Jaguar is treating its smallest saloon, the XE, to a bundle of mid-life enhancements and upgrades – and together with a beneficiant sprinkling of I-Tempo fairy mud – in a transfer geared toward boosting disappointing gross sales in contrast with dominant German rivals.
The brand new XE will get a extra assertive face plus snappier rear styling to match. There’s additionally a plusher and considerably better-equipped inside and a bundle of driver-oriented devices, controls and know-how initially delivered to market by Jaguar’s all-electric I-Tempo. The brand new mannequin goes on sale this week at costs ranging from £33,915.
“The XE is an everlasting favorite with our youthful design crew – the type of automotive they wish to drive,” mentioned design director Ian Callum. “The mechanical bundle was at all times sensible and it has terrific proportions and stance. However some time in the past, we began feeling it wanted to look extra assertive towards its very robust competitors. If you happen to needed to criticise, you possibly can additionally say that possibly we didn’t give it the inside it deserved. However now we’ve corrected that. In a way, we’ve reinvented the entire automotive.”
For 2020, Jaguar has eliminated a traditional entry-level variant from its XE vary. Each mannequin now will get 18in wheels (or larger) plus LED headlights and tail-lights. There’s a chic steering wheel first launched on the I-Tempo and each XE will get entrance and rear parking aids and a reversing digital camera. The automotive additionally will get a gearstick to work its commonplace computerized transmission as a substitute of a twist-selector, a nod to its extra clearly outlined sporting nature.
The XE might be supplied in both commonplace or sportier R-Dynamic physique designs – clearly distinguished by rear and frontal options that look totally different however are much like manufacture and match. Every of the 2 is accessible in S, SE and HSE trim ranges. Jaguar advertising folks reckon this method gives a unbroken complete alternative whereas decreasing the potential for purchaser confusion.
On prime of the mannequin and trim choice, homeowners get to decide on engines and choice packs. “We’ve separated physique and tools spec from engine alternative,” mentioned Callum, “as a result of we’re discovering prospects who desire a sporty-looking automotive don’t essentially need the highest-output engine. It won’t go well with their desire or tax scenario.”
Engine selections for the XE have been lowered and refined. Consumers nonetheless determine from a spread of diesel and petrol 2.Zero-litre Ingenium items inbuilt Jaguar Land Rover’s Wolverhampton manufacturing unit, however little-bought selections have been eradicated. On the petrol aspect, consumers now determine between 247bhp and 296bhp items (the faster of which supplies the automotive sub-6.0sec Zero-60mph acceleration).
Not that the brand new XE is all about efficiency. Jaguar continues to make a stout case for its base 2.Zero-litre D180 rear-drive mannequin, which packs 317lb ft of torque but returns mixed gas consumption of 57.6mpg. Crucially, it turns into the primary diesel automotive in its class to satisfy the EU’s ultra-stringent RDE2 NOx emissions commonplace due in January 2021.
Selecting this feature protects enterprise consumers from a four% benefit-in-kind surcharge utilized to different diesels and permits a substantial first-year saving on automobile excise obligation for personal consumers. Jaguar accompanies particulars of the D180 with the sturdy reminder that its newest diesels ship 25% higher gas consumption than equal petrol engines, emit across the similar quantity of NOx and are “typically probably the most cost-effective and environmentally pleasant alternative” for the numerous drivers within the UK who do greater than 12,000 miles a yr.
Work on the XE refresh started round a yr after the automotive’s launch in mid-2015. “As quickly as we begin seeing one in all our automobiles in numbers, and on the open highway, we begin to critique it,” mentioned Adam Hatton, head of exterior design. “We determine our targets for a brand new mannequin, do some sketching, then get the automotive into our design backyard, begin with a totally plain entrance and begin including the brand new graphical parts – grilles, vents, lights and the remaining – from scratch.”
The goal for the most recent XE, mentioned Hatton, was to boost the frontal options, with rear mods to match, so apertures are larger and graphical aspects are bolder, utilizing parts that allude to the F-Kind sports activities automotive. New all-LED headlights now incorporate a powerful however delicate J-blade daytime operating gentle, and the headlights themselves are round 12mm narrower.
Nevertheless, the largest adjustments are within the entrance cabin, a challenge led by head of inside design Alister Whelan. Trim supplies have been comprehensively upgraded. Enticing upholstery stitching has been added and improved. New supplies – together with an expensive quilted seat choice – have been added.
Laborious plastics have been changed in even probably the most discreet locations and now you can get an XE with three complete TFT screens throughout its fascia, much like these in an I-Tempo, and full with Jaguar’s outstanding twin console-mounted twist controls that gentle as much as function the air flow and infotainment. It’s also possible to now get Jaguar’s camera-based ClearSight rear-view mirror as an choice, in alternate for a a lot bigger roof-mounted ‘shark fin’.
Modernised and improved in visible affect, the XE is now nothing lower than a child luxurious saloon in its higher-spec guises and a really well-equipped automotive even in its near-standard kinds. Jaguar expects consumers to be attracted by the XE’s enhanced worth: at £36,145, a D180 in R-Dynamic guise is £670 cheaper than the outgoing R-Sport equal – and that’s earlier than you add about £1100 price of additional tools.
“All of us love the XE,” mentioned Callum. “It’s nice to see it taking Jaguar again to the place it belongs.”
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