Jaguar’s smallest sedan is getting a midcycle update this year, and the British marque is using the Geneva motor show to unveil changes to the XE. Sporting redesigned front and rear fascias, the small XE sedan now wears LED headlights and taillights, a wider grille and taller air intakes up front, adopting a sleeker overall look. The grille itself now features a new mesh pattern, while the redesigned rear fascia strives to give the sedan a wider appearance, helped by slimmer LED taillights.
More changes are on the menu inside, with a redesigned center stack and an optional 10-inch InControl Touch Pro Duo twin infotainment screen borrowed from the electric I-Pace model, which uses a combination of lower and upper screens. Jaguar has also tweaked the upper instrument bin, center console sides and door panels, adding an optional ClearSight interior rearview mirror, which uses a rear-facing camera mounted in the roof antenna. Wireless device charging has also been added as an option for the first time in this model.
“The lightweight aluminum-intensive body structure of the 2020 Jaguar XE is extremely robust and, together with a double-wishbone front suspension and an Integral Linkrear suspension, plays a key role in the vehicle’s exceptional handling,” Jaguar says. “Aluminum makes up 75 percent of the XE body structure and combines with proven rear- and all-wheel-drive systems, plus an advanced four-cylinder engine for dynamic handling and performance.”
The XE is keeping its two Ingenium four-cylinder engines with the 2020 model year update, offering 247 hp and 296 hp, badged P250 and P300, respectively. The XE is offered in a choice of rear- or all-wheel drive, as before, with the more powerful P300 model sending power to all four wheels as a standard feature. How you select gear settings in the XE is changing with this update: The rotary knob is gone, replaced by the SportShift gear selector borrowed from the F-Type, allowing manual gear changes. They can also be performed via the steering wheel-mounted paddles. The eight-speed automatic stays. A toggle switch on the center console, also borrowed from the F-Type, allows drivers to select the four drive modes: eco, comfort, rain/ice/snow and dynamic.
Speaking of dynamic things, the XE now offers the Dynamic Handling Pack, with larger performance brakes, colored brake calipers, adaptive and configurable settings and a spoiler for the trunk lid. The R-Dynamic S model, meanwhile, features sculpted surfaces on the lower front fascia inspired by aircraft winglets — other models in the lineup feature large air intakes instead, not bisected by the winglets.
“Drivers are able to shape the driving experience further and with greater ease thanks to the optional Configurable Dynamics system,” Jaguar says. “This feature allows drivers to set up the vehicle to their personal preference by choosing Comfort or Dynamic settings for the engine, gearbox and steering through the central touchscreen. Where specified, Adaptive Dynamics constantly adjusts the dampers to provide the optimum balance between comfort and refinement.”
Changes to safety tech include a standard driver condition monitor measuring tiredness and distraction, and an optional park assist feature, which controls steering inputs when entering and exiting parallel parking spots.
“The new Jaguar XE is all about building on the undeniable sporting proportions of the original car,” said Ian Callum, Jaguar director of design. “We’ve given the car much bolder graphics and more visual width, planting it in a way which really illustrates its dynamic intent. The new XE is a wonderfully complete package with a very purposeful exterior matched to a beautifully crafted, sporty interior.”
The reworked 2020 XE is on sale this summer starting at $40,895.
Writer: Jay Ramey
Published: March 4, 2019