2020 Jaguar XE first drive: The sport sedan for outliers

It starts with some subtle but fairly obvious styling adjustments. In front, the XE gets a larger grille, a new bumper and new, thinner light clusters, with standard LED main beams, a “J Blade” LED ribbon for the daytime running lights and a laser-etched leaping jaguar in the corner of the lenses. In back, the valance is wider and the taillight clusters have been recast with full LED innards. Jaguar says the design nips improve aero efficiency slightly. They also move the XE from pretty a little toward mean, without diminishing its sophistication. The aluminum-intensive unitbody remains, keeping the XE one of the lightest cars in this class.The 2020 XE will be offered in the States with two gas-fueled four-cylinders, just like last year. The difference is that the diesel and supercharged V6 available for 2019 are going away, so the two 2.0-liter turbo fours—distinguished by tune and boost level—are all there is. The base engine, now called P250 for its metric horsepower rating, generates 247 SAE horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. The upgrade P300 boosts output to 296 hp and 296 lb-ft. Both engines use an eight-speed torque converter automatic manufactured by ZF. All-wheel-drive is standard with the P300 and optional with the P250.There are no elemental changes underneath the updated XE, where you’ll find the same double wishbone/integral link suspension with coil springs and optional, electronically managed adaptive shocks. This XE does allow more tailoring of the electronic management systems by adding optional Configurable Dynamics. This scheme allows the driver to set control parameters for the engine, transmission, steering and suspension individually, rather than settling for the pre-set combos in the standard modes. There’s also a Dynamic Handling Pack option, which groups performance-related upgrades—the Configurable Dynamics, adaptive suspension, larger performance brakes with painted calipers and a trunk-lid spoiler—in a single package.