The Jaguar XE has been facelifted to look even sexier
Although it is renowned for its handling prowess, the Jaguar XE started to lag behind its rivals on the style and tech front. Thanks to a mid-life facelift, the 2019 XE has set out to lift itself back to being a 3 Series challenger, with DriveTribe gaining exclusive access to the new car last night.
Although most facelifts are fairly non-plus, Ian Callum and his design team have made the XE much more aggressive by narrowing the headlights by 12mm. Featuring LED matrix lights, the already handsome saloon definitely benefits further from its now sharpened eyes.
At the back, the rear lights have changed from the E-Type-inspired circular layout to the ‘chicane’ lights we’ve seen on the E-Pace crossover.
New 19- or 20-inch wheels finish off the exterior (the 20s are the ones to go for in our opinion) but it’s the interior where the biggest change has taken place.
The entire driving environment has essentially been lifted from the I-Pace all-electric SUV, bringing the XE right back up to date with the latest kit Jag has to offer. So we have a slender, round steering wheel, a 12.3-inch dash screen and two centre console touchscreens – one for infotainment and the other for climate controls.
As with the I-Pace, all controls are tactile, meaning you won’t be fumbling around at speed searching trying to switch your song from Sheryl Crowe to a bit of Journey.
The rotary gear selector of old has made way for Jag’s sports trigger shifter which started with the F-Type but has now infiltrated the majority of the range.
The most innovative tech tidbit is a digital rearview mirror that utilises a wide-angle camera on the roof. That’s a segment first, something that Jaguar has struggled to achieve recently.
The top spec engine choice is the P300, a 296bhp petrol four-cylinder that we’ve seen in the F-Type and pretty much everything else; we’re slowly getting used to the lack of a supercharged V6. Down the bottom end of the range you’ll find the D180 and P180, with the P250 sitting in the middle ground.
The all-wheel drive P300 will sprint to 60mph in 5.4 seconds, plenty quick for a car aiming itself directly at the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
Prices start at £33,915 for the 180PS diesel and you’ll need just over £44,000 for the top spec P300 HSE.
Jaguar has admitted that it spent too much energy on making the original XE a great driver’s car rather than working on its luxuries. This new facelift is a fairly drastic one however, so hopefully this will get the XE (with its fantastic chassis) back to the top of the smaller saloon tree.
Although with the launch of the new 3 Series a couple of weeks away, it’ll have a tough job tackling the coveted BMW.