​Jaguar XE saloon launched

Jaguar XE

Jaguar has finally launched its new XE medium saloon after a long build-up – and it's not a moment too soon. The XE has a serious battle on its hands; this car aims to take on the best-selling BMW 3 Series head on.

Evidently Jaguar hasn't underestimated the challenge and has thrown everything but the kitchen sink at its new car, which replaces the X-Type saloon. The lightweight new model boasts a number of very efficient engines, a plush cabin and engaging rear-wheel-drive handling which should be a match for the class-leading BMW. The company claims that the car also provides outstanding levels of comfort and space, with traditional Jaguar craftsmanship.

On the outside the XE has sharp styling while the chic interior outdoes the BMW for style, living up to the car's upmarket billing. Prices are expected to start at £27,000 and buyers will be able to choose from economical diesels to speedy supercharged petrol versions.

The best-selling model is likely to be the 2.0-litre diesel. This model chalks up a very impressive claimed economy figure of 75mpg – besting the most frugal BMW 3 Series by around 6mpg. CO2 emissions are also low enough to warrant free road tax. Jaguar states that its new models should be affordable to run too with low emissions and insurance ratings, infrequent servicing and strong residual values when it comes to selling on.

A more powerful petrol model will also be available; the range-topping 3.0-litre V6 XE S packs a supercharger and produces a healthy 335bhp, which is enough to launch it to 62mph in a scant 5.1 seconds. This model comes with a slick eight-speed automatic gearbox and is claimed to be capable of 33.9mpg. A 2.0-litre petrol model will also be available.

The XE goes on sale in 2015. Full details of the range will be announced on October 2.

Jaguar XE

Jaguar XE