Don't You Forget About Me: 2020 Jaguar XE
Jaguar’s smallest sedan, positioned as a BMW 3 Series fighter, may not be the first rival one thinks of when contemplating a Bimmer purchase. It might not even happen at all, judging by the model’s U.S. sales. In 2018, half of the XE’s monthly tallies showed the little Jag at one-tenth the volume of its German competitor.
Well, Jaguar’s not giving up on the model just yet. In a bid to lure buyers into the XE, Jag addressed a few problems for the model’s 2020 refresh. You’ll notice there’s not much afoot with its exterior, as that wasn’t the main issue.
Sure, there’s a revamped front and rear bumper (larger lower openings endow it with a curled-lip look, plus added visual width), as well as a wider, mesh-filled grille and LED lighting fore and aft, but the biggest changes occur inside.
For 2020, the XE undergoes a significant interior remodelling, especially if you’re willing to opt for add-ons. To make its cabin (finally) match its price point, the automaker added standard leather upholstery, then dove into the JLR parts bin. Optional on the refreshed sedan is an InControl Touch Pro Duo infotainment system yanked from the I-Pace crossover. That system uses an upper 10-inch and lower 5.5-inch screen, eliminating various buttons, while a 12.3-inch driver display exists as another optional perk.
Elsewhere, Jaguar came to the conclusion that premium vehicle owners don’t like hard surfaces, then went about eliminating them wherever possible. Also gone for the coming model year is the rotary dial shifter (a sore point for a Jag-intending friend), replaced with a conventional SportShift lever.
Another conversation-sparking option is a ClearSight digital rear view mirror shared with the revamped 2020 Range Rover Evoque.
Heading back outside, the entry-level XE tosses the 2019 model’s standard 17-inch wheels in favor of 18-inch hoops. Speaking of levels, the new XE loses several of them. After a simplification of its offerings, the XE line drops to just three trims: S, with either rear- or all-wheel drive, and R-Dynamic S, which only comes with four-wheel motivation. The 2.0-liter diesel four-cylinder and supercharged 3.0-liter V6 disappear for 2020.
With engine offerings halved, a now familiar brace of turbocharged Ingenium 2.0-liter fours exist as your only power source (247 horsepower and 269 lb-ft for S, 296 hp and 295 lb-ft for R-Dynamic S), mating to an eight-speed automatic in either trim.
As for pricing, the bottom end sees a nudge upwards. After destination, a base XE S will set you back $40,895. Add all-wheel drive, and the price rises to $42,895. Springing for a R-Dynamic S means an floor price of $47,290.
[Images: Jaguar Land Rover]
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