Jaguar is now a serious contender in the crossover and electric vehicle segments, thanks to the E-Pace and F-Pace utilities and the I-Pace EV. But Jaguar knows it still has a strong following among sedan buyers, and that's why it has refreshed its compact XE for the 2020 model year.
This is a mild update that brings styling tweaks, new LED headlights and interior and technological upgrades. The front and rear bumpers are new, the dash now houses Jaguar's Touch Pro Duo dual-screen infotainment system and there's a rearview camera mirror the automaker says is a segment first.
Jaguar has dropped the supercharged V6 and turbodiesel four-cylinder engines, trimming powertrain choices to a single four-cylinder gasser tuned two different ways. In SE P250 models, it makes 247 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque, while R-Dynamic P300 models get a version tuned for 296 hp and 295 lb-ft.
All-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission are standard in both models.
The all four-cylinder lineup seems like a bit of a slight against a good-looking and nice-driving car. However, that's all the engine the XE needs to go up against volume-selling versions of the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Lexus IS. Reading between the lines, we can see that Jaguar is redirecting resources to vehicles competing in more lucrative market segments, like the crossovers and EVs we mentioned up top.
XE standard features include LED headlights with automatic high beams, rain-sensing wipers, heated side mirrors with power-fold and auto-dimming functions, 18-inch wheels, tire pressure monitoring, ambient interior lighting, leather seating, dual-zone automatic climate control, auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather-trimming steering wheel, 10-inch infotainment touchscreen, smartphone integration, forward collision detection with automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, driver condition monitor and an electric parking brake.
R-Dynamic adds a trim-specific body kit, larger front brakes, unique 18-inch wheels, satin chrome steering wheel-mounted shift paddles, meshed aluminum trim, seats and dash-topper with contrast stitching and a black headliner.
As of this writing, Jaguar hadn't published its fuel consumption estimates for the XE, but we expect those figures to be similar to last year's ratings for the four-cylinder gas XE. Those were 9.8/6.9 L/100 km (city/highway); look for the more powerful R-Dynamic model's estimates to be marginally higher.