Sporty Jaguar E-Pace HSE R-Dynamic P300 is quick, stylish but expensive
A while ago we sampled the Jaguar E-Pace HSE P180D. While we felt that it was luxurious and befitting of such as prestige marque such as Jaguar, it just didn’t feel exciting enough, especially compared to the likes of the Volvo XC40.
Enter the most cat in the E-Pace family, the Jaguar E-Pace HSE R-Dynamic P300. Prices start at $83,733 for this variant are you get the following equipment as standard: Passive Suspension, 20” 5 Split Spoke ‘Style 5051’ alloy wheels, R-Dynamic Body Kit, front and rear fog lights, Matrix LED headlights with automatic high beam, a stunning ebony interior, automatic braking, blind spot assist, adaptive cruise, drowsiness detection, parking assist, Wi-Fi connectivity and a Meridian stereo.
As per the rest of the contemporary Jaguar range, the E-Pace is available with a raft of options. These allow prospective owners to make their new car unique and give it a personal touch. Our test car was fitted with the following optional equipment: Fixed Panoramic Roof – $2,160 Head-Up Display – $1,630 Metallic Paint in Caesium Blue – $1,370 Cold Climate Pack (inc. Heated Windscreen, Heated Washer Jets and Heated Soft Grain Leather Steering Wheel) – $1,220 Black Exterior Pack (inc. Gloss Black Side Window Surround and Side Vents, and Gloss Black Grille w/- Gloss Black Surround) – $890 Illuminated Metal Treadplates – $820 Activity Key – $750 Privacy Glass – $690 Configurable Dynamics – $680 Configurable Ambient Interior Lighting – $580 Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB+) Radio – $430 Smartphone Pack (inc. InControl Apps) – $420 Cabin Air Ionisation – $380 Additional Power Sockets – $260 Surround Camera System – $220.
These options bring the retail price for our test car to $96,233 plus on roads.
Power comes from Jaguar Land Rover’s 2.0 litre turbocharged and intercooled petrol engine, which in this guise produces 221kW @ 5,500rpm and 400Nm @ 1,500 – 4,500rpm. The engine is mated to a nine-speed automatic which relegates power to all four wheels.
This version of the E-Pace is quick. Jaguar quotes a 0-100km/h time of 6.4 seconds and that feels realistic, particularly when you flick the car into “Dynamic” mode. The engine feels eager and rapid, and, this version of the E will put a grin on your face. The engine isn’t as a quiet or refined as it could or should be though, and we’re not sure if Jaguar had tuned it to sound sporty, but we felt it would be more appropriate if it we just a little more hushed.
The nine-speed auto generally goes about its duties quickly and efficiently – especially if you use the steering wheel mounted paddles – but we felt that some shifts were a little too delayed. Grip from the all-wheel drive system was excellent.
Handling was tidy too, with well controlled body roll and positive feedback.
Overall, the E-Pace is pleasant and entertaining to drive.
Climb inside and the ebony leather, black and polished metal inserts make for a rich, classy and thoroughly luxurious experience. The E-Pace makes you feel pampered and exclusive. Fit and finish is equally lovely. While the ebony leather looks pretty, we did find that it marks easily so it mightn’t be suitable for those with young offspring or pets.
Personally, we found the adjustable interior lighting a gimmick, and detracts from the cabin’s otherwise classy feel the light up tread plates look cool, though. But they aren’t cheap.
The seats are comfortable and there’s plenty of room for occupants up front. Up the back, rear legroom may be a little tight for some occupants over six foot or so tall. Width wise, the rear bench is best suited to two adults.
The heads up display is useful and that Meridian stereo is excellent, pumping out rich, clear sound.
Fast, suave and posh. The E-Pace HSE R Dynamic P300 is the E-Pace to have. You’ll just need deep pockets if you want to buy one.