2021 Jaguar XE: Buying Guide for a Formerly Ferocious Cat, Now Family-Friendly

Beautiful things are not necessarily grandiose. Anyway, we use our human scale to appreciate if objects are properly sized or not. If they are undersized or oversized, an instinctive impulse to dislike them may occur. That’s not at all the case with the Jaguar XE.
2021 Jaguar XE 14 photos
Photo: Jaguar
2021 Jaguar XE2021 Jaguar XE2021 Jaguar XE2021 Jaguar XE2021 Jaguar XE2021 Jaguar XE2021 Jaguar XE2021 Jaguar XE2021 Jaguar XE2021 Jaguar XE2021 Jaguar XE2021 Jaguar XE2021 Jaguar XE
It was not long ago when the second generation of the Jaguar XF (large-size sedan) had its premiere. This happened in 2015. The Jaguar XE mid-size sedan debuted the same year. In fact, this was about splitting the class-of-its-own stature of the first Jaguar XF generation in two easier to understand approaches.

So, it became clear: the XE was the competitor for BMW 3 Series or Mercedes-Benz C-Class kind of cars, while the XF went hunting for the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Co. The Jaguar XE got facelifted in 2019, while the 2021 model brings some remarkable upgrades.


Because they insisted to make a visible class difference between the second generation XF and the XE, the XE has a less shiny overall look than the bigger cat. And this used to be even more obvious after getting inside. Until recently, XE's interior had a note of Teutonic austerity.

Come on, who would want a British car with a German touch, even if German cars sell well? The technical and aesthetic upgrades of the 2021 Jaguar XE came to change this perception for good.

2021 Jaguar XE
Photo: Jaguar
Big displays, advanced graphics (the 12.5-inch digital instruments panel is a convincing piece of high-tech stuff), fewer physical buttons – yes, that’s the way the cockpit of a contemporary tarmac predator should look inside. The Pivi Pro infotainment system (also seen on the new LR Defender) integrates a 10-inch touchscreen.

The 5.5-inch touchscreen situated at the base of the center console features two multi-functional LED rotary controllers for intuitive operation of key vehicle functions. Refined finish details, pretentious materials for upholstery – finally, the beautiful shapes of the XE’s interior design are dressed in a manner worthy of the brand's tradition. It took some years to get all these done, but now, here they are.


The choice of engines for the refreshed Jaguar XE is not wide, but it accurately targets some important points. There are two versions of the Ingenium 2.0 four-cylinder gasoline engine, both of them fitted with the CVVL (Continuous Variable Valve Lift) distribution system and twin-scroll turbochargers.

No question of compromise regarding on performance: it’s all about being fast (with the 250 hp/365 Nm mill) or being faster (with the 300 hp/400 Nm one). Usually, the driving force is delivered to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Yet, for the 300 hp version, an all-wheel-drive option is available.

2021 Jaguar XE
Photo: Jaguar
The best times of the diesel seem to be gone, yet the new 2.0-litre four-cylinder 204 hp Ingenium diesel engine, featuring Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle (MHEV) technology, deserves a closer look. It uses a Belt-integrated Starter Generator (BiSG) to improve the typical good traits of the diesel: low consumption and beefy torque.

While the gasoline-fed versions (250 and 300 hp) are able to do the 0-60 mph (97 kph) sprint in 6,4 and, respectively, 5,6 seconds, this advanced 204 hp MHEV-turbodiesel can keep close to them, doing it in 6,9 seconds.

Regretfully, the times of the V6 and V8 gasoline engines are gone for the XE. The laws of nature are confirmed inclusively by the evolution of XE’s engine range: the smaller predators have better surviving capabilities.


The Jaguar XE uses the so-called D7/PLA (Premium Lightweight Architecture) platform of the Jaguar-Land Rover Group. Of course, it is not something brand-new, but it still represents something unique within the mid-size sedan class.

Agility and dynamic behavior are favored by this light self-supporting structure of the body. The firm suspension and the precise steering come to clarify this image. Riding comfort? Not bad at all, even better than what the previous XF used to offer. However, the sporty touch of the car always remains distinguishable.


The questionable reliability that marked Jaguar cars throughout the 1980s and a bit later, during the Ford Group reign over the British brand, is a thing of the past. Nowadays, the eventuality of some mechanical failures is a lot less probable than the occurrence of some electronic annoying mishaps – these probably won’t happen every day, though.

2021 Jaguar XE
Photo: Jaguar
The space for the rear seated passengers is somewhat limited and the trunk doesn’t have a really impressive volume (455 liters) considering the class standards. Here, we should all agree that owning a Jaguar is not about sitting in the rear or stuffing its trunk every now and then.

In the end, something that might determine some potential clients to move away: no engine with more than four cylinders can be fitted under the XE’s hood. And, no matter the version, the Jaguar XE is pricey (base score of $40.895 for the XE P250 S).

Instead, even if German mid-size sedans are damn good, and there is plenty of them (Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Opel Insignia, VW Passat), none of them goes far enough in terms of charm and personality to catch the cat. Maybe an Alfa Giulia? Or a Volvo S60? Why not a Peugeot 508 (they also have a noble cat on the frontal grille)? Let these be just rhetorical questions for the moment.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories