The XE's front end borrows styling cues like its rectangular grille, its three large air dams and its elongated headlights from other members of the Jaguar lineup including the larger XF and XJ sedans and the F-Pace SUV. Out back, it's fitted with long horizontal tail lamps, a prominent Jaguar emblem and a discreet spoiler integrated into the trunk lid.
The XE is largely built using lightweight materials like aluminum, and Jaguar engineers have even developed a new type of alloy called RC 5754. The aluminum-intensive construction gives the XE the most torsional rigidity of any sedan Jaguar has ever built. Weight checks in as low as 3,350 pounds depending on specification, making it the lightest full-production Jaguar sedan ever. And, with a near-50/50 weight distribution and torque vectoring, it lives up to its promise of offering an engaging driving experience.
The XE features a performance-oriented cabin with a three-spoke multi-function steering wheel, an instrument cluster with analog gauges and a straightforward, function-oriented center stack that houses a color touch screen as well as the bulk of the climate control buttons. Buyers looking for a sporty ambiance can order a two-tone upholstery, while those seeking a more low-key look can choose traditional single-tone upholstery options. Customers are encouraged to personalize the cabin with different veneers and contrast stitching.
The XE offers space for up to five passengers, and it boasts 15.9 cubic feet of trunk space. All versions except for the base model are equipped with a 40/20/40-split rear bench, which comes in handy when extra cargo space is needed. Finally, numerous storage compartments and cup holders are scattered across the cabin for added practicality.
The XE ships with Jaguar's InControl infotainment system. Built around an eight-inch touch screen, InControl Touch groups the car's entertainment, climate control, connectivity and navigation functions into a single unit. All of InControl Touch's features are accessible via voice commands.
The XE's infotainment system also runs Jaguar's InControl Apps, a smartphone integration software designed to work seamlessly with both Apple and Android devices. Passengers can access the bulk of their phone's features on the touch screen and use additional purpose-designed apps to book a hotel room, get parking information, check traffic and make conference calls.
Jaguar offers the XE with three engines. The base unit is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 240 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 251 pound-feet of torque from 1,750 to 4,000 rpm. It sends the XE from zero to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, and on to a top speed of 120 mph. Fuel economy checks in at 21 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.
Next up is a 2.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder. Developed for driving on the Autobahn, the oil-burner is tuned to produce 180 horsepower at 4,000 rpm and a stout 318 pound-feet of torque from 1,750 to 2,500 rpm. The diesel-powered XE takes 7.5 seconds to hit 60 mph from a stop.
Finally, the range-topping engine is a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 with 340 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 332 pound-feet of torque at 4,500 rpm. The benchmark zero-to-60 sprint takes 5.1 seconds, and fuel economy is rated at 21 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.
The XE comes standard with rear-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission controlled by shift paddles. Select trims can be ordered with all-wheel drive, and with Jaguar's traction-enhancing All Surface Progress Control technology.
Standard and Optional Features
The XE is available in four trim levels called base, Premium, Prestige, and R-Sport, respectively.
Not available with the V6, the base model comes standard with rain-sensing wipers, speed-sensitive power steering, heated door mirrors, 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, air vents for the rear passengers, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, an eight-inch touch screen, and Bluetooth connectivity.
Stepping up to the Premium trim adds a split-folding rear seat, a memory function for the driver's seat, a HomeLink transceiver, and a rear-view camera.
Prestige models up the ante with four-way electric lumbar adjustment, ambient lighting, keyless entry, voice commands, Jaguar's InControl Apps software, and navigation.
Only available with the diesel or the V6, the R-Sport model benefits from a body kit that includes a deeper front bumper, side skirts, and a trunk-mounted spoiler. R-Sport models also gain satin chrome trim, trim-specific badges, headlight washers, high-beam assist, an infrared reflective windshield, parking sensors on both ends, autonomous emergency braking, lane keeping assist, and a blind spot monitoring system.
Buyers can choose from several option packages. Notably, the Cold Weather Package bundles a heated front windshield, heated washer nozzles, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel. The Vision Package adds adaptive Xenon headlights, headlight washers, high-beam assist, parking sensors on both ends, and a blind spot monitoring system.
All XE models regardless of trim level come standard with front, side, and curtain airbags. The list of safety features also includes traction and stability control systems and a tire pressure monitoring system.
The Jaguar XE's main rivals are the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Buyers should also test drive the Audi A4, the Infiniti Q50, and the Cadillac ATS.