Sports sedan supremacy

Auto Today|May 2020

Sports sedan supremacy
The new generation BMW 3 Series and the refreshed Jaguar XE go head to head fighting for the title of the best sports sedan as we put them through a comprehensive set of tests
Dhruv Saxena

For years, the BMW 3 Series has been widely regarded as the best sports sedan on sale. However, back in 2015 when the Jaguar XE arrived, for a brief moment that title seemed under threat because the XE was and is still that good. Now, there’s an all-new generation of the 3er on sale which we already know is bigger, more feature-rich and better to drive than it has ever been. The Jaguar XE too has been given a midlife update so we thought we’d bring the two together to find out if the 3 Series has managed to increase its lead over the XE or has Jaguar managed to close in on it.

EXTERIORS

The Jaguar XE was already a looker and the revisions brought about by the facelift have only made things better. The nose especially with its sharper headlamps looks more aggressive than ever and goes quite well with the sporty demeanour of the Jaguar XE. Changes to the rear are a bit more subtle. While original’s tail lamps appeared a tad oversized, the ones on the facelift are sleeker and have a revised LED signature as well. Our test car came finished in the solid Caldera Red exterior shade along with the optional Black Pack that brings with it a gloss black finish for the grille, window surrounds and side vents available only on the top-of-the-line SE trim. The only thing that can help improve things visually is a set of lower profile wheels as the 17 inchers look a bit un-sporty.

With the M Sport package, the 3 Series we have on test looks sportier than the regular Sport and Luxury Line variants thanks to a different set of bumpers and deletion of chrome detailing. It also gets 18inch two-tone alloys that are exclusive to this particular trim. In terms of size, the 3 Series is longer and taller than the Jaguar XE but not as wide. It also sits on a longer wheelbase at 2,851mm compared to the XE’s 2,835mm. One criticism we have is that BMW has restricted colour choices to just three options – white, grey and black. The XE, on the other hand, is available in four shades including this lovely solid red and a beautiful dark blue shade. That said, like we’ve always maintained, looks are subjective and it is entirely up to you, the reader and the buyer to decide which one tugs harder at his or her heartstrings.

INTERIORS

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May 2020