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.
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.
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.
Car group tests
- New Jaguar XE Reims Edition 2020 review
- New Jaguar XE SV Project 8 Touring 2019 review
- New Jaguar XE facelift 2019 review
- New Jaguar XE P300 2019 review
- New Jaguar XE 300 Sport 2018 review
Used car tests
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.
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.
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 and very comfortable; despite a narrow engine choice 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 technologyWith 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 space - currently readingGreat ride quality is tempered by a cabin that lacks space compared to rivals, and the boot has a similar issue
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe Jaguar XE scores top marks for safety, but customer feedback suggests reliability could be an issue
- 7Long term reviewFinal report: we look back as the sun sets on our time with the Jaguar XE P300