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30 Minute Review: Jaguar XE Diesel

|Includes: Tata Motors Limited (TTM)

This article was first published on or about May 31, 2017, on my Seeking Alpha Marketplace site, where subscribers get early access to many of my articles. You can view these articles here: https://seekingalpha.com/author/anton-wahlman/premium-articles

The Jaguar XE diesel has a tiny number of competitors in the market today, and one of them is its larger Jaguar brother. The most direct competitor is of course the BMW 328 diesel, which starts at $41,245.

On the lower end is the Chevrolet (NYSE:GM) Cruze diesel, which starts at a mere $24,670. It's generally the same-size car, but it's front-wheel drive.

The final sedan competitor, now that Mercedes, Audi and Volkswagen aren't in the U.S. diesel market anymore, is Jaguar itself with the larger XF, which starts at $49,245. Oh, the XE diesel itself starts at $37,395, almost 10% below chief competitor BMW 328 diesel.

All of these diesel sedans have great powertrains, and the Jaguar XE was not an exception. The torque can be felt and is a premium experience compared to gasoline. It's the same engine as in the Jaguar XF and F-Pace. I suspect the move to SUVs means the F-Pace will be the better-selling body style.

For the first four months of 2017, diesel was 9.9% of U.S. Jaguar XE sales. However, for April it was 13.6%, so perhaps the trend is upward. Details here:

https://seekingalpha.com/research/200447-anton-wahlman/4985194-april-2017-sales-jaguar-197-percent

As with other Jaguar models, the main weakness of the XE diesel is its infotainment system, which lacks Android (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Auto and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) CarPlay. The Chevrolet Cruze has both.

There really isn't much to say about the Jaguar XE diesel other than that it is what it seems to be: A premium compact rear-wheel drive sedan, that happens to be a diesel. Handling and road feel is excellent. The engine has lots of torque and is very frugal, even if not as frugal as the less powerful Chevrolet Cruze.

The U.S. market will soon see more diesel alternatives, ranging from Chevrolet Equinox to GMC Terrain, Mazda CX-5 and Ford F-150. Surely we hear of more models launching later in 2018: https://seekingalpha.com/article/4052307-diesel-making-comeback-u-s

Disclosure: I am/we are long GM, F, GOOGL.

Additional disclosure: At the time of submitting this article for publication, the author was long GOOGL, GM and F. However, positions can change at any time. The author regularly attends new vehicle launches, press conferences and equivalent, hosted by most major automakers. Jaguar provided the car for review.