Jaguar XE review - Interior, design and technology
With smart looks inside and out, and one of the best multimedia systems out there – the XE is designed for the cutting edge driver
Jaguar facelifted its XE to keep pace with the latest BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class and Volvo S60 – all of which combine modern styling with plush, high-tech interiors. A small exterior restyle saw the arrival of a sharper front end and re-styled bumpers but the biggest changes came inside, where the XE benefits from big steps forward in quality, design and infotainment.
There’s no more space than in the previous XE – the car’s cabin is still a little cramped. It’s a much better place to spend time now, however. A new steering wheel, an F-Type-style gearlever and a range of high-quality plastics and decorative trim pieces have helped to lift what was an ageing interior.
Even entry-level S models get ambient interior lighting, dual-zone climate control, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, 12-way electrically adjustable front seats, a leather steering wheel and a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Leather upholstery is standard.
Step up through the XE’s trim levels and even more equipment gets lumped in. Improved leather, online connectivity, plus a wealth of driver assistance and safety kit. There’s a hefty options list too – it’s possible to spend a huge amount of money on memory-function heated and cooled seats, a remote heating system or an uprated Meridian sound system.
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Overall, the level of quality, fit and finish can’t quite match that of a BMW 3 Series or Mercedes C-Class, but the XE’s design and interior now feels worthy of its price. It’s best compared to a Volvo S60 in quality terms.
Those after the most ostentatious XE on sale are pointed towards the XE SV Project 8, with its huge bumpers and massive rear wing. It'll cost you, though, with list prices starting from just under £150,000.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
The most important addition to the XE’s specification following its 2019 refresh was the adoption of uprated infotainment. S and SE models get a single-screen 10-inch system with DAB radio, sat-nav and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
HSE models get Jaguar’s latest Touch Pro Duo system as found in the Jaguar I-Pace – a £400 option on other trim levels that's worth picking. This comprises a 10.2-inch touchscreen mounted on the dashboard, with a second touchscreen lower on the centre console: the former is used to control functions like media and sat-nav, while the latter allows easy access to car settings like climate control, heated seats and drive modes.
The system works well – especially the lower screen and its sensible collation of key functions, along with physical rotary dials whose function changes according to which sub-menu is selected. Touch Pro Duo is well-presented and is easy to use once you’ve become used to its unique design, but we still prefer the snappy, more intuitive system found in the BMW 3 Series.
In this review
- 1Jaguar XE reviewThe Jaguar XE is a small saloon that delivers a fine balance between performance, efficiency and luxury
- 2Engines, performance and driveGreat to drive yet very comfortable, and despite a narrow engine choice overall there should be something for everyone here
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsOverall the XE is a very cost-effective executive saloon to buy and run
- 4Interior, design and technology - currently readingWith smart looks inside and out, and one of the best multimedia systems out there – the XE is designed for the cutting edge driver
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceGreat ride quality is tempered by a cabin that lacks space compared to rivals, and the boot has a similar issue
- 6Reliability and SafetyFive stars from Euro NCAP and plenty of standard safety features make the XE safe, though reliability is currently unproven