Everything that Jaguar touches lately seems to turn to gold and they’ve done it again with the Jaguar E-PACE.
A superb drive, elegant styling and cool technology are all on offer in this luxury small SUV.
As is usually the case with Jaguar models, there are a million different specifications and another million other options.
The test subject this week was the diesel, 177kW, AWD Jaguar E-PACE D240 R-Dynamic HSE, starting from $80,315 the test car was $99,355 with added options and on-road costs.
I’m none too keen on compact SUVs, but let’s see it a week in the E-PACE sways my opinion.
The Jaguar E-PACE possesses much the same silhouette as other small SUVs on the market – compact shape, sharp edges and a sloping rear roof.
Distinguishing this particular variant from the others in the range is the R-Dynamic body kit with gloss black grille and chrome surround as well as the 20” 5-split spoke alloy wheels.
Unlock or close the doors and a puddle lamp hits the floor projecting not just the Jaguar logo but an image of the cat and its cub. Cute.
A neat feature is keyless entry is operational on all doors not just the front ones.
Despite the external dimensions, the insides don’t match the outsides being more spacious than most other similar SUVs.
This is also in spite of the thick, heavy Jag doors which can be difficult to get in and out of.
What is unavoidable is the reduced boot space created by the sloping roof which is no different from any other in the category. Albeit, floor space is small but still adequate.
The cabin is coated in bright red leather, with great personal space and adequate legroom and headroom in both front and rear.
Atop is the blind for the panoramic sunroof ($2160) that neatly opens upon every engine ignition.
The dashboard and switchgear all have a nice neat layout which is customary for Jaguar, and the dash slope heavy down towards the occupants accentuated by the flow into the passenger handle.
Keeping your fingers toasty is a heated steering wheel and heated seats for the derriere.
These are smartly selected on the same dual purpose dial as the A/C temperature with just a simple push producing a change in the graphics.
Other features of note are:
- Auto start/stop
- 3 memory seat function seats
- Adaptive cruise control/speed limiter
- Powered tailgate
- Electric park brake
There is also an extensive options list some of which includes:
- Meridian Surround Sound System ($2320)
- Head-Up Display ($1,630)
- 18-Way Electric Memory Front Seats ($660)
- Red Brake Callipers ($660)
- Configurable Ambient Interior Lighting ($580)
- Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB+) Radio ($430)
- Surround Camera System ($220)
As in the Jaguar F-PACE there is a ‘Leisure Activity Key’ for $750 extra, a wristband that can open the car without the need for the key FOB.
Even though other, more mainstream manufacturers are lifting their game in terms of quality and inclusions, there’s something noticeably different about the drive of a luxury car.
It’s more assured, grounded and solid stable, and the construction is refined and robust.
On the inside you feel safe and secure (must be those heavier doors) and it doesn’t seem like it’s so confined after all.
There are four different drive modes including dynamic and off road options.
Diesels will always be economical and the Jaguar E-PACE D240 clocked 9.4L/100km.
There is a bit of a lag on the accelerator then it suddenly kicks into gear which can be jarring but otherwise I had no issue with the nine-speed automatic transmission which was almost unnoticeable as it went about its work.
The 2.0 litre twin-turbo is the most powerful of the range and packs a punch with 177kW/500Nm but as mentioned can do both relaxed, freeway driving, or, hasty overtaking.
- Emergency braking
- Blind spot assist
- Rear view camera
- Adaptive cruise control
- Driver condition monitor
- High-speed emergency braking
- Lane keep assist
- Park assist
- 360° parking aid
- Rear traffic monitor
- Twin-turbo diesel engine
- No-fuss transmission
- Solid and reassuring ride
- 4 door keyless entry
- Slick interior
- Cool puddle lamp
- Auto sunroof blind
- Features and options
Not So Good Bits
- Touchy accelerator
- Thick doors
- Price for a small SUV
I love everything Jaguar produces in their recent renaissance.
The Jaguar E-PACE D240 R-Dynamic HSE is like the perfect potential partner; attractive, powerful, well-equipped, stylish, bold, and well put together.
But it may be quite a bit of coin for some for what is still a small SUV.
However, this just might just get me to like small SUVs. Maybe.
Facts and Figures: 2018 Jaguar E-PACE D240
- Engine: 2.0L four-cylinder twin-turbo diesel producing 177kW/500Nm
- Transmission: Nine-speed sports automatic
- Warranty: 3 years/ 100,000km
- Safety: Five stars
- Origin: Austria
- Price: from $80,315