Both the Jaguar XE and BMW 3 Series are exceptional compact executive cars. Their diesel engine options are very efficient, they both have optional 60/40 folding rear seats to maximise functionality and the handling in both is direct and pleasing. But in a head to head battle, which will triumph? Here is Robert from Eden Commercials argument for both.
For five years, Jaguar neglected to fill the compact-saloon-shaped hole left by its X-Type, which was discontinued in 2009. Rather than jump straight back in with an unfinished car the company took its time with the impressive XE. An all new aluminium chassis is streets apart from the Mondeo-based predecessor. The technology debuted in this model has subsequently been featured in the far more premium XF and F-Pace SUV.
The choice when it comes to engines in the XE are rather slim, but that being said there should be a motor to satisfy every driver’s needs, from a 2.0L diesel engine producing an acceptable 163BHP to the 3.0L supercharged V6 that packs a huge 380BHP-punch.
The BMW on the other hand is the car you’d expect from a company that’ve been making compact saloons for around 40 years. The IDrive system in the 3 Series puts Jaguar to shame and the overall feel and quality of the interior can’t be matched by the British offering. Whilst not as spacious as the BMW 5 Series and Audi A5, the 3 Series has more than enough room for passengers in the back compared to its competitor.
The 3 Series offers a very broad range of engine options starting with a 1.8L Petrol motor with a slightly below average 136BHP. Top of the pile, however, sits the M3 competition package with an eye watering 431 BHP. Unlike the Jaguar, BMW has launched a hybrid version of the 3 Series with a 2.0L petrol engine supported by an 87BHP electric motor that has an all-electric range of about 25 miles, plenty to do your shopping with.
Overall the two cars are hard to separate, the BMW is faster all round and the interior is what you’d expect for the £30,000 mark, while the Jaguar does lack that luxurious feel with some less than adequate plastic interior. The XE is far more fun to drive, with greater feedback from the front wheels and less body roll than the German. Therefore, if you want a sensible motorway cruiser that does what it says on the tin go for the 3 Series, if you want something a bit more fun and boisterous go for the XE.