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2017 Jaguar XE S Review


Good points

  • Effortlessly strong SCV6
  • Well-balanced dynamics
  • Alluring design outside and in

Needs work

  • Long, long options list
  • More expensive than rivals
  • Tight in the back seat
2017 jaguar XE S in Ebony Black – Chasing Cars

Watch Jaguar’s ad campaign for their new sports sedan – the 2017 Jaguar XE S – and you’ll come away thinking it’s a four-door with the spirit of an F-Type. It’s a compelling idea, and the four-cylinder XE has proved itself to be the driver’s car of the small luxury sedan class – but has Jaguar achieved a feat of those proportions? Well, the answer is complex.

Under the long bonnet sits an F-Type engine – surely the first step to mimicking that car – and the 250kW supercharged V6 is quick, no doubt about it. At the same time, the big old six critically adds mass over a front axle that feels so light and agile in the four-cylinder XE, and naturally, any sedan foregoes some of the poise of a small coupe. The F-Type’s crisp steering feel and playful rear end have translated here, though; the coupe’s fabulous exhaust note has not. So while an XE isn’t a straight four-door F-Type, it is a particularly compelling sports sedan with a mighty dose of Jaguar DNA, making it feel a degree more special than the equivalent German saloon.

The Jaguar XE S in brief:

Within Jaguar, the S trim indicates a faster than usual model. An R badge is reserved for the most aggressive engines. An XE R isn’t yet on the cards, so the 250kW S is the fastest model of Jaguar’s small, rear-wheel-drive sedan, the XE. The remainder of the XE range use four-cylinder motors and have built a reputation as the most agile and rewarding cars in a class that includes the well-regarded BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The XE S aims to retain those characteristics while adding performance, using the F-Type’s supercharged V6.

No doubt – the XE S is rapid. The 3.0-litre engine offers linear, lag-free acceleration because it is supercharged, not turbocharged. Like all XEs, the S is rear-wheel-drive and it demonstrates superb inherent balance. With a sophisticated but playful chassis and excellent steering, the XE S handles very well, though the added engine weight means the S is bested in corners by the lighter, four-cylinder XE 25t.

The XE S comes at a $36,000 premium to the next-fastest XE – the 25t. Most of the additional money goes towards the V6 engine – the S grade doesn’t bring many extra features, apart from configurable drive modes, red brake calipers, 19-inch wheels and half-leather, half-suedecloth seats. Many desirable features, such as full leather, a sunroof, and upgraded navigation, remain on the options list, with the XE S’s value proposition comparing unfavourably to the equivalent BMW or Mercedes-Benz.

2017 Jaguar XE S tail end – Chasing Cars

Budget Direct
Comprehensive cover
/ year
(indicative only)
Budget Direct
Comprehensive cover
/ year
(indicative only)

Key specs (as tested)

250kW at 6,500rpm
450Nm at 4,500rpm
Torque converter
Power to weight ratio
157kW / tonne
Fuel type
Fuel capacity
Average Range
Rear wheel drive
Engine configuration
4.67 metres
1.85 metres
1.42 metres
Unoccupied weight
1597 kilograms
Cargo space seats up
Cargo seats down
Rating not available

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