The 2020 Jaguar XE has put on new blinders. The pursuits for diesel economy and supercharged V-6 performance always were at the fringes of its talents. For 2020, they’re out of sight, out of mind.
With the 2020 XE, Jaguar focuses on turbo-4 engines, smartly tuned ride and handling, an excellent warranty and maintenance plan, and a slightly warmer interior.
We give it a 6.4 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
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This year’s XE doesn’t stray too far from the BMW-driven norm in sport-sedan style. The LED headlights are new and trim, the LED taillights have been flattened at the bottom, and the R-Dynamic trim packages clips metallic and mesh trim to the well-proportioned body. It’s classic sport sedan, stem to stern—we just wish Jaguar would rifle through its own closet for more interior style. It’s a plain place to work, more stern than even BMW’s latest cockpit designs.
As it’s streamlined to turbo-4 power alone, Jaguar’s kept two power levels that keep the XE in the hunt. Base XE S cars have 247 horsepower, while R-Dynamics have 296 hp, for 0-60 mph times that bracket the 6.0-second mark. In sync with a crisply responsive 8-speed automatic and rear- or all-wheel drive, the 2020 XE’s powertrain remains a strength, though its ride and handling merit more attention. More absorbent than a 3er, more resilient than a Weeble-Gummibear hybrid, the XE knows where straight-ahead lies and knows that nervous and twitchy in high-speed curves is not a good look.
Sure, it could use a bigger back seat, but then it’d be an XF, and the 2020 Jaguar XE fares better for the two passengers who really count: the ones in front. Grippy sport seats don’t swamp passengers in space, granted, but the cocoon-like cabin fits the mission here. It’s tougher to get into the back seat, but the space is acceptable for adults, and the XE’s trunk is reasonably big.
No crash-test data has ever been compiled for the XE, but automatic emergency braking now is standard, and Jaguar sells adaptive cruise control and a surround-view camera system as side dishes.
The base $40,895 2020 XE sedan gets leather upholstery, a 10.3-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, 18-inch wheels and all-season tires, power front seats, and a sunroof. Options include navigation, a second touchscreen for climate controls, 825-watt Meridian audio, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, a rear camera mirror, all-wheel drive, and the R-Dynamic trim package.