2020 Jaguar XE

Performance


MSRP
$39,900
U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 Jaguar XE Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 7.8

The 2020 Jaguar XE plays the part of the sport sedan pretty well. In any trim, it has a fairly potent powertrain, a refined automatic transmission, solid handling abilities, and a smooth ride. However, it still doesn't stand out in this class from an athleticism standpoint, as many competitors are just as capable and dynamic, if not more so.

  • "We drove both models on the serpentine roads … over a variety of wet, dry, smooth and bumpy pavement. Both XE test vehicles deliver similar levels of excitement paired with a sure-footed assurance that encourages spirited driving. There is ample cornering grip, steering precision, and power to quicken the pulse while the brakes remain strong after heavy and prolonged use." -- Edmunds
  • Given that's the case for the Ingenium four-banger in the F-Type, too, it's safe to say this four-cylinder family just isn't that thrilling. But the steering is reasonably communicative, and it falls on the lighter side to cater to those buyers who seek something fashionable, premium, and comfortable more than a canyon-carver. The brakes are strong, as well, with modulation becoming easier with familiarity." -- Automobile Magazine
  • Both engines are competent, working well with the smooth-shifting ZF eight-speed. But there's also a somewhat un-soulful aspect to the 2.0-liter inline-four engines. Power delivery is linear but not overtly charismatic or dramatic; the engine note is there, but it's not particularly distinct or evocative." -- Autoblog

Acceleration and Power

The XE comes standard with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (known as the P250) that puts out 247 horsepower. A 296-horsepower version of the same turbo-four engine (P300) is standard in the R-Dynamic trim.

Both engines deliver plenty of power for everyday driving, but the P300's extra horsepower really makes a difference when it's time to accelerate. With the P300 engine, the XE can sprint from zero to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds, according to Jaguar. No matter which engine you go with, an eight-speed automatic comes standard. It delivers reasonably well-timed shifts, but some rivals shift more smoothly. The XE's engine stop-start function is something you'll want to disable. It's distractingly obtrusive and unresponsive, creating a frustrating driving experience in stop-and-go traffic.

This Jaguar gets EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of 25 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway with its base engine. Those figures are about average for the class. The more powerful engine gets slightly worse ratings.

  • "All the while, the turbocharged 247-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder… did a fine job of propelling this 3,600-pound sports sedan with plenty of verve. Turbo lag was basically nonexistent, and the 8-speed automatic transmission upshifted smoothly but with good crispness any time I was hard on the throttle." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • Power is more than adequate, but the engine doesn't have much of a personality. Given that's the case for the Ingenium four-banger in the F-Type, too, it's safe to say this four-cylinder family just isn't that thrilling." -- Automobile Magazine
  • Jaguar's eight-speed automatic is not a favorite, but it's fairly effective in sport mode and it demonstrates continued improvement in Jaguar's tuning strategy. The P250 is reasonably smooth and most satisfying in the top half of its rev range. Manual operation is the best way to keep it there. … The 296-hp P300 is an obvious upgrade in acceleration, off the line or at speed, and probably an upgrade in overall satisfaction. No one is spending their own money here, but the P300 is definitely the preferred choice for motivation." -- Autoweek

Handling and Braking

It may not be the most athletic car in the class, but the XE provides plenty of enjoyment thanks to its buttoned-down handling, which lets you tackle winding roads aggressively. It also delivers a cushioned ride, making it a great daily driver.

You can select from different modes to adjust driving dynamics to better suit your driving style or current road conditions. All models come with torque vectoring, which continually monitors and balances the car's torque distribution to improve grip and steering. Rear-wheel drive comes standard, and all-wheel drive is available.

  • "The Jaguar XE is a happy car to drive, and that's obvious early on. It stands out in a class that is waning (by sales) but remains packed full of good cars, and it stands out for excellent weight balance, ride-handling balance, liveliness and tightness. The XE is lighter, nimbler, cleaner than a lot of sedans in this slot, and less cluttered inside too." -- Autoweek
  • "With its stellar steering, all-wheel-drive grip and 20-inch P-Zero tires, the P300 is an exciting drive on these twisty mountain roads. The added all-wheel-drive grip takes controlled tail wagging out of the equation, but it's still an entertaining experience overall. Best of all, ride quality -- at least on nicely manicured French roads -- is shockingly good no matter which power level you choose. With the suspension firmed up in Dynamic mode, overall stiffness over the few bumps I come across in France is nowhere near harsh. Flip the car into Comfort and it becomes downright pleasant through the city, not to mention silky smooth on the highway." -- CNET
  • "The XE's ride quality remains smooth, which is impressive for a car that corners with such enthusiasm." -- Edmunds
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2020 Jaguar XE

MSRP: $39,900 - $46,295

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