Compact executive Car of the Year 2015: Jaguar XE
The Jaguar XE is the 2015 Auto Express Compact executive Car of the Year, with the BMW 3 Series and Lexus IS commended
For years Jaguar has been desperate to create a BMW 3 Series rival – and now it’s got one. In fact, the XE is more than a rival. It’s good enough to finally knock the German car off the top spot and take honours in the compact executive class.
Building on Jag’s success with the larger XF saloon and combining this with stunning styling as seen on the F-Type, the XE represents what the brand does best. It’s a mix of cutting-edge tech, with its aluminium chassis and frugal diesel engines, and high-end luxury thanks to the sumptuous leather interior.
With a new family of Ingenium engines under the bonnet, the XE is a top performer, too. The 178bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel matched with Jag’s slick eight-speed auto is the combination of choice, with silky smooth power delivery and excellent refinement making it a great long-distance cruiser.
The key to success in the compact exec sector is balancing attractive looks and strong performance with efficiency and usability. It’s here that the XE excels, with CO2 emissions as low as 99g/km from the lower-powered 161bhp Ingenium diesel.
While it’s a bit tight on the inside, this gives a typically Jaguar feeling of cocooned refinement. Passenger space is still good, though, plus there’s a generous luggage area, too, with a capacity of 455 litres. However, the real bonus inside is that the new car marks the debut of a new multimedia system, replacing the cumbersome low-resolution screen from the XF. It works fantastically well and helps cement victory for the XE.
A landmark moment for Jaguar.
XE 2.0D 180 Auto R Sport (£34,775)
The extra styling add-ons for the R Sport model match BMW’s M Sport trim for visual presence, and despite the big wheels this version of the XE still rides smoothly. The R Sport comes generously equipped as standard as well, yet still promisesthe kind of efficiency that’s competitive with the traditional class leaders.
BMW 3 Series
In no way does this mean the BMW 3 Series is past its best. Last year’s champion has a great chassis and a varied engine line-up. Plus, with a new facelifted version (above) of the famous compact executive saloon on the way soon, we have a feeling that the XE could have a fight on its hands to retain its crown next year.
Lexus has stuck to its guns resolutely by not offering the IS with a diesel engine. A hybrid won’t suit everybody, but buyers won’t be disappointed with the Lexus’ effortless powertrain in IS 300h form and the low CO2 emissions it brings. Bold styling mixed with a practical, spacious interior means the IS covers many bases.
Auto Express New Car Awards 2015
For complete, in-depth coverage of the New Car Awards 2015, buy your collector's edition copy of the Auto Express magazine now...
- 1IntroductionThe winners of the 2015 Auto Express New Car Awards have been announced
- 2Car of the Year 201512 years since the first generation model took the crown, the new Volvo XC90 is the 2015 Auto Express Car of the Year
- 3City car of the year 2015The Skoda Citigo is the 2015 Auto Express City Car of the Year, with the Hyundai i10 and Renault Twingo commended
- 4Supermini of the Year 2015The Volkswagen Polo is the 2015 Auto Express Supermini of the Year, with the Mazda 2 and Skoda Fabia commended
- 5Premium small Car of the Year 2015The Mini Cooper is the 2015 Auto Express Premium Small Car of the Year, with the Audi A1 and Citroen DS3 commended
- 6Compact family Car of the Year 2015The SEAT Leon is the 2015 Auto Express Compact Family Car of the Year, with the MINI 5dr and Skoda Octavia commended
- 7Family Car of the Year 2015The Skoda Superb is the 2015 Auto Express Family Car of the Year, with the Mazda 6 and Volkswagen Passat commended
- 8Estate Car of the Year 2015The Volkswagen Passat Estate is the 2015 Auto Express Estate Car of the Year, with the SEAT Leon ST and Skoda Octavia Estate commended
- 9MPV of the Year 2015The Citroen Grand C4 Picasso is the 2015 Auto Express MPV of the Year, with the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and SEAT Alhambra commended
- 10Crossover of the Year 2015The Nissan Qashqai is the 2015 Auto Express Crossover of the Year, with the Citroen C4 Cactus and Mazda CX-3 commended