Jaguar refreshed the entry-level XE to take on its German rivals.
When it comes to small luxury sport sedans, the competition is about as fierce as it gets. From the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class to the Infiniti Q50 and Lexus IS – the 2020 Jaguar XE has no shortage of rivals. Most notably, this refreshed model must square off against the likes of BMW, which currently outsells the XE by 7 to 1. So what has Jaguar changed in this latest version? Is it a whole new cat? Here is a first drive review with all the information.
The exterior styling receives a significant update. The front bumper, grille, and LED lights are all new. The grille is wider, the headlights are narrower. The whole theme is to refine the previous version of the XE, make it appear lower and wider. The aerodynamics has also been improved.
In the back, the car gets an updated fascia, new tail lights, and dual exhaust outlets.
The car has not changed under the hood. The 2020 XE comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with two power levels that signify their own model designations. The base output is 247 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. The more powerful version is rated at 296 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Both versions of the engine are mated to a 8-speed ZF automatic transmission.
The 247 hp car is rated at 6.2 sec 0-60 MPH by Jaguar. The 296 hp version takes the time down to 5.4 seconds.
Missing in the 2020 model are the turbo-diesel and the supercharged V6 engines. For now, the two versions of the 2.0-liter turbo gas engine is all the car gets for the United States.
Perhaps, the most noteworthy change is on the inside. The XE basically gets a whole-new interior. The stylish and sporty new steering wheel is from the Jaguar iPace. There are large paddle shifters for the 8-speed automatic.
In the center, there is a dual-screen setup for the infotainment system and the HVAC system below. This is the latest interface that is also in the Range Rover Velar.
All of the materials look and feel more premium than before. The rotary transmission shifter is gone. There is a joy-stick looking lever in its place.
The rear-view mirror is equipped with a camera view – this is a first for a Jaguar. The mirror camera is mounted high on the back of the car inside the shark-fin antenna on the roof.
Ride / Handling
The XE is a relatively light car with a starting curb of 3,385 lbs for the rear-wheel-drive model (AWD is available). The weight is distributed in a near 50/50 front to rear distribution. The car feels nimble through corners, but the steering could be a little more heavy and offer more connection to the driving experience.
Overall, the new XE is a solid performer, but it’s not the very best in the class. Competition is a very good group of sedans. The newly refreshed XE does a good job of matching the performance, but it’s strongest suit is the styling.
The starting price for the 2020 Jaguar XE is $39,900. The XE AWD starts at $41,900. The high-output AWD car starts at $46,225. The new XE will go on sale in the United States in the summer of 2019.
If you love the Jaguar styling and the Jaguar name, then you need to take a close look at the 2020 XE.
Here is a first walk-around video from the first drive event. There is more coming.