeniable about the XE is that its performance abilities make leaps of progress the further up the engine range you climb. Jaguar’s two most powerful engines for this car - the 237bhp 2.0-litre and the 335bhp supercharged V6 - take the car’s driving abilities with confidence into the high-performance league.
Due to the running costs of these engines, however, most drivers opt for the diesel models on offer. The smallest of these - the 161bhp 2.0-litre running at 99g/km CO2 - does feel a little slower and sound a little noisier than the rest of the family.
Our pick would be the 178bhp diesel with automatic transmission; an impressively refined vehicle for an executive saloon. The additional power leaves you not having to push the engine as far when overtaking, and the automatic gearbox shifts as smoothly as silk.
Jaguar offers two gearbox options for the XE; there’s the six-speed manual and the eight-speed automatic to pick from, although diesel models are the only ones available with the manual option. As good as the manual box is, however, it won’t provide the same driving experience as the automatic.
The automatic gearbox is particularly strong, shifting smoothly on fully automatic mode and responding with impressive haste when using the steering wheel paddles. The convenience of driving the automatic only adds to the relaxed nature of the driving experience, but don’t be fooled into thinking the XE can’t handle a punchier driving style.
Another good reason to choose the automatic transmission is the rotary gear selector that rises from the console in the centre of the cabin. This little detail taken from the larger XF saloon may seem unimportant but, without it, drivers of the manual XE will certainly be missing out on a special start to each drive.
Across the board, each of the XE models move with the refinement and smoothness that are typical of Jaguar’s cars, whether riding on standard 17” or 18/19” R-Sport wheels. The ride is firm but forgiving, and feels exactly as a Jaguar should feel.
Quick to react and giving plenty of feel on winding roads, the electronic power steering is complemented by excellent throttle response. This can be sharpened up to a point with the Configurable Dynamics system, allowing the driver to choose firmer suspension and sharper throttle reactions.
The XE comes with a choice of one of three engine types with five different output options. The most popular is the Ingenium 2.0-litre diesel engine, which comes with either 161bhp or 178bhp. Alternatively, there’s the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine with either 197bhp or 247bhp.
Lastly, there’s the high-performance S model with a 3.0-litre V6 supercharged petrol engine giving out 335bhp and taking the XE from 0-62mph in just 5.1 seconds.
Enjoying its fair share of the limelight, the 161bhp 2.0-litre diesel with six-speed manual transmission manages an impressive 99g/km of CO2 emissions whilst simultaneously boasting a quick 0-62mph time of 8.4 seconds and 380Nm maximum torque at just 1,750rpm.
This model does make itself heard on the road, and you might find the need to shift gears when moving at lower speeds to bring the engine into its comfortable power band. We would suggest instead opting for the 178bhp model with an eight-speed automatic transmission. This model is fitted with the same basic engine but, with significantly more torque at 430Nm at 1,750rpm, it gives a much more powerful drive. Unsurprisingly, Jaguar’s automatic is again one of the smoothest in its class.
The 2.0-litre is both smooth and responsive, although on the track it came in slightly slower than the 320d and the Alfa Giulia. However, thanks in part to an impressive 430Nm of torque output, out on the road the differences between these cars is negligible. The XE drives effortlessly in the mid-range, and feels particularly alert at high speeds.
The four-cylinder 2.0-litre petrol engine with either 197bhp or 237bhp delivers the level of top-end speed and smoothness that the diesel engines don’t quite hit, and for a sacrifice of running costs and efficiency it can deliver a more refined experience. In particular, the 237bhp engine feels very fast both in a straight line and driving through corners.
Jaguar’s flagship XE - the 3.0-litre supercharged V6 in the S model - delivers some exceptional stats: it will make 155mph and 0-62mph in 5.1 seconds, and it’s of little surprise considering it’s running on an engine lifted straight from the F-type sports car.
The sound that this model makes is muted in comparison to the growling coupe, but it roars like a real Jaguar engine should.
Fuel Economy and Maintenance
Although the 99g/km XE isn’t the best of the bunch in terms of driving, it does deliver in terms of economy.
The 2.0-litre diesel engine has been developed from scratch and is purpose-built in a factory in the UK. Although its performance isn’t the best that Jaguar can offer with the XE, it is an undeniably clean engine.
On offer in two different power options, the 161bhp version lands the XE in the current VED band A with a manual transmission, whilst the 178bhp unit with manual gearbox sits in band B with 109g/km CO2 output - quite something for an impressive performance executive saloon.
Still, our choice would be the 178bhp diesel XE with Jaguar’s eight-speed automatic gearbox. Emitting only 111g/km CO2, it’s pushed into VED band C in the current system, and still attracts just a £30pa charge. Even the all-wheel drive version, introduced at the end of 2015, emits just 123g/km.
All of this combines to mean that at the best end of the scale the XE’s diesel engines will manage 74.3mpg, and at the other end a very respectable 60.1mpg. Daily usage will probably deliver over 50mpg, and 60mpg in the lower-powered manual version. Furthermore, you’ll only need to pay a relatively small benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax, thanks to Jaguar’s combination of a realistic list price and low CO2 emissions across the range.
Pitched against its rivals, the XE doesn’t take the lead in terms of cost but all models do tend to have better levels of equipment than their counterparts. Maintenance costs will also likely be on par with competing cars.
Running costs vary quite widely across the range of XEs available, with petrol versions coming in at the top end of the scale at around 35.9mpg and 194g/km for the 3.0-litre V6. Slightly further down the scale, the base model XE in automatic transmission and a 198bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine still delivers only slightly better at 37.7mpg, or 30mpg with real-life usage. The more powerful 237bhp version, however, doesn’t require any trade-off for the extra power and so, budget allowing, it might be best to opt for the faster version.
