Design Though launched in 2015, the XE was recently revised with new interior technology and drivetrains. At the same time Jaguar’s design team has sharpened up the look, with narrower LED headlights, reshaped bumpers and an optional lip spoiler. The XE was always a stylish sports saloon but the refresh has shifted it up a gear – it’s now a genuine head-turner. Inside, too, Jaguar has noted earlier criticisms of the interior finishes and it’s now a class act.
Performance For the new XE line-up, Jaguar has simplified the choice and dropped the V6 petrol engine due to low demand. All drivetrains are now based on the 2.0 Ingenium four-cylinder engine; there’s a D180 diesel, a P250 petrol and a P300 petrol (the number refers to the power output in metric horsepower). All drive through an eight-speed automatic transmission that’s both smooth and responsive. All wheel drive is an option with the D180 diesel and comes as standard on the P300, while the P250 is rear drive only. All models are rewardingly swift and refined; even the D180 will sprint from 0-62mph in 8.1 seconds, while the figures for the P250 and P300 are 6.5 seconds and 5.7 seconds respectively. The D180 can return up to 50.7mpg in the WLTP test (depending on specification).
Technology There are three trim levels to choose from and all are well-equipped compared with other prestige sports saloons. The XE S comes as standard with LED headlights and auto high beam assist, 12-way electrically-adjustable front seats, heated door mirrors and the 10” Touch Pro infotainment touchscreen. Move up to SE for auto-dimming, power fold, heated door mirrors with approach lights and the Park Pack that will steer your XE into a parking slot while you simply control the throttle and brake. Choose HSE and you will also enjoy the Touch Pro Duo twin-screen system first introduced on the I-PACE, which allows you to multitask between applications on a 10" upper Touchscreen and 5.5" lower Touchscreen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring come as standard on all versions of the XE, plus there’s wi-fi hotspot on SE trim and above.
Safety The XE achieved the maximum Euro NCAP five stars when it was tested in 2015 and features two Isofix child seat mounting points on the outer rear seats as well as front, side and curtain airbags. All models come with automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist and a driver condition monitor, which notices if you’re about to fall asleep behind the wheel. A high-speed emergency braking feature and blind-spot monitoring system is standard on the HSE, and part of the optional Drive Pack for other models.