Jaguar clearly has its eye on the fleet market with its updated XE which has an RDE2-compliant diesel engine ahead of rival models from BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz.
The facelifted car has been given a refresh to make it battle-ready for the new 3 Series.
Revisions include new bumpers, LED headlights and slicker taillights, plus a boost in interior quality - with higher-grade materials ensuring the baby Jag feels every bit as special as its XF big brother.
The twin touchscreen setup that debuted in the I-Pace is now available on the XE, providing a pair of high-resolution displays in place of regular dashboard controls.
Drivers can also spec the Clearsight rear-view mirror, an innovation that first appeared on the Range Rover Evoque. The mirror can display a video feed from the rear-mounted camera that provides a wider field of vision.
The XE range is now much simpler with just one diesel and two petrol engines.
Three trims are offered: S, SE or HSE. All are well equipped with leather upholstery, front and rear parking sensors, a 10-inch connected infotainment display and LED headlights.
SE models add keyless entry, electric folding door mirrors and digital instruments.
Range-topping HSE gets the twin-screen setup, known as Touch Pro Duo, plus an upgraded Meridian sound system and adaptive cruise control.
Each version is available as an R-Dynamic, which gets larger alloy wheels, sports seats and different bumpers.
The 180PS diesel engine (D180) has CO2 emissions of 130g/km, making it the most efficient in the range.
Despite being RDE2-compliant, it still lags behind rivals such as the BMW 320d SE Auto, which emits 110g/km.
The Jag, however, is the only one that is RDE2-compliant and therefore avoids the 4% diesel surcharge, bringing company car tax down to a competitive £185 per month.
Petrol models favour power over efficiency. The 2.0-litre turbocharged unit is offered in P250 and P300 flavours – offering, you guessed it, 250PS or 300PS respectively.
CO2 emissions range from 159-170g/km.
The more powerful petrol comes with all-wheel drive as standard and it can be added to the diesel, although it will lose the RDE2 compliance.
Ride and handling
A massive part of the XE appeal was the way it drove and, thankfully, Jaguar has managed to keep that element. The ride is firm, but not harsh, allowing it to absorb the worst of the UK’s roads while maintaining composure in the bends.
We’ve only driven the diesel so far, as we expect it will account for the majority of fleet sales. On paper it looks a strong performer with 430Nm of torque, yet the car feels a little lethargic and doesn’t have the immediate pick-up expected.
Road noise is also a little more intrusive than we would like at motorway speeds and rear legroom is still at a premium. But, overall, the new XE makes a great company car with competitive running costs, enjoyable handling and desirable badge kudos.