Jaguar joins the compact luxury SUV segment with its plush, stylish and pleasant to drive E-Pace
What is it?
Jaguar’s first small luxury SUV, the Jaguar E-Pace, tested here in HSE D180 trim. The E-Pace competes against the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GLA, BMW X2, Audi Q2 and the very excellent Volvo XC40.
What’s it cost?
As per most Jaguar models, the E-Pace is available with a number of trim levels, engines and of course options. The range opens with the E-Pace D150 which is priced from $47,750 and stretches all the way to the E-Pace P250 R-Dynamic First Edition which is priced from $84,370.
We tested the E-Pace D180 HSE which is priced from $67,990 plus on road costs
What’s it go like?
The Jaguar E-Pace D180 HSE is powered by a 2.0 litre turbocharged and intercooled four-cylinder diesel that produces 132kW @ 4000rpm and 430Nm @ 1750rpm. Power is sent to all four-wheels via a nine-speed automatic.
Performance is adequate. Off the line, the drivetrain can feel a little slow to respond, but once on the move though acceleration is more than acceptable. Jaguar quotes a 0-100km/h time of 9.3 seconds, if that’s of any interest to you.
While the diesel engine isn’t unrefined, you won’t mistake it for a petrol power plant.
Ride and handling are both tidy and comfortable, just as you’d expect from a Jaguar. The suspension filters all road imperfections from making their way into the cabin and body roll is kept in check. Steering feel is well weighted and precise.
Visibility is great all round and you’re aided by a reversing camera, too.
What’s it like inside?
Well-made, cossetting and luxurious. The sweeping dashboard is not only ergonomic, but gives a sense of cosiness. Everything is clearly labelled and falls easily within reach. The use of materials and fit and finish is spot on, however the large slab of trim around the gear shifter does feel a little cheap.
The front seats are plush and soft yet supportive. Yet, oddly, seat heating and cooling is an option. Head, leg and shoulder room up front is more than accommodating. Slip into the back, and you’ll find that the rear bench is more than comfortable, with ample padding and under thigh support, space suggests that the E-Pace’s backseat is best suited to two adults. Head and legroom is also decent.
The Jaguar E-Pace interior is a luxurious place to be and it does something that all prestige cars should do to earn their stripes – it makes you feel special.
Around the back there’s a power operated tailgate which opens to a flat and decently sized load area.
However, we couldn’t help but think that Jaguar may be targeting a slightly different audience than Volvo and their bold XC40. Where the XC40 is available with a raft of cubby for tech devices and, depending on the model, you can even get fluorescent coloured carpets.
The Jag, however, takes a different approach. It’s stylish, no question, but notably more serious.
What we like:
- True sense of prestige
- Slick interior with big boot
What we don’t:
- Engine can be a little slow off the line
- Not as fun to drive as the Volvo XC40. The E-Pace is good, but the Volvo feels more energetic and engaging
- Heated seats should be standard at this price
- Options can make things expensive
Posh, comfortable and a pleasant to drive, the Jaguar E-Pace is a true Jag in every sense. Worth a look.