Jaguar is preparing a refreshed version of its XE compact executive sedan that could be revealed as early as next year’s Geneva Motor Show. However, don’t expect it to be radically different to the current car, as Jaguar has shown that in recent years it’s adopted an evolutionary tactic for the design of its vehicles - no big changes will be made, especially since this is just a mid-life revamp, and not an all-new model.

The big news with the XE won’t be of a visual nature, but mechanical instead - Jaguar has been talking a lot about electrifying its models, and the XE is quite possibly going to be the first Jag with a mild-hybrid powertrain that pairs its current line of Ingenium four-cylinder engines with a with a 48-Volt electrical system. That system replaces the traditional alternator and starter motor combo with a single unit that also assists the powertrain.

Exterior

2020 Jaguar XE Exterior Spyshots
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Judging by what we can make out from the batch of spy photos, the revised XE will feature new, slimmer front light clusters and different taillights as well.

These will be complemented by new front and rear bumper designs to help keep things fresh until the next-gen model comes about.

Other changes will likely be kept to a minimum, but it may also come with new wheel designs and some other minor detail changes. We’re not really sure why they wrapped the rest of the car in camouflage, though, because it doesn’t appear to be hiding anything new.

Interior

2017 Jaguar XE Interior
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Jaguar isn’t really expected to make dramatic changes to the XE’s interior, although it could up the quality of materials and build quality, both of which are below what more established rivals offer.

Expect minor design and trim changes at best and, hopefully, Jaguar engineers will find a means to make the cabin feel more spacious - the current model feels very tight for both front and rear occupants.

New tech may be added to the XE’s interior, though, such as a revised infotainment system and new self-driving tech. It may also get the fully-digital gauge cluster from the larger XF too, in order to match its competitors - an all-new 3-Series is just around the corner, and reports suggest BMW is pulling out all the stops to put it at the top of its class.

Drivetrain

2020 Jaguar XE Exterior Spyshots
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The addition of mild-hybrid tech is the big powertrain news for the updated XE.

Engine options will still include the brand’s Ingenium family of four-cylinder (gasoline and diesel) units, but the supercharged V-6 S model with 375 horsepower may no longer be offered - in fact, it’s already been dropped on some markets.

With the extra boost of the mild-hybrid system, the four-pot engine it’s going to be fitted to should show both performance and efficiency improvements.

Prices

You can buy a Jaguar XE in the US now from $36,995, and that shouldn’t change much with the advent of the revised model. Expect pricing to increase by no more than $1,500 across the board, at best.

Competition

BMW 3-Series

2019 BMW 3 Series Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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BMW will reveal an all-new 3-Series at the Paris Motor Show early next month, and as with any new BMW, it is aiming for the top position in its class. It’s apparently going to be 121 pounds lighter, it will have a lower center of gravity, and a very impressive drag coefficient of just 0.23. Its exterior, judging from the teasers and spy photos, looks similar to the 5-Series and we expect the same to be true for the interior - if you look at the new X3 and X4 you can get a pretty good idea of what the next 3 will be like.

Read our full speculative review on the 2019 BMW 3-Series.

Mercedes C-Class

2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
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Mercedes C-Class offers a more stately, comfort-oriented compact exec for those not into BMW’s sportier approach. It has an interior unmatched for luxury vibe and just making you feel important, and its exterior could best be described as a shrunken S-Class - again, not a bad thing. The C-Class has already gone through its mid-life refresh (the facelift was shown at the Geneva motor show earlier this year) and it’s more competitive than ever.

Read our full review on the 2018 Mercedes C-Class.

Lexus IS

2017 Lexus IS High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Dramatic as it may look, especially in F-Sport trim, the Lexus IS sedan is a really good car to travel in. It’s sporty enough, but still comfortable and it definitely has the most ‘look-at-me’ factor in its class. And it’s pretty rare too, given that it was never the strongest seller, so you could say it has extra exclusivity over its main rivals.

Read our full review on the 2017 Lexus IS.

Conclusion

2020 Jaguar XE Exterior Spyshots
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Jaguar can’t really do that much to the XE to make it more appealing than it already is since it has a few flaws that can’t be addressed via a mere revamp. Firstly, it’s way too cramped inside and nowhere near on par with its rivals in terms of quality. It already looked really good, so the tweaks to the styling aren’t especially important - hardly anybody has criticized its looks.

If it were to be a strong seller, it would have proven it by now, so even with its extra infusion of tech, style tweaks, and the addition of mild hybrids isn’t really going to have a major impact on how the car is perceived. It’s sill worth considering, especially since it is sportier, feels lighter, and drives better than most rivals, but that only recommends it to a very specific niche of buyers - enthusiasts who value fun behind the wheel above all and for whom the Jaguar name reminds them of the brand’s illustrious heritage.

  • Leave it
    • Facelift won’t fix cramped interior
    • Will still lack mass appeal of rivals

Further reading

2017 Jaguar XE High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Jaguar XE.

2018 Jaguar XE SV Project 8 Exterior High Resolution
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Read our full review on the 2018 Jaguar XE SV Project 8.

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