Caroline reviews the Jaguar E-PACE.
In 2017 Jaguar expanded their SUV range with the new Jaguar E-PACE. After the success of the Jaguar F-PACE, the E-PACE is a more compact SUV in the Jaguar range with pricing starting from €36,000. Indeed, the E-PACE is the most compact car Jaguar has ever built.
On the outside, Jaguar has done an excellent job to make a compact SUV that still has great proportions and stance, though the overall look is softer and less aggressive than the F-PACE. It’s great to see Jaguar finally stepping into this segment, as the E-PACE looks like something truly different to German and Scandinavian rivals.
Inside, the cabin quality is mostly good with soft touch materials but there are cheaper parts to it also. The interior doesn’t ‘hug’ you with the same plushness that you might find in a Jaguar saloon. Still, there’s prestige in that steering wheel embossed with Jaguar logo and slipping into the E-PACE’s leather seats is hardly undignified.
The cabin design is straightforward, with the new Jaguar InControl infotainment system adding the most interest to the cabin. The new 10-inch Touch Pro tablet allows you to touch, pinch, zoom and scroll through all your contacts, music, vehicle and navigation options, while the InControl smartphone app facilitates remote vehicle status checks and locking, as well as journey history.
The nature of this beast is compact and while there is seating for five, realistically the rear will be more comfortable for two. The boot is a good 577 litres with a flat sill for easy loading.
In Ireland, the Jaguar E-PACE is available in front wheel drive and all wheel drive, with the choice of 6-speed manual and 9-speed automatic gearboxes. Engine options include a 2.0-litre diesel with 150bhp, 180bhp or 240bhp or a 2.0-litre petrol with 250bhp or 300bhp.
In essence there are two trim ranges: E-PACE and a sportier styled E-PACE R-Dynamic range. Each comes in base trim, S, SE and HSE. Standard features include 17″ alloys, electrically adjustable front seats, LED headlights, Touch Pro 10″ infotainment, Emergency Braking, Rear Camera, Cruise Control and Speed Limiter, Lane Keep Assist, Driver Condition Monitor, and Front and Rear Parking Aid.
The model I was test driving was an E-PACE S D150 with 2.0-litre 150bhp diesel, all wheel drive and an automatic gearbox. The list price for this model is €53,450.
Equipment on this model includes 18” alloys, leather upholstery, Connect Pro Pack with Pro Services and WiFi Hotspot, Smartphone Pack with InControl Apps, Park Pack with 360° Parking Aid, Rear Traffic Monitor, Traffic Sign Recognition and Adaptive Speed Limiter.
What’s the Jaguar E-PACE like to drive?
On the road, the E-PACE offers a nicely compliant ride, and good refinement and insulation for motorway driving. The handling is good, erring on the sporty side for the segment, though it’s a long way off the athleticism and dynamism of the larger F-PACE.
The diesel engine pulls strongly, though the automatic gearbox can be clumsy to change gear at times and there is audible diesel gurgle at idle and around town. There are a number of different driving modes including a Dynamic mode, which adds a pleasant urgency to the acceleration.
The Jaguar E-PACE is a smart, compact SUV delivering Jaguar style along with the sort of refinement and comfort that comes with a premium motor. While some buyers may be disappointed to find that the E-PACE is lacking some of the dynamic appeal and quality that’s so evident in Jaguars like the F-PACE and XF saloon, the E-PACE still has plenty to play with in this highly lucrative segment.
Model tested: Jaguar E-PACE S 2.0D I4 150 PS AWD Auto
Price: €53,450 (Available from €36,000)
Engine: 2.0-litre turbo diesel
0-100km/h: 10.5 seconds
Top speed: 193km/h
Claimed Economy: 5.6/100km
CO2 emissions: 147g/km
Motor tax: €390 per year