Even with the AWD system and a new engine, on the whole this XE retains the familiar feel of the car, which is a very good thing. It’s effortless, pleasing and rewarding to drive; the class-leading dynamics of the car continue to shine through.
On our test drive, held in largely dry conditions, it was hard to feel the influence of the AWD system that often, but then it was rarely needed.
The twin turbocharged diesel has been designed by JLR to offer high power and torque, the two turbos working in sequence to smooth out the acceleration.
That said, at slow speed, the engine feels a little hesitant and languid. But when the power does arrive, it’s generally smooth, untroubled and refined. The eight-speed automatic gearbox complements it well and is generally as smooth as the powertrain.
Once you reach an A-road or a motorway, the Ingenium engine comes into its own. It cruises happily at speed and rarely feels strained. If you really ask for it, there’s a decent kick of power, although it’s not the sort of engine that ever thrusts us firmly further back into the comfortable embrace of our Portfolio trim test car’s brogue leather seats.
Instead, the engine matches the XE’s handling dynamics: it’s pleasing; relaxing, even. The engine is also perfectly suited for cruising on long journeys. It’s capable of effortlessly eating up mileage while remaining engaging enough to always offer an enjoyable drive – and capable of delivering a more engaging one if you seek it out. With an official combined mpg of 54.4, this is also a car that remains a relatively economical choice for regular long journey usage.
That refined, comfortable feel was evident in our test car’s Portfolio trim, which comes with the latest version of Jaguar’s InControl infotainment system, digital dashboard and head-up display, along with a range of driver aids and safety systems. If the interior isn’t necessarily class-leading, it’s certainly up there in the mix.