The F-Pace has been the biggest selling Jaguar ever. It was a sign that customers were well and truly ready for this old British brand to start selling SUVs. However, there’s another Jaguar on our roads that has even more potential to help the company’s turnaround – the E-Pace. In this article we find out if it’s actually any good.
What is it? Well, the E-Pace is a smaller crossover than the F-Pace. In effect it’s the sister car for the Range Rover Evoque. This is because it uses the same chassis albeit with some slight tweaks to the suspension geometry, damping and power steering. These have been altered to help give the E-Pace more of a Jaguar feel.
You can get the E-Pace with the choice of Ingenium four cylinder engines. There are two petrols and three diesels with power outputs from 148 break horse power (bhp) up to the 296 bhp of the P300 model that we’re using to write this article. Most E-Pace cars will be four-wheel drive using a system that shares plenty of oily bits, such as the transmission, from the Ford Focus RS. The most efficient version is the 148 bhp diesel which is front-wheel drive.
Prices for the E-Pace are mainly in sync with its competition where you include cars like the Mercedes Benz GLA, the Mercedes Benz GLC, the Audi Q3 and finally the BMW X1. The cheapest way to get your hands on an E-Pace is to head for the lean diesel which, at the time of writing, you can get on DesperateSeller.co.uk for less than £29,000. However, the high powered HSC version will set you back around £50,000.
On the road the E-Pace certainly feels like one of the more engaging small premium SUVs you can buy on the market. The steering has that typically Jaguar springy feel on the straights and the car’s nose is pretty quick to respond to your input and stays flat and composed even during quick direction changes. Even if you throw the E-Pace at a corner at silly speeds then it will just understeer. The best way to describe the drive is that it’s just on the fun side of being safe. The high powered petrol engine has plenty of punch and is reasonably refined when cruising along at speed. Rev this car hard and you don’t get a particularly pleasant note though, just a whoosh of induction noise as a reminder that this car is a highly tuned four cylinder engine. Perhaps the most impressive element of the E-Pace’s dynamic makeup is the ride quality even on 20 inch rims. There’s more compliance that you’d reasonably expect even at low speeds and around town which is where many of these cars will spend the bulk of their time.
When you sit inside the E-Pace you’ll find that it’s a little bit of a mixed bag. The fit and finish isn’t bad but you’d expect that from Jaguar these days. So, you’ll find the odd bit of double stitching here and there along with some leather. However, the overall effect is quite conservative and we’d even go as far to say a little bit dull. With regards to the infotainment system you’ll find the usual widescreen Jaguar/Land Rover affair with their own software. There’s smartphone integration which isn’t really up to much as there’s no Android Auto or Apple Car Play. This is pretty poor when these features are pretty much standard on many superminis. There can’t be any real complaint about the interior packaging. Even if you and your passengers are over 6ft tall you will all fit in quite comfortably over a long journey. The boot is a decent size and there are plenty of decent cubby holes dotted around the cabin. In fact the central bin between the front seats is notably large.
The key question with the E-Pace is whether Jaguar have managed to make what is essentially a front-wheel drive car, and an SUV at that, feel like enough for a Jaguar. Thankfully, on this score we think they’ve succeeded - but only just. This car does feel distinct from the Range Rover Evoque and it is that little bit more willing and agile around corners than rival cars from Audi, BMW and Mercedes. We don’t think a 300 bhp petrol version is necessarily the right way to go while some might find the cabin a little uninspiring. However, if you’re wondering whether this car has the potential to be another smash-hit for Jaguar then we’d have to say that the answer is yes. If you’re interested in Jaguar E-Pace cars for sale then feel free to have a browse at the selection on DesperateSeller.co.uk.