Jaguar XE review - Practicality, comfort and boot space

Great ride quality is tempered by a cabin that lacks space compared to rivals, and the boot has a similar issue

Packaging is one of the XE’s flaws, as it feels a little cramped in the rear, particularly next to the Audi A4. There’s still more than enough space for four adults to sit in perfect comfort, however.

It’s slightly shorter and wider than a BMW 3 Series, but the Jaguar is no bigger inside, and it trails the Alfa Romeo Giulia in terms of rear seat space.

The XE gets comfort spot on when it comes to ride quality, though. Regardless of wheel and tyre choice, it levels out most road surfaces in the spirit of a more expensive, more luxurious car. This is one of its most alluring qualities.

The driving position is pretty spot-on too, with plenty of adjustment – the wheel comes back some distance, and the chair is set low, again giving the XE the feel of a coupe. Taller drivers might find the roof lining a little too close for comfort, but it should accommodate all but the very tallest.

There is a decent amount of storage in the cabin, with good-sized door pockets and nets for rear passengers. The central storage bin is sizeable too, as is the glove compartment.

Size

The XE of course conforms to the conventional ‘three-box’ shape of the executive saloon segment, but it’s actually a little shorter and wider than the BMW 3 Series, while also being lower. The last of those properties explains the very slight headroom deficiency, and the coupe-like profile, although Jaguar could have perhaps squeezed a little more legroom and boot space from the cabin.

In terms of manoeuvrability the XE is fine, because despite the low seating position it’s easy to judge the corners thanks to its short overhangs and decent visibility.

Leg room, head room & passenger space

The XE is generally a lot more fun when you’re sitting up front. That wide centre console hides a thick transmission tunnel, which is most obvious in the back. It’ll make things uncomfortable for a third rear passenger in the middle, and amplifies the XE’s main problem – cramped rear seats.

You’d expect a car of this length (and in this class) to have more space behind the front seats. Anyone over six-foot might find their fancy haircut being flattened by the XE’s roof lining.

The doors open nice and wide at the front and back, making getting in and out easy, but that transmission tunnel means anyone sitting in the middle rear seat will have their knees apart and feet fighting for space with those of passengers sitting in the outer chairs.

Boot

The XE’S boot is a bit of a letdown – it’s a little awkwardly shaped and measures in at 410 litres, which is down significantly on the Alfa Giulia, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class – all of which boast 480 litres.

As standard, the car does not feature folding rear seats – 40:20:40 folding rear seats are a £450 option.

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    2.0 S 4dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £32,815

Most Economical

  • Name
    2.0 S 4dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £32,815

Fastest

  • Name
    5.0 Supercharged V8 SV Project 8 Touring 4dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £153,730

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