THERE'S no point in doing things by halves - and Jaguar has gone the full monty with a mid-life revamp of its smallest model, the XE.
Technological improvements and innovations, a totally revamped interior with cues and equipment from models at the top end of the Jaguar range and small but significant changes to the sheet metal are all designed to give the latest XE the edge over arch-rivals from BMW and Mercedes.
And the even better news is that the latest XE range will, in some cases, be cheaper than the outgoing models. The D180 R-Dynamic S variant, priced at £36,145, is £670 cheaper than the 2019 XE R-Sport equivalent while adding around £1,100 of extra equipment. Price of the entry level model, however, goes up by almost £2,500 from £31,505 to £33,915, reflecting the additional kit fitted to the new model.
It may not look that different to the original on the outside, but the mild tweaks to the styling, including new front and rear bumpers, advanced all-LED headlights and tail-lights with distinctive LED signatures give the latest XE a more aggressive, sporting character.
But the big changes are on the inside. There's extensive use of soft-touch materials, premium veneers and all-new door trims. Every aspect of the cabin has been enhanced for increased convenience, improved stowage and better passenger comfort, says Jaguar.
A revised centre console now comes with the same SportShift gear selector and JaguarDrive Control switch as the company's flagship F-Type two seater while the new XE shares its steering wheel with the all-electric I-Pace complete with hidden-until-lit graphics and capacitive switches to control key functions.
The I-Pace's twin infotainment touch screens are also available for the new XE as is a new interior rear view mirror which uses a wide-angle, rear-facing camera to feed images to a high-definition screen within the mirror. Jaguar says that the system - which is a first in the XE's market segment - provides an unobstructed view of the road behind, unhindered by tall rear passengers, poor light or rain on the rear screen.
The XE's entry-level specification now features automatic transmission with Dynamic mode, 18-inch wheels electric leather seats, front and rear park aid, rear camera and lane keep assist. Customers can select from S, SE and HSE trim levels, with each also available in sporty R-Dynamic guise.
The XE's two-litre Ingenium petrol engine is available with 250PS and 300PS outputs while the 180PS diesel is the first in its class which is compliant with the stringent RDE2 NOx emissions limit, well ahead of the January 2021 legislative deadline. This aids company car drivers with a four per cent BIK rate cut and also private retail buyers through a reduced first year VED charge.
According to Jaguar design director Ian Callum: "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."