The premium, berline segment is a highly competitive one, the Jaguar XE has been facelifted to last longer on that turf. Can the car defeat the established order with the tweaks? 

Around 4 years ago Nick and I got to test some Jaguars as the first cars we ever tested for CJ. Their smallest sedan was one of these cars and therefore I have always held a certain soft spot for it. The facelifted Jaguar XE came along and the whole team agreed on me testing it. The facelift brings a fresh new look and brings its interior game back to modern-day standards. At least, that was what the brand promised. Turned out the car has become more than that. 

8 full days with the Jaguar XE facelift in the 180 horsepower diesel, RWD trim got me thinking about what this car should convince me of. I quickly realized this car should be ideal for the likes of accountants. Grey exterior and a black leather interior made that idea fit perfectly. I had plenty of kilometers to drive too and there was no letting go from that idea from that point on. This review was going to be me pretending to be an accountant. Can this car relieve me of the stresses of work? Can this car emit the aura of respect I’d need?

Exterior, interior, feel and overall aesthetics

I clocked around 2000 kilometers in the facelifted Jaguar XE while pretending to be someone else. This gave me plenty of time to test the interior and ride thoroughly, but also test other people’s reactions to this car. The latter surprised me tremendously, this car pulls a lot of attention. Perhaps because they’re quite rare, but I certainly enjoyed staring at it too. There’s a certain balance to the facelift now, the reworked rear and front look so damn clean. The new front has the biggest changes and now makes the car look way more premium. And take a moment to take in the roofline, it’s one of the nicest in its segment. 

Inside the XE I was treated to all the creature comforts I needed: lane assist, adaptive cruise, Android Auto, premium audio, and heated seats. You can opt for more but as an accountant, you take only what you need of course. Ahum. Jaguar threw a higher quality screen in and a new steering wheel when updating their mid-sized berline model, a welcome and needed update. Both command the infotainment and car settings, and do so in an intuitive way. No complexity here, it just works as it should. Materials used in the interior are premium grade and the metal inlay in the steering wheel is a gem to touch. 

Drive and fuel consumption 

Rear-wheel drive and a ZF automatic are mated with the 4 cylinder diesel engine and make for economical traveling in the XE. If I was all about money and controlling it where I could, being able to use 6L/100km would make my inner accountant very happy. I mostly drove highway roads though, but I did notice that city driving was when it became thirsty. Consumption quickly grew to 8L/100km I noted on my notepad (kidding here people, I don’t even have a pen). 

So with everything in the facelifted Jaguar XE satisfying my portrayed accountant role until now, the way it drove is where I got confused. Why? Let me explain: the car is handling like a BMW, Mercedes, or Audi 99% of the time, but unexpectedly doesn’t in faster load changes. The car doesn’t balance out like the rest of the segment does, it feels a bit uncertain when you flip the weight from one end to the other in corners. 
Other than that, if I was an accountant wouldn’t be complaining one bit about how it rides. Behave normally in traffic and the XE excels in refinement and comfort like the rest of the premium segment does. The steering feel is spot on and more communicative than Audi offers. The seats didn’t hurt my back or arse, sorry I mean rear, during all those kilometers. 

Concluding 

Has Jaguar made the existence of the XE justifiable with the facelift? Yes, but the established brands have amassed such popularity that it will never reach the sales it deserves. Which is sad, because the XE really does emit an aura of respect. Other commuters felt it, people I visited for work felt it, and my ego felt it. Destressing me after a long day of work is also what it did more than well. So there’s no reason you shouldn’t be looking at this car if you’re shopping or leasing in this segment as an accountant. Or as any customer really. This one may have been grey and diesel, but the XE can be colored and spicy if specced that way. Jaguar made a damn fine berline with the facelifted XE, period.

Specs

Engine2.0 L Ingenium 4 cylinder
Power180 hp
Torque430 Nm
Highway consumption (tested)6,2 L/100 km
Overall consumption (tested)8,1 L/100 km
Base price (BE)42.890 €
Price as tested (BE)57.295 €

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