Sleek and Refined: Jaguar XE vs BMW 4 Series

Both smooth, stylish and eminently sophisticated, with good looks and the performance to back it up. But does the versatility of the BMW 4 Series give it an edge over the Jaguar XE in our head-to-head comparison? 

Does one size fit all? 

With its large front grille and beefy front end, the Jaguar XE brings a certain aggressiveness to its elegant lines - particularly in the R-Sport and 300 Sport models. It’s somewhat reminiscent of a boxer wearing a suit to a pre-fight press conference.
It looks well-poised, which is helped by the lightweight aluminium body that delivers a near-50:50 balance in weight distribution between front and rear. 

The XE is available only as a 4-door saloon, while the BMW 4 Series comes in the Coupé, Gran Coupé and Convertible models. You might be wondering whether the design can adapt successfully to three different body shapes. In short, it does. The 5-door Gran Coupé retains the sleek lines of the 3-door version, which sweep back from the iconic BMW twin grille that adorns the front end. The grille itself has been flattened a little and stretches out towards the lights, which contributes to a lovely flow across the nose. 

Conclusion: the 4 Series has prettier lines and greater diversity when it comes to body styles, but the powerful brute-like nature of the XE is more likely to turn heads

Improved standards vs futuristic perks

With Jaguar, the focus has rarely been on interior touches, but the XE is certainly a mark-up from some of its predecessors. The cockpit has a premium feel, while every model comes with the InControl touchscreen system. Alongside an 8.0-inch screen and sat nav as standard, Bluetooth, audio streaming, a USB socket, multi-function steering wheel, digital radio and voice control are also included across the range. You can add options like a head-up display, heated windscreen for those frosty mornings, and the Touch Pro infotainment pack with its 10.2-inch touchscreen and 10GB hard drive for storing your music on. The standard sound system you get on the lower-end trims comes with six speakers and compares very well against other cars in this class. Once you move up to the Meridian system with its 11 speakers and two subwoofers, things start to get seriously impressive.

BMW’s iDrive infotainment system is perhaps a little more responsive than the Jaguar options, while the rotary dial interface you get with the 4 Series is easier and safer to use when you’re on the go. The system has a 6.5-inch screen on the Sport trim, and the dial that sits next to the gearstick is very simple to operate once you get the hang of it. If you go for the Professional Media Package, which comes as standard with the M Sport trim, there’s an 8.8-inch screen and upgraded sat nav, although all 4 Series models come with sat nav, Bluetooth, DAB radio, a USB port and multi-function steering wheel. The switches and controls throughout the 4 Series feel solid and sturdy, while the interior’s sporty feel takes nothing away from the premium fit and finish. 

Whether you’re going for the Coupé, Gran Coupé or Convertible model, BMW Connected has taken the integration between yourself, your car and your smartphone to a whole new level. Described by BMW as you ‘personal ability assistant’, there’s an app you can download with features including learning your regular routes and recommendations for the best departure times. Plus, you can pinpoint your car’s location with your phone, and even lock and unlock it remotely. 

Conclusion: the BMW takes this round, with a more solid interior that’s enhanced by superior infotainment and connectivity options

 Engines built to perform

  • The Jaguar XE’s Ingenium engines were developed at a cost of £500 million, and aim to maximise both performance and environmental sustainability while keeping running costs down. There are three petrol and three diesel options to choose between, all with stop/start technology and smart regenerative charging, as well as JaguarDrive Control, which allows you to select Normal, Eco, Dynamic or Rain Ice Snow modes. 
  • The XE’s lightweight body means it’s well-suited to petrol power, and even the least powerful 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder, turbocharged petrol engine produces 200hp. That option will take you from 0-62mph in 7.6 seconds, and has a combined fuel economy of 39.8mpg with emissions of 162g/km. 
  • If you’re after power and performance, you might wish to skip the 250hp petrol and jump straight up to the 300hp version. That gives you a 0-62mph time of just 5.7 seconds, without decimating your fuel economy. That’s still 38.2mpg, while emissions are a touch higher at 168g/km. 
  • The XE’s petrol engines are only available with automatic transmission, and it’s the same story with the highest-powered diesel power unit. If you want a manual, you have a choice between the 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder 163PS and 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder 180PS engines. 
  • All three of the XE’s diesel engines are turbocharged. The most powerful - the 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder 240PS version - has a twin turbocharger to maximise performance, delivering a 0-62mph of 6.5 seconds with a fuel economy of 49.6mpg. 
  • Like the Jaguar, the 4 Series has three petrol and three diesel engines. The TwinPower Turbo engines all look to combine performance with efficiency, using EfficientDynamics technology to improve fuel economy. 
  • The 420i 4-cylinder petrol engine provides more than enough zip for your average driver, with an optimal acceleration as the Coupé model of 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds. The 430i provides a leap up from 184 to 252hp, propelling you to 62mph in just 5.8 seconds, with similar emissions and a fuel economy of 48.7mpg, which is even more efficient than the 420i. 
  • Diesel options start with the 420d, which produces 190hp and offers broad appeal as well as plenty of surging power. Stepping up to the 430d, you get 258hp and at 5.5 seconds, a couple of ticks off the 0-62mph time are found with the 420d. Combined fuel consumption is 51.4mpg with the higher-powered engine, compared to 58.9mpg with the entry level diesel. 
  • Renowned for producing exciting, roaring engines, you can really ramp things up with the top-end power units available with the 4 Series. BMW’s 6-cylinder engines are truly revered, and that’s exactly what you get with the turbocharged 440i, which pumps out 326hp. That takes you from 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds, although the incredibly punchy 435d shaves another half a second off that time, while offering 45.6mpg. 
  • BMW’s intelligent all-wheel drive system, xDrive, is available with the 420i, 420d, 430d and 435d variants, and is the only option with the latter.
Conclusion: the XE offers a nice structure when it comes to engine options, but if you’re looking for pure performance, those top-end 4 Series power units are hard to beat

In numbers…








Power (HP)





Fuel (comb MPG)





Emissions (CO2, g/km)





Top Speed (mph)





0 – 62mph in…. (seconds)










Two cars you’re not going to be ashamed to be seen in, the BMW 4 Series offers a range of body types for top-notch flexibility. The Jaguar XE meanwhile exudes classic British style with a little hint of brutish force. If you like the look and sound of both cars, pop down to your nearest Inchcape Jaguar and Cooper BMW and take them for a test drive.