2020 Acura ILX Vs. 2020 Jaguar XE

By Justin Cupler | February 17th, 2020

No longer are luxury sedans reserved for the super-wealthy. With new compact luxury sedans cropping up all over the place, more shoppers can get in on the premium-brand fun. Two great examples of affordable luxury sedans here in the Rochester area are the 2020 Acura ILX and the 2020 Jaguar XE. Which of these entry-level luxury sedans is best for you? Continue reading to find out.

Exterior

The Jaguar XE debuted back in 2017, so it is still new and not in need of a redesign. That said, it does get a little freshening up in 2020 with updated front and rear ends, a new grille, fresh all-LED headlights and taillights, and new LED signature lighting. This new look is not a significant shift from the previous model year, so the XE continues with its reserved styling. Jaguar is not one for simple designs, but with this being the brand’s volume seller, the British automaker purposefully understated its design to avoid offending more reserved shoppers.

The ILX received a significant refresh just last year, bringing in an all-new front end with new fenders, a new hood, a new grille, new lighting, and all-new bumper. Otherwise, the ILX is the same it’s been since 2013. It carries on with this look into 2020, which makes it a bit more aggressive than the very reserved XE. Though it is more aggressive than the Jag, the ILX is still an easy look to digest for most shoppers.

On the outside, these luxury sedans have very similar standard features, including LED headlights and taillights, chrome exhaust outlets, heated mirrors, and more. Where they differ is the ILX has standard 17-inch wheels and the XE rolls on standard 18-inch wheels.

The XE has an extra sporty wrinkle in its R-Dynamic S trim that includes 18-inch 10-split-spoke Gloss Black Diamond Turned wheels, and a sportier bumper, rear valance and side sills. The 2020 ILX’s A-Spec trim matches a lot of the R-Dynamic’s sporty features, but it lacks the Jag’s performance upgrades.

In terms of sizing, the 2020 ILX is significantly smaller than the XE in every key measurable, making it easier to slip in and out of traffic.

Measurement 2020 Acura ILX 2020 Jaguar XE Difference
Length (in.) 182.2 184.2 -2
Width (in.) 70.6 77.4 -6.8
Height (in.) 55.6 55.7 to 56.1 -0.5 to -0.1
Wheelbase (in.) 105.1 111.6 -6.5
Ground Clearance (in.) 5.3 N/A
Curb weight (lbs) 3,095 to 3,148 3,385 to 3,560 -465 to -237

 

Advantage: 2020 Jaguar XE

  •       Toned-down, refined look
  •       R-Dynamic looks great
  •       Larger standard wheels

Advantage: 2020 Acura ILX

  •       Sportier look
  •       Same features for the money
  •       Smaller and nimbler

Interior

Inside, the 2020 Jaguar XE boasts classic European styling with its simple dashboard, limited buttons and knobs, and limited drama. On the driver’s side, though, the steering wheel boasts chrome accenting and a sporty look to match this models’ sporty roots. The R-Dynamic model pushes the bounds of the XE’s simple design with its sport seats and other minor upgrades.

The 2020 ILX is a little more dramatic than the XE with its busier dashboard, swoopy dashboard, and dual-screen infotainment system. Opting for the A-Spec model adds even more drama with its red seats, A-Spec badging, and other goodies.

Inside, the ILX and XE are similar in size, but their advantages are flip-flopped. The ILX’s front seats offer a ton more headroom and legroom, but the XE has much more rear headroom and legroom. The XE’s wider body also offers over an inch of extra shoulder room.

In its trunk, the ILX has a small advantage when taking the XE’s spare tire into account. Without the spare tire, the XE has over 2 cubic feet more trunk space than the ILX.

As for standard features, the XE boasts serious luxury with its standard ambient interior lighting, dual-zone automatic climate control with a 5-inch touchscreen, auto-dimming rearview mirror, soft-grain leather steering wheel, gloss-black interior trimming, light Oyster Morzine headliner, 12-way power front seats with two-way manual headrests, ebony grained leather seats, premium carpeted floor mats, a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, HD Radio, and much more.

