Find a car review

Make
Model

Jaguar XE review - Jag's smallest saloon tackles BMW's 3-series head-on - Jaguar XE interior and tech

XE's chassis is one of the best but lacks sparkle in other areas

Evo rating
Price
from £33,915
  • Fluid chassis, responsive and well-weighted steering, comfortable cabin
  • Design lacks character inside and out, four-cylinder engines uninspiring

Jaguar abandoned the wood'n'leather gentleman's club vibe long ago, and the XE feels so far away from that ambience that it could have been created by a different manufacturer altogether. While there's nothing particularly wrong with the XE's cabin – if you ignore the InControl infotainment system at least, which still isn't on par with many rivals despite having been updated several times over the last few years – there's nothing that really marks it out as a Jaguar either.

Look closely and you'll spot the "Riva Hoop" that first saw service in the XJ, but in an otherwise conventional enviroment it doesn't particularly stand out like it does in the flagship saloon. What you do get is widespread piano black plastic and plenty of leather. We can't come up with many complaints when it comes to build quality or how switches and controls operate, but the basic design is fairly uninspiring.

Subscribe to evo magazine

If you're passionate about the world's greatest performance cars, experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Try your first 5 issues for £5.

The slight issues here come from just one or two areas, such as a cheap-looking leather gear gaiter on the manual models, some ill-thought out ergonomics (the light on the centre console that shows which driving mode you’re in is invisible in bright sunshine) and rear-seat packaging that makes it 'cosy' in the back for six-footers.

It's more comfortable in the front though, with a good driving position and plenty of adjustment in both the seats and steering wheel. Jaguar's rotary gear selector is feeling a little old-hat these days but still operates logically, and the steering wheel feels good in the hands.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Optional technology on the XE, beyond the standard-fit satnav and InControl, includes some excellent toys, such as a laser head-up display (although the graphics are rendered in strange green and red hues), a Meridian sound system, Adaptive Cruise Control and Jaguar’s new All-Surface Progress Control, which promises to keep the rear-wheel drive XE moving even in snow and ice.

Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/features/17721/the-best-family-cars-that-are-fun-to-drive
Best cars

Best family cars that are still fun to drive

Saloon, hatchback or SUV, family cars come in all shapes and sizes, and needn’t be a snore to drive. These are some of the team’s favourites.
13 Sep 2019
Visit/abarth/201755/2020-abarth-595-pista-arrives-with-162bhp
Abarth 595

2020 Abarth 595 Pista arrives with 162bhp

The supermini has been given a new Garrett turbocharger, paint options and tweaks inside
13 Sep 2019
Visit/buying-advice/19675/used-car-deals-of-the-week
Features

Best used cars for sale this week

We’ve delved into the classifieds and chosen our favourite cars for sale this week
13 Sep 2019
Visit/features/22872/goodyear-eagle-f1-supersport-the-toughest-test-advertisement-feature
Advertisement Feature

Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport (advertisement feature)

We went to Bedford Autodrome to find out what evo readers think of Goodyear’s new Eagle F1 SuperSport Ultra Ultra High Performance tyres
10 Jul 2019