2017 Jaguar XE

2017 Jaguar XE

Episode 3611
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

The last Jaguar compact sports sedan we tested was the X-type. Don’t remember it? Well, that’s probably a good thing, as that Ford Contour based front-driver never made a serious impact here, or anywhere else for that matter. Just too much a parts bin car. Now, Jag is stepping back into that segment, and stepping up, with what may be a much more impactful car. This is the XE.

After first hitting European streets a year ago, the 2017 Jaguar XE sedan now makes its way to America’s potholes, looking to catch a ride on Jaguar’s recent Big Kahuna size wave of sales success. 

And, awaiting you inside this compact sport 4-door, is the familiar Jaguar theme of late, along with plenty of the accustomed switchgear.

And that’s great. But, the drab and unappealing space it fits into is not. Much of the dash real estate goes unused. There is nothing for the passenger to look at except lots of pebbled plastic and a big airbag logo. 

The XE really needs some extra trim to brighten up the space, and reinforce its upscale kinship to other Jaguars, and frankly, look competitive to other rear-drive European sport-luxury sedans.

Now that that’s out of the way, we’ll get to what we love about the XE; and there’s plenty of it. Starting with what’s under the hood. 

Here, its Jaguar’s lovely 3.0-liter supercharged V6; boasting 340-horsepower and 332 lb-ft. of torque. A 2.0-liter diesel is also available. Both are equipped with an 8-speed automatic transmission, and you can get all-wheel-drive with both. 

A rear-drive only, gasoline-fed 2.0-liter I4 model is offered as well.

At the track, our rear drive V6 did do some battle with wheel spin at launch, but then got off to a very nice 4.9-second 0-60. Power never deviates, with enough midrange torque for days; or at least for a 13.5–second 1/4-mile at 105 miles-per-hour. Lovely!

Automatic shifts are quick and seamless; all accompanied by a subtle exhaust note reminiscent of, but nowhere near as fierce as, the F-type. 

It was easy to keep the speed up through our handling course. If we didn’t already know that steering was electric, we’d have a hard time guessing; very responsive, if down on true road feel. 

Dynamic mode tightens and quickens everything up, helping to improve feel; though we found throttle response now touchy, and it was easy to initiate too much oversteer.

A 112-foot average stopping distance from 60, is quite good; as was pedal feel and overall stability. 

On public roads, near posted speeds, the XE drives wonderfully. It’s a highly capable back road blaster, with a tremendously smooth and placid nature. 

The ZF-sourced 8-speed transmission is well-sorted, and also well-matched to this V6; we only experienced some occasion jerkiness in stop-and-go traffic.

With every setting at its sportiest, the XE does a decent 3-series impression, but it feels more at home kept in softer settings. 

Compared to rivals such as the 3-Series, C-Class, A4, and ATS; the XE is far more gorgeous to look at.

The proportions look just right, there are enough creases and angles to keep it interesting, and the coupe-like, thick C-pillar profile is certainly consistent with the segment. So, any compromise to rear visibility is a concession we can live with.

Like most recent Jag’s, there are plenty of stylish details that remind us of the now haloed F-type.  

Plenty of tech features are available too, and you can activate the rear camera almost any time; which we feel is a better solution than Cadillac’s rearview mirror cam. 

And while some may think we were a bit harsh in our earlier description of the XE’s overall interior environment; we have only praise for Jag’s latest InControl touch system that manages it. It’s logical, and responds quickly to your inputs. A huge step up!

A host of advanced safety systems are available for ’17, including autonomous braking; but our tester wasn’t so-equipped. 

Government Fuel Economy Ratings for a V6 rear driver are 21-City, 30-Highway, and 24-Combined. Our average was a better than expected 25.8 mile-per Premium gallon. That’s an Energy Impact Score of 13.7-barrels of annual oil consumption with CO2 emissions of 6.1-tons. 

XE pricing starts very reasonably at $35,895 for a turbo-4 25t; and the V6 35t is not out of line either, at $42,695; with the diesel falling in between the two. 

The 2017 Jaguar XE continues the brand’s streak of all-around performance winners. Plus, on the outside, it’s very easy on the eyes. But, it’s going up against a sea of excellent alternatives with a lackluster interior that is no help. Still, and very much unlike the X-type before it, there’s a lot to like and admire about the XE, and it clearly deserves to be part of any luxo-sport sedan conversation.  