The ILX’s interior is also well-equipped, but its nearly $15,000 lower base price when comparing base trims limits it a bit. Its premium standard features include sport seats, leatherette-trimmed interior, eight-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar support, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless access system, push-button ignition, power windows with one-touch up/down front windows, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a six-speaker Acura audio system, and Bluetooth streaming audio. On the flip side, the ILX keeps its base price low by using a standard 5-inch infotainment screen and leaving Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as options.

While the base ILX focuses on keeping its price low, its Premium, Technology, and A-Spec trims load it to the gills and still cost less than the base XE.

Measurement 2020 Acura ILX 2020 Jaguar XE Difference
Front headroom (in.) 38 37 +1
Front legroom (in.) 42.3 41.5 +0.7
Front shoulder room (in.) 55.6 56.8 -1.2
Front hip room (in.) 50.3 N/A
Rear headroom (in.) 35.9 37 -1.1
Rear legroom (in.) 34 35 -1
Rear shoulder room (in.) 53.6 54.7 -1.1
Rear hip room (in.) 51.7 N/A
Cargo room (cu.-ft.) 12.4 12.1 (w/ spare tire) to 14.5 -2.1 to +0.3

 

Advantage: 2020 Jaguar XE

  •       Larger trunk without the spare
  •       Roomier rear seat
  •       Tons of shoulder room
  •       10-inch touchscreen
  •       More standard features

Advantage: 2020 Acura ILX

  •       Roomier front seat
  •       Sporty A-Spec package
  •       Better value in higher trims

Performance

Compact luxury sedans have to offer everything rolled into one, including power, handling, efficiency, and ride quality. The ILX and XE handle all that, but they get to it in different ways.

The 2020 Jaguar XE uses two versions of a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. In the base XE, this engine produces 247 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. This power flows through an eight-speed automatic transmission and out to the front wheels for a 6.2-second 0-to-60 time. On top of being quick, this powertrain also delivers up to 28 mpg combined.

The XE R-Dynamic S bumps the power to 296 horses and 295 pound-feet. This power heads through an eight-speed automatic gearbox and out to all four wheels for a 5.4-second 0-to-60 time. That huge performance bump will, however, cost you 3 mpg combined.

The Acura ILX continues to hold off the turbocharger in favor of good ol’ VTEC fun with its 2.4-liter i-VTEC four-cylinder engine that produces 201 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. This power routes through an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission and out to the front wheels for a 6.8-second sprint to 60 mph. This powertrain matches the base XE 28 mpg combined*.

 

2020 Acura ILX 2020 Jaguar XE Difference
Standard engine 2.4-liter i-VTEC 4-cyl 2.0-liter turbo 4-cyl
Horsepower 201 hp at 6,800 rpm 247 hp at 5,500 rpm -46 hp
Torque 180 lb-ft at 3,600 rpm 269 at 1,300 to 4,500 rpm -89 lb-ft
Transmission 8-spd dual-clutch 8-spd automatic
Driveline FWD RWD (std)/AWD (opt)
0-60 time 6.8 seconds 6.2 seconds +0.6 seconds
MPG City 24 mpg* 24 to 25 mpg -1 to +0 mpg
MPG Highway 34 mpg* 34 mpg +0 mpg
MPG Combined 28 mpg* 28 mpg +0 mpg
Optional engine 2.0-liter turbo 4-cyl (R-Dynamic S)
Horsepower 296 hp at 5,500 rpm -95 hp
Torque 295 lb-ft at 1,500 to 4,500 rpm -115 lb-ft
Transmission 8-spd automatic
Driveline AWD
0-60 time 5.4 seconds +1.4 seconds
MPG City 22 mpg +2 mpg
MPG Highway 30 mpg +4 mpg
MPG Combined 25 mpg +3 mpg

 

Advantage: 2020 Jaguar XE

  •       Quicker to 60 mph
  •       Great performing R-Dynamic S trim
  •       Superior handling

Advantage: 2020 Acura ILX

  •       Great power without complex turbocharging
  •       Advanced dual-clutch transmission
  •       Smooth power delivery

Pricing and Features

The 2020 Jaguar XE has a significantly simpler lineup than in previous years, as it has fallen to only two key trim levels: S and R-Dynamic S. Respectively, these trims start from $39,900 and $46,295.

