By Asian Journal Auto Editor
A lithe, graceful car with striking, elegant lines, the Jaguar XE is a luxury compact sedan that looks simply fantastic. While others cars in this sector seem fussy, bloated and overdesigned, the XE is sinuous, athletic and toned. For 2020 the Jaguar XE receives a careful, measured revamp. Subtle revisions include: shallower, slimmer headlamps, with standard LED running lights and headlight, a wider deeper grille, new vents and bumpers. It is not just cosmetic, the redesigned XE is now has an exceptional drag coefficient from 0.26 to 0.25. Just as important, Jaguar have spruced up the interior with higher grade materials and updated technology. Power is courtesy of a turbocharged 2.0-liter four cylinder engine hooked up to an eight-speed automatic, teamed with All Wheel Drive.
Interior wise the upgrades include Jaguar’s optional 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and the twin screen “InControl Touch Pro Duo” infotainment display. Jaguars cool rotary shifter in now gone and there is now a traditional “SportShift” gearshift. Also new is higher grade leather covering the dash, center console, and door panels with better raised stitching.
There are now just two well equipped XE models for Canada, the P250 and P300 R-Dynamic, – powered by either a 247- or 296-horsepower versions of the gasoline 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged Ingenium engine. We tested the P300 model dressed in superb black paint and with a tasteful black leather trimmed interior. Inside, the Touch Pro Duo infotainment system’s two screens allow you to use navigation in the top screen and also see other controls in the bottom screen. There are two touchscreen options— a standard eight-inch (In- Control Touch) and an optional 10.2-inch (In- Control Touch Pro) display screen. The new HVAC panel features real knobs for temperature, fan speed and seat-heating. The redesigned, superbly comfortable seats have 12-way power adjustment.
High quality aluminum and leather offer a tasteful contemporary looking look. The finish is excellent all round in the front and rear cabin. Front legroom is excellent, although the rear cabin is a tighter affair. . The rear features e 40:20:40 folding-seat option, but a rather smallish trunk. The equipment levels are high with full power and creature comforts. Connectivity and infotainment features include: Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Navigation, 4G LTE Wi-Fi and a bevy of apps, live-info and remote-control features. Wireless charging, head-up display and camera-image rear-view mirror are available. Standard driver aids include driver-drowsiness and rear-traffic monitoring, lane-keep assist, semi-autonomous park assist, auto high-beam assist and emergency braking. A Drive Pack option adds adaptive cruise, blind-spot assist and high-speed emergency braking
On the road, a new acoustic windshield contributes to a hushed, serene cabin, even at high speeds. Our high – performance P300 had the 296-hp, 295-lb-ft torque version of the 2.0-liter engine. It proved to be a fast, satisfying car to drive with a pleasing exhaust note. Power delivery comes fast from the mid-range and the driver is rewarded with a nice smooth progression of torque. You can play with the various performance settings, however Dynamic mode is the best setting with its inspiring exhaust note and buttoned up responses. Steering is via the chunky wheel from the Jaguar I-Pace, and the pistol-grip SportShift gear selector proved wonderful to use when shifting manually. Metal paddle shifters on the steering column can also be used as a manual mode. We liked the taut, athletic ride, it not too firm or soft and the XE exhibited controlled, crisp, handling, and precise linear steering. Body roll is minimal thanks to the light weight and great engineering. In the recent wet weather we had, the All-Wheel Drive provided exceptional road grip, while the suspension proved adept at talking on all manner of road surfaces. Overall, the XE offers a great driving experiences with its engaging reflexes. Brakes are excellent, with no fade or grabbing when coming to hard stops.
Not much to complain about really, No growling V6 option here, but the Ingenium four cylinder does deliver the goods- a wise move for the sake of fuel economy. The XE is not as spacious for rear passengers, but then again this is a low- slung sedan with a coupe-like roofline. The 2020 Jaguar XE is a fundamentally delightful car to own and drive, and is good alternative to the German competition it takes aim at. It is better looking, and much rarer. Jaguars have a legendary cache here in North America it is hard to beat. Every Jaguar is special and the XE is no exception. Highly recommended if a compact luxury car is on the list.
2020 Jaguar XE P300 sedan. Priced from: $49,900 plus options.