There’s plenty of adjustment to the steering wheel, and having an electrically adjusted backrest (electric adjustment of the entire seat is a cost option on lower-end versions and standard on high-spec ones) makes it easy to make small adjustments to the driving position.
There’s plenty of seat support to keep you in place through corners, too, although it’s a shame that there’s no adjustable lumbar support as standard on any XE model; it’s an option on all versions, but requires the extra addition of full-electric seat adjustment on SE, Prestige and R-Sport trim levels, which adds up to a four-figure cost.
A head-up display, which beams key information such as speed and the next sat-nav direction onto the windscreen directly in front of you, is an option that could be worth it for high-mileage drivers. And the dashboard is easy to get the hang of; what few buttons it has are all simple to use and within reach.
Jaguar XE visibility
The XE offers a good view of the road ahead, partly thanks to pillars that are no more obstructive than those in most rivals. The door mirrors are a decent size, too. Seeing straight out of the back isn’t so easy, though, due to a fairly narrow rear window and broad, swooping pillars. At least all models come with rear parking sensors to help when reversing.
Options include a heated windscreen that will clear condensation and ice much faster than the air vents, automatic parking (where the car steers for you) and a blindspot warning system. There’s also a reasonably priced parking pack that consists of front parking sensors and a rear-view camera.
Jaguar XE infotainment
Every model is fitted with Jaguar’s InControl touchscreen system, which includes a big 8.0in screen and sat-nav. The system responds fairly quickly and has logical menus, although the smaller icons can be fiddly to hit on the move. Online connectivity is standard (this requires a smart phone to be paired to the system), which allows the use of various apps, including music streaming and calendar and email linking.
A larger 10.2 inch Touchscreen with multi-touch gestures and customisable homescreen is also available if you opt for the Pro Navigation Pack. It’s more responsive, comes with a more sophisticated sat-nav, an extra USB socket and a 10GB hard drive to store your music on. A Dual View feature that allows the driver and front passenger to view different functions on the same screen is a nice highlight.
Bluetooth handsfree and audio streaming is also included across the range, as is a USB socket, a digital radio, audio controls on the steering wheel, and voice control.
The standard six-speaker sound system you get on lower-end trims is one of the better standard set-ups in this class, while the Meridian system (standard on Portfolio trim and the V6 S, and optional on other XEs) gets 11 speakers and two subwoofers for outstanding sound quality. The Meridian set-up is well worth having if you’re an audiophile.
Jaguar XE build quality
Interior quality isn’t something Jaguar has always been famous for, but the XE’s cabin is smart enough. There are plenty of soft-touch materials in all the important areas and the dashboard feels solidly bolted together, although some of the switches and buttons do feel a bit lightweight.
Some slightly cheap-feeling touches elsewhere in the car – such as the chunky plastic hinges on the bootlid – also let the side down a bit, but overall interior quality isn’t far behind that of a BMW 3 Series. A BMW 5 Series, or in particular the beautifully finished Audi A6, have interiors that are classier throughout, though.