The 2020 Acura ILX does not have traditional trim levels. Instead, it has a standard trim level and three packages that build upon each other as trim levels do. This creates four defacto trims – Standard, Premium, Technology, and A-Spec – and their starting prices range from $25,900 to $31,650.**

2020 Jaguar XE Key Features and Pricing by Trim

S: $39,900

  •       2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine (247 hp)
  •       Eight-speed automatic transmission
  •       Rear-wheel drive
  •       JaguarDrive Control
  •       Electric power steering
  •       Electric parking brake
  •       18-inch 15-spoke Gloss Sparkle Silver wheels
  •       Premium LED headlights
  •       Signature LED daytime running lights
  •       Heated mirrors
  •       Variable-intermittent rain-sensing wipers
  •       Approach lighting
  •       Signature taillights
  •       Acoustic laminated windshield
  •       Dual tailpipes
  •       Power windows with one-touch up/down
  •       Ambient interior lighting
  •       Illuminated vanity mirrors
  •       Dual-zone automatic climate control
  •       Luggage tie-downs
  •       Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  •       Soft-grain leather steering wheel
  •       Gloss-black interior trimming
  •       Light Oyster Morzine headliner
  •       12-way power front seats with two-way manual headrests
  •       Ebony grained leather seats
  •       Metal treadplates with “Jaguar” script
  •       Premium carpeted floor mats
  •       40/20/40 split-folding rear seats
  •       Luxtec instrument panel topper
  •       10-inch touchscreen
  •       Android Auto
  •       Apple CarPlay
  •       Two 12-volt power sockets
  •       Two USB power outlets
  •       Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming
  •       Analog dials with central TFT display
  •       HD Radio
  •       Push-button ignition
  •       Automatic high-beam headlights
  •       Hill-start assist
  •       Automatic emergency
  •       Rearview camera
  •       Cruise control
  •       Front and rear parking sensors
  •       Lane-keep assist
  •       Driver awareness monitor

R-Dynamic S: $46,295

  •       All S features, plus
  •       2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine (296 hp)
  •       350-mm brakes
  •       18-inch 10-split-spoke Gloss Black Diamond Turned wheels
  •       R-Dynamic bumper
  •       R-Dynamic rear valance
  •       R-Dynamic side sills
  •       R-Dynamic badging
  •       Satin-chrome paddle shifters
  •       R-Dynamic-branded leather steering wheel
  •       Meshed-aluminum trim
  •       Ebony Morzine headliner
  •       Sport seats with contrast stitching
  •       Metal treadplates with “R-Dynamic” branding
  •       Instrument panel contrast stitching

2020 Acura ILX Key Features and Pricing by Trim

Standard: $25,900**

  •       2.4-liter i-VTEC four-cylinder engine
  •       Eight-speed dual-clutch transmission
  •       Front-wheel drive
  •       Electric power steering
  •       17-inch Glitter Silver machine-finished alloy wheels
  •       Power moonroof
  •       Remote-operated power moonroof
  •       Jewel Eye LED headlights with auto-on/off
  •       LED taillights
  •       LED daytime running lights
  •       Heated side-view mirrors
  •       Chrome exhaust outlets
  •       Acoustic laminated windshield
  •       Sport seats with leatherette-trimmed interior
  •       Eight-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar support
  •       Heated front seats
  •       Fold-down rear seatback
  •       Dual-zone automatic climate control
  •       Keyless access system
  •       Keyless unlock
  •       Push-button ignition
  •       Power windows with one-touch up/down front windows
  •       Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  •       Leather-wrapped shift knob
  •       Six-speaker Acura audio system
  •       Bluetooth streaming audio system
  •       USB audio interface
  •       MP3 Pandora compatibility
  •       Siri Eyes Free
  •       SMS text messaging capability
  •       5-inch color display
  •       Color multi-information display
  •       Compass
  •       Automatic emergency braking
  •       Road-departure mitigation
  •       Adaptive cruise control
  •       Lane-keep assist
  •       Forward collision warning
  •       Lane-departure warning
  •       Multi-view rearview camera
  •       Brake Assist
  •       Hill-start assist

