Powerful new engine option for Jag’s four-wheel drive XE diesel range-topper
Last year, Jaguar introduced an all-wheel drive turbodiesel version of the XE, its rival to the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series. Now, it’s dropped in a powerful twin-turbo diesel to make the most of it: here, we’re first to drive then new 236bhp 2.0D 240 AWD model.
A quick glance at the performance stats is enough to rouse a bit of interest: an extra 58bhp means 0-62mph takes a hot hatch-beating 6.1sec, and it now becomes a bona fide 155mph car. Yet still one, impressively, capable of returning almost 55mpg on the combined cycle.
Jaguar XE 2.0D 240 AWD
Engine: 2.0-litre, four-cylinder
Torque: 500lb ft
Gearbox: Eight-speed automatic
Kerb weight: 1650kg
Top speed: 155mph
Economy: 54.4mpg (combined)
CO2/tax band: 137g/km, 29%
It delivers this with all the feel and finesse of the regular car: the regular XE is a class-leading driver’s car, and this one does little to change that. Despite the AWD chassis, the likeable feel is little-changed, although the dry weather of our testing meant it was actually hard to sense the system’s influence most of the time. The added winter security it brings is reassuring, though.
The engine performs well. Those sequential turbos are super-smooth and linear on the move, and you never feel any jerks in acceleration. The only time they are a little hesitant is at slower speed, although power is still easy to control when it does arrive. The kick of power in reserve when cruising is reassuring, too.
Inside, we don’t necessarily consider the interior to be class-leading, but do believe it’s right up there with the best, particularly in our test car’s Portfolio trim, which has the latest version of the Jaguar InControl infotainment system. It’s a massive improvement on earlier setups.
The plethora of new driver aids and safety alert systems are also welcome additions, and the full-colour head-up display is the perfect partner to an advanced all-electronic instrument display.
So, overall, the Jaguar XE remains a strong player in the compact executive car sector. The extra power of the twin-turbo diesel engine is satisfying, and it’s hard to fault the sheer all-round abilities of the all-wheel drive chassis. If you want a relaxed high-speed cruiser to use in all weathers, all year round – one that always has a decent slug of power in reserve – then the competitively-priced XE takes some beating.