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Jaguar XE 2.0 D 180 R-Sport auto

Date: 14 November 2018   |   Author: Simon Harris

Standard equipment:
Alloy wheels, automatic climate control, 10in dashboard touchscreen, sat-nav, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, electric recline adjustment on front seats
Engines:
Petrol: 200hp 2.0, 250hp 2.0, 300hp 2.0
Diesel: 163hp 2.0, 180hp 2.0, 240hp 2.0
Equipment grades:
SE, Prestige, R-Sport, Landmark Edition, Portfolio, 300 Sport
Transmissions:
Six-speed manual, eight-speed automatic

In most car life cycles, it's around the midlife that customers are treated to a facelift, but the XE has undergone some minor revisions for the 2019 model.

When the XE was launched, it arrived a couple of months before a facelifted BMW 3 Series, and a new Audi A4 followed later in the year - key rivals for the car. 

This year has witnessed a facelifted Mercedes-Benz C-Class (with the original on sale in 2014, a year before the XE), and we'll be driving the new BMW 3 Series later this month.

Audi's A4 also underwent a 2019 model year change rather than a facelift, so maybe Jaguar is building up to something more significant for the 2020 model, by which time we'll also have a new Volvo S60 targeting drivers of these cars.

Familiar engines

The engine line-up remains unchanged from the previous model year, although there are a few changes from the original launch line-up in 2015. 

Fleet operators will be most interested in the 163 and 180hp 2.0-litre diesel, both available as manual or optional automatic versions, with the 180hp engine also available with all-wheel drive.

Jaguar _XE_19MY_200PS_Petrol _4702_HR Copy

There is a more powerful version of the engine with 240hp, while petrol engines are carried over from the previous model year, but are different from those with which the car was launched.

The original 2.0-litre, producing either 200 or 240hp and supplied by Ford, is now replaced by Jaguar Land Rover's own petrol engine, producing either 200 or 250hp, and built alongside the diesel engines at the company's purpose-built factory outside Wolverhampton.

The XE's high-performance model at launch was the 3.0 V6 S, using a supercharged engine and producing 380hp. This is no longer available, but Jaguar offers a more powerful version of the 2.0-litre turbo with 300hp. Probably not one for fleets, but perhaps more appealing than the old V6 from a running costs perspective.

An understated approach

The updates for 2019 are subtle from the outside and the inside. While some might be expecting more, it helps in preventing the pre-2019 cars from looking too dated, and shoring up their resale values - something the German premium brands have always excelled at.

Exterior changes are largely limited to the special edition 300 Sport, and the Landmark Edition. The former is only available with the 300hp petrol engine, while the Landmark is based on R-Sport, but with a sport front bumper, unique design 18in alloy wheels and a range of specific interior and exterior colours. 

Jaguar _XE_19MY_200PS_Petrol _6531_HR Copy

All models for 2019 now come with a 10in touchscreen in the dashboard, giving the interior more of a premium feel than before, as well as metal tread plates on the door sills, chrome seat switches for fully electric seats, premium carpet mats (except where sport carpet mats are fitted), bright metal pedals and a frameless interior mirror with auto-dimming function as standard.

Impressive driving experience

We drove the 180hp diesel with automatic transmission, and while the engine note has a slightly more obtrusive edge than most rivals, the XE still blends comfort with driver appeal perhaps better than anything else in this class.

Responsive steering and keen performance encourage the driver to take the long way home, but the car remains rela in a tedious motorway commute.

Overall, we'd still take the latest Mercedes-Benz C-Class over the 2019 Jaguar XE, but these worthwhile changes are welcome. We just think Jaguar might be holding something more substantial back to respond to the new BMW 3 Series next year.

P11D: £36,425

Cost per mile: 54.97p

Fuel consumption: 53.3mpg

CO2 (BIK band): 141g/km (33%) 

BIK 20/40% a month: £199/£399

Boot space: 455 litres

Engine size/power: 1,999cc/180hp


Verdict


8/10
  • Enhancements make the XE more desirable
  • Great balance of poise and comfort
  • Doesn't feel like enough has changed to keep ahead of rivals

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