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New Tesla Model 3 and Jaguar XE vs BMW 3 Series: verdict

The electric Tesla Model 3 provides a genuine alternative to petrol and diesel power for executive saloons. Let’s see if it can beat the fossil-fuelled BMW 3 Series and Jaguar XE...

Tesla Model 3 driving with BMW 3 Series and Jaguar XE
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What Car? team
18 Sep 2019 12:20

Our verdict

You could argue we’re comparing apples with oranges here because for some, especially those without a driveway, an electric car still isn’t a viable option. But if you can have a charging point installed at home, the Tesla is a really compelling proposition. Granted, the Standard Range Plus doesn’t have the range of the pricier versions and isn’t as good to drive, but it’s just as practical and safe, and has more kit than its rivals here, too.

If money were no object, the 3 Series would win; its classier interior, more sophisticated handling and better infotainment system make it a fundamentally better car. It’s just not worth the enormous extra outlay, particularly if you’re a company car driver but even if you’re a cash buyer.

In many ways, the XE is now the car it should always have been, thanks to its much-improved interior. Sadly, the competition in 2019 is too fierce for it to threaten.

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1st – Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3 driving

For Incredibly cheap BIK; slowest depreciation; biggest boot; safety; quickest acceleration; most standard kit

Against Average to drive; so-so interior quality; noisiest cruiser

Recommended options None

Rated 5 out of 5

Read our full Tesla Model 3 review

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2nd – BMW 3 Series

BMW 3 Series driving

For Brilliant handling; best infotainment; classiest inside; quietest cruiser  

Against Drinks the most fuel; overly firm ride without M Sport Plus Package

Recommended options M Sport Plus Package (£2200), adjustable lumbar support (£265)

Rated 4 out of 5

Read our full BMW 3 Series review

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3rd – Jaguar XE

Jaguar XE driving

For Wonderful steering; much-improved interior; cheapest monthly PCP payments; comfiest town ride

Against Cramped in the back; poky boot; highest CO2 output; heaviest depreciation

Recommended options Split-folding rear seats (£440)

Rated 3 out of 5

Read our full Jaguar XE review

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Specifications: BMW 3 Series 320i M Sport

  • Engine size 4cyl, 1998cc, turbo, petrol
  • List price £35,465
  • Target Price £33,917
  • Power 181bhp @ 5000-6500rpm
  • Torque 221lb ft @ 1350-4000rpm
  • Gearbox 8-spd automatic
  • 0-60mph 7.3sec
  • Top speed 146mph
  • Gov't fuel economy 42.8mpg
  • Test MPG 34.5mpg
  • CO2 emissions 127g/km

Specifications: Jaguar XE D180 RWD S

  • Engine size 4cyl, 1999cc, diesel 
  • List price £34,555
  • Target Price £32,651
  • Power 178bhp @ 4000rpm
  • Torque 317lb ft @ 1750-2500rpm 
  • Gearbox 8-spd automatic
  • 0-60mph 8.2sec
  • Top speed 140mph
  • Gov't fuel economy 50.7mpg
  • Test MPG 42.9mpg
  • CO2 emissions 130g/km

Specifications: Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus

  • Engine size Electric motor 
  • List price £40,840*
  • Target Price £40,840* (*before £3500 Government grant) 
  • Power N/a
  • Torque N/a
  • Gearbox Single-speed automatic
  • 0-60mph 6.1sec
  • Top speed 140mph
  • Official range 254 miles
  • What Car? Real Range 181 miles
  • CO2 emissions 0g/km

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