2019 Jaguar XE Review

XE

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2019 Jaguar XE Overview

In 2017, the Jaguar XE made its mark in the US market as a sleek introductory performance car. The XE focuses more on sharp handling than interior refinement, but it retains Jaguar’s signature luxury feel. For 2019, Jaguar follows up its 2018 engine upgrade with two new trims, performance improvements, and a limited edition model.

On the outside, the XE retains some of Jaguar's long-established styling cues, especially along the front end, while also incorporating a more modern look and better aerodynamics. Up front, the sculpted hood slopes forward to a rounded nose with a black mesh grille framed by narrow headlights and daytime-running lights, while chrome-framed mesh vents run along the sides. Jaguar also used aluminum extensively in the XE's body and frame to keep the weight off and improve performance.

The XE gets good marks for its smooth ride and controlled handling thanks to its advanced sport suspension and wide range of standard and available traction and driving-dynamics features. All XEs come standard with driver-selectable Normal, Eco, and Dynamic driving modes as well as a rain/snow/ice mode, which are all managed through the JaguarDrive selector and control dial. All XEs ride on an advanced 4-wheel suspension with torque vectoring, which improves stability in tight turns. The S trim adds an Adaptive Dynamics system, which monitors the vehicle's driving dynamics and makes adjustments to improve acceleration, braking, and cornering. For additional traction and stability, owners can add available AWD on all XE trims. The system includes the automaker's Intelligent Driveline Dynamics control software, which makes adjustments automatically to prevent a loss of traction.

Inside, the XE seats five passengers. The cabin exhibits a good fit and finish with a quality feel overall. The back seat can be tight for taller passengers, but front passengers should find plenty of legroom and headroom. Cargo space in the trunk checks in at 15.9 cubic feet. Split-folding rear seats add cargo flexibility.

The six original XE trims - Base, Premium, Prestige, R-Sport, Portfolio, and S - return for 2019. All are powered by one of three available turbocharged gas engines. Jaguar also offers the XE in a diesel-powered 20d version for all trim levels except the S, Portfolio, and limited-edition SV Project 8.

The XE comes equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder gas engine capable of 247 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. It makes the run from 0-60 in 6 seconds and has a top speed of 120 mph. The engine sends power to an 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, which comes as standard equipment on all XE trims. The powertrain hits fuel economy numbers of 25 mpg city, 34 highway, and 28 combined. This engine comes standard in the Base, Premium, Prestige, and R-Sport trims.

Jaguar offers a 2.0-liter turbocharged V4 engine that delivers 296 hp and 295 lb-ft in all trims except Base. With this engine, the XE’s 0-60 time drops to 5.4 seconds while its top speed rises to 155 mph. Fuel economy numbers check in at 24 city, 32, highway, and 27 combined. This is the only engine available on the Portfolio trim.

The sporty S trim comes equipped with a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 as its only engine choice. The V6 cranks up the power to 380 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. Working with an 8-speed transmission, it hits the 60 mph mark in just 4.9 seconds with a top speed of 121 mph. The EPA estimates fuel economy numbers of 21 city, 30 highway, and 24 combined.

The first new trim offered in 2019, the XE 300 Sport, gets exclusive Dark Satin Grey detailing on the grille, rear spoiler, and side mirrors as well as unique 19- or 20-inch wheels with a Dark Satin Grey finish and all-wheel drive (AWD) as a standard feature. Inside, the Sport gets a 10-inch touchscreen with available navigation and yellow contrast stitching on the steering wheel, seats, armrests, and doors.

The second new trim, the XE Landmark, features a sport front bumper and rear spoiler along with Gloss Black detailing on the grille, side windows, and side mirrors. Exterior upgrades include adaptive HID headlights, front and rear parking sensors, and unique 18-inch alloy wheels. Leather upholstery and a 10-inch touchscreen with navigation are among the Landmark's interior features. Both trims display unique badging and are available in a limited collection of exterior colors, including Yulong White, Santorini Black, Indus Silver and Caldera Red for the Sport 300 and Firenze Red for the Landmark.

Jaguar also unveiled a limited edition of the XE, the SV Project 8, with only 300 models available worldwide. The SV Project 8 is the most powerful street-legal Jaguar available with a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engine, which pumps out 592 horsepower and a whopping 516 pound-feet of torque to reach a top speed of 200 mph. As a part of Jaguar’s Collector’s Series, it comes equipped with advanced features such as manually-adjustable ride height, carbon ceramic brakes, and track-oriented driving dynamics as well as a modified AWD system for enhanced stability. Buyers can choose from two-seat track-oriented or four-seat versions.

For improved fuel economy on the Base, Premium, Prestige, and R-Sport trims, buyers can opt for a 2.0-liter Ingenium 20d turbocharged diesel powertrain that produces 180 hp and 318 lb-ft of torque paired with an 8-speed transmission. The diesel configuration has fuel economy numbers of 32 city, 42 highway, and 36 combined.

The XE comes standard with push-button start, cruise control, dual automatic air conditioning, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a moonroof, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The Base's 6-speaker audio system upgrades to an 11-speaker 380-watt Meridian unit in all trims except the Portfolio, which gets a 17-speaker 825-watt Meridian system. All XEs come equipped with touchscreens. The Prestige, R-Sport, and S also get navigation. The Portfolio receives an upgraded navigation system with a 60GB storage disk and a head-up display. All except the Base and Prestige get leather upholstery, and the Portfolio receives exclusive grained leather and suede cloth seating. The XE comes well equipped with safety features, with the upper-level trims getting driver-assistance systems like blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keep assist, and front and rear parking sensors.

Updated

Rob has been a contributor to CarGurus since 2007, and an automotive test-driver and writer since the early ’90s. He’s test-driven everything from BMWs and Jags to Bentleys and Saabs, with an occasional Range Rover, Ferrari, Porsche or Lamborghini thrown in. He also created the annual Car of the Year and Exotic Car of the Year awards for Robb Report magazine. He currently resides in California.

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