Review: Jaguar E-Pace (2018)
Handles well. Decent room for five adults.
Engines sound and perform disappointingly. Interior not as high quality as the competition. Infotainment system can be frustrating to use.
Jaguar E-Pace (2018): At A Glance
- New prices start from £34,290, brokers can source from £26,278
- Contract hire deals from £255.76 per month
- On average it achieves 81% of the official MPG figure
Jaguar used to be famous for its sportscars and fast saloons. But like many other car manufacturers in recent years, the brand has had to move with the times - and what buyers want. Which is SUVs. The F-Pace – a rival for the BMW X3 and Porsche Macan – launched in the summer of 2016.
And the smaller E-Pace faces off against the BMW X1, Audi Q3 and Volvo XC40. Jaguar hopes its blend of performance and comfort will win it a new audience.
The E-Pace is about the same size as the BMW X1, although it is slightly wider, giving it a more purposeful stance - there is certainly something of the F-Type in its styling. In fact, in our eyes, it really looks the business.
The entry-level E-Pace is front-wheel drive (the first front-drive Jaguar since the X-Type), and perhaps hints at the first challenge for Jaguar with the new model: how to ensure it feels part of the same family as the F-Type, and not related to the Range Rover Evoque.
There are two basic E-Pace body variants - the standard car or the R-Dynamic, which has a sports styling kit, and a slightly more aggressive look. Each is then available with optional packs. Upgrading to S costs £3060, going from S to SE is an extra £5730, and the premium for HSE over SE is £2800.
The cabin has a clean, uncluttered design although it stops short of feeling as premium as rivals. It's not that it's cheap, it just stops short of feeling truely special. Most functions are found in the touch-screen display with rotary controls for the air conditioning below. This system - Jaguar's 10-inch Touch Pro multimedia display - looks slick, but isn't as easy to use as other systems. It feels like the Android infotainment system of the car world. While it does everything Apple does, it's not quite as user friendly.
Talking of which, there's currently no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto available in the E-Pace. It's been introduced in the I-Pace, and it'll no doubt arrive on the E-Pace in the future, but for now you've got no choice but to use the car's slightly clumsy infotainment interface.
You might be tempted to ignore these concerns if the E-Pace drives like a Jaguar should. And it kind of does. By that, we mean it handles well, with little body roll and enough steering feedback (although it is quite light). It's nearly 2.0-tonnes, though, and feels it when you try to accelerate. Even the P300 doesn't feel quick.
So, the E-Pace is far from perfect. You might be tempted to live with its issues to drive a car that looks as good as it does, as well as make a statement by not being a generic premium Audi/BMW/Mercedes-Benz SUV. But the Volvo XC40 also looks brilliant and does the whole 'not German' thing a little more convincingly.
What does a Jaguar E-Pace (2018) cost?
Jaguar E-Pace (2018): What's It Like Inside?
- Euro NCAP rating of five stars
The interior is roomy enough for five adults, with reasonable rear leg room and decent rear headroom. The luggage area is also decent with a total of 577 litres up to the retractable cover, using all the available space, noting that there is a puncture repair kit rather than a spare wheel.
It’s possible to connect and charge up to five devices by USB cable, depending on specification, while the E-Pace’s wifi network, where specified, can link to eight devices.
All models come with a 10-inch infotainment system which, although it looks good, is a little frustrating to use. Many actions aren't as simple as they ought to be, and it goes without Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. In a system as frustrating as this, you really want Apple CarPlay and Android Auto - especially in a car that can soon cost more than £40,000.
In fact, it's the technology that really lets the E-Pace down. Simple things like the traffic sign recognition (standard on the E-Pace S and up) that never seems to get the speed limit right. The adaptive cruise control struggles to be smooth, while the front collision warning is over sensitive and plays an alarming, audible sound whenever it thinks there's a remote chance you might crash into another car.
Child seats that fit a Jaguar E-Pace (2018)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Jaguar E-Pace (2018) like to drive?
- Engines range from 2.0i 200 Automatic 4WD to 2.0d 240 Automatic 4WD
- Readers report Real MPG to be between 23–50 mpg
The E-Pace feels agile and rather firm compared with other Jaguar models, although we still think it feels more compliant than rivals such as the Audi Q3. The agility certainly puts distance between how it feels compared with the related Range Rover Evoque.
Even on wet roads, the E-Pace offers surprising composure, with the electronics rarely cutting in to correct the car’s trajectory.
The electric power steering perhaps lacks some of the feel for maximum confidence when pressing on. But it’s precise and few owners will go looking for challenging roads on a regular basis. For the school run or a daily commute, the E-Pace is a relaxed companion.
The entry-level 150PS diesel engine is available on all grades, but with front-wheel drive only on the base variants and the S specification. The manual transmission is only offered on the 150PS and 180PS versions, with all others coming with an eight-speed automatic.
The D240 engine provides effortless acceleration, with the maximum 500Nm of torque available from just 1,500rpm. Combined with the eight-speed gearbox - and paddle gearshifters on the steering column - the car always responds fairly rapidly when you need an extra burst of acceleration.
The automatic transmission has a sportier gear lever rather than the pop-up selector of some other automatic Jaguar models, perhaps trying to reinforce the fact that S in SUV stands for ‘sports’. On the passenger side of the centre console is a grab handle, also reminiscent of the F-Type.
Although the P300 is brisker still, is probably isn't as quick as you'd expect and it doesn't gain much in refinement over the diesel version. In fact, at full acceleration, the four-cylinder petrol P300 sounds rather like the diesel.
Don't make the mistake of selecting Dynamic mode, which pipes fake noise through the cabin. Many manufacturers are doing this at the moment - but it's particularly irritating in the E-Pace. It almost sounds like fake wind noise is being played through the speakers, but maybe that's just the sound of your wallet sighing at the thought of another visit to the petrol pump.
The all-wheel drive hardware has no rear differential, and sends drive rearward through a dry clutch system as required. The E-Pace doesn't struggle at all with off-road driving even when it's far more demanding that most owners would need to use.
On the D240 and P300, the all-wheel drive system has an ‘active driveline’ which can mimic the behaviour of a rear-wheel drive car by sending almost all torque to the rear axle in extreme conditions, but also give the E-Pace a rear-wheel drive bias in normal conditions, which will have some appeal for driving enthusiasts.
|2.0d 150||53 mpg||10.1 s||124–143 g/km|
|2.0d 150 4WD||49 mpg||10.7 s||137–146 g/km|
|2.0d 150 Automatic 4WD||46–47 mpg||10.5 s||147–158 g/km|
|2.0d 180 4WD||49 mpg||9.9 s||137–149 g/km|
|2.0d 180 Automatic 4WD||46–50 mpg||9.1–9.3 s||147–158 g/km|
|2.0d 240 Automatic 4WD||40–41 mpg||7.4 s||162 g/km|
|2.0i 200 Automatic 4WD||34–34 mpg||8.2 s||182–190 g/km|
|2.0i 250 Automatic 4WD||34–37 mpg||7.0–7.1 s||174–185 g/km|
|2.0i 300 Automatic 4WD||33–33 mpg||6.4 s||181 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Jaguar E-Pace (2018)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
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