Jaguar’s Affordable and Efficient XE 20d

2018-jaguar-xe-drivingAt its introduction, the 2017 Jaguar XE became this luxury automaker’s new entry level model, but don’t let that ‘entry level’ distinction fool you. Available as XE 25t turbocharged and XE 35t supercharged gasoline variants plus a 20d turbodiesel, this sedan delivers a lot for its reasonable price of entry. The latter is offered at $36,400, an approachable price for a highly-efficient sport sedan from a luxury brand.

Somewhat smaller than its XF sibling, the XE features a fluid and pleasing design that fits in well with Jaguar’s modern lineup. Its muscular, coupe-like exterior and signature J-Blade daytime running lights show that Jaguar’s sophisticated DNA is ever-present in the model. Through design and execution, Jaguar’s intent was to reinforce that its entry-level model is a driver’s car, and they’ve done this quite well.

2018-jaguar-xe-cabinBeneath the skin, the XE features an all-new, modular aluminum architecture shared with the Jaguar F-PACE and XF mid-size sports sedan. Its bodyshell uses high-strength 6000 series aluminum alloy to save weight without compromising durability, all the while providing high torsional stiffness to support precise handling. Featuring a low 0.28 Cd drag coefficient, the aluminum-intensive XE is the most fuel-efficient Jaguar to date with the XE 20d EPA rated at 32 city/42 highway mpg and a driving range of 533 miles.

Jaguar’s 20d Ingenium diesel engine develops 180 horsepower and 318 lb-ft torque to provide sprightly performance. A low 15.1:1 compression ratio – at least by diesel engine standards – allows use of an all-aluminum engine to reduce weight. This engine connects to a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. The XE is equipped with smart regenerative charging that uses kinetic energy from braking to charge the battery for maximum economy. It also features a stop/start system in bolster fuel efficiency, though we found the XE 20d’s automatic start-up a bit rough for our tastes. Rear-wheel drive is standard with all-wheel-drive optional.

2018-jaguar-xe-shift-knobVariable exhaust valve timing shortens the emission system’s catalyst light-off phase to treat exhaust gases quicker after a cold start, while also improving diesel particulate filter regeneration. A cooled, low-pressure exhaust gas recirculation system reduces combustion chamber temperatures to inhibit NOx formation and selective catalytic reduction technology further cuts NOx emissions to very low levels. Computer controlled adaptive engine cooling only engages as required. A variable geometry turbocharger maximizes peak power for uniform low-speed torque and responsiveness that’s progressive and avoids turbo lag.

Driver and passenger are provided an inviting and accommodating cabin featuring comfortable seating, with leather upholstery accented by contrasting twin-needle stitching. A handcrafted feel is reinforced by a choice of textured aluminum, gloss black, and wood veneers.  The interior can be further enhanced with available ambient lighting in 10 colors.

2018-jaguar-xe-rearAdvanced driver assistance systems provide convenience and enhanced safety. Standard are lane-departure warning and autonomous emergency braking that provide audible and visible warnings if a potential collision is detected. If the driver takes no action, the system applies brakes to help reduce the severity of a possible impact.  Optional are lane keep assist and driver condition monitor, blind spot monitor and reverse traffic detection, park assist, surround camera system, adaptive cruise control with queue assist and traffic sign recognition, and adaptive speed limiter.

Jaguar’s XE delivers a premium driving experience at a surprisingly affordable price for luxury buyers. Add in the impressive 42 mpg efficiency of the XE 20d and it’s a combination that’s hard to beat.

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