2019 Jaguar XE Face-lift – Modern Improvements throughout
The Jaguar XE has received a much-needed face-lift to help it compete with premium rivals such as the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C Class. When the XE burst onto the small saloon market back in 2015, it was quickly hailed as one of the best driving cars. It offered excellent handling, stability and driving experience. The baby of the Jaguar family is a stunning alternative executive saloon, which would look good on any driveway. The new 2019 facelift Jaguar XE is back where it belongs, challenging at the top of a highly competitive class range.
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Engines, Transmission and Trims
The Jaguar XE is available in two different model styles, the XE or R-Dynamic (this is a sportier base model of the XE). There is then a choice of three trim levels, S, SE and HSE. All Jaguar XE's are fitted with a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. This, with a choice of RWD or AWD depending on the engine selected. There are flappy paddles attached to the back of the steering wheel, so if you fancy making the gear changes yourself, then you can. They are smooth, crisp and responsive.
There are only three engine choices to choose from two petrol and one diesel. Currently, there are no hybrid or electric versions available. The engines are part of Jaguar's new Ingenium range made to be more efficient, across both diesel and petrol variations.
The Diesel engine is named D180 and is a 2-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged unit, developing 178hp and 430Nm torque. It can be selected with RWD or AWD, but the AWD is a little more costly and less economical. The RWD version is also a little bit quicker, reaching 0-60mph in 7.6secs and going on to 140mph top speed. This, compared with 7.8secs and top speed 132mph in the AWD version. The diesel engine has enough power to feel comfortable overtaking, delivering good acceleration and can cruise up and down the motorway with ease. It's probably not as strong as the equivalent diesel engines, found in the BMW 3 series. Nor the Audi A4, but that's nothing to be ashamed of, it is still a great all-round engine.
The petrol engines are named P250 and P300, and both share the same 2-litre four-cylinder turbocharged unit, with differing power outputs. The P250 develops 247hp and 365Nm torque and will hit 0-60mph in 6.2secs and go on to a top speed of 155mph. The P300 increases power output to 296hp and 400Nm and will get from 0-60mph in just 5.4secs and hit a top speed of 155mph. The P250 is only available in rear-wheel drive, while the P300 is only available in all-wheel-drive. Both engines offer great performance to go with the sublime handling making the XE and fun car to blast around the twisty hillside roads, on a sunny Sunday morning.
Safety Features and Assists
Jaguar has always scored well in safety tests carried out, and the XE continues that tradition. The Jaguar XE was last tested in 2015, where it scored a top mark of 5-stars from the Euro NCAP safety tests. Although this latest model has yet to be tested given, it now has better safety features as standard and optional. So it's safe to assume it will do exceptionally well in the upcoming tests.
Some of the standard features included on the Jaguar XE are Automatic High Beam, Dynamic Stability Control, All Surface Progress Control (ASPC), Torque Vectoring by Braking (TVBB), Lane Keep Assist and Driver Condition Monitor, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Traffic Sign Recognition and Adaptive Speed Limiter.
There is also plenty of optional safety upgrades and packages which includes Blind Spot Monitoring with Reverse Traffic Detection and Advanced Park Assist. If you opt for SE or HSE trims you also get Automatic Park Assist as standard, which should help those of us who struggle to squeeze into those tight parking spaces.
Interior Technology and Styling
The interior of the Jaguar XE was crying out for a thorough upgrade of quality materials and technology, as it looked a little dated and was falling behind the popular BMW and Audi rivals. Jaguar has now addressed this and has made the XE feel plusher and of higher quality than before. There is a scattering of soft-touch materials in all the right places, along with a new and improved tech package.
All XE models are fitted with a 10-inch touchscreen to support Jaguar's Touch Pro infotainment system. Along with smartphone mirroring using Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, DAB radio and voice control as standard. There is a 12-inch digital display cluster available in SE trim and above, to replace the analogue dials which looks fantastic with sharp, crisp and clear graphics. There is also the option to upgrade to Jaguar's impressive InControl Touch Pro Duo system, which adds a second screen below the standard 10-inch touchscreen. The second screen replaces the heating controls and dials so that you can control them by touchscreen. It is the same system used in the Jaguar I-Pace and makes the interior of the XE stand out and compete with the premium BMW and Audi models.
Another optional feature, standard in the top-spec HSE model, is the head-up display (HUD). This projects vital information onto the windscreen such as sat-nav directions, speed and oil levels. Jaguar also offer an optional system they call 'ClearSight'. It uses a camera placed at the rear of the car, to display what's around you. It is then displayed on a high-definition digital rear-view mirror and is the same system found in the new Range Rover Evoque.
Space and Practicality
Space in the Jaguar XE has never been great, especially for those passengers in the back, unfortunately not much has changed. There is very little legroom for average-sized adults, and due to the sloping design of the roof, there is limited headroom. The BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 both offer more space in the rear but upfront the Jaguar can easily hold its own. There is plenty of space available for driver and passenger, and due to the new cockpit design and features, it is always something to look forward when climbing back inside. The boot is a good size and will fit shopping or holiday suitcases with ease. There are plenty of storage compartments around the cabin, so there should be no problem finding a place to put all your items.
Overall this new face lift version of the Jaguar XE is wonderful. Jaguar has addressed the previous outdated issues by modernising the interior and tweaking the exterior. This improves its sporty features, and they have maintained its superb, class-leading, driving and handling characteristics. The Jaguar XE is perhaps not the best all-round small saloon, but for pure excitement and thrills, it takes some beating.