Jaguar E-Pace 250 HSE R-Dynamic Review.
For – cute, well equipped, dynamic drive, high quality finish.
Against – pricey in a competitive market.
Competition – Land Rover Discovery, Range Rover Evoque, Audi Q3, BMW X1, Volvo XC40, Kia Sorrento, Hyundai Santa Fe, Skoda Kodiaq, Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Lexus NX, Jeep Cherokee
CLIVEDEN, Berkshire – The E-Pace looks good and the front end shouts Jaguar at you with its grille and lights, but it is an SUV, with all the advantages of practicality and ride height and saying it looks like a sports car is stretching things a bit.
But Jaguar describes the new E-Pace as the “compact performance SUV with sports car looks”, and the couple of versions I drove did go like the wind, particularly the 300 PS HSE R-Dynamic which sounds awesome too, and the 250 was impressively quick.
Inside, the E-Pace is classy and well designed; with a cockpit feel as the front seats seem to have separate spaces, kept apart by a big grab handle for the passenger sited at knee height, evocative of the F-Type. The boot is comparatively large and on the versions I drove there was a push-button to operate the rear door. The rear passengers might feel a little cramped but there’s plenty of headroom. The E-Pace is going to be Jaguar’s biggest seller, so if you’re wondering where they are all going to be made, this one comes out of Austria by Magna, and eventually will also be built by JLR in China. On the road, as far as I could tell on the country roads around Cliveden and bit of a blast down the M40, the E-Pace smoothed out the bumps impeccably as you’d expect from a Jaguar. The eight-speed auto box did a great job. Nine speeds are available at the top of the range. The power felt instantly available. Off-road? No idea, but given its family history links with Land Rover expect the best. All the petrol and diesel engines are new Ingenium ones, from the 149 hp diesel to the 295 hp petrol. Most are four-wheel drive. Prices start at £28,500
Connectivity beats performance
Strange that Jaguar lists about four different ways in which you can use connectivity and the internet, before getting excited about the way it goes.“Digital connectivity can be found throughout the cabin, ready for every need of the modern family. There are up to four 12-volt charging points and five USB connections as well as a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot for up to eight devices.”
The E-Pace is the first Jaguar to feature next-generation Head-Up Display. Essential information including vehicle speed and navigation directions are in full view at all times, with alerts and updates for the infotainment, safety and convenience features all projected directly into the driver’s eyeline.
You can also go for the wearable Activity Key, as pioneered by the F-Pace. The waterproof and shockproof wristband has an integrated transponder, allowing the driver to lock the main key inside the vehicle when enjoying activities such as running, swimming or cycling. Whenever the Activity Key is activated, by holding the wristband up to the upper edge of the number plate surround on the tailgate, any conventional key fobs left inside the vehicle are disabled.
If you go for the R-Dynamic model you get body-hugging sports seats with contrast stitching and a “Jet Morzine” headlining, whatever that is.
“Brushed stainless steel tread-plates and pedals combine to create a sports-focused interior while soft-grained leather on the R-Dynamic-branded steering wheel and the addition of gearshift paddles provide more focussed benefits. On the outside, the R-Dynamic features styling details designed to enhance the E-Pace’s stealth, power and refinement. Front fog lights with a Gloss Black finish are complemented by a similar finish on the grille, rear valance and tailpipe finishers. Body-coloured wheel-arch surrounds and satin chrome highlights on the side vents and grille surrounds also distinguish R-Dynamic derivatives,” the blurb says.
With British factories close to capacity, Jaguar Land Rover has contracted Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria to make it. The new E-Pace will be the first vehicle produced under the arrangement, with the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE also commencing production there in 2018.
The Jaguar E-Pace will also be produced in China exclusively for the Chinese market later in 2018.
What to buy?
The first thing to remember is that if you are in the market for an electric SUV, it is the I-Pace, not the E-Pace that you need. I do wonder how many people, in this age of on-line ordering, will end up with an internal combustion engine when they thought they were going green. It does seem to a marketing misstep to use the “E” label for a non-battery car.
Perhaps the second factor should be the diesel one. If you are leasing and the upfront costs are obvious and nailed down there’s no reason to forgo the diesel choice. If you are using your own money to buy you should avoid diesel. Many people have already made that choice, as Jaguar Land Rover’s latest sales figures show. The trouble is that even if you think you’ve transferred the diesel risk on to the lease deal you might still be caught as local authorities ban diesels from city centres, or raise the cost of parking or charges for entrance. So really there’s no way diesel makes sense anymore. That’s a shame because the latest diesels are exceptionally clean and a delight to drive. The diesel is dead. Long live the 48 volt mild-hybrids, which manufacturers are scrambling to substitute for diesels. www.forbes.com/sites/neilwinton
So given all that, should you buy an E-Pace? When you look at the price of this version, £47,060, you may well be pushing deep into F-Pace territory, the much bigger and first SUV made by Jaguar. On the other hand, you may prefer the smaller, more maneuverable E-Pace. It certainly does look exceptionally cute so if that’s what turns you on, go for it.
(Jaguar provided a hotel)
|Jaguar E-Pace 250 HSE R-Dynamic
|Engine:||2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol|
|Power:||245 hp @ 5,500 rpm|
|Torque:||365 Nm @ 1,200-4,500|
|Acceleration:||0-60 mph 6.6 seconds|
|Top Speed:||143 mph-230 km/h|
|Fuel Consumption:||claimed combined 36.7 mpg-7.7 l/km|
|Emissions class:||Euro 6|
|Service Intervals:||12 months/16,000 miles|
|Warranty:||3 years unlimited
|Boot capacity:||577 litres|
|Competition:||Land Rover Discovery, Range Rover Evoque, Audi Q3, BMW X1, Volvo XC40, Lexus RX, Kia Sorrento, Hyundai Santa Fe, Skoda Kodiaq, Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Lexus NX, Jeep Cherokee|
|Price:||£47,060 (prices start at £28,000)|
|For:||cute, well equipped, dynamic drive, high quality finish|
|Against:||pricey in a competitive market|