JAGUAR E-PACE P300

Not the brawler we ex­pected

Motor (Australia) - - FAST BLAST - – Louis Cor­dony

IF YOU thought the ‘E’ in Jaguar E-Pace stood for elec­tric power or some re­la­tion to the XE sedan, you’re wrong. The E-Pace, rather, comes from the Range Rover Evoque. And while that means its steel rich plat­form uses only turbo four cylin­ders and of­fers front-wheel drive, we thought the all-wheel drive P300 might be the jacked up hot hatch of the range. It chan­nels a healthy 221kW and 400Nm through a nine-speed au­to­matic to four wide tyres, but in re­al­ity the high­spec In­ge­nium four lacks fizz and drama. Ac­cel­er­a­tion from rest to 100km/h feels slower than the 6.4 sec­ond claim, while the han­dling is sim­i­larly adrift of ini­tial as­pi­ra­tions. It might be close in length and width to a Mercedes-AMG GLA45, but strug­gles to con­trol its weight perched some 150mm higher. It has use­ful ap­proach an­gles and can tow a tonne, but its classy styling sug­gests it will live an eas­ier life than that. Our nar­cis­sis­tic side en­joyed the at­ten­tion paid to its ex­te­rior and in top HSE spec our car bore 20 inch­ers, a sports body kit, 18-way power front seats and ebony leather. Inside felt high-tech un­til we re­alised it in­cluded $12K worth of op­tions. We’d put our money to­wards an $89K GLA45 for proper per­for­mance. SPECS: 2.0-litre I4T; 221kW @ 5500rpm; 400Nm @ 1500rpm; AWD; $83,733

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