Jaguar XE AWD 2016 review

The addition of four-wheel drive adds security to the Jaguar XE, but is it offset by the extra cost and drop in efficiency?

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Adding four-wheel drive to the XE doesn’t transform the way it drives, but it certainly feels more surefooted in adverse conditions. We’re not totally convinced that outweighs the efficiency drop, however, while the £1,800 extra that an AWD model asks could be better spent on the excellent new infotainment upgrade. All that aside, this is still a likeable and stylish small saloon that’s great to drive.

Jaguar’s XE has been on sale for over a year, and it’s won praise left, right and centre – not least from Auto Express, as we’ve crowned it Best Compact Executive Car at our New Car Awards in 2015 and 2016.

Best executive cars on sale

Now Jaguar has drafted in new features to help keep the saloon on top of its game – chief among which is the option of four-wheel drive. The extra pair of driven wheels adds £1,800 to the price of the 178bhp 2.0-litre diesel variant. Being a modern- day Jaguar, the intelligent four-wheel-drive system is derived from the F-Type AWD and can shift torque between the axles quickly when it detects a loss of grip. But most of the time, the XE stays as rear-wheel drive.

Push it hard in wet conditions and you can detect the system subtly shuffling drive to the front wheels, helping it to feel more planted in corners. Most will struggle to feel any difference behind the wheel, though.

The XE AWD is not only more expensive to buy, but also more costly to run. Claimed fuel economy drops from 67.3mpg to 60.6mpg, while company car buyers will be most put off by the rise in CO2 emissions from 109g/km to 123g/km. One of the reasons is that the XE AWD is 50kg heavier than a front-wheel-drive model – not that you’ll notice the extra weight on the road.

The additions to the 2016 XE don’t stop with the four-wheel-drive system, though. New options include a fantastic Meridian sound system and some extra active safety features, including lane keep assist and a tiredness monitor.

And at long last, Jaguar finally offers buyers the option of the larger 10.2-inch InControl Touch Pro infotainment system found in the F-Pace. It’s vastly improved on the standard eight-inch system, not just in size and look, but also in the way it operates.

The screen itself is more crisp and responsive, and the menus, maps and features all operate with the slickness that you’d expect of a car at this price point. It also brings extra connectivity features including a Wi-Fi hotspot and intelligent navigation. It’s not a cheap option, at £1,530 with the surround sound system, but it’s worth it if you intend to use the tech every day.  

Most Popular

New 2021 Vauxhall Astra teased for the first time
Vauxhall Astra teaser 1
Vauxhall Astra

New 2021 Vauxhall Astra teased for the first time

The new Vauxhall Astra will get electrified powertrains and a more premium image
8 Jun 2021
‘Our switch to electric will soon make driving manual cars a lost art'
Gearknob
Opinion

‘Our switch to electric will soon make driving manual cars a lost art'

Want to drive a manual car? You need to take your test in a manual car. So what happens once all driving-school cars are automatic EVs?
8 Jun 2021
New Vauxhall Astra prototype review
Vauxhall Astra prototype - front
Vauxhall Astra

New Vauxhall Astra prototype review

A new Vauxhall Astra is on the way and we've driven a prototype ahead of its official arrival
14 Jun 2021
'The hydrogen underdog disruptor is back in town'
Toyota Mirai opinion
Opinion

'The hydrogen underdog disruptor is back in town'

Mike Rutherford says hydrogen-powered cars could still be a frequent sight on UK roads
13 Jun 2021
UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars
Electric car charging
News

UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars

Analysis reveals lithium refining takes 65 per cent of Chilean region’s water, while 40,000 child miners dig for cobalt in DRC
14 Jun 2021
New Porsche Macan facelift prototype review
Porsche Macan prototype - front
Porsche Macan

New Porsche Macan facelift prototype review

We get behind the wheel of a prototype version of the facelifted Porsche Macan SUV
13 Jun 2021
Illegal car modification hotspots revealed
Volkswagen Polo exhaust
News

Illegal car modification hotspots revealed

Gloucestershire has the highest proportion of illegal car modifications, with altered number plates the most common breach
14 Jun 2021
'Factories are at a standstill because they can’t get the parts to finish cars'
Car manufacturing
Opinion

'Factories are at a standstill because they can’t get the parts to finish cars'

Steve Fowler points out the fresh issues facing global car manufacturing
9 Jun 2021
Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport vs Cupra Leon 300
Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport vs Cupra Leon 300
Car group tests

Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport vs Cupra Leon 300

The capable Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport goes up against its new Cupra Leon 300 sibling in this hot hatch battle
12 Jun 2021
New Nissan Qashqai production begins in Sunderland
Nissan Qashqai - front static
News

New Nissan Qashqai production begins in Sunderland

Nissan will offer every school child in the North East of England a place on the Nissan Skills Foundation course to mark 35 years of manufacturing in …
14 Jun 2021
New 2021 Volkswagen T7 Multivan replaces Caravelle
Volkswagen T7 Multivan - front
Volkswagen Caravelle

New 2021 Volkswagen T7 Multivan replaces Caravelle

The Volkswagen T7 Multivan MPV switches to the MQB platform and adds plug-in hybrid technology
10 Jun 2021
New 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid launched with 1,006bhp
Tesla Model S facelift - front
Tesla Model S

New 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid launched with 1,006bhp

Range-topping version of the Tesla Model S officially unveiled, with a sprint time of 0-60mph in less than two seconds
10 Jun 2021
New hydrogen-powered Land Rover Defender prototype in development
Land Rover Defender
Land Rover Defender

New hydrogen-powered Land Rover Defender prototype in development

The Land Rover Defender FCEV prototype will be assessed for off-road and long-range zero-emission motoring
14 Jun 2021
New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review
Skoda Enyaq iV 80 Sportline - front
Skoda Enyaq

New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review

The new Skoda Enyaq iV is the Czech firm’s first bespoke electric car and we've tested the full range on UK roads
10 Jun 2021