As a brand that traditionally focused on saloons and sports cars, Jaguar has evolved with the times and moved with the market trends by introducing SUVs for the first time.
After the successful release of the F-Pace, Jaguar decided to enter the mid-sized SUV segment with this – the E-Pace.
Coming with cute looks and a full range of the economical Ingenium engines, the E-Pace has all the makings of an enticing package in the crowded SUV segment.
But can the smaller sibling of the F-Pace live up to the expectations and performance of the larger model? We find out…
The E-Pace is the first Jaguar Land Rover to be offered with solely Ingenium engines, with all six 2.0-litre, four-cylinder units built with the same lightweight aluminium structure and fitted with a turbocharger. We tried the mid-level D180 diesel, which develops 177bhp and 430Nm, and allows the E-Pace get from 0-60mph in 9.7 seconds – reaching a top speed of 129mph.
Only the base level diesel is offered with front-wheel drive, with the rest of the line-up – including our test model – fitted with all-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic transmission. It isn’t the most refined unit in the world, but Jaguar has added lots of noise-cancelling insulation to ensure a refined experience.See Available E-Pace deals
Ride & Handling
Jaguar is renowned for producing cars that feel sporty to drive and although that infringes on the E-Pace’s comfort, the same happens here. As the model is quite compact and squat, body roll is kept to a minimum so you can fling it through a set of corners without too much concern. The ride is also a bit firmer than with similarly-sized SUVs to aid with stability, although that makes the E-Pace more uncomfortable at lower speeds than its rivals – with the comfort driving mode not making much of a difference.
With all-wheel drive, though, there is plenty of grip on offer – as Jaguar combines it with torque vectoring so the power is directed to the wheels with the most grip. Also, the steering is direct but lacking a bit of feel.
Interior & Equipment
Despite the compact exterior look, the inside is much roomier than you might expect – with Jaguar doing a great job of hiding the size of the car in the design. That means there is enough space in the back for taller adults and headspace isn’t too bad either. The 425-litre boot is well-sized for a mid-sized model, but if you need extra room, folding the rear seats down will provide 1,234 litres of room. You will find cheaper plastics in the cabin, though, which can bring the overall feel of the model down.
To compete with other premium level SUVs, the E-Pace needed to be given a good amount of equipment as standard, so Jaguar fitted it with automatic LED headlights, LED rear lights, 17-inch alloys, a rear roof spoiler and the All Surface Progress Control system. Interior kit includes the 10-inch Touch Pro display, DAB radio, Bluetooth, fabric seats, leather steering wheel, rear parking camera and 60:40 folding rear seats.
Jaguar also gives the E-Pace a series of quality safety systems, including emergency braking, cruise control with speed limiter, driver condition monitor, lane keep assist and parking sensors on the front and rear.
Trim levels for the E-Pace are split into two arms – E-Pace and E-Pace R-Dynamic – with the latter adding a sportier bodykit, sports seats, black detailing, front fog lights and body-coloured door cladding – while also coming with the same standard equipment as the normal E-Pace.
Prices for the E-Pace start from £28,930, which gets you the base level D150 with a six-speed manual transmission – while R-Dynamic specification cars start from £30,320 due to the additional equipment. If you pick the D180 engine we tried, prices start from £33,255 when fitted with the nine-speed auto.
With this power unit and gearbox, the E-Pace can achieve a quoted 47.1mpg and emit 158g/km CO2. The best you’ll get in the range is with the base D150, which uses a claimed 52.3mpg and emits 143g/km CO2.
As an overall package, the E-Pace is one of the top options in the compact SUV market – but there is some room for improvement. The chassis setup allows you to drive it hard without much body roll and the steering is direct, but you would want suppler suspension when you want to drive smoothly. Also some interior plastics aren’t up to standard, but the equipment on offer from the base level is rather good and helps justify the price point. It’s also practical and good-looking – so is well worth considering.