2020 Jaguar XE: Proper, Precise & Sporty In All Ways British

  • The 2020 Jaguar XE debuts with two engines; one comes standard with all-wheel drive. 
  • 18-inch wheels, electric leather seats, LED headlights, and signature graphics are also standard.

Jag is still at it with their XE sports sedan. Aimed squarely at those who might want a BMW or an Audi, the refreshed 2020 Jaguar XE aims to hit all the right spots. And, more or less, they do. The real question here is will anyone actually buy a Jaguar over something German? And look, I can’t really answer that question. That’s up to you to decide, but Lord knows Jag has been trying very hard to get you to decide in their favor for a long while.

For 2020, the cats from Coventry updated their XE sedan in four areas: exterior, interior, and performance, along with ubiquitous tech goodies.

Styling & Design: A Sporty Character

Jaguar says the 2020 XE is even more striking, but that’s obviously in the eye of the beholder. However, it’s hard not to agree with them as far as it being sharper and having a more assertive stance. The front receives a different bumper and a wider grille for a more planted appearance. The rear bumper and rear valance, also new, increase the visual width and aim to highlight the car’s sporting character. The R-Dynamic S model, that would be the factory performance option (the one we’d buy), has “aircraft winglet-inspired” lower front apertures.

Do they do anything besides look cool? Probably not.

Jaguar’s designers went for slimmer lights, something they say has the effect of visually lowering the nose. The idea, from a design perspective, is to create a more dynamic stance. Photo: Jaguar Land Rover.

Hold The Brandy

The interior is just what you’d expect from Jaguar; no, it’s just what you’d expect from a British car company: it is Proper. Sure, the Brits might be stuffed and hide-bound with things like this, but they sure know how to make everything seem like an Edwardian drawing room; even if it happens to be an automobile driving down the road.

In the case of the 2020 Jaguar XE, the interior is all-new and beautifully-appointed. There is heightened attention to detail, with premium materials and finishes throughout the cabin. There’s a new, optional InControl Touch Pro Duo infotainment system and 12.3-inch interactive driver display. It allows for further customization, with Jaguar saying it’s both intuitive and responsive. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard.

The high-tech stuff everyone has come to expect these days includes an optional ClearSight Rear View Mirror with a high-definition display screen for better rearward visibility. “Smart Settings” technology uses artificial intelligence to learn your preferences and adjusts the seats, mirrors, audio, and climate automatically, because touching one button is just too hard nowadays.

The electric leather seats “enhance driver and passenger comfort,” which is an understated way of saying, “You’ll feel like you’re sitting in a leather armchair with a brandy at the gentleman’s club. Minus the brandy, my good man!”

The 2020 Jaguar XE is the first Jaguar with wireless charging. Photo: Jaguar Land Rover.

You'll feel like you're sitting in a leather armchair with a brandy at the gentleman's club. Minus the brandy, my good man! Click To Tweet

Power & Performance: Engine Mapping & Toggle Switches

Now, about what’s under the hood of the 2020 Jaguar XE. Customers get to choose between two Ingenium turbocharged four-cylinder engines, the P250 or P300. Roughly speaking, that’s the power output. More precisely, we’re talking either 247 or 296 horsepower. Revised software programming, new engine mapping, and updated hardware components give the P300 an advantage versus the P250. The P300 models benefit from better throttle response and acceleration, thanks to 295 lb-ft. of torque. The P300 is standard with all-wheel drive and hits 60 mph in 5.4 seconds.

The P250 models come in either rear or all-wheel drive, and even though the P300 is the sportier option, methinks a lighter, rear-wheel drive car might be more fun. It will have more traditional views with regard to handling, feel, and balance. In terms of handling, the 2020 Jaguar XE employs a double wishbone front suspension and an Integral Link rear suspension. 75 percent of the XE’s body structure is aluminum.

Gearing is handled by an eight-speed automatic that allows for manual shifts. Picking your cog is accomplished via the SportShift selector and JaguarDrive Control “toggle switch” inspired by, if not lifted whole, from the F-TYPE. Be gone rotary control gear selector of Jag sedans past!

Photo: Jaguar Land Rover.

Related: The Jaguar XE SV Project 8 sets another speed record.

Pricing & Availability

How much? Not all that bad. Prices start at $39,900 for the S P250 with rear-wheel drive; tack on another $2,000 for all-wheel drive. The R-Dynamic S P300 with all-wheel drive starts at $46,295. In other words, right in BMW 3 Series territory. The 2020 Jaguar XE is available for order now.

Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle formatFollow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz

2020 Jaguar XE Gallery

Photos & Source: Jaguar Land Rover.

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