- P11D Value, £46,135
- Small SUV/Crossover
- Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel
- Power/torque: 240ps/500Nm
- Economy: 34.3mpg (on test)
- CO2: 178 g/km
- Performance: 0-62/mph, 6.8 secs/139mph
What is it?
It’s a small SUV – just like a BMW X1 or Volvo XC40 – but from Jaguar?
Surely Jaguar doesn’t do small, or SUVs. Well it does now.
These days, legislation has to be adhered to, market demands met and niches filled.
Jaguar’s E-Pace ticks a couple of those boxes, particularly in terms of market demand for B-segment crossovers.
It might appear to be a Jaguar XE with a new top hat, but the E-Pace actually sits on the same platform as the Range Rover Evoque – which means steel rather than aluminium – which keeps costs down.
Lower priced versions also come with very un-Jaguar front wheel drive, something not seen since the X-Type in the days of Ford ownership.
Jaguar, however, would much rather people bought the all-wheel-drive versions which is what we tried here and despite the fact that it has E in its name, it’s not electric.
That’s the I-Pace and a whole different story altogether.
Why would you want a Jaguar E-Pace?
- It’s compact and good looking
- Flexible interior in terms of load carrying
- Great levels of comfort – a Jaguar given
- Smooth performance
- Ride and handling
What might put you off an E-Pace?
- Price? There are other premium models in this space at more affordable prices
- Gear selector knocks into neutral too easily
- If you’re buying a Jaguar – do you want it to be a small crossover?
- Not great in terms of CO2 emissions in the 240hp diesel
In a nutshell, a very enjoyable ride but you have to keep looking at that leaping cat in the centre of the steering wheel to convince yourself you are in a Jaguar.
Why? It comes down to the fact that in your head, Jaguars are big, luxury, sporting saloons.
Surely the brand should concentrate on its core competence? But, as we said in the intro, market demands have to be met and niches have to be filled.
The E-Pace does bring the Jaguar brand within reach of smaller budgets with the range starting at just over £29,000. You can find yourself heading well north of £40K depending on trim level and the amount of extras you add on.
In fact our test model, showroom priced at £46,135, weighed in at over £52,000 when loaded up with goodies
The more expensive versions come with all-wheel-drive and the nine-speed automatic gearbox while the engines all have four cylinders and are all turbocharged.
Diesels range from 148bhp via 178bhp to 240bhp while petrol engines range up to 300hp.
Our test car featured the 240hp diesel, a really good and smooth performer. The engine seemed so much quieter than the similar (lower power) unit it in the XE we recently tested.
It feels punchy enough when it comes to overtaking and purrs happily, as every good cat should, on the motorway.
In terms of ride and handling, the E-Pace is proper Jaguar which means it is smooth and comfortable with super body control for an SUV.
Gear changes from the nine-speed auto are super smooth although I am still at odds with the gear selector stick which I seem to be able to knock into neutral at the lightest of touches.
Good looking on the outside, it’s just as impressive inside which is where Jaguar scores against many rivals. There are some really lovely materials in there – a deep red leather trim in our test vehicle for example.
You’ll also find polished metal trim finishes and solid plastics. There’s plenty of seat adjustment whether you want to sit low and laid back or high and mighty.
The high body style also means there is plenty of room in the rear seats – and you can’t always say that about Jaguars. Someone six-feet plus will not be found wanting for leg or head room.
All E-Paces get the 12.3-inch InControl Touch Pro nav-media centre, which is easy to use while there are a couple of USB sockets under the armrest and some useful cubbyholes.
The sloping rear window means the boot is not the biggest but there’s still plenty of room for multiple golf bags.
Jaguar does claim around 50mpg from the 240hp diesel although on a mix of town, country and motorway we achieved the mid-30s.
There are cheaper and more frugal models out there but the E-Pace handles better than its rivals and can also boast a lot more refinement.