Jaguar XE

The Jaguar XE is sold with one of three different engine choices, determining trim. Each of those can be broken down into three or four sub-trims. The base engine available on the 25t trim is a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder making 240 hp. Power is sent to the rear wheels via an 8-speed automatic. Jaguar claims that the base engine is able to hustle the car to 60 mph in around 6.5 seconds.

Though Jaguar have not released fuel economy estimates yet, the 20d trim should feature the most efficient engine in the XE Lineup. It's a 2.0L 4-cylinder turbo, but this time it runs off of diesel, rather than gasoline, which should boost mileage considerably. It is once again mated to an 8-speed automatic, but unlike the 25t, the 20d is available with all-wheel drive. Power is rated at 180 hp and 318 lb-ft of torque.

At the top of the lineup is the 35t, featuring a 3.0L supercharged V6 that is shared with the F-Type sports car. The engine makes 340 hp, enough to get the XE to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds, while power is once again sent to the rear wheels via an 8 speed automatic. Like the 20d, all-wheel drive in an option on the 35t.

25t models are available in Base XE, Premium and Prestige sub-trims, while the 35t is available in Premium, Prestige and R-Sport flavors. The 20d can be had at any of the four available trim levels.

The base XE trim may be spartan compared to the rest, but being a luxury car, it still features items such as rain sensing wipers, power exterior mirrors, a large power operated sunroof, dual-zone climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a 10-way power adjustable driver's seat and Bluetooth connectivity.

The Premium trim adds nicer alloy wheels, a memory function for the front seats, a rearview camera, a Meridian 11-speaker sound system, an automatic garage door opener, power folding and dimming side mirrors and a 40:20:40 split folding rear seat.

Prestige trim ups the ante with heated front seats, taurus leather seating surfaces, a heated steering wheel, additional adjustments for the front seats, navigation, keyless entry and additional interior lighting.

The top of the line R-Sport includes upgraded leather seats with contrasting stitching, an R-Sport body kit, vastly increasing the aggressiveness of the exterior styling, adaptive xenon headlights, a blind spot monitoring system, a lane keep assist function, rear cross traffic detection, as well as various front and rear parking sensors. The R-Sport also comes with SiriusXM satellite radio and a 3-month subscription.

Options include a 14-speaker Meridian sound system, heated rear seats, a rear sunshade, a power trunk lid, a 10.2-inch screen in the center console to house the navigation system, in car Wi-Fi and a heads-up display.

Editors' Review

If someone wants a compact luxury car, the names that crop up most often are exactly the ones you're thinking of: Audi, BMW, Mercedes. But Germany is not exclusive in its ability to manufacture a car in this segment. There are options outside the norm, like the 2020 Jaguar XE. Sure, you might not have the exact same object of aspiration that your neighbors also have on their driveway, but iconoclasm has its benefits.

Hit the road, Jag

Even though these compact luxury cars are generally pretty good at everything, automakers can still choose to highlight important attributes. Jaguar takes a page from the same book as BMW when it comes to the 2020 XE, because its driving dynamics are placed front and center, and to good effect. The XE's ride quality is on the stiff side; the first pothole or expansion joint will let you know that coddling is not in the car's dictionary, some of which is likely due to the Pirelli Sottozero winter tires wrapped around larger (albeit optional) 20-inch wheels. Some sidewall would go a long way here, so perhaps sticking with the stock 19s is a good idea.

My tester's optional adaptive dampers don't provide for the smoothest ride in the segment, but chuck this four-door into a corner and the suspension will keep things nice and flat. The ride isn't harsh, it's just communicative, and it does settle into a smoother groove on long, flat stretches of expressway. Combine that with direct, nicely weighted steering and you've got the makings of a properly fun sedan. 

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The Good ~ Drives great ~ Looks sharp ~ Ample standard safety systems

The Bad ~ Lags behind competition in output ~ So-so transmission ~ Options get expensive

The Bottom Line If driving dynamics are on your must-have list, the 2020 Jaguar XE is worth looking beyond Germany.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 7
  • Features 8
  • Design 8.5
  • Media 7.5

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