The premium compact sports sedan segment is currently split in two. On one hand you’ve got your fresh releases like the all-new BMW 3-Series and the latest Volvo S60, whereas at the other end of the spectrum are models that will soon be on their way out, like the Audi A4 and the Mercedes C-Class.
The Jaguar XE, until recently, belonged to the latter category. Today, though, we’re looking at a heavily updated product, even though it might not seem like it from certain angles.
Everything is sharper
We knew Jaguar would tighten the XE’s exterior appearance ever since the first spy images landed, depicting the facelifted model undergoing tests in prototype form.
Indeed, the front end is now a little bit cleaner and sharper. You only need to look at the lines around the headlights to realize work has been done. Speaking of the headlights, they too are different, with new and more modern-looking J-blade graphics. Finally, you have the new grille, new bumper and that’s about it, at least for the front end.
The rear of the XE is a different story. Jaguar launched this nameplate back in 2015 and it shows, as the taillights look, well, old, making the rear end of the car look a bit clunky.
That issue has thankfully been solved on the facelifted model, which now comes with sleeker taillights whose overall shape follows the lines of the LED graphics. It’s a big change, one that should work in the XE’s favor.
Embracing the screen overload trend
Traditional gauges are on their way out, right? At least that’s how the automotive industry feels nowadays, as everyone is racing to install digital gauges and massive touchscreen infotainment systems in their vehicles, regardless of segment.
You could argue that BMW’s latest 3-Series boasts the most high-tech interior in this segment. Jaguar, nevertheless, gave the XE’s cabin a thorough redesign, starting with a new and arguably more elegant steering wheel, a brand new 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, new ClearSight rearview camera mirror, plus the available Touch Pro Duo infotainment system, joined by a lower 5.5-inch touchscreen display.
Other new features include wireless smartphone charging, ditching the rotary gear selector for the more traditional SportShift of the F-Type, and new door panels with the window buttons no longer positioned on that upper ledge. Other changes include the lock buttons, door handles and the design of the in-door speakers.
To round it all off, Jaguar added what they call Smart Settings technology, which uses AI to “learn the preferences of individual drivers and adjust seat, mirror, audio and climate settings automatically.”
Hot or not?
So what do you think? Has Jaguar done enough for the XE so as to keep it competitive in a segment that already holds an ultra high-tech 3-Series? And don’t forget that there’s an all-new C-Class coming its way, and Audi is in the process of updating the A4 too.