Jaguar E-Pace.

    You’re probably familiar with Jaguar’s F-Pace by now, their first foray into the premium SUV market is also their best seller. Like Porsche, Jaguar actually shift more 4x4s these days than they do sportscars. The purists may baulk at the idea, but clearly the faux-by-four is what makes the big money these days.

   It’s no wonder then, that, keen to cash–in ever further, Jaguar have now also brought us this: The E-pace. It’s a smaller, more perhaps urban, off-roader that to all intents and purposes could be easily be mistaken as an F-Pace-lite. Alphabetically E comes before F after all, and their XE saloon is smaller than their XF saloon too. No doubt to the casual observer at least, the E-pace even looks like a scaled down F-pace.

   Except however, it isn’t.

   You see when Jaguar built the F-pace they did so on an all-new aluminium chassis; it’s the same one as they used for their aforementioned XE, and (larger) XF, and the same one as you’ll find beneath Range-Rover’s rather slinky Velar. The E-Pace on the hand has had to make do with altogether older under-pinnings.

   Even if its wheelbase is bespoke, the E-Pace’s size might be a bit of a give-away, so too its stance. That’s because underneath it’s curvy yet chunk body you’ll find the same chassis as sister-brand’s Land Rover’s Discovery Sport and their now slightly ageing Evoque. The E-Pace might be smaller, but the truth is it’s actually the heavier Jaguar SUV. Make that nearly 100kg heavier in fact. It’s also heavier than Volvo’s XC40 and BMW’s X3 – they of course provide the E-Pace with some very serious competition.

   There’s no escaping it, that extra bulk affects the way the E-Pace drives. It also affects the fuel consumption, and the CO2 emissions.

    Surely a Jaguar should have power, grace, and poise. It should sprint, it should pounce. That’s not the case here. Granted few SUV’s, Porsche’s Macan aside, truly entertain or handle anywhere near as well as their car-sized equivalents – the E-Pace offers more-or-less the same interior space as a VW Golf incidentally – and, to be honest there’s nothing really wrong with the way the E-Pace feels. But, you never really feel truly involved. Performance is definitely more adequate than it is abundant, the ride is best described as fidgety on all but the smoothest of surfaces, and in the real world you’ll struggle to get Jaguar’s Ingenium 2 litre petrol engine to deliver anything more than 30MPG. It’s the weight you see. The E-pace is also noisy when asked it earn its living too.

    And let’s not forget, in certain guises or with certain options fitted the E-Pace’s price tag tops £50,000.

    But, it’s not a sports car I hear you cry. It’s not been built to set lap records.

 And you’re right, of course.

  So why then have Jaguar attempted to make the E-Pace feel sporty on the inside by fitting it with the instantly recognisable and unashamedly driver-orientated interior as their F-type?

   It gets the same podded dials, the same steering wheel, the same semi-phallic gear-selector, the same heater controls, the same clunky and confusing infotainment system… They’ve even fitted the same grab handle for your passenger.  

It’s all dark, it’s all…“sporty”. 

    The E-Pace’s driving position is set low, and the window line high; so high in fact my rear seat passengers said it made them feel claustrophobic.

   The problem with E-Pace is that Jaguar, in a bid to make another best-seller, have very much fallen into their “difficult second-album phase”. They’re trying to please most of the people, most of the time, with most of the things they think they want.

   Sure, the E-Pace is modern looking, family-orientated, SUV that wears the right badge. It’s exactly what the people want, and despite all of the above, it will no-doubt sell like hotcakes.

   That said, for what Jaguar charge for their latest edition you could buy a much better all-rounder than this. Look closely enough or bide your time a little, and you might even find one made by the same parent company.


Jaguar E-Pace 250PS Petrol HSE R-Dynamic AWD

Engine: 1,998 cc, 4 cylinder, 16V, turbo-charged petrol,

Transmission: 8 speed automatic, all-wheel drive.

Power:  246 bhp @ 5,500 rpm

Torque: 269 lbft @ 1,200 - 4,500 rpm

0-62MPH: 6.6 Seconds

Max Speed: 143 mph

CO2: 174 g/km

MPG: 36.7 (combined)

Price: from £47,060


Many thanks to Jaguar’s UK press office for the loan of their E-Pace



Liam Bird Liam Bird

I'm Liam Bird, a freelance Motoring Writer based in the South Shropshire Marches. I currently write car reviews and road tests for a number of regional lifestyle magazines and newspapers which are distributed throughout Cheshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, most of Wales and beyond.

As a member of the Welsh Group of Motoring Writers I'm as happy behind the wheel of a super-mini as I am in the latest super-car. I have press accreditation with most of the major motor manufacturers, meaning that as well as always being on the look out for further commissions, I always have a number of cars arriving each month ready to review.

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