2017 Jaguar XE 35t AWD R-Sport: A Compact Performance Cat [Review]

[photos: Arv Voss]
The Jaguar XE compact sports sedan made a limited global debut as an all-new 2016 model at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. Now, the 2017 model Jaguar XE 35t AWD R-Sport stages its entry into both the American and Canadian marketplaces, following the receipt of more than 40 awards covering design, packaging and dynamic performance characteristics.

During the national product press launch, I was able to log seat and wheel time in both an XE 20d R-Sport and a 35t in Prestige trim. Both were equipped with AWD. The 20d R-Sport was base priced at $49,000 while options bumped the final tally to $61,885. The 35t started at $48,100 with a final sticker of $59,545. I most recently tested the 2017 Jaguar XE 35t AWD R-Sport with a base price of $51,700. However, the final sticker totaled $61,385 after factoring in the following extras: the Comfort and Convenience Package; the Technology Package; Black Design Package; the metalic paint; Adaptive Dynamics; 19-inch TRadiance 15-spoke Black alloy wheels; Head-Up Display; and the destination and Delivery Charge.


New features and updates for this latest iteration XE include: an optional torque on demand all-wheel drive; new infotainment and driver assistance technologies, such as a Driver Condition Monitor and the added convenience of Apple Watch connectivity.

The 2017 Jaguar XE Compact Sport Sedan actually offers a selection of 19 vehicle variants, allowing the consumer to choose the engine, trim level and drive configuration to suit their taste and budget. There are also a host of available optional features and equipment along with color choices for both the interior and exterior. The available lineup serves as the perfect affordable entry into the Jaguar family.



There are three powertrains that are selectively available in both rear and all-wheel drive configurations (all-wheel drive is only optionally available on 20d and 35t models). The Jaguar XE 25t is powered by a 2.0-liter, 240 horsepower GTDI gas engine; the XE 20d draws its motive force from a 2.0-liter, 180 horsepower Ingenium diesel; and the XE 35t moves courtesy of a 3.0-liter, supercharged V6 gas engine that delivers 340 horses along with 332 pound feet of torque. The latter engine is shared with the Jaguar F-Type and accelerates from 0-60 mph in 5.1 seconds, with an electronically limited top speed capability of 155 mph.

All Jaguar XE models feature a ZF 8-speed automatic transmission controlled by the Jaguar rotary shifter and steering wheel shift paddles. Construction of the Jaguar XE is aluminum-intensive (75%), and it’s the first model developed from the new Jaguar/Land Rover modular vehicle architecture. Large front air intakes, satin chrome side vents, gloss black side window surrounds, side sills, discreet rear spoiler and optional 20-inch forged alloy wheels give the R-Sport trim level a look that reinforces its performance potential.

The Jaguar XE is equipped with electric power steering, tuned to provide a responsive and feel and feedback, offering improved efficiency over hydraulic systems.

All three XEs tested performed flawlessly across the board in terms of acceleration, handling characteristics and ride quality. Grip is incredible in virtually every possible driving scenario. The diesel powered XE 20d is quite impressive and totally adequate, It is also virtually imperceptible as a diesel. The XE 35t obviously delivers more power and a higher level of performance, serving a the cream of the XE crop.



Safety – The XE has been engineered to meet legislative and consumer crash test requirements, and the vehicle offers is a suite of advanced driver assistance systems designed to assist the driver. A new system, All Surface Progress Control works like a low-speed cruise control, functioning between 2 mph and 19 mph, designed to precisely control brake and powertrain systems delivering optimum traction in a variety of road conditions. An optional laser head-up display (HUD) technology provides the driver with information such as speed and navigation instructions by projecting high-contrast color images onto the windshield, keeping the driver’s eyes on the road.

The XE features stereo camera technology, which serves as the ‘eyes’ of the optional autonomous emergency braking system. Sensors in this system provide measurements of speed and distance of objects ahead and can initiate full braking to avoid or mitigate a collision. The stereo camera also performs traffic sign recognition and lane departure warning functions. Other systems including adaptive cruise control, closing vehicle sensing, blind spot monitoring, semi-automated parallel and perpendicular parking, and reverse traffic detection are optionally available as well.

Fit and Finish – The interior provides pleasing levels of comfort and spaciousness. Exquisite materials and finishes, combined with traditional Jaguar craftsmanship serve up an incomparable cabin. The spacious cabin envelops front seat passengers with a deep center console, creating a cockpit-like feel. Generous amounts of head and legroom for both front and rear seat occupants featuring fine-grain leathers and details such as contrasting twin-needle stitching for a bespoke quality. A choice of gloss black, textured aluminum, and contemporary wood veneers enhance the XE’s luxurious, hand-crafted feel, with the available ambient lighting offering a range of up to 10 colors.

Tech – The all-new Jaguar InControl® infotainment system offered on the XE features an eight-inch capacitive touchscreen which delivers a clear, intuitive interface with fast response times. InControl Touch™ supports Bluetooth®, audio streaming and USB connectivity. The Jaguar XE can also be fitted with an SD card-based navigation system, and Jaguar InControl® Apps™ allows users to seamlessly access and control a number of smartphone apps through the vehicle’s touchscreen. Jaguar InControl® Remote™ functionality allows users of iOS® and Android™ smartphones to connect to the car remotely to control car functions, including deactivating the alarm, locking or unlocking the doors, remote heating or cooling the cabin through engine start. Two Meridian™ audio systems are available.

TFLCAR’s TAKE: In the final scheme of things, the 2017 Jaguar XE compact sport sedan is essentially a delight to behold as well as to drive – especially the 35t AWD R-Sport, but keep in mind that it is a compact vehicle.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2017 Jaguar XE 35t AWD R-Sport

  • Base Price: $51,700, Price as Tested: $61,385
  • Engine Type and Size: 3.0-liter supercharged gas V6
  • Horsepower (bhp): 340 @ 6500 rpm
  • Torque (ft./ lbs.): 332 @ 4500 rpm
  • Transmission: Eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters
  • Drive Train: Longitudinally mounted front engine / Instinctive All-Wheel Drive
  • Suspension: Front – Double wishbone with adaptive damper technology
  • Rear – Integral Link system with adaptive damper technology.
  • Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs with ABS, Torque Vectoring, DSC, TC, RSC and ADSR
  • Tires: Pirelli Cinturato P7 – 225/40 R19 93H-front / 255/35 R19 96H –rear – All Season mounted alloy wheels
  • Wheelbase: 111.6 inches
  • Length Overall: 183.9 inches
  • Width: 81.7 inches
  • Height: 55.7 inches
  • Curb Weight: 3,795 lbs.
  • Turning Circle: 38.4 ft.
  • Fuel Capacity: 16.6 gallons
  • EPA Mileage Estimates: 20 mpg city / 29 mpg highway
  • 0 – 60 mph: 5.1 seconds – Top speed electronically limited to 155 mph.
Arv Voss
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring journalist and member and past officer of several noted automotive journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.