Jaguar XE interior
The new Jaguar XE comes with a seriously slick cabin that looks and feels much better than the car it replaces. It’s a shame most of its high-tech infotainment features cost extra, though.
The new Jaguar XE’s interior isn’t quite as striking as that in a Mercedes C-Class, but it certainly has the edge over the more sensible interiors in an Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series.
Every Jaguar XE comes with a sweeping dashboard which stretches from one front door to the other – apparently inspired by vintage Italian speedboats – and a raised centre console which makes you feel cocooned in its cabin rather than perched above it.
The soft plastic trims on the dashboard, centre console and doors feel much posher than those in the outgoing Jaguar XE – in fact, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any cheap, scratchy plastics. Even the door bins come with a felt lining to stop things rattling around on the move and every Jaguar XE comes with leather seats as standard.
Everything feels more solid than ever – from the indicator stalks to the drive-mode toggle switch beside the leather-trimmed gear lever.
If you’re feeling brave you can replace the standard black leather seats with orangey brown or red items and you can pay extra for a range of carbon fibre trims if you fancy adding some sporty – if slightly tasteless – touches to the XE’s centre console and doors.
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Every Jaguar XE comes with a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system mounted up on the dashboard. It doesn’t come with any physical shortcut buttons or a rotary controller like the iDrive system you get in the BMW 3 Series, but the sharp, clear screen and row of on-screen shortcut buttons mean it’s still pretty easy to use when you’re driving.
The system’s menus are laid out sensibly and it responds pretty quickly to your inputs, but entering an address into the standard sat nav takes a little longer than using the BMW’s system. Once it’s calculated a route, you can pinch and swipe to move the map around without any frustrating lag.
Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard so you can use your phone’s navigation and music-streaming apps through the Jaguar XE’s built-in screens.
You’ll have to pay extra for an SE model if you want to replace the standard car’s analogue instruments with a second digital driver’s display, however. This 12-inch screen looks almost as crisp as the ones you can get in the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series but isn’t quite as easy to configure using buttons on the steering wheel.
There’s also the option to pay extra for Jaguar’s Touch Pro Duo system which ditches the conventional physical heating and ventilation controls for a third high-resolution screen – just like in the futuristic I-Pace electric SUV. This looks fantastic but it isn’t particularly easy to use when you’re driving. At least it still comes with a pair of large rotary dials to let you quickly adjust the cabin temperature without taking your eyes off the road.
You can also get the Jaguar XE with a wireless charging pad for your phone tucked under the dashboard and a beefier Meridian stereo with 11 speakers in place of the standard car’s own-brand six-speaker unit. The former sounds absolutely fantastic and happily pumps out your guilty pleasures playlist at an embarrassing volume without any unpleasant distortion.