What is it?
Jaguar’s XE has historically been one of those cars mere inches away from greatness. Against rivals like the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the XE has more than proven itself in terms of driving dynamics but has just fallen short when it comes to cabin quality and technology.
Now, however, an update looks to address that. The question is, can this new-and-improved XE take things to new levels? Let’s find out.
As mentioned, this is an XE with a difference. We’ve got sharper lights at both the front and rear of the car, which gives it an edgier, more dynamic appearance. However, the bulk of the changes have occurred inside, with a new screen running Jaguar Land Rover’s Pivi system.
This is a key area where the previous generation XE struggled, so the inclusion of the very latest tech should - hopefully - address this issue.
What’s under the bonnet?
Our particular XE was powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine with mild-hybrid assistance for better efficiency and improved economy. It kicks out 201bhp and 430Nm of torque, driven to the rear wheels through an automatic gearbox. Jaguar claims it’ll hit 60mph from a dead stop in 6.9 seconds before heading to a top speed of 146mph.
In terms of efficiency, it should return up to 58.5mpg while emitting 127g/km CO2.
What’s it like to drive?
The XE has always been a superb car to drive, so it’s pleasing to see that this is still the case for this updated version. In fact, it feels better than ever, with a well-balanced chassis ensuring that the XE feels just as good in the bends as it does on the motorway. It’s a refined cruiser, yet the suspension setup ensures it’s just as responsive through tighter, twistier corners too.
The diesel engine is punchy and responsive and though it’s a little vocal under hard acceleration, settles down impressively well at motorway speeds.
How does it look?
The updates made to the XE have only made an already rather good-looking car even more appealing to look at. The sharper headlights give it a distinctly sporty edge, while the taillights look closer to those fitted to Jaguar’s F-Type sports car than ever.
Our test car also came with a range of contrasting black accents which helped it to stand out from the crowd even further.
What’s it like inside?
There’s a pleasing use of high-end materials inside the XE, with leather and metal combining to create a space that not only looks great but feels great too. The seating position is good - and the seats themselves provide plenty of support - with plenty of adjustability ensuring that you can get comfy, quickly.
You get a decent amount of space in the back, too, and even taller passengers will find there’s plenty of headroom. In general, the cabin of the XE feels like somewhere you’d happily spend many hours in.
What’s the spec like?
Jaguar knows that in order to succeed in this segment it has to offer great value for money, which is why the list of standard equipment on the XE is comprehensive. Of course, the best addition is the Pivi infotainment system, which is far more responsive than before and a joy to use thanks to clear graphics and a logical layout.
Our car - in ‘S’ specification and priced from just over £30,000 - also brought a 3D parking camera, two-zone climate control and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The updates made to the XE have ensured it stays as competitive as ever. In fact, with its redesigned cabin and sharper look - along with its attractive price tag - the XE now feels like a genuine rival to German competitors and one well worth checking out.
Throw into the mix the XE’s excellent dynamics and you’re left with a car which is very hard to beat.