What will they cost?
All three are aimed at company car drivers, and as such P11D prices and CO2 emissions are the most important factors. As we've said, each car emits 99g/km of CO2, which means they all sit in the same (17%) tax band. But thanks to its low list price, the Audi A4 is the cheapest company car at £170 per month.
That said, the Jaguar XE is only £4 more per month, and the BMW 3 Series £11 extra, so the overall spread between them is small at around £400 over three years for a 40% taxpayer.
It’s worth pointing out that the 3 Series is far from the only automatic option in this class for sub-£200 company car tax; you can add an auto ’box to the A4 and XE, and both would still be very close to the BMW’s benefit-in-kind tax costs, despite being a tax band higher.
Companies looking at leasing contracts will find the XE is cheaper than the A4 by just £9 a month, and £25 less than the 3 Series.
The A4 proved the most frugal in our real world True MPG tests, returning 56.9mpg to the XE’s 50.8mpg and the 3 Series' 49.1mpg, which means the Audi will cost around £500 less than the BMW to fuel over 36,000 miles.
For private buyers, the A4 is cheapest to service and the XE cheapest to insure, while the XE is also predicted to hold on to its value for the longest.
Each car comes with alloy wheels, climate control, keyless start, rear parking sensors, automatic headlights and wipers and cruise control. Beyond that, though, the A4 looks the stingiest, missing out on leather and heated front seats, which are both standard features on the 3 Series and XE.
All three cars get tyre-pressure monitoring and six airbags, while the A4 has optional (£350) rear side ’bags. What's more, all three were awarded five stars by Euro NCAP, and security body Thatcham rated them equally well at resisting break-ins.
The 3 Series and XE get three-year unlimited-mileage warranties, while the A4 has a warranty that expires after three years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first.
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