Specifications

  • Engine: 3.0 liter
  • Horsepower: 340
  • Torque: 332 lb-ft.
  • 0-60 mph: 4.9 seconds
  • 1/4 mile: 13.5 seconds @ 105 mph
  • EPA: 21 mpg city / 30 mpg highway
  • Energy Impact: 13.7 barrels of oil/yr
  • CO2 Emissions: 6.1 tons/yr
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata 1

2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Still A Miata, And That’s A Great Thing

Episode 4340
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

When the cool little Mazda MX-5 Miata arrived for 1990, it immediately triggered a host of imitators and sparked a genuine global roadster revival. While that fad has faded, America’s love affair with the MX-5 has stayed strong. And, we’re pretty sure we know why!

The 2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata is probably one of the most recognizable cars on the road, and it has a way of putting a smile on our face every time we see one, not to mention any time we get a chance to hop behind the wheel. The Miata concept really hasn’t changed drastically over the last three decades, proof that Mazda got the formula right from the beginning.

Rear-wheel drive, minimal weight, tight suspension, willing engine, superb manual shifter, simple folding top, and just enough creature comforts to make long drives as pleasant as carving up backroad twisties.
An overload of power has never been part of that equation, and many may still decry the lack of horsepower, but just a reminder, this car was meant to rekindle the spirit of British roadsters from the 1960s that were a pure joy to drive, and had engines half as powerful as what the Miata works with today, which is a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter I4 with 181 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque.

2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata 3/4 Front
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Profile
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata 3/4 Rear
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Front Detail
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Rear Detail
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata 3/4 Front2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Profile2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata 3/4 Rear2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Front Detail2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Rear Detail

A six-speed manual transmission remains the standard; you must upgrade to top Grand Touring trim to even get the available six-speed automatic. And it all works together to deliver a joyful driving experience that few other vehicles can match.

The exterior design has gotten more purposeful and less cartoonish over the years; new for this year is updated lighting which now incorporates the LED DRLs into the headlight assembly, as well as a more cohesive design for the full LED taillights, plus some fresh wheel choices.

Continual upgrades under the skin too, with a new asymmetric limited-slip differential for all manual-equipped Miatas. Its purpose is to minimize oversteer, and if you think that means it’s less fun, you’d be wrong.

The perfect feel and action of the shifter keeps you looking for reasons to shift gears.

It was still a blast to dart through the handling course at our Mason Dixon test track and on the autocross circuit at Summit Point Motorsports Park. Minimal body roll and perfectly neutral handling had us scooting through the turns with ease. Kinematic Posture Control was added back in ’22, using selective braking to tighten up cornering. Adding to it for ’24 is a new steering rack and updated software for the Electric Power Assisted Steering that provides better on-center feel and more precise control.

7.0 seconds to 60 mph won’t exactly get your blood pumping, but it’s plenty adequate for the Miata’s mission and the engine sounds great for a four-cylinder. The perfect feel and action of the shifter keeps you looking for reasons to shift gears. But keep those engine revs above 6,000 for the most power. We did and our best quarter-mile was 15.4 at 92 mph.

Our average braking distance of 118 feet from 60 mph may have been a little longer than we’re accustomed to from a performance car these days, but their predictable and fade-free nature will give you plenty of confidence at your next track day.

2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Dashboard
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Seats
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Instrument Cluster
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Central Display
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Shifter
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Trunk
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Engine
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Dashboard2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Seats2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Instrument Cluster2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Central Display2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Shifter2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Trunk2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Engine

Things remain all business in the cockpit, with everything falling readily to hand, and comfortable seats locking you in place. The most notable change in here for ’24 is a bigger infotainment screen, growing from 7.0 to 8.8 inches.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings with the manual are 26 City, 34 Highway, and 29 Combined. That’s a slightly better than average Energy Impact Score of 10.3 barrels of annual oil use, with 5.0 tons of CO2 emissions.
Starting price is only $30,170; top Grand Touring goes for $35,470.

It’s true that the Mazda MX-5 Miata has barely evolved over the years; but fortunately for all of us, virtually all of the ways that it has changed have been for the better, yet even in 2024, it remains incredibly affordable. It has been such a constant presence and passion for so many of our MotorWeek staffers over the years it seems like it has been around for a lot longer than just three decades, and thankfully, it looks like there’s no slowing the Miata down.

Specifications

As Tested

  • Engine: 2.0-liter I4
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual
  • Horsepower: 181
  • Torque: 151 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: 7.0 seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 15.4 seconds at 92 mph
  • 60-0 Braking: 118 feet (avg)
  • EPA: 26 City | 34 Highway | 29 Combined