It feels like it was just the other day that the British automaker entered the luxury SUV market with the already hugely popular F-Pace, and it has just released a compact crossover that looks much the same, albeit it with smaller dimensions. The Jaguar E-Pace uses a smaller capacity turbocharged 4-cylinder mated to the highly rated 9-speed automatic transmission under the skin, and is fitted with an interior that’s on par in fit, finish, tech and spec. Being smaller all round means a lower price point, and that means more people with access to a premium offering, and having seven models in the range helps this. The Jaguar E-Pace looks set to be equally as popular as the F-Pace.
Inside an F-Pace things are top quality, and the E-Pace needed to match to be a good option for people wanting the Jaguar status and quality. The cockpit is driver focused with the controls all in easy reach while being ergonomic too. The instrument cluster, 12-inch infotainment screen, climate control and SportShift gear selector all sort of cocoon around the 10-way electronically adjustable sports seat. It’s not just a scaled down F-Pace, the E-Pace has a design all its own.
There’s a host of premium materials and textures available to personalize the cabin, but the R-Dynamic option has a sportier look and feel to it and is probably the one to have. There’s space to store daily carry items, even a deep space between the front seats can house tablets or two 75 cl. bottles. Cargo space is rated at 24.2 cu.ft and with seats configured for storage that can be as much as 52.7 cu.ft – perfect for a lot of luggage or sports equipment.
Driving the Jaguar E-Pace is a pleasure. The automaker has combined the best parts from the sister Range Rover brand with systems from the fast Jaguar streetcars resulting in a compact SUV that drives like a hot hatch. The entry models feature a turbocharged 2.0-liter with 246 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque which makes for a fun drive, but the most fun is had in the R-Dynamic trim where you find 50 more horses. The engines are responsive, and mated to the 9-speed automatic transmission makes for a smooth and quiet drive. Traction is good thanks to a permanent all-wheel drive system; it maintains composure even under the most extreme conditions.
The best would be to option the E-Pace with the available Configurable Dynamics package that includes adjustable settings for steering, throttle response, transmission, and adaptive dampers – which are an option on an option. The R-Dynamic has a system called Active Driveline that’s able to transfer engine torque almost completely to the front or rear axle.
The Jaguar E-Pace may be the smallest addition to the family, but it’s turbocharged 4-cylinder engines pack a decent punch. The base model E-Pace is fitted with a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder Ingenium motor that produces 264 hp with 269 lb-ft of torque – to put that in perspective the Volkswagen Golf 7 GTi is listed at 227 hp. The same engine sees fitment in R-Dynamic trim and here the power is up at an even more impressive 296 hp with 295 lb-ft of torque. Both are added to that brilliant 9-speed automatic transmission from ZF that you can also shift via steering-mounted paddles.
Safety in the Jaguar E-Pace includes the usual systems like ABS, EBD, emergency brake assist, and an array of airbags including front, side and curtain. Driver assistance comes in the form of all surface progress control, hill start assist, speed proportional steering, torque vectoring by braking and dynamic stability control, also the new color heads up display.
The Options are plenty and while they can raise the price a lot, some are worth having like the 360-degree surround camera, Configurable Dynamics and Adaptive Dynamics systems that lets you have more control over the way the compact SUV rides and handles and feels. Jaguar activity key is a must-have for active types that allows locking of the car with the actual key fob inside so you can do your activity without ever losing a key.
The Jaguar E-Pace promises to be very bit as popular as the bigger F-Pace thanks to being on par in just about every respect. The engines on offer are smaller than the F-Pace, but they’re more than capable and feature good power. The compact SUV is packed with an abundance of technology, comfort and convenience features and comes with a great engine and drivetrain combination. The E-Pace affords more people the opportunity to own a brand new Jaguar, although when fully optioned the pricing does close in on a base F-Pace, it’s actually priced higher than a few good segment rivals, but there’s just something cool about owning a Jag.