To boost its allure within the ever-popular crossover classification, Jaguar introduces the 2021 E-Pace with a fresh new design, some performance enhancements, and a good selection of new features. With compelling competitors, such as the BMW X2, Volvo XC40, and Mercedes-Benz GLA, existing within the premium subcompact crossover space, too, Jaguar's choice to ameliorate the E-Pace is more a necessity than a move to up the ante. That being said, the E-Pace does possess a uniquely entertaining drive character that's been fused with a polished ride, suave styling, and premium constitution. These qualities are carried throughout the E-Pace line from the 246-horsepower P250 models to the 296-hp P300 Sport model. All come equipped with a 2.0-liter turbo-four engine, nine-speed auto transmission, and an all-wheel drivetrain, though the P300 Sport boasts added proficiency thanks to a mild-hybrid setup and more finely tuned underpinnings. Even so, the E-Pace isn't the sportiest or the most luxurious premium crossover out there at its price, but it just may be the most entertaining and attractive.
Jaguar has the E-Pace crossover roll into the 2021 model year with the most enhancements and changes its seen since its debut in 2017. New LED headlights with 'double J-blade' daytime running lights, a fresh new grille design, and a revised front fascia with more pronounced apertures announce the E-Pace's evolution. In terms of performance, some powertrain and chassis enhancements aim to improve throttle responses, ride comfort, and cabin noise. Finally, within the cabin, the steering wheel, shifter, and HVAC controls have been redesigned, and there's now a larger 11.4-inch curved infotainment touchscreen and an available digital rearview mirror.
See trim levels and configurations:
Standard-fit throughout the 2021 E-Pace crossover line is a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that comes mated with a 9-speed automatic transmission, with all-wheel drive by default. In the P250 models, the turbo-four has been tuned to deliver up to 246 horsepower and 268 lb-ft of torque, which is plenty for the subcompact SUV despite its heft. Acceleration responses are slower than those of sportier competitors like the BMW X2, but still quick and smooth enough for satisfying and dependable driving within the city and on the highway.
For the P300 Sport, the turbo-four is dialed up and augmented with a mild-hybrid system, resulting in power outputs of 296 hp and 295 lb-ft. Acceleration is improved but performance still lags slightly behind the top-tier versions of its main competitors. No matter which powertrain is in play, the E-Pace is rated for a 3,968-pound towing capacity.
With its $40,995 starting price, the 2021 Jaguar E-Pace crossover is a really expensive vehicle, even within the premium subcompact classification. You do get a whole lot of value for the money, though, from its fun and playful performance to its very many creature comforts and conveniences, even from the P250 models. Though more proficient and competitive in terms of speed and dynamic handling, the P300 Sport delivers a rougher ride quality than the P250 models because of its sportier-tuned underpinnings. The P250 models can be just as entertaining, however, and maintain a luxurious ride quality that is usually what's sought-after within this class. The E-Pace is impressively fuel-efficient regardless of the powertrain in play, which is a factor that could justify its hefty price tag. It's a suave-looking and contemporary 5-door crossover that oozes class and sophistication. Though there is no official safety review for the 2021 Jaguar E-Pace, its first-rate design and its extensive consignment of driver-assistance systems and safety features bring peace of mind. Buyers drawn in by the Jaguar E-Pace's good looks and spritely handling will happily overlook its high asking price.
Though the P300 Sport, with its 296-hp turbocharged engine and numerous sport-tuned underpinnings, is a tempting offer, we're more inclined to recommend one of the P250 models with the less powerful 246-hp power plant. The E-Pace is an entertaining and engaging car regardless of which powertrain is in play, and while the stronger engine, firmer chassis and suspension, and larger 20-inch wheels on the P300 Sport do improve its proficiency, they detract from the E-Pace's smooth and refined ride quality, which we value more in this segment. To get the most out of the Jag's comfort bias, we'd suggest opting for the P250 SE model. It gets the Pivi Pro setup with a 12.3-inch interactive driver display and several navigation functions. It also comes with a good number of additional driver-assistance features over the regular P250.
The most popular competitors of 2021 Jaguar E-Pace: