► First look at 2019 Jag XE
► A totally new interior
► Fresh engines, tech upgrades
The new 2019 Jaguar XE has arrived, just in time to battle the all-new BMW 3-series. We've always liked the way the smallest Jag drives, so Coventry has understandably focused on giving its junior sports saloon a better interior and some eye-candy trinkets to boost its kerbside appeal.
This explains why the exterior styling has changed little; only some reprofiled bumpers front and rear, LED lights at both ends and minor details have changed. You'll notice the revised XE on the road thanks to a hint of F-type in some of the graphics - and that J-blade day-running light (DRL) shape is bound to be distinctive, drawing attention to the 12mm narrower, tauter headlamps.
Prices for the new Jag XE range start at £33,915 in the UK. Dealers are taking orders now, with first deliveries a little later this spring.
Company car drivers will welcome a potential 4% drop in benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax, thanks to the arrival of a new D180 diesel engine that meets the tougher RDE2 NOx regulations. That's no poverty spec XE: all models now get alloy wheels of at least 18 inches in diameter as standard (a bugbear of design chief Ian Callum is his love of huge alloys!).
Inside the new Jaguar XE
Rather more noticeable are the changes inside the XE. Climb onboard and the rather disappointing cabin has been heavily spruced up with a variety of new features, some of them snaffled from the Jaguar i-Pace electric pioneer:
- Digital dials (see below) that offer full-width mapping
- Split-level Touch Pro Duo infotainment system for heating and stereo
- ClearSight rear-view mirror
- Head-up display option to beam speedo and nav onto the windscreen
- Gearstick replaces automatic rotary controller
It's worth pointing out that all the bells-and-whistles screens will be reserved for top models (or a costly extra). We've yet to see models with trad dials in place, but Jag promises that cabin materials have been boosted throughout, to make the interior feel and look more premium. The first generation of XE fell down badly here.
Jaguar XE engines and specs
A streamlined engine range will be offered in the 2019 XE. Less popular engines are quietly ditched, but they're all still fundamentally the Ingenium 2.0-litre engine family of petrol and diesel models, available in a choice of tunes:
- P250 petrol 247bhp, 269lb ft, 0-60mph in 6.2sec, 159g/km CO2
- P300 petrol 296bhp, 295lb ft, 0-60mph in 5.6sec, 153g/km CO2
- D180 diesel 178bhp, 317lb ft, 0-60mph in 7.6sec, 130g/km CO2
Further engines are likely to be added in the coming months. Cleverly, Jaguar has disentangled choice of engine from bodykit and trim level - you can now choose most specs with any engine, the better to serve Q-car fans, company car thriftists and those wanting unusual combinations.
The new 2019 XE range will be offered in standard or sportier R-Dynamic bodykits. On top of that, you can then choose S, SE or HSE trim leves (the red car below is the sporting HSE model). The simplified range structure is designed to be less confusing for buyers - yet will also simplify the manufacturer's range from a WLTP compliance perspective, we presume.