The 2020 Jaguar XE brings the highly renowned Jaguar style and supple ride quality to the premium compact sedan class. Even though we seem to live in a world dominated by crossovers, this kind of car still has many commendable qualities. And the XE has its own set of virtues that make it a credible contender against the well-established BMW 3 Series and Audi A4.
The XE’s driving experience is pleasurable and engaging. While maintaining a high degree of comfort that every luxury car should have, Jaguar has also given the XE poise, balance and agility.
It’s also unmistakably a Jaguar. The styling is all the more remarkable because there’s a lot of aluminum in the body. It’s an approach that keeps weight at acceptable levels, but fashioning this metal into such flowing shapes is not easy. Fortunately, there’s also a lot of substance to complement the flair.
What’s New for 2020?
This model year sees revised styling in the front and rear, bringing LED lighting at both ends, an improved interior and an upgraded infotainment system. Wireless charging becomes available, along with an ingenious rearview mirror that manages to erase the rear pillars from the display, automated parking assistance and Wi-Fi.
Smart Settings technology is also optional, employing artificial intelligence to learn the particular preferences of each driver so it can adjust seat position, mirrors, climate control settings and audio choices automatically. It distinguishes between drivers through their key fobs and smartphones.
The basic 2020 XE receives more standard equipment, such as larger alloy wheels, leather seating surfaces, smartphone integration, parking sensors front and rear, plus lane-keeping assistance.
Jaguar has also discontinued the diesel and gasoline V6 engine alternatives, while reducing the number of trim levels to two. See the 2020 Jaguar XE models for sale near you
What We Like
- Superb looks
- Fabulous suspension
What We Don’t
- Entry level engine is hardly thrilling
Every XE has an 8-speed automatic transmission.
In S versions of the XE with a P250 classification is a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine making 247 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel drive (RWD) is the default arrangement — all-wheel drive (AWD) is optional.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) puts fuel consumption at 25 miles per gallon in the city, 34 mpg on the highway and 28 mpg in combined driving (RWD) and 24 mpg city/34 mpg hwy/28 mpg combined (AWD).
The R-Dynamic S P300 model also has a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, but this unit generates 296 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. AWD is standard in this variant. The EPA expects it to achieve 22 mpg city/30 mpg hwy/25 mpg combined.
Both engines have a stop/start function to save a little gas while idling.
Standard Features & Options
The 2020 Jaguar XE comes in S P250 and R-Dynamic S P300 trim levels.
The entry level XE S P250 ($40,895) comes with 18-in alloy wheels, LED headlights/taillights, a sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, keyless entry/ignition, Normal/Eco/Dynamic driving modes, dual-zone automatic climate control, 12-way power-adjustable front seats, leather seating surfaces, heated side mirrors, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, an electronic parking brake, a self-dimming rearview mirror, ambient cabin lighting, rear seats that split/fold in 40/20/40 fashion, front/rear parking sensors, forward-collision mitigation with automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, a 10.2-in touchscreen, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration, plus a 6-speaker/125-watt audio system with HD radio, two USB ports and an auxiliary audio input.
This model is eligible for AWD, which costs $2,000. Among the other options are heated/ventilated/16-way power-adjustable front seats, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, 19-in alloy wheels, wood trim, a powered steering column adjustment, self-dimming side mirrors, a powered trunk lid, wireless charging, a cabin air ionizer, a 10-speaker/380-watt Meridian audio upgrade, a 16-speaker/825-watt Meridian surround-sound system, a configurable driver information display, a head-up display, a twin-screen infotainment system upgrade with navigation, satellite radio, Park Assist package with 360-degree camera system, a driver aid package with blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control and an adaptive suspension.
Most of those options also apply to the XE R-Dynamic S P300 ($47,290), but this model gets the more powerful engine and AWD as standard. It also has its own cosmetic and aerodynamic body additions, larger front brake discs, steering wheel-mounted shift paddles, sport seats and the dual-screen infotainment system.
The R-Dynamic S is also eligible for 20-in alloy wheels.
Trunk space measures 15.9 cu ft., which is above average for this class. Cleverly, the styling manages to disguise such a generous caboose.
All the mandatory safety features (airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction control) are present and correct. The entry level also gains lane-keeping assistance this year.
To date, neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have crash-tested the XE.
Behind the Wheel
The cockpit-like cabin can seem a tad constricting. Admittedly, this is a compact sedan, but most rivals feel roomier. This could be a matter of taste, because it also feels good to sit "in" the driver’s seat and have all vital controls a fingertip away. And at least Jaguar has improved the quality of materials and the interior design, which was absolutely necessary.
No complaints about comfort levels in the front or the back. Rear passenger space is adequate for an adult male of average size, in regard to both headroom and legroom.
Selectable driving modes adjust various aspects such as throttle response, suspension settings and steering feel. In sportier modes, there’s a pleasant weight to the steering, providing just enough information coming up to the hands for a driver to "tune in" to it for greater involvement.
Another positive trait is the suspension, which achieves what in theory should be mutually exclusive goals. It’s composed, stable and sporty yet still not overly firm. That famed Jaguar suppleness shines through and makes the XE a joy to drive for any distance.
Other Cars to Consider
2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia — Athletic and gorgeous.
2020 Audi A4 — Up-to-the-minute technology and attractive-down-to-the-finest-detail interiors. Its entry level gasoline engine also comes with more power than the XE’s.
2020 BMW 3 Series — Other manufacturers must wonder what they have to do to beat the 3 Series. A new generation debuted for 2019 and it has excited the enthusiasts.
2020 Genesis G70 — Great value and receiving well-deserved critical acclaim.
2020 Lexus IS — Moves into yet another model year while fresher rivals gain the upper hand.
2020 Mercedes-Benz C-Class — Every C-Class has been popular and this current generation is relatively new. So the tech is fresh and the underlying hardware is as good as it gets.
2020 Volvo S60 — Safe, comfortable, stylish in its own way and priced keenly against the XE.
The entry level engine doesn’t bring the full luxury Jaguar experience of smooth and authoritative power (we lament the demise of the supercharged V6), so go for the R-Dynamic S trim level. If the budget allows, select the driver assistance features as well. Find a Jaguar XE for sale