Equipment and Design
The XE is made for discerning drivers, with good looks both inside and out, and a very impressive multimedia system included as standard.
Hiding within what may seem from images like a fairly conservative design not unlike the XF, the XE is something else entirely once it hits the road. The car’s bold appearance, with design elements shared across the Jaguar range from the XF, XJ, F-Type and F-Pace, give it real presence as it moves. The family genes are easily identified in the wide, low-profile headlights, the flat, front-facing grille, and the low-down, arrow-head bonnet.
Drawing attention to the car’s mighty width across the front and rear is a series of ‘J-Blade’ daytime running LEDs. The XE’s low roofline is almost coupe-like, which looks stunning but does impact headroom in the cabin - something it has in common with Jaguar’s bigger XJ.
The R-Sport and top-of-the-range S models of the XE add on larger front and rear bumpers and bigger alloys, and Portfolio models come with additional exterior chrome trim for a classier, more understated appearance. However, to us, the sportier finish fits the car best with its great proportions enhanced by aggressive styling.
Inside, the design is simple but always stylish, and the wraparound fascia is visibly similar to that within the XJ, making it familiar to those who know the bigger car. Overall, the design is relatively plain, but this also makes the car very intuitive to navigate. So, whilst there won’t be much to work out in terms of the buttons and their functions, you will be able to almost instantly learn where and what everything is. This all adds to the car’s classy feel, and means the car will more than likely age well.
Jaguar starts the XE off with the entry-level SE, upgrading with models from Prestige to R-Sport and Portfolio. There’s a 237bhp 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine that’s only available in the higher-spec R-Sport and Portfolio models, and the highest spec V6 is available only with the unique XE S trim.
Each of the XE’s models comes as standard with a touch screen navigation system, cruise control, climate management system, 17-inch alloy wheels, parking sensors in the rear, a DAB radio and Bluetooth connectivity.
Further up the range, the Prestige trim adds in leather upholstery, a rear armrest for the rear passengers, an aluminium trim and heated front seats. The R-Sport specification alters the car’s appearance quite noticeably, with 18-inch alloys, perforated leather seats, a new body kit, lowered sports suspension and a black radiator grille. The Portfolio comes with an upgraded stereo system, plush leather chairs, and a classically Jaguar-style chrome grille.
Each of the XE’s models comes equipped with Jaguar’s InControl Touch system, which features an eight-inch touchscreen, 3D sat-nav and Bluetooth connectivity allowing for hands-free calling and music streaming.
The system can also be used to access other features including the climate control system and an advanced trip computer. Although the graphics aren’t the most advanced, the system is very easy to use and the screen is responsive. Using the system is simple, and pairing your smartphone with your car takes just a moment.
For a little extra cash, you can get the Pro set-up installed. The differences here begin with the bigger 10.2-inch screen and the removal of the shortcut buttons. The larger screen also allows for pinch and swipe gestures, which makes using the screen blissfully easy and very familiar to smartphone or tablet users.
The Pro system is also fitted with a 10GB hard drive, enhanced sat-nav system, and a 380W Meridian sound system. You can also add on Jaguar’s Connect Pro selection of features including online services, social media app connections, Google Street View, and real-time traffic information.
The XE model brought out late in 2015, which Jaguar confusingly named the “2017 model year”, upgraded its kit with a more sensitive 10.2-inch touchscreen with quicker responses and a clearer display.
Features added to the car include Apple CarPlay, Apple Watch compatibility, and a WiFi hotspot, all of which set the XE way ahead of rivals such as Lexus and Mercedes.
The XE delivers an excellent ride, but this is a compact car for Jaguar and space inside is less than some might expect from the manufacturer.
Whilst the external dimensions are larger than those of the BMW 3 Series, its internal space is no greater. However, comfort has been prioritised by Jaguar. Regardless of the wheels and tyres chosen, the XE drives smoothly across most road surfaces, making the driving experience feel really luxurious.
The driver’s seating position is just right, allowing for plenty of movement and adjustment with the wheel able to move back quite a way and the chair set low in the cabin for more of a coupe feel. Some taller drivers may find the roof lining a little low, but the car should comfortably accommodate most people.
Even the chairs themselves are beautifully soft and comfortable, including those sportier, tighter chairs in the R-Sport and S models.
The standard boot space is all you’ll get, as there are no folding seats in the rear. There is a good amount of space in the cabin, however, with large door pockets and nets for passengers in the rear. There’s a good-sized central storage space and glove compartment too.
Jaguar owners seem to be pretty much unanimously pleased with their cars, although this is often much more due to performance ability than reliability. Even so, Jaguar’s dealers deliver excellent customer service and workmanship with a great attitude. So whilst they’re not the cheapest of places, they do generally deliver an excellent service.
So far, we’ve not heard of any problems on the reliability front.
Unsurprisingly for Jaguar, the XE scored an excellent set of results in its Euro NCAP crash test in 2015, with a 92% adult occupant rating, six airbags, stability control, traction control, and Isofix for child seats all included as standard.
Additionally, lane departure warning and emergency low speed automatic braking are both fitted as standard too, whereas most other manufacturers only offer these as added extras.
A jaguar XE lease from Vantage Leasing is an affordable way to enjoy the luxury that the beautiful Jaguar XE brings.
Whatever your Jaguar XE leasing needs are, be it business or personal contract hire, we have a number of Jaguar XE lease deals to suit you.
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