Following the huge success of the F-Pace SUV, Jaguar was quick out of the blocks when it came to making a smaller, more affordable subcompact version to battle the Audi Q3 and Mercedes GLA. The resulting E-Pace is much more than a shorter, smaller F-PACE. Based on the Range Rover Evoque platform, this is a very different car from its larger sibling. And one we really love.
While its rear end bears more than a passing resemblance to the F-PACE, the Jaguar E-PACE’s overall exterior design is noticeably different from that of the larger car. It doesn’t have most Jaguar’s cat-like grace – instead opting for a coiled tiger cub approach. Small, cute looking but ready to pounce at any moment.
With a much shorter bonnet and styling cues lifted from Jaguar’s F-TYPE sports car – most notably its ovoid headlamps, wrap-around tail-lights and strong, muscular haunches – the E-PACE has an aggressive, purposeful look which enhances its sporty, compact SUV credentials.
Small, cute looking but ready to pounch at any moment.
What’s it like to drive?
When it comes to driving dynamics, the E-PACE gives its rivals a run for their money. All versions handle well, offering plenty of grip from the tyres, while pleasantly weighty steering gives you good feedback from the road surface and added confidence in corners.
The E-PACE’s suspension set-up makes negotiation your favourite B-road a hoot, while models with four-wheel drive add more traction and agility to the overall driving experience. It’s a fun drive all round.
All models have plenty of power and a comfortable, refined ride, so fast overtaking on long motorway journeys won’t be a problem. Thanks to its compact dimensions, the E-PACE is equally at home in the city, where it’s more than happy negotiating city streets and tight parking spaces.
When it comes to driving dynamics, the E-PACE gives its rivals a run for their money.
The inside of the Jaguar E-PACE is a comfortable place whether you’re relaxing into a long road trip or just nipping to the shops. The elevated driving position gives a great view out the front, while a wide array of steering wheel and seat adjustability makes it easy to get comfy.
Equipment levels are impressive, with the entry-level E-PACE featuring Jaguar’s InControl Touch Pro infotainment system, dual-zone climate control and front and rear parking sensors. Higher spec S trim models add 12-way electrically adjustable seats with 4-way lumbar support and leather upholstery. SE and HSE versions boast a range of extra safety features and luxury goodies such as a Meridian sound system and keyless entry.
Go for R-Design versions of each trim level and you get sporty design flourishes both inside and out, as well as figure-hugging sports seats.
The E-PACE’s cabin is generally high quality. It’s well put together, boasting a number of styling elements from the F-TYPE sports car. Mid-range models and above boast upmarket Jaguar touches like double-stitched leather and chrome finishing trim, although some of the cheaper black plastics dotted around the interior let it down a little.
Considering its relatively compact dimensions, the E-PACE offers the kind of interior space that would be more than acceptable for cars in the class above.
The cabin has plenty of front and rear head- and leg room, allowing four adults over six feet tall to travel in relative comfort on longer journeys.
There are plenty of storage spaces dotted around the cabin for wallets, smartphones and loose change, as well as deep bins in each door. The E-Pace’s boot isn’t the biggest in its class, but it will still swallow enough luggage for a long weekend away.
Fold down the standard 60:40 split rear seats and there’s enough room for camping holidays or trips to the dump. Although if you’re a Jaguar owner you probably have staff to do that sort of thing.
Running costs and reliability
The Jaguar E-PACE offers good value against the competition. Residuals are strong, with all models retaining a large percentage of their original value, while fuel efficiency is decent rather than class-leading.
The entry-level, front-wheel drive D165 diesel model returns a predicted 46.9mpg, with the more potent D200 diesel – which comes as standard with four-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox – delivering more like 43.9mpg.
What we love
We love the Jaguar E-PACE’s looks – its F-TYPE styling flourishes, combined with its aggressive stance and chunky compact dimensions really give the E-PACE a sporty, go-anywhere appeal. It’s perfect for small families and couples on-the-go, with enough luxury to make any journey just a little bit special.
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The Jaguar E-PACE’s sharp, sports-car-inspired looks alone make it a serious contender in our eyes. Add in good handling, powerful engines and impressive levels of standard equipment, and Jaguar’s baby SUV scores top marks against the competition.
This review was