UV’s right now are all the rage. They have been the cash cow for many mainstream manufacturers and those who don’t offer one are losing out to the competition.
Jaguar launched their much anticipated all new SUV the F-Pace in 2016 a car to rival the likes of the Porsche Macan, Audi Q5 and Mercedes GLC to name but a few.
Its done well since its launch and it was inevitable that sooner or later a baby Jaguar SUV would arrive, its here and its called the E-Pace.
The Jaguar name has always been synonymous with luxury performance cars, and a heritage rich in motor racing history so hopes are high that the E-Pace will offer some of that sporting heritage in this new baby SUV.
Has it any street cred?
It boasts the traditional Jaguar family face while the rest of the cars shape is beautifully sculptured. It sits high as one expects of an SUV on stylish alloy wheels with judicious use of chrome trim all of which sets off the premium look. In many ways it looks like a scaled down F-Pace.
What’s it like inside?
The E-Pace interior borrows some styling cues from the Jaguar sports coupe the F-Type and looks all the better for it.
Standard equipment across the model range is good with the S model tested boasting additional features such as 18 inch alloys, LED headlights, Touch Pro and Connect Pro with a 10 inch screen, Grained leather 10 way power front seats, 360 degree parking aid, reverse traffic detection, traffic sign recognition, and adaptive speed limiter and much more. Build quality feels excellent throughout.
The driving position is perfect, while build quality feels excellent throughout. The cabin proves roomy for four adults while a 577 litre boot is a decent luggage holder.
What’s under the bonnet?
There are three diesel’s and two petrols available with manual or 9-speed auto gearboxes.
My test car was powered by the diesel D150, 150 PS engine mated to the optional 9-speed auto gearbox.
The new E-Pace is no lightweight despite its compact size and this shows with adequate rather than very sporting performance.
This diesel also sounds a bit more gruff than one would expect from a luxury Jaguar.
That said it does a pretty good job of offering a blend of performance and economy that will satisfy most buyers. Road tax is €390.00 and it proved very frugal on the diesel too.
Will I enjoy driving it?
The new E-Pace is hailed as having more sporting pretensions than many rivals in this class and in this the E-Pace certainly delivers.
It handles very well with beautifully weighted steering and bags of grip whether on wet or dry roads. The ride is a bit firm over some surfaces but its a fair trade for the rewarding drive.
It's very refined on the road too as you would expect of a luxury brand SUV, with wind road and tyre noise all well suppressed.
What is the verdict?
Prices for the new E-Pace start at an attractive €36,000 for the D150 FWD manual but prices jump quickly as you climb the specification ladder. The S model tested for example starts at €44,510 before options.
I liked the the E-Pace.
Yes I feel that diesel could be a bit more refined, the interior a bit more interesting, but this new E-Pace is very nicely put together, offers an engaging drive and is fun to hustle along, offers a good specification and is well kitted out.
It is a much more interesting alternative