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Jaguar E-Pace touches down

12.03.2018

There has been a definite shift within the motoring landscape to SUVs and crossovers of late. These vehicles seem to not only become more ubiquitous with each passing day, but also sprout through to form new segments.

The more recent trend is the invention of premium compact SUVs. The first glimpse of vehicles such as this was the Mini Countryman, Range Rover Evoque, Mercedes-Benz GLA, upcoming BMW X2 and the vehicle I had a chance to drive recently, the Jaguar E-Pace.

Jaguar design

Getting the design right must have been top of the agenda for the E-Pace, as this segment places a huge amount of emphasis on style and aesthetics. On first glance, the E-Pace looks rather compact, but you will soon spot the usual Jaguar family traits such as the recognisable grille, swept-back LED headlamps and large air intakes on each side of the bumper.

The side profile is one of a sloping coupe with the roof tapering-off towards the flat, F-Type-inspired tail lights and sporty rear bumper with one exhaust exit on either side. Overall, it’s a great looking product and for those wanting a smaller and slightly more affordable Jaguar SUV.

Modern interior

One area where I’ve found Jaguar products to be lacking in recent years, is in some of the interior material quality and infotainment departments.

The E-Pace is an improvement with better tangible materials throughout, while the infotainment system, despite being a 10-inch display with satellite navigation, a reverse camera, Bluetooth, five USB ports and 4G Wi-Fi hotspot in certain models, still lags in terms of speed and resolution when compared to those from its German rivals.

The interior is otherwise relatively practical with four 12-volt charging points and  a respectable second row of seats, although taller passengers may find head and knee room an issue with that sloping roofline. Where the car impresses is in the boot department where you’ll find 577-litres of space.

Powering E-Pace

The E-Pace range comes powered by the brand’s latest Ingenium engines. There are three 2.0-litre turbodiesel options and two 2.0-litre turbo-petrols. The diesel range consists of a 110kW/380Nm version badged D150 and a 132kW/430Nm variant called the D180. Both are single-turbo mills with consumption claimed at 5.6-litres/100km, while the D240 utilises a twin-turbo setup with outputs of 177kW/500Nm and consumption of 6.2-litres/100km.

On the petrol front, the P250 develops 183kW/365Nm with a claimed consumption of 7.7-litres/100km and the top-spec P300 with 221kW/400Nm. All local derivatives come equipped with all-wheel drive mated to the superb ZF-sourced nine-speed automatic transmission.

Driving E-Pace

As it is based on the JLR front-wheel drive architecture but with an Integral Link rear suspension layout, the E-Pace rides well, despite our petrol and diesel press units rolling on 20-inch wheels. There’s also a wonderful level of refinement and comfort, although short trips in the back weren’t as comfortable as expected with the seats proving too upright.

Performance and consumption of both top-spec diesel and petrol motors are commendable, though the diesel makes more sense from a consumption perspective with its short power band suiting the nine-speed ‘box well.

Specification

The range is available in base, S, SE and HSE specification with what the brand calls ‘core’ and R-Dynamic body styles. The higher up the specification sheet, the better equipped and more expensive the models become. There are many, and I mean many options and models within the range, so many that one top-spec petrol variant at launch was over R1-million.

Verdict

With the BMW X2 on the way and several other well-established rivals already in the market, the E-Pace has its work cut out for it. It does, however, have the looks, the powertrains and a relatively attractive entry price point to ensure that it attracts an audience. Just be wary of that options list as things can get expensive very quickly.

Warranty and service

All E-Pace models come with a five-year Jaguar Care Plan which includes a five-year/100 000km service plan, a five-year/100 000km maintenance plan and a five-year/100 000km warranty.

Pricing

base

D150 - R598 500
D180 - R619 500
P250 - R667 800

S

D150 - R659 900
D180 - R680 900
D240 - R735 100
P250 - R729 200
P300 - R783 400

SE

D150 - R698 900
D180 - R719 900
D240 - R774 100
P250 - R768 200
P300 - R822 400

HSE

D150 - R734 900
D180 - R755 900
D240 - R810 100
P250 - R804 200
P300 - R858 400

R-Dynamic

D150 - R632 500
D180 - R653 500
P250 - R701 800

R-Dynamic S

D150 - R693 900
D180 - R714 900
D240 - R769 100
P250 - R763 200
P300 - R817 400

R-Dynamic SE

D150 - R732 900
D180 - R753 900
D240 - R808 100
P250 - R802 200
P300 - R856 400

R-Dynamic HSE

D150 - R768 900
D180 - R789 900
D240 - R844 100
P250 - R838 200
P300 - R892 400

Article written by Sean Nurse
12.03.2018
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