Jaguar has joined the compact SUV market with a new Jaguar E-Pace that’s a little less compact than the name implies, while being a whole lot more pleasant to drive as Michael Moroney found out last week when it put the E-Pace through its paces.
Jaguar’s E-Pace, the new and smaller SUV in the Jaguar range, combines Jaguar style with technology in a package that’s more affordable than you think.
The E-Pace introduced to Dublin car buyers just before Christmas last, is Jaguar’s first compact SUV and comes with impressive credentials in terms of performance, safety and value.
You’ll be instantly impressed by the styling, that’s if you’re a Jaguar sort of person. This E-Pace mirrors the design style of the larger and much applauded F-Pace while in more compact dimensions that make it a very attractive option for city car driving.
This more compact SUV still retains for me its muscular design style with round sculptured elements that give the E-Pace a stronger look. So in essence, the Jaguar E-Pace delivers more than the compact badging implies.
The engine has buckets of torque to give good pace, even though the E-Pace is a relatively solid and heavy machine.
Potential E-Pace buyers could also be Audi Q5, BMW X3 of Volvo XC60 drivers, so I’ve looked at the car relative to these, even though Jaguar considers it to be a compact SUV.
They all offer 2.0-litre diesel engine power and all come with similar engine power and torque performance.
There’s an impressive power feel to the Jaguar, even though its torque output is a little more modest than that of the BMW and Volvo offering.
It just feels that there’s more life in there, while the acceleration statistics don’t actually show that.
Jaguar offers the E-Pace with a front-wheel-drive only option for in a more fuel efficient model that will fit the bill for most city drivers.
This is the entry version with a competitive €36,000 price tag. Its fuel efficiency delivers a lower CO2 emissions figure of 124g/km and annual road tax of €270, to make it more competitive to own than the test car that I drove.
This engine delivers a fuel economy rating of 18km/litre (5.6/100km or 50mpg), which is comparable with the competition.
In reality, the smooth running engine tempts you to push for more power and with the E-Pace automatic gearbox that allowed me to cruise at 120km/hr at a point well below the 2000rpm range on the engine.
This meant that in real life driving the E-Pace was only about 18% off the rated economy figure and I achieved close to 700km from a full tank.
Prior to its arrival on the market, the E-Pace had received a Euro NCAP five-star safety rating. Jaguar claims that its first compact SUV keeps everyone safe with high scores of 86% for adult occupant protection, 87% for child occupant protection and 77% for pedestrian protection.
The standard version comes with a comprehensive suite of standard safety systems, including Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection.
Jaguar claims that this technology is able to detect a collision risk with cars or pedestrians in the road ahead and automatically apply the brakes.
High levels of standard equipment are claimed as a core component of the E-PACE range. Convenience features such as Touch Pro infotainment, LED headlights and a rear view camera system are joined by advanced driver assistance systems including Driver Condition Monitor and Emergency Braking.
Jaguar claims that with this technology pack plus its next-generation touchscreen infotainment system to connect customers to their favourite apps, such as Spotify through Jaguar Land Rover’s InControl apps, that the new E-Pace is one of the most connected cars on the market.
Entry prices are competitive at €36,000 and there is a wide ranging accessories listing to play with.
This Jaguar is as impressive to drive as it to look at.