Jaguar’s new SUV contender enters market with a bang
Jaguar was relatively slow at getting into the small end of the booming prestige SUV market. Now the Brit marque is in there. Tagged the E-Pace, it joins its big brother the F-Pace, which has been on sale here since October 2016.
The E-Pace is pretty well lineball in size for the prestige class, being 4395mm long and sitting on a 2681mm wheelbase.
In a smart marketing move, Jaguar has introduced the E-Pace to Australia with a First Edition. This will be on sale for the first 12 months after its launch in March this year. Three colour options are available: Caldera Red, which is unique to the First Edition for the first 12 months, White and Santorini Black. Our test Jaguar had the red paint — loved it.
Gloss black detailing and 20-inch Satin Grey diamond-turned, splitspoke alloy wheels make a real statement.
Inside, it has a special soft-grain Windsor leather interior in Ebony with red contrast stitching and an Ebony suede headlining.
Jaguar director of design Ian Callum has given the E-Pace a good combination of style and practicality, with a body that is almost a coupe at the back. The front is very Jaguar with the grille in black honeycomb. The interior is very British in a way that will appeal to traditional, as well as new, Jaguar owners. The mix of materials and the integration of the shapes look great.
The First Edition is powered by either a 183kW Ingenium petrol engine or a 132kW Ingenium diesel. The 221kW Ingenium turbo-petrol can take the E-Pace from zero to 100km/h in 6.4 seconds. Both drive through a nine-speed ZF automatic transmission to all four wheels. Our test Jag had the petrol unit.
As well as these engines there is also a 110kW Ingenium turbo-diesel on offer in other grades.
Jaguar’s Touch Pro infotainment system is operated through a 10-inch touchscreen interface and a customisable home screen.
The new E-Pace is the first Jaguar to use the company’s next-generation Thin-Film Transistor Head-Up Display technology. This projects large, full-colour graphics that have excellent clarity.
The E-Pace has a stereo camera to pick up images that will be processed for the advanced emergency braking system (with pedestrian as well as vehicle detection) and lane keep assist and is part of the driver condition monitor which helps keep inattentive drivers from wandering overmuch. A clever new forward traffic detection system warns drivers of approaching vehicles at junctions where visibility is restricted.
Advanced active safety features include a pedestrian airbag, which deploys from beneath the trailing edge of the bonnet to provide some degree of extra protection in a collision.
Interior space is good in the front but the rear seat is limited for leg room if those in the front have their seats well back. Boot space is good but the sloping rear limits its ability to cart bulky items.
Engine performance is excellent, with only a minimum of turbo lag. The eight-speed automatic transmission is quick to respond to the driver’s needs. Once the powertrain has all its settings in place it really rockets along, meaning there’s a minimum of time spent on the wrong side of the road when overtaking.
Fuel use was 9-11L/100km around town, which is pretty good for a relatively heavy SUV.
Jaguar’s first midsize SUV features an impressive piece of engineering housed in a most attractive body.
Caldera Red paint is unique to the Jaguar E-Pace First Edition.