Premium: $27,750**

  •       All Standard features
  •       17-inch Pewter Gray Metallic machine-finished Y-spoke wheels
  •       Perforated Milano leather-trimmed interior with contrast stitching and piping
  •       Two-position memory for driver’s seat and mirrors
  •       Four-way power passenger’s seat with power lumbar
  •       Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  •       Seven-speaker Acura Premium audio system
  •       SiriusXM
  •       HD Radio
  •       Apple CarPlay
  •       Android Auto
  •       Email capability
  •       On Demand Multi-Use Display 2.0
  •       8-inch LED touchscreen
  •       HomeLink
  •       Blind-spot monitoring
  •       Rear cross-traffic alert

Technology: $29,650**

  •       All Premium features, plus
  •       GPS-linked climate control
  •       10-speaker Acura/ELS premium audio system
  •       Song by Voice
  •       Navigation with 3D view
  •       AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic with street and freeway conditions
  •       Traffic Rerouting
  •       Color multi-information display with turn-by-turn guidance
  •       AcuraLink Connected Services
  •       Multi-angle rearview camera with dynamic guidelines

A-Spec: $29,750 (w/ Premium Package)/$31,650 (w/ Technology Package)**

  •       All Premium or Technology features, plus
  •       18-inch Shark Gray 15-spoke wheels
  •       Dark chrome and lighting details
  •       LED fog lights
  •       Dark chrome accents
  •       Piano-black rear spoiler
  •       Piano-black rear diffuser
  •       Side underbody spoilers
  •       Sport A-Spec seats
  •       Perforated Milano premium leather and Ultrasuede-trimmed interior
  •       Contrast stitching and piping
  •       Leather-wrapped A-Spec steering wheel
  •       Graphite and chrome dash trim
  •       A-Spec-exclusive red instrument panel lighting
  •       Ebony headliner
  •       Ebony headliner
  •       Stainless steel sport pedals

Who Should Buy the 2020 Jaguar XE

The Jaguar XE is a great buy for a shopper who’s more concerned with finding a superior luxury sedan with great performance than pricing. With minimal searching, one can find a decked-out XE with all the features they need and performance they crave. This makes it a great option for deeper-pocketed shoppers.

Who Should Buy the 2020 Acura ILX

The 2020 Acura ILX is about as inexpensive as a luxury sedan can get, and it shows in some areas, like its smaller standard screen and lack of standard smartphone integration. While that may disappoint some more discerning buyers, that disappointment quickly dispels once they realize the upper trims match its competitors’ features at much better values.

Is the Acura ILX the right luxury sedan for you? Stop by Acura of Rochester today to see it in person and test drive it to make sure. We’re certain you will come away impressed. Can’t make it to our new-Acura showroom serving Rochester, Pittsford, Fairport, and the surrounding areas today? Navigate to our online inventory page, check out our in-stock ILX models, choose a few that suit your needs, and schedule a test drive around your busy life.

**Prices shown are Acura suggested retail prices only and do not include taxes, license or destination and handling charge. Destination & Handling charge is $995 for sedans and $995 for SUVs. Acura vehicle accessory costs, labor and installation vary. Dealers set their own prices. Please consult your selected dealer.

*Based on 2020 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary, depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, battery pack age/condition (hybrid only) and other factors.