The E-Pace, Jaguar’s sporting SUV crossover, marries sleek looks with excellent handling
First things first, the ‘E’ in E-Pace doesn’t stand for electric, so if its a battery-powered Jaguar that’s taken care of by the rather brilliant I-Pace. The E-Pace uses a more conventional range of punchy petrol and diesel engines, and more on that in a moment.
Jaguar is famous for its sleek and seductive saloons and sports cars, but with the SUV market skyrocketing in recent years, Jaguar couldn’t resist. First, it was F-Pace in 2016, and that model has since gone on to become this famous brand’s best-selling car of all time followed-up by the smaller E-Pace. Jaguar has coined the E-Pace, the ‘cub’ of the family.
Sports car looks
Jaguar has been smart with its styling of the E-Pace, rather than just scaling-down from the form of its sibling. They opted for an all-new look, and this gives a clear differentiation between that and the E-Pace. Taking inspiration from Jaguar’s sports car heritage, with its spirit coming from the company’s F-Type sports car stablemates.
Exterior body styling is inspired by those 2-seater models – with distinctive headlights, neat taillights and overall sporty look.
Some other little touches are easy to overlook, including the way the doors seal below the sills. So now you can avoid covering your legs in dirt and mud when you climb aboard the E-Pace.
Step inside the E-Pace and the sporting theme continues, with the interior borrowing more inspiration from the F-Type and the inclusion of a low grab rail for the passenger and a joystick-style drive selector.
What’s nice is that you can tailor the driving position to suit you – there’s plenty of flexibility here, so whether you want to raise it for a more commanding view or lower it feel even more cocooned and as if you’re driving a sports car, you can.
The quality of materials employed is also outstanding, with premium leathers, pleasing chrome and solid plastics used, while the controls are neatly laid out. For instance, the controls for the climate control are within easy reach and refreshingly simple to use.
Despite the sloping roofline of the E-Pace, you should have no problem accommodating tall adults in the back, and while boot space isn’t class-leading, there’s still a handy 425 litres on offer, and just over 1,200 litres if you pop the rear seats down.
Trim levels and tech
E-Pace trim levels get an extensive 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system known as Touch Pro that’s both quick and responsive to use, while complement this, the E-Pace can be specified with an optional interactive driver display. This 12.3-inch screen replaces traditional dials in favour of a digital display that relays driving information as well as navigation, entertainment/media and phone input.
When choosing your E-Pace, you’ve got the option of selecting either the standard model or the R-Dynamic version with benefits from a sportier body kit, some nice satin chrome side vents, a gloss-black grille and the all-important twin tailpipes.
After that, you’ve got three specification packs to choose from, but all versions come with dual-zone climate control, cruise control, front and rear parking sensors and LED headlights. We’d recommend opting for the SE spec as it has a great balance of driver assistance features, tech and comfort options for the price.
One thing we liked and would recommend selecting from the options list is the head-up display. The ‘HUD’ presents vital vehicle data directly on the windshield just below the line of sight, making it easy to reference when driving and enabling you to see all driver inputs and info with ease.
Engines and handling
The E-Pace is available with a range of 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines. The entry-level 147bhp D150 diesel unit can be ordered either as a manual or automatic, while there’s a choice of front or four-wheel drive. The diesel engine range tops out with a powerful 236bhp D240, with higher spec engines coming with AWD and automatic gearboxes.
As for petrol engines, there’s an entry-level 197bhp P200 that’s followed by P250 and P300 power plants with 246bhp and 295bhp respectively, all coming with four-wheel drive and auto boxes.
We’d plump for the D180 or D240 over the lower-powered D150 – you’ll appreciate the extra power, while you’re not losing out on fuel economy too much either.
As you’d expect for a Jaguar, the handling is pretty much on point here. While you can have the commanding driving position of an SUV, the E-Pace feels very unSUV-like when you drive it. Much more car-like, it’s nice and stable on the road, while the E-Pace’s steering is both accurate and responsive, with a decent amount of grip from the tires when cornering.
The ride can be firm for some, so selecting Adaptive Dynamics from the options list is a wise decision as this allows you to choose the suspension setting for the E-Pace, softening it when you want a little more comfort.
Jaguar E-Pace: Verdict
The E-Pace has a lot to offer with some of the most desirable body stylings in its class, decent build quality, a comfy and well-appointed interior, while it should hold its value better than a lot of rivals as well.
While some of the competition does a lot of what the E-Pace does well (and better in some cases), what makes the E-Pace standout from the crowd it is refined handling, delivering a much more satisfying driving experience over many rivals.
Jaguar E-Pace key specs for our test:
Engines: 2.0-liter 4-cylinder petrol
Power output: 246bhp (P250 AWD)
Max speed: 143mph (P250 AWD)
0-62mph: 6.7sec (P250 AWD)
Fuel economy: 30.1mpg (P250 AWD)
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