By Asian Journal Auto Editor
To capitalise on the hot premium SUV segment, esteemed British based – Indian owned car maker – Jaguar has come up with the newest Jaguar SUV, the five-seat, compact-sized E-Pace. With some DNA from the Range Rover Evoque, and Land Rover Discovery Sport, the new E-Pace fits right at home in Jaguars portfolio. With fluid, flowing lines, the E-Pace’s manages to carve its own identity with a different front fascia, much bolder grille, unique headlights, and a sleek profile.
The E-Pace lineup in Canada, offers two models – base ($42,700) and R-Dynamic ($51,000) with a trio of trim packages (S, SE, HSE) that offer differing levels of equipment. There is also a special order First Edition version ($59,000).The E-Pace arrives with Jaguar’s 2.0-litre turbocharged all-aluminum Ingenium gas engine in two states of tune, P250 (246 hp / 269 lb-ft.) and P300 (296 hp / 295 lb-ft.). Transmission is via a 9-speed automatic gearbox with standard All Wheel Drive.
We tested the top line R-Dynamic S in a wonderful Caesium Blue paint fitted with the P300 engine option. The R-Dynamic S comes with a long list of standard kit, including 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, leather interior with 10-way power seats, 10-inch infotainment touchscreen with navigation, along with Apple Car Play and Android Auto. Our tester came fully loaded with optional equipment that jacked the price by a hefty $11,510. Among the options: 20-inch 5-split spoke gloss black wheels ($2,650), 18-way seats (heated front and rear) ($1,020) and a fixed glass panoramic roof ($1,180). The Black Pack ($260) added black trim, grill mesh surround and side power vents. This being Canada, Jaguar graciously included the cold climate pack ($670) with heated washer jets, heated front windscreen and heated steering wheel.
The E-Pace interior offers a high class ambience with smart leather seats and trim, a meaty steering wheels and high quality fit and finish all around. There is a clean dash and instrument panel design with large, easily readable gauges and a 10-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system. (A 12.3-inch HD virtual Interactive driver display and full colour head-up display are optional). Three easy to use rotary dials operates the climate control functions, while the intuitive touchscreen takes care of infotainment and navigation duties. The front cabin is roomy in all directions, while the rear offers somewhat shorter legroom – a commonality in compact SUVs, although headroom is fine. The rear seats split 60/40- and allow for 52.5 cu.-ft. when they are folded, and 24.2 cubic-feet of cargo capacity when they are upright.
According to Jaguar, the E-Pace can do the 0-100 km/h dash in a sprightly 6.4 seconds and has a top speed of 243 km/h. And it is not hard to believe, the E-Pace does offer impressive acceleration with a satisfying bark from the exhausts. The E-Pace also delivers impressive handling for an SUV, almost sports-car like with it dynamic responses. Performance minded driver will no doubt choose the R-Dynamic S model as tested with the upgraded Active Driveline all-wheel-drive system that can allow almost all the engines torque (295 pound-feet) to transfer to either the front or rear axles in extreme conditions. During normal driving, the Active Driveline system disengages the AWD system, sending power only to the front axle. When a change in driving conditions is detected AWD activates in a super quick 300 milliseconds.
The E-Pace also offers Jaguar drive controller which allows for three drive modes: Normal, Eco, Rain, Ice and Snow, and Dynamic. Each mode adjusts transmission, throttle responses and engine setting for optimum performance in differing road conditions. Dynamic affects the steering, throttle response, Active Driveline, transmission, dynamic stability control and torque vectoring braking. Steering is quick thanks to the E-Pace’s front suspension that uses a lightweight hollow-cast aluminum design to provide additional camber for improved turn-in and reduced understeer. In fact, the use of lightweight high strength steel and aluminium mean lower weight all round that allows the E-Pace to perform so well. Fuel economy is rated at 11.2/8.6/10.1 L/100 km city/highway/combined.
To sum up, very little to complain about, the E-Pace offers superb performance for its size and engine. It is every inch a modern Jaguar inside and out. In base form, the E-Pace comes very well equipped, but it is hard to resist the R- Dynamic model as tested, loaded up with options for more style, comfort and content. Fast, agile and satisfying to drive, the E-Pace offers everything you could possible desire in a premium SUV.
2018 Jaguar E-Pace Priced from: $51,000. R-Dynamic P300 S model as tested with options and destination charge $64,110. Jaguar.ca