2020 Jaguar XE Chicagoland Review by Larry Nutson
2020 Jaguar XE
By Larry Nutson
Executive Editor and Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel
The compact luxury sports sedan class is quite multinational. There’s a good number of entries coming from American, British, German, Italian, Japanese and Korean automakers.
The British entry Jaguar XE has received a minor refresh for 2020. On the outside up front there’s a new fascia with revised grille and new LED headlights. Similarly, the back end also gets a new fascia as well as new LED taillights.
Inside, the 5-seat cabin has been refreshed with more premium materials and finishes. A new leather steering wheel, new transmission shift lever, redesigned power leather seats, new interior door trim and ambient lighting provide a more contemporary look. Standard equipment includes moonroof, clear sight interior rear view mirror, as well as wireless device charging, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and InControl Apps.
The clear sight rear view mirror uses a camera to give you a clear view to the rear in spite of heads in the back seat, or snow or rain on the rear backlight.
A new optional Jaguar InControl Touch Pro Duo infotainment system and 12.3-inch interactive driver display are now offered. A 10-inch upper screen and 5.5-inch lower screen are paired for infotainment and climate control.
There’s a choice of two turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines. The P250 model has 247-horsepower and the P300 gets a 296-horsepower version. Both are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Jaguar XE is rear-wheel drive with all-wheel drive (AWD) available. Last year’s 4-cylinder turbodiesel and supercharged gas V6 have been dropped.
If you want the lowest fuel consumption XE, the P250 is EPA rated at 25 city mpg and 34 highway mpg. If you want the most performance, the P300 hits 60 mph in 5.4 seconds.
A contingent of advanced driver-assist safety (ADAS) features are available including blind spot assist, lane keep assist, smart cruise control, high speed braking assist, front and rear parking aids, head-up display, and rear cross traffic alert.
Pricing runs $39,900 for the P250 S, $41,900 for the P250 S AWD, and $46,295 for the R-Dynamic S P300 AWD. A range of optional equipment and packages are offered that allows for personalization but they can drive the price up quickly by $10,000 or more.
For my Chicago area test drive I was behind the wheel of the P250 S, the rear drive model. The compact size of the XE makes for easy maneuvering and parking on the crowded streets of the Windy City. Entry and exit is quite easy and I do still prefer sliding down into a car seat rather than climbing up into an SUV.
The front cabin is adequate with a good outward visibility and supportive and comfortable seats covered in diamond-pattern leather. Power adjustments for the seat and steering column enable finding an ideal position. Rear seats are a bit tight and probably only best used for average size people.
Dynamically there’s a decent level of fun-to-drive in the XE. There’s good performance from the turbo-four and the auto trans. Low speed torque gets you going quickly with no noticeable turbo lag. Comfort, Eco, Rain/Ice/Snow and Dynamic driving modes can be selected with the JaguarDrive Control. The XE P250 S is not equipped with shift paddles and I didn’t mind not having them. The P300 has them.
The XE’s lightweight body structure is 75 percent aluminum. Ride and handling is top-notch with excellent body control and very compliant suspension tuning. The XE offers the best of both worlds, excellent handling and yet a comfortable ride. I was wanting for a test track but had to make due with some interesting off-ramps and cloverleafs.
More detailed information and specifications can be found at www.jaguarusa.com. Of note, the XE features a good warranty with coverage for 5-years/60,000 miles that also includes complimentary scheduled maintenance.
Notwithstanding the popularity of SUVs and crossovers there is still a significant number of buyers who want the proverbial four-door sports car. A car that has decent practicality while also providing an engaging driving experience. The XE sits in a fairly competitive segment. It’s a honed athlete with competitive performance and also good looks. It’s doing battle against the traditional German entries plus newer entries like the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Genesis G70.
You don’t see a lot of Jaguar sedans on the road. If you want to be a little different and still have a decent driving experience you might want to check it out.
© 2020 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy