Jaguar has taken the wraps off its new XE model which it hopes will make its presence felt in the compact executive saloon segment.
The Coventry car maker says the new version is more luxurious than its predecessor and offers more technology too.
The new XE represents a hefty mid-life makeover for the model originally launched in 2014, which aimed to take on established German rivals like the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
The XE was well received and recognised as a decent driver’s car but struggled to shake-up this highly competitive segment.
The new version will be aiming to do better and boasts some root and branch changes.
On the outside the XE boasts a raft of styling enhancements, inspired by the sleek lines of the F-Type sports car, to freshen and sharpen its profile.
Changes also include new front and rear bumpers, advanced all-LED headlights and tail-lights with LED signatures.
The big changes come on the inside though and the XE’s interior has been well and truly transformed.
It also sees a whole host of new and cutting edge technology.
The old XE’s interior was criticised for being a tad dark, dull and uninspiring.
An all-new interior features extensive use of soft-touch materials, premium veneers and all-new door trims.
Efforts have also been made to improve passenger comfort and stowage, again addressing some of the limitations and downsides of the outgoing model.
Jaguar says the new model delivers more “comfort, quality and connectivity”.
The technological improvements are marked and include a new Touch Pro Duo infotainment system with a 12.3-inch interactive driver display, which was first rolled out on the Range Rover Velar.
The XE also shares this system with the all-electric Jaguar I-Pace.
And sharing across the Jaguar model line-up would seem to be a prevalent theme.
The new XE also gets the SportShift gear selector and JaguarDrive Control from the F-Type.
And, if that weren’t enough it also gets a new steering wheel – shared with the I-Pace – which features hidden-until-lit graphics and capacitive switches for intuitive, tactile control of key functions.
Wireless device charging also makes its debut in the XE.
Under the bonnet the XE will be powered by the latest 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel and petrol engines at launch.
They include the D180 RWD model, which will be the first diesel in this segment to be compliant with RDE2 NOx emissions tests.
In a bid to trump its German competitors the XE also has another first in the shape of its ClearSight rear view mirror, which uses a wide-angle rear facing camera to offer a clear and unobstructed view of the road behind.
It also comes with Smart Settings technology, which uses artificial intelligence to learn the preferences of individual drivers, adjusting seat, mirror, audio and climate settings automatically.
Elements designed to woo would-be buyers include a simplified model line-up and pricing which Jaguar say makes it better value than ever.
Comparing the outgoing model with the new one, the car maker cites a D180 R-Dynamic S version which costs £36,145.
It stresses this is £670 cheaper than the existing XE R-Sport equivalent which would set buyers back £36,815.
Not only that but the newer D180 R-Dynamic S has additional equipment worth around £1,100.
An entry-level model comes generously equipped, with automatic transmission, 18-inch wheels, electric leather seats, LED headlights and tail-lights, front and rear park aid, rear camera and lane keep assist.
The new trim levels are S, SE and HSE, with each also available in R-Dynamic form.
Option packs are also available.
Orders are now being taken, with prices starting at £33,915.
Rawdon Glover, Jaguar Land Rover MD, said: “In developing the new Jaguar XE, we really focused on the things that mattered to our customers.
“XE remains one of the sharpest handling and best-looking cars in this class, so while we see subtle updates to the award-winning chassis and a more assertive exterior, our design team has made significant enhancements to the interior, completely transforming it from the outgoing model.
“Now packed full of technology, including the segment-first ClearSight system, XE’s cabin is not only cutting edge but extremely luxurious, too.
“Most importantly, the improvements over the outgoing XE don’t come at the expense of our loyal customers – in fact, the new XE is actually better value for buyers.”
Jaguar Land Rover news
Jaguar design director Ian Callum said: “XE’s uniqueness is its totality. Customers get a complete package of progressive design, innovative technology and extraordinary driving dynamics.
“We don’t do ordinary and new XE personifies this.
“My team and I get huge satisfaction out of improving a car we’re all so familiar with – we’ve lived with it, we understand its character and it’s a wonderful opportunity to make a great car even better.
“With new XE, we’ve done just that in every way imaginable.”
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