An extra mile to reach the top
“More technology and style from the I-PACE makes the 2020 XE even better!”
“XE is now a better luxury sports sedan.”
“No more V6-powered engine.”
“It is finally the sports sedan that Jaguar needs,” said Issam.
Honestly speaking, it feels like yesterday when I first drove the Jaguar XE; it was back in 2015, exactly four years ago. This time I am driving the facelifted version 2020MY. At that time I remember giving the XE the nickname of ‘the driver’s car.’ I am still convinced even now that it maintains that unique flair. The Brits have put additional strength to enhance the XE in order to compete with the well-established German contenders. The main changes were taken from the Jaguar I-PACE EV.
What’s new on the 2020 Jaguar XE?
An updated exterior design gives the XE a more purposeful and assertive stance. Continuing on from the beautifully judged proportions of the original car, the new XE’s sporting intent has been taken up a level with contemporary design cues inspired by the F-TYPE sportscar. The XE appears wider and lower than before, with larger front apertures, bold graphics and muscular forms eluding to the car’s performance and advanced aerodynamics.
New all-LED headlights with a striking ‘J’ blade daytime running light signature create a more purposeful look. The rear of the car also features a new bumper design and slender all-LED taillights with updated signature graphics which accentuate the visual width of the car, giving the XE a more planted appearance.
For an even more performance-orientated character, R-Dynamic models include additional exterior design elements including aircraft winglet-inspired sculpted surfaces, dark mesh detailing to the rear valance and alternative wheel styles. On the interior, the sporting influences continue with sport-style seats with contrast stitching, Satin Chrome gearshift paddles and R-Dynamic treadplates.
The beautifully crafted all-new interior features extensive use of soft-touch materials, premium veneers and all-new door trims that improve usability and practicality. New XE’s luxurious and technology-packed interior delivers more comfort, quality and connectivity for all occupants. Every aspect of the cabin has been enhanced for increased convenience, improved stowage and better passenger comfort.
The influence of Jaguar’s flagship two-seater sportscar is also evident as both the SportShift gear selector and JaguarDrive Control switch shared with the F-TYPE are on the revised center console.
A new steering wheel, shared with the all-electric I-PACE, features hidden-until-lit graphics and tactile switches for intuitive control of key functions.
The new XE is also the smartest and most connected yet. Jaguar’s Touch Pro Duo infotainment system, shared with I-PACE, is also available for the first time, delivering instinctive control through a pair of seamlessly integrated high-resolution touchscreens. Wireless device charging and clever Smart Settings technology also make their first appearance in the XE.
The first-in-segment ClearSight interior rearview mirror improves safety and convenience by ensuring the driver has an unobstructed view of the road behind. Using a wide-angle rear-facing camera, the system feeds images to a high-definition screen within the frameless rearview mirror; unhindered by tall rear passengers, poor light or rain on the rear screen.
New XE features an automatic transmission as standard and is available in rear- and all-wheel drive variants. Jaguar’s advanced torque on-demand all-wheel drive (AWD) system and Intelligent Driveline Dynamics technology maintain the XE’s rear-wheel drive handling feel and agility while improving performance, traction and driver confidence in all weather conditions. The 300 horsepower petrol engine, equipped with all-wheel drive, accelerates zero-to-100 km/h in 5.7 seconds. The 2.0-liter Ingenium petrol is available with 250 horsepower and 300 horsepower outputs, badged P250 and P300 respectively.
When I got into the 2020 XE I immediately felt that it has borrowed the interior from the I-PACE EV (which I drove recently too). There is a new gear lever replacing the rotary gear dial (although I still like the rotary, a normal lever makes it more practical). Hard plastic from the previous XE is almost gone and is replaced with nicer and softer material from the I-PACE. Thumbs up! The P250 variant is RWD standard and the P300 has the AWD standard option. V6-powered engines are dead now. The available engines are the 2.0-liter four-cylinders turbocharged with either 250 horsepower or 300 horsepower.
How did it drive on the southern French coast? Well it steers with super hyper accuracy, and the body stays brilliantly stuck to the ground on corners. The newly optional Dynamic Handling package on the R-Dynamic model I drove brings adaptive dampers and improved brake hardware, with an extra configurable setting among the drive-mode selections (Comfort, Eco, Rain/Ice/Snow, and Dynamic) that lets you customize the steering, engine, and transmission receptiveness.
The thing that you have to know is that the sound ‘bang’ of the previous V6-powered engines (340 horsepower and 380 horsepower) is long gone. You have to adapt and fine-tune your hearing to the new four-cylinder exhaust note. Although many improvements and enhancements were put into the body, cabin and even driving dynamics, Jaguar has more room to improve if they want to catch those clientele who are not German-loyal and looking around for a sports luxury sedan. So that extra mile elevated the XE a bit closer to the top!
If I want to be subjective, it is the XE that I would pick from the list for one simple reason: individuality. But on an objective point of view, the 2020 Jaguar XE is a very good choice for those who value style, and dynamic competency. German contenders have all these aspects, and most importantly resale value in our region.
Pros: Enhanced headlights and front grille, sporty driving, hard plastic almost gone, fewer buttons in the cabin, new infotainment system
Cons: Not really comfortable on bigger wheels, strong competition, no more V6 engine
Rivals: Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class, Infiniti Q50, Cadillac ATS, Alfa Romeo Giulia, Lexus IS, Volvo S60, Lincoln MKZ
4.5 / 5 stars
one word: agile
2.0L turbocharged inline-4 cylinder, 250 hp @ 5,500 rpm, 365 Nm @ 1,300 rpm
RWD, 8-speed auto with manual shifting mode
0-100 km/h: 6.5 secs, top speed: 193 km/h, fuel consumption: 6.9-9.4 L/100 km
Weight: 1,535 kg
2.0L turbocharged inline-4 cylinder, 300 hp @ 6,500 rpm, 400 Nm @ 1,500 rpm
AWD, 8-speed auto with manual shifting mode
0-100 km/h: 5.7 secs, top speed: 250 km/h, fuel consumption: 6.9-9.4 L/100 km
Weight: 1,614 kg