Jaguar XE saloon 20t R-Sport 2018 review

Jaguar XE 20t 2018 UK first drive review - hero front Even with a downsized four-cylinder in its lowest state of tune, the XE continues to deliver dynamics better than any rival By now you’ll be familiar with Jaguar’s very first junior sports saloon, which is seen here in 2019 model-year guise, equipped with the entry-level petrol engine.In fact this is the only petrol engine now available in an XE, the old supercharged 3.0-litre V6 having died a death from stringent new emissions regulations and poor sales. It means there’s no 375bhp XE S for those who want to just about keep in touch with a BMW M3 but do it without the animalistic looks – and that’s a shame.Alas, we’re now limited to a downsized four-cylinder option offered in three states of tune. That means 197bhp, 247bhp or a range-topping ‘30t’ 296bhp. The last of those is lifted from the baby F-Type and also features in the new four-wheel-drive XE 300 Sport – the variant intended to cast across the range a much-needed halo effect and that we’ve already driven, and liked.A drop in demand for diesel may have resulted in Jaguar trimming production at a key plant to three days a week but it still accounts for half the model line-up. Just as for petrol, there are three versions of the 2.0-litre Ingenium turbodiesel, ranging from 161bhp to a twin-turbocharged 237bhp. We’ve had misgivings about the refinement of these engines in the past, but if fuel economy is still your priority, the base diesel’s combined 58.9mpg comfortably exceeds the 39.2mpg of its petrol equivalent.Elsewhere, for 2019 the changes are subtle, as you might expect with a proper facelift arriving next year. All XE models are now equipped with Jaguar’s 10-inch Touch Pro Infotainment system – previously a £1610 option – and there are metal treadplates, chrome switches for the seats and a frameless rear-view mirror. And that’s it.


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