Jaguar XE saloon - Interior & comfort
The Jaguar XE offers a sense of occasion that’s often lacking in upmarket saloon cars like this
As the XE aged, it became clear that Jaguar needed to up its game to contend with newer rivals, and the result was a major interior redesign in early 2019 that incorporated its latest know-how from the Jaguar I-Pace. It's now a far more attractive and better quality place to spend time, putting most rivals in the shade.
Jaguar XE dashboard
The XE's wraparound dashboard cocoons the driver and front-seat passenger without causing claustrophobia. The seats are mounted low to give a sportier feel, although they offer plenty of adjustability. Depending on the trim level you choose, there's a wide range of upholstery choices, too.
Slip into the driver's seat and you'll immediately notice high quality materials, with more attractive wood and plastics adorning the centre console and even a higher grade of leather for the seats. Meanwhile, the 'hockey puck' circular gear selector has been ditched in favour of a stubby lever inspired by the one in the Jaguar F-Type. This now has a wireless charging pad sat ahead of it, the steering wheel has been redesigned and decluttered, and the door cards look neater too.
In big news for owners, the often derided infotainment system has also been switched for the Touch Pro Duo system found in the I-Pace. This has a 10.2-inch touchscreen for sat nav, media and communications, along with a smaller display below it for functions like climate control.
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There are a few flaws, though: the driver's-side air vent is mounted too low, so it blasts air straight onto your hand, and the sweeping windscreen pillars come a little close to the driver and front passenger's heads.
Jaguar has revisited its trim levels for the facelifted XE, offering S, SE and HSE that are all available with an R-Dynamic pack. The entry-level S gets LED headlights, leather seats and 10-inch Touch Pro infotainment, along with a 125-watt stereo and 18-inch alloy wheels. SE adds folding door mirrors, keyless entry, a digital instrument cluster, sat nav and a 360-degree parking view.
Boosting luxury, HSE adds 19-inch wheels, along with Windsor leather seats, Touch Pro Duo and adaptive cruise control. Fitting the R-Dynamic kit to all three trims adds a different style of wheels and sports seats.
Many of the most popular options are grouped together in packs. The Parking Pack is a worthwhile extra, bundling front parking sensors with a 360-degree camera, while the Drive Pack adds blind spot assist and adaptive cruise control. Jaguar's Convenience Pack is also likely to be popular, adding a powered boot (that you can open with a wave of your foot), an electrically adjustable steering wheel, keyless entry and extra power sockets for charging mobile devices.
The Cold Climate Pack will suit many Brits, bringing a heated windscreen, warming steering wheel and headlight washers.
One new piece of tech found in the Jaguar XE is its 'ClearSight' rear-view mirror, which uses a wide-angle rear camera to display a digital image. According to Jaguar, the benefit is that this view remains the same regardless of passengers in the back, poor light or bad weather, improving rearwards visibility.
There's a range of safety and assistance systems available on the XE, including parking sensors all-round, as well as optional cameras to help you place the car in tight spots. This is handy, because visibility isn't great, while autonomous emergency braking and blind-spot detection help when you're on the move, too.