Jaguar E-Pace

Sunday Express - - COMMENT - By Nat Barnes

THINK Jaguar and you’re likely to imag­ine two things. It’ll ei­ther be a sports car like the clas­sic E-Type or cur­rent F-Type or one of its el­e­gant sa­loons like the XJ or the old Mark 2. What al­most cer­tainly won’t spring to mind is a crossover like the F-Pace or this smaller E-Pace.

As with other com­pa­nies known for very spe­cific mod­els, most no­tably Porsche, Jaguar has some­thing of a prob­lem with the crossover boom. Its F-Pace and E-Pace are do­ing very well in show­rooms and now ac­count for the ma­jor­ity of its sales. But what does that mean longer-term for Jaguar as a whole and also for its pub­lic im­age among non-en­thu­si­asts and en­thu­si­asts alike?

That was a large part of why we wanted to live with the E-Pace for a longer pe­riod, spend­ing some time with it and see­ing if it could not only do jus­tice to that emo­tive badge on its bon­net, but also if it could cut the mus­tard as a proper fam­ily car. This lat­ter point is a cru­cial one too as, along with the Volvo XC40, Audi Q3 and the BMW X1, the small pre­mium crossover mar­ket is fast be­com­ing a fierce bat­tle.

The sec­tor might be com­pet­i­tive, but we think the E-Pace has got its ri­vals licked in terms of styling – only the XC40 comes close. In all hon­esty, we think this baby Jaguar looks su­perb – bet­ter than the larger F-Pace in fact – with its chunky, squat lines and sleek lights. The only down­side of that was its width which we were of­ten very wary of through tighter street re­stric­tions.

Un­der the bon­net is the E-Pace’s 2.0-litre turbo-diesel en­gine with 240bhp in this guise and linked to an eight-speed au­to­matic gear­box. It’s enough to get it from 0 to 60mph in 7.0 sec­onds and on to a 139mph top speed, al­though in re­al­ity

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