Plenty of cars have tried to snatch the luxury sedan crown away from the Mercedes-Benz E-Class but no one has succeeded yet.
Few can even be considered a true rival to the established, revered E-Class. But what about the Jaguar XF? Can it compete?
The E-Class has been a very attractive luxury sedan for a long time, and this recently redesigned model is probably the most attractive version yet. Not all E-Class models are equal though, because the coupe and convertibles have yet to get the new styling. You'll notice a difference in the sedan as well, with luxury versions getting the familiar hood-mounted Mercedes three-pointed star while the Sport models get a different grille with a flat star on the hood. You probably won't notice anything revolutionary about the Jaguar XF's looks, but the exterior has gotten just about everything right. The Jaguar is sleek and attractive without trying too hard to be a sports car, and although the sheet metal has remained basically unchanged since its launch, the headlights and front fascia just get better with every refresh. Even still, it's hard to beat the classic, impressive Mercedes look.
Power & Performance
The majority of E-Class models come with a four-cylinder engine, which doesn't sound like much for a car of this stature. But this powerful little turbo isn't like every four-cylinder--it develops a very useful 241 horsepower and 273 lb.-ft. through a nine-speed automatic transmission. Of course, if you want more power, or lots and lots more power, the AMG® models are happy to oblige. One of the best engines the Jaguar has to offer is an inline-four turbodiesel, but most buyers will concentrate on the gas options instead. The 3.0-liter supercharged gas V-6 will likely be the standard engine, impressive as it develops no less than 340 horsepower and 332 lb.-ft.. Need more power? Check out the 380 horsepower version too. But the AMG® versions of the E-Class can beat even that 380 hp, so the Mercedes takes this category.
The E-Class is a midsize sedan, which is important to remember as we evaluate the interior. If you were drawing up a blueprint to teach people what a luxury interior should be like, the E-Class would be the car to use. As well as being luxurious and wonderfully comfortable, the Mercedes has a modern style that makes many rivals look like they're just trying to catch up with previous generations of the E-Class. In short, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class is in a class of its own. The fastback roofline of the Jaguar doesn't make taller passengers feel welcome in its backseat, but they won't find any problem in the front, where leg room is positively plentiful. The interior of the XF is very nice, and we're big fans of the cool factor associated with the rising rotary dial on the console. But the Jaguar isn't even in the same neighborhood of the Mercedes-Benz when it comes to interior comfort and finishes.
The four-cylinder E-Class makes those who like to get plenty of miles to the gallon quite happy. The numbers for the E300 in rear-drive form come out at 22 mpg in the city, 30 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg combined, or 22/29/24 mpg with all-wheel drive. Rear-wheel drive versions of the Jaguar with the supercharged V-6 are rated at 20 mpg in the city, 29 mpg on the highway and 23 mpg combined, while all-wheel-drive versions get 20/28/23 mpg. However, the turbodiesel can get as much as 31/42/35 mpg, so this is a big win for the XF.
The Jaguar XF gets closer to matching the all-conquering 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class than some might imagine, but the Mercedes is still the better car. Though it dominates the fuel economy race with that fun turbodiesel, the Jaguar can't truly compete against the E-Class's style, performance, and interior.