The XE is continuing to prove itself a more than capable company car (note its recent accolade as the ACFO fleet car of the year), combining good levels of efficiency – average 56mpg – with comfort and an engaging drive.
The stylish, soft-touch interior with its chrome accents and ebony veneer features (a £310 option) impresses most passengers, including one who presently drives the previous generation XF. At night, the pale blue mood lighting (another £310 option) is classy and functional (it lights the door handles, for example).
The widescreen 10-inch sat-nav has excellent definition, is easy to use and provides clear directions, while the real-time traffic flow reporting is highly accurate. So I’m told by actual customers anyway, as our XE was delivered without the necessary sim card, which means we have been unable to access most of the multi-media functions via the InControl Navigation Account (including satellite view, street level images, live apps and door-to-door routing) and Wi-Fi hotspot which allows up to eight wireless devices to be used simultaneously.
Another feature which stands out on the XE is the remote boot opening. This is the best we’ve used; one brief click on the keyless fob and the boot opens – no repeated clicking required.
While the car receives multiple plaudits, there are some niggles. The eight-speed gearbox can be pensive when trying to briskly pull into a gap, but using the paddle shifts is a simple solution.
More worrying is the reversing sensor, something many drivers are becoming increasingly reliant on as its becomes more of a standard fit. The XE’s system is slow to engage and raises the real risk of hitting objects if you reverse a little too quickly.
In the first test, we mentioned our XE’s AdBlue woes. Since then, we’ve been contacted by Rob Chisholm, from Applewood Vehicle Finance, who tells us: “I’ve had my 2.0d 180ps (manual) R Sport for 15 months, and covered 19,000 miles. To-date I have had no AdBlue warnings at all.”
Better news for prospective fleet purchasers.