Debuting at the L.A. Auto Show will be the all-new Jaguar XE. We’ve seen the Jag XE before, however, and it has been said to be the closest competitor to the BMW 3 Series on the market. But the only version of the company’s smallest cat that we’ve seen is the European version. The L.A. Auto show will debut the models that will be making their way ‘Stateside to take on the 3 Series on America soil.
Jaguar knows that taking on the BMW 3 Series, especially in the US (BMW’s second largest market), is going to be difficult. So it’s coming to our shores with a couple of tricks of its sleeves. First is the price. The XE will start, in America, at $34,900 for the XE 25t which will pack a 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that develops 240 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque.
To get that kind of power from a 3 Series, you need to step up to the 328i, which starts at $38,350. So it’s considerably cheaper to get into a higher performing Jag XE than BMW 3 Series.
Another trick it brings is a diesel. While that isn’t something unheard of in the segment, the 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder Ingenium diesel engine in the XE makes similar horsepower to the 328d (180) but more torque (311lb-ft) and costs quite a bit less. The XE 20d starts at $36,400 compared to the 328d’s $39,850. So each of the entry-level Jag XEs start at just a bit over $3,000 less than the comparable BMW 3 Series. That’s enough to get a couple of fancy options and still be underneath the 3er’s base price.
The big-daddy Jag XE is the 35t, which brings a supercharged 3.0 liter V6, making 340 hp and 332 lb-ft and costs $41,700. That’s enough to frighten the new BMW 340i while being, again, $3,000 cheaper.
All Jaguar XE models are available with all-wheel drive, which is fully rear-driven until the car deems it necessary to send power forward to the front wheels, which it can then do in under 165 milliseconds. The only transmission option for all XE models will be a ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic. Though, there will be two optimized versions for different cars. All models aside from the 35t will get the 8HP45 version, which is lighter and more compact, but the 35t will get a sturdier 8HP70, which is a bit heavier but can handle the extra torque. No manual option to start, but there’s word that a manual is in the works.
The Jaguar XE will come with something called ASPC (All-Surface Progress Control), which works as a sort of low-speed cruise control. It’s been developed with the help of Land Rover and can control the powertrain and braking at speeds from 2-19 mph and is designed to deliver optimum traction in a variety of conditions.
All Jaguar XEs will come with a variety of standard kit, including Jaguar’s latest InControl Touch infotainment system and a 380 watt 11-speaker sound system. The XE will also have a suite of optional extras, including a Head-Up Display, Traffic Sign Recognition, Lane Keep Assist and even Apple Watch compatibility.
The Jaguar XE has already been said to be a bit more exciting that the BMW 3 Series. The XE might not have the refinement or build quality or even the ergonomics of the 3 Series, but it does come in at a considerably lower price and has a bit more standard kit than the 3 Series. So if it’s more exciting, can be had for less money and has more standard features, the BMW 3 Series might need to